Outer Loop's Van Dorn Exit to Be Closed

Capital Beltway Exit 173, to Van Dorn Street, will be closed to outer loop traffic from 10:30 p.m. Monday until 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, Virginia Department of Transportation officials said.

Outer loop motorists who want to get to Van Dorn Street will have to continue to Exit 174 to Eisenhower Avenue and follow Eisenhower west to Van Dorn.

Signs will be posted along the Beltway, at the Eisenhower exit and along the detour route, VDOT officials said.

The closures are because of paving on the Van Dorn exit and about a half-mile of paving on the two right lanes on the outer loop before Van Dorn. The two left lanes will remain open to traffic.

If weather conditions force a postponement of the work, it will be rescheduled for the same hours the next night, Tuesday, until 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, VDOT officials said.

Fairfax Halts Its Checks of Gun Owners

Fairfax this week repealed a county regulation requiring background checks on gun owners, complying with a Virginia law that takes effect July 1.

The background checks that licensed gun dealers are required to make will now be conducted only by the state, the result of legislation passed by the General Assembly this year repealing the authority of populous counties to conduct checks.

The Northern Virginia counties affected are Fairfax and Arlington. The local governments also have to destroy records of previous background checks. Several members of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors have called the new law a dilution of local control.

Judge Lets University Use Fairfax Ballfield

A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge said an agreement between McLean Youth Soccer and the county Park Authority to allow Marymount University of Arlington to share use of a publicly owned ballfield does not violate Fairfax's zoning regulations.

In overturning the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals on Wednesday, Judge Dennis J. Smith effectively opened the door for Marymount to use the field at Lewinsville Park in McLean for its NCAA soccer and lacrosse practices and games. Many neighbors had objected to the arrangement between McLean Youth Soccer and Marymount, fearing increased noise and traffic.

The school had partnered with the youth sports group last year to share the nearly $800,000 cost of improving the field, including the installation of artificial turf. In return, Marymount was to be allotted a portion of the sports group's playing hours on the field.

The zoning board had determined that the agreement between the private university and McLean Youth Soccer violated the county's zoning ordinance, which says that county-owned parks must be used "exclusively for public purposes."


Teen Curfew to Be Pushed Back an Hour

The District's curfew for teenagers 17 and younger will start at 12:01 a.m. every night beginning July 1, an hour later than when school is in session.

Under the curfew, which extends until 6 a.m., teens are banned from streets, parks, vehicles and other public places unless they are taking part in exempted activities. Those include work, school, religious or civic activities.

Violators are taken home or held at a police station until picked up by a parent or other legal guardian.

Free Child Safety Seat Inspections Today

Capitol Police will provide free inspections of motor vehicle child safety seats today on the north side of the Capitol.

The first of two planned inspections will be in the parking lot at 401 First Street NE, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., police said.

Safety seats will be inspected to ensure that they are properly installed, and police will provide participants with literature from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on how to maintain safety seats. D.C. police also will participate. Under D.C. law, children younger than 8 are required to sit in safety seats while riding in a motor vehicle, police said.

Worker Hurt After Passing Out in Manhole

A 17-year-old contract worker suffered minor injuries after losing consciousness in a manhole beneath a federal building in the 300 block of First Street NW, fire officials said yesterday.

The employee, who was not identified, was working on a sewer line below the Bureau of Prisons about 10 a.m. when he lost consciousness, fire officials said.

A co-worker pulled him from the hole, and paramedics took him to George Washington University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Fire officials said the manhole and surrounding area had little oxygen and high levels of methane.

Man, 92, in Hospital After 2 Hours in Van

A 92-year-old Silver Spring man was found after being locked inside a minivan for two hours yesterday and was rushed to a hospital in serious condition, police and fire officials said.

The man, whose name was not released, was discovered in the Ford minivan by a passerby about noon in the 500 block of Fifth Street NW, police said. Authorities were investigating to determine what happened.


Snakehead Caught in Potomac Tributary

Another northern snakehead was caught Thursday in Charles County's Mattawoman Creek, state officials said yesterday. The 171/2-inch fish, believed to be female and 2 years old, is the eighth caught this year in the Potomac River or -- as in this case -- a tributary.

The fish was caught by an angler off Sweden Point near Smallwood State Park, said Steve Early of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Boyfriend Indicted in Death of Woman

A Baltimore grand jury yesterday indicted a man investigators say set his girlfriend on fire after a fight. The indictment charges 42-year-old James Irving Buie with first-degree murder in the death of Charlene Banks.

According to court documents, Buie set Banks on fire after an argument in March. She suffered third-degree burns from the waist down and died six weeks later. Buie is being held without bail. An arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 27.

"We need to redouble our efforts and leadership of the city to create the conditions for recruiting the very best superintendent."

-- Mayor Anthony A. Williams, on the decision of the former Long Beach, Calif., superintendent not to lead the D.C. school system. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by Del Quentin Wilber, David A. Fahrenthold, Nicole Fuller, Steven Ginsberg, Lisa Rein and C. Woodrow Irvin and the Associated Press.