THE region

Suit Over AIDS-Ride Death Can Proceed

The family of a District woman who died while cycling on the Washington AIDS ride in 2000 has the right to sue the charity ride's organizers and medical personnel who did not detect her life-threatening condition, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District decided Friday that a lower court made a mistake last summer when it dismissed the lawsuit that Eve Jaffe's mother filed against Pallotta TeamWorks and a University of Maryland Medical Services Inc. trauma center over her daughter's death.

Rochelle Jaffe claimed that the event's medical staff and the university-run trauma center in Virginia failed to properly treat the 31-year-old bicyclist and diagnose her condition after she approached a medical station on the route complaining of dizziness and nausea. The trauma center reported that she died of a brain hemorrhage, but the family alleges she actually died of cardiopulmonary arrest.

A federal judge decided last summer that Rochelle Jaffe had no grounds to sue under D.C. law because of the waiver Eve Jaffe signed to participate in the four-day charity ride. But the appeals court last week ruled that the waiver could be considered invalid under the law of Virginia, which is where Eve Jaffe was treated and died.

Washington Monument Changes Ahead

The circle of flags and the stone-mounted lights around the Washington Monument will be removed this week for construction to regrade the grounds and build new security barriers.

The grounds have been fenced off for nearly a year for a National Park Service project that will add low security walls around the monument and replace the ring of Jersey barriers. The project is expected to be finished by spring of next year.

Temporary lights will illuminate the monument at night. Park Service spokesman Bill Line said the temporary lights could slightly alter the appearance of the monument.

the district

Water Valve Repairs at Dupont Circle

Residents of the Dupont Circle area along New Hampshire Avenue, between 17th and T streets NW, might experience a water shut-off or low water pressure today as crews make emergency repairs, which could last nine hours, D.C. Water and Sewer Authority officials said.

Beginning at 8 a.m., WASA workers will shut down a section of a 20-inch water main along 17th Street so the D.C. Department of Transportation can repair a valve. WASA officials delivered written notices yesterday to the addresses that will be affected. Customers with additional questions can call WASA at 202-612-3400.

VIRGINIA

Gangs Throughout Va., Study Shows

Gang activity has spread to the urban, suburban and rural regions of Virginia, according to the preliminary report of a new statewide study of gangs announced yesterday by Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore (R).

Kilgore said the study found that the greatest growth in gang activity has been among Hispanic gangs, especially MS-13, which has been linked to several deaths and mutilations in Northern Virginia over the past several years. The report shows that most of MS-13's growth has been in Northern Virginia but that it is also in Hampton Roads, Richmond and the Shenandoah Valley, Kilgore said.

Kilgore and officials for the Virginia Gang Investigators Association, which conducted the study, would not release specific numbers on how many gangs were in each jurisdiction or throughout the state. But they said Virginia is now home to national gangs, such as the Latin Kings, Bloods and Crips, as well as "homegrown gangs." Kilgore said the full report would be released in September.

Warner Takes Reins of Governors Group

Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) was sworn in yesterday as chairman of the National Governors Association for a one-year term.

Warner, whose success in the state's tax and budget battles this year has attracted national attention, said he would use the position to push education reform but would avoid partisan issues that in the past threatened to splinter the governors' group.

Warner, who is a rare first-term leader of the NGA, replaces Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R). Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) will become vice chairman of the organization, in line to become chairman when Warner leaves next year.

MARYLAND

Driver Backs Into Restaurant; 6 Hurt

Two people were seriously hurt in Gaithersburg about 3 p.m. yesterday when a driver backed her car across the Shady Grove Center parking lot, over a curb, across a sidewalk and into the plate-glass window of Express Cafe, where she mowed down tables and hit the counter at the rear of the restaurant, said Pete Piringer, spokesman for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

Two adults at a table were taken to a hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, he said. Four others, including a child, were hit with debris and taken to a hospital, where they were expected to be treated and released. Police were still investigating last night.

Later, a two-vehicle accident at Frederick and Christopher avenues in Gaithersburg sent two children and one adult to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. Eight people, including three children, were hurt in the 4:50 p.m. accident between a Toyota Corolla and a Dodge van, which police were still investigating yesterday evening.

Replaced Election Board Member Sues

A member of the state election board who was passed over for reappointment by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) is suing the state. Bobbie Mack, who spent years on the Prince George's County elections board before joining the state panel this spring, is trying to block her replacement, Gene Raynor.

The suit alleges that Raynor cannot become a board member until he is confirmed by the Senate, which could not happen until at least January unless there is a special General Assembly session.

The seat is one of two on the five-member board that must be filled by a Democrat. Mack has the support of Senate Democratic leaders, who were angry last week when they heard that Ehrlich had appointed Raynor to replace her when her term expired.

The governor's appointments secretary described the suit as "a hilarious publicity stunt."

"It was a 5,000-year-old dream, and nobody knew what was going to happen."

-- Henry Iuliano, recalling the 1969 moon landing, a mission

in which he participated as a systems engineer. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Carol D. Leonnig, Monte Reel, David Nakamura, Chris L. Jenkins, Michael D. Shear and Darragh Johnson and the Associated Press.