THE REGION

Garden to Conclude Concert Series

The U.S. Botanic Garden will be open until 8 tonight for the final installment of its free summer concert series, "Evening in the Garden."

As on the first Tuesday of June and July, the conservatory will offer guided tours, live music and a chance to see the pollinator gardens on the terrace, which at sunset attract lots of butterflies and moths. The concert will feature jazz music by the Acme Trio.

The garden is at 100 Maryland Ave. SW, at the foot of the U.S. Capitol. For information, visit www.usbg.gov or call 202-225-8333.

THE DISTRICT

Activities to Mark National Night Out

Washington residents join police officers and other public officials tonight to mark National Night Out. City, community and police officials are hosting neighborhood parties and crime-fighting activities in each police district.

Last year, the nationwide event, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch drew more than 34 million people to events in all 50 states. The District earned a "Top 10" award among large cities for its initiatives.

Tonight's activities are to begin at 5, with Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey at a celebration at Naylor Gardens Cooperative Community Apartments, in the 2700 block of 30th St. SE.

A list of events can be found on the police Web site, www.mpdc.dc.gov. Residents can also call the department's Community Outreach Section at 202-727-0783 for more information.

2nd Police District Commander Named

D.C. Police Capt. Robert J. Contee yesterday was named commander in charge of the city's 2nd District, which covers much of Northwest, including Georgetown.

Contee, 31, has overseen the department's Violent Crimes Division since January, when he was promoted from lieutenant to captain. A 12-year department veteran, Contee worked in the 2nd District as sergeant and lieutenant.

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said he had not decided on a replacement for Contee. Lt. David Jackson was named acting captain of the Violent Crimes Division, which includes the department's homicide unit, Ramsey said.

MARYLAND

Contaminated Soil Removed Along Bay

About 600 tons of soil that was contaminated by heating oil spilled during Hurricane Isabel has been removed from land along the Chesapeake Bay, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said yesterday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for 75 percent of the $2.25 million cleanup project, and Maryland paid $562,500, officials said. More than 400 properties in 12 counties in Maryland were tested for oil contamination, and soil on 170 sites in eight counties was removed and replaced with new fill and topsoil.

Baltimore County had the most contaminated properties, 133 sites, followed by Anne Arundel County, with 18.

Man Fatally Hit by Train Identified

The man who was struck and killed by a Metro train in Rockville on Saturday has been identified as George Edson Beall, 61, Montgomery County police said yesterday.

They said the medical examiner has ruled the death a suicide. Beall was hit about 7:30 a.m. at the Grosvenor-Strathmore station.

Professor Named Md. Poet Laureate

A St. Mary's College professor has been selected as Maryland's poet laureate, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said yesterday.

Michael Glaser, 61, will provide public readings across the state. Glaser, a professor of English at St. Mary's College, has published more than 300 poems during his career. Glaser replaces University of Maryland faculty member Michael Collier.

Backers Say Nader Has Signatures

Supporters of presidential candidate Ralph Nader say they have more than 15,000 voter signatures, which should allow Nader to run in Maryland under the banner of the new Populist Party.

Virginia Rodino, coordinator of Nader's campaign in Maryland, says she's confident that when the petitions -- filed yesterday -- are checked against voter registration rolls, there will be more than the 10,000 valid signatures needed to start a new party.

VIRGINIA

Some in Fairfax to Try Year-Round School

While most Fairfax County children carried on with camp and computer games, nearly 4,000 returned to school yesterday as part of the growing educational experiment, year-round school.

Seven elementary schools reopened after a month-long break. Officials estimated that 3,818 children returned. Besides the four-week summer vacation, students on the modified calendar take three more breaks, one in the fall, one during winter break and one during spring break. Even then, families can send children to special programs, known as "intersessions," to keep them stimulated.

The county's older children on the modified calendar -- who attend Glasgow Middle, Falls Church High and Stuart High schools -- are to return to school on Aug. 23.

Pastors Oppose Board Official's Election

Three pastors have filed a petition to overturn the election last month of Alexandria School Board Vice Chairman Mary "Mollie" Danforth, saying it was conducted improperly and punished the incumbent, Gwendolyn H. Lewis, for her views.

Board members elected Danforth 6 to 3, thwarting the reelection bid of Lewis, who had represented the only opposition to keeping Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry after her arrest on drunken driving charges. The petition filed Friday in Circuit Court asks that the vote be nullified because state codes governing public meetings do not allow votes in secret or by written ballot.

School Board Chairman Mark O. Wilkoff declined to comment yesterday, saying he had not seen the court filings; he has said a clerk read aloud each board member's name and vote.

Lewis is a member of Shiloh Baptist Church, where two petitioners, Lee A. Earl and Thomas Bolen, preach. A third minister on the petition, Elbert Ransom, is active at Downtown Baptist Church and a guest preacher at several city churches.

"I'm more concerned about the weather than the terrorists, to be honest."

-- Arthur Foy, 53, unloading pre-cut french fries from a truck parked near the World Bank Building. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers S. Mitra Kalita, Joshua Partlow, Monte Reel, Neely Tucker, Martin Weil, Del Quentin Wilber and Debbi Wilgore and the Associated Press.