THE REGION

Storm Knocks Out Power to Thousands

A storm brought heavy showers, thunder and hail to the Washington area yesterday, downing trees and power lines. Meteorologists predicted more storms through the weekend.

About 4 p.m., Dominion Virginia Power estimated 23,800 customers in the Herndon and Sterling areas were without power. The utility serves about 700,000 people in Virginia.

"It's widespread," Le-Ha Anderson, a spokeswoman for the utility, said of the storm. "It brought some high winds and hail about the size of golf balls."

National Weather Service meteorologist Luis Rosa tracked conditions from his Sterling office and said the hail ranged from "penny-sized to golf ball-sized."

He said cold air in the upper levels of the atmosphere caused the storm.

Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport reported weather-related delays -- some more than three hours -- for flights departing for airports in the Northeast. Some arrivals were delayed or canceled.

Rosa said Tropical Storm Bonnie probably would bring heavy rainfall to the region tonight and into tomorrow morning. He said he is trying to track Hurricane Charley, which he predicted would hit the region Saturday.

Navy Doctor Sentenced for False Medals

In a trial at the Marine Corps Base, Quantico, a Navy doctor has been sentenced to nearly four months in prison for wearing 12 medals he wasn't awarded.

Capt. Roger Edwards, 54, of Mayo, Md., was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to one charge of wearing the ribbons, which include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and four Purple Hearts. He is being held in a Marine Corps brig.

A military psychiatrist told the general court-martial that Edwards suffered from post-traumatic syndrome from his service in the Vietnam War, as well as from depression and a "narcissistic personality."

"He wanted to live up to the expectations people had of him," defense attorney Charles Gittins said.

Under a plea agreement, the secretary of the Navy will determine Edwards's final rank. He will be allowed to keep his retirement benefits.

VIRGINIA

Fox Killed in Fairfax Had Rabies

A fox shot and killed Tuesday by a Fairfax County animal control officer tested positive for rabies, police said yesterday.

Police believe the fox is the same animal that attacked and bit three Herndon girls Monday afternoon. The girls have been treated with vaccinations to prevent rabies, a viral disease that can be fatal to humans.

After crawling out of a sewer Tuesday in the 700 block of Grant Street, the fox tried to attack the control officer who was patrolling the area, police spokeswoman Mary Mulrenan said.

Mulrenan said residents in the neighborhood near Herndon Parkway should feel free to allow children and pets to play outside.

Depositions Denied in Eavesdropping Case

A federal judge in Richmond has denied a request by Democratic legislators to broaden their questioning in a lawsuit over Republican eavesdropping on two conference calls.

The Democratic legislators wanted to include several current and former top aides to Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore (R).

But U.S. District Judge James Spencer said in an order made public yesterday that the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of demonstrating the need for an additional 10 depositions beyond the normal limit of five.

Edmund A. Matricardi III, former executive director of the state GOP, secretly monitored two conference calls in March 2002 during which Democrats discussed their strategy in a legislative redistricting case.

The eavesdropping scandal resulted in guilty pleas from Matricardi and two other Republicans.

MARYLAND

Possible Exposure to Virus at U-Md. Site

University of Maryland officials said yesterday that people who attended activities at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on campus this week might have been exposed to the norovirus that apparently has caused about 100 teenagers to become ill.

University officials said a participant in a music camp became sick at the arts center Tuesday night. They said other people might have been exposed to the virus before preventive measures and sanitization could take place.

The person who got sick Tuesday stayed in LaPlata Hall, the same residence hall where 300 high school students attending a leadership conference were staying until about 100 of them became ill over the weekend. State health officials have identified the norovirus as the likely cause of illness.

Kopp Backs Putting Slots on Ballot

Maryland Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D) voiced support yesterday for letting voters decide whether to legalize slot machine gambling in the state -- an approach that has been suggested by House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) but greeted coolly by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R).

Speaking at a monthly Board of Public Works meeting, Kopp said she normally does not support putting issues on the ballot. But Kopp said the additional step might be appropriate "on something that is this important."

THE DISTRICT

Police Offer Missing-Youth Program

Police will fingerprint children and take their photographs today in a program organized by the Fraternal Order of Police to help locate missing juveniles in an emergency, officials said.

The program will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Blimpie Sandwiches and Noble Roman's Pizza at 3923 Minnesota Ave. NE, said Lou Cannon, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1.

Police return the photographs and fingerprints to parents. If a child is abducted or runs away, parents can give that information to investigators to help locate the youths, Cannon said.

The program is sponsored by the D.C. FOP lodge and Rent-A-Center, Cannon said. For more information call 202-408-7767 or 202-396-0055.

"The mayor has completely backed away from his desire and quest to take over the school system and has agreed to support this candidate."

-- D.C. school board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz, on Mayor Anthony A. Williams's support of Clifford B. Janey as school superintendent. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers S. Mitra Kalita, Cameron Barr, Timothy Dwyer, Karin Brulliard, John Wagner and Del Quentin Wilber and the Associated Press.