Red, Orange Line Delays This Weekend

There will be some delays on Metro's Red and Orange lines this weekend.

From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, trains on the Red Line will share a single track between the Rhode Island Avenue and Judiciary Square stations while the transit agency installs communications cables for the new station at New York Avenue NE.

The Red Line trains will share one track in the same area again from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow.

On Metro's Orange Line, trains will share one track today between New Carrollton and Cheverly from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. while the transit agency does routine maintenance.


Man Dies After Downtown Crash

A 48-year-old Maryland man died after his pickup truck crashed into a camera store in Northwest Washington on Thursday night, D.C. police said yesterday.

Mark Balint of Waldorf was driving his Ford F-150 truck east on L Street NW when he crossed several lanes of traffic and struck a pedestrian about 10:55 p.m., police said. The truck then slammed into a Ritz Camera store in the 1700 block of L Street NW, police said.

The pedestrian was not seriously injured, police said. Balint was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where he died a few minutes after the crash. Police did not yet know what caused the crash but said Balint might have suffered a heart attack or other medical emergency before losing control of the vehicle.


State to Hunt for Noncitizen Voters

Maryland elections officials, alerted this week that a greater number of people who aren't U.S. citizens might be voting than previously thought, ordered their staff to find ways to purge the rolls of illegal voters.

"There appears to be a resignation that noncitizens are indeed on the list. That's not acceptable," said Gilles Burger, chairman of the state Board of Elections. "We want to remove all names of people not eligible to vote."

Burger and fellow board members said they were surprised to learn, from staff members and local elections supervisors at a meeting Tuesday, that Maryland doesn't have a systematic way to make sure new voters are citizens.

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, known as the Motor Voter Law, requires that everyone who applies for a driver's license be given a chance to register to vote. The paperwork warns that noncitizens who register to vote can be prosecuted, but the act provides no method for elections workers to make sure new voters have citizenship status, elections officials and experts said.

State board members brought up the issue at their regular meeting this week. Burger said he was shocked to learn that the rolls include noncitizens, although it's something local elections supervisors acknowledge and say is difficult to prevent. They say there's no way to know how many immigrants might be voting illegally.

Power Outage Puts Sewage in Creek

The second power outage in less than two weeks at the Hagerstown wastewater treatment plant has sent an estimated 3 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into Antietam Creek.

Public health officials have once again banned swimming and advised against other contact with the water along all 23.5 miles of the stream between the plant and the Potomac River.

Plant Superintendent Donald Barton said emergency generators have been installed to prevent a repeat of such events.

The outage occurred from about 11:30 p.m. Thursday to 11 a.m. yesterday. Similar outages caused releases of 2.7 million gallons Aug. 1 and 1.2 million gallons June 15.


Fairfax Opens Homebuyer Lottery

Fairfax County has revamped its program for first-time homebuyers and is accepting applications for the first time in seven months.

County officials announced yesterday that they are beefing up the program with classes for new homeowners and an online application system, among other improvements. The program is a lottery system that requires a maximum income of $64,050 for a family of four. Home prices range from $70,000 to $140,000 for townhouses and condominiums, well below market rate. Preference is given to applicants who live or work in the county.

More information is available at 703-246-5138 or at the county's Web site at

Judge Delays Lesbian Custody Ruling

A Winchester judge has delayed his verdict in a lesbian custody battle.

The judge must determine whether he has jurisdiction to decide a custody battle between two women who dissolved their civil union in Vermont and are fighting over their 2-year-old daughter.

The ruling has been postponed until Aug. 24 and could set a precedent for custody cases between same-sex couples who seek to end civil unions or other domestic partnerships.

The judge must determine whether Lisa Miller-Jenkins has sole parental rights over her biological daughter, 2-year-old Isabella. Lisa Miller-Jenkins's former partner, Janet Miller-Jenkins, is contesting the action, contending that a judge in Vermont has already granted her temporary custody of the child.

Lisa Miller-Jenkins took the girl with her when she moved to Winchester in September and sued for full custody in Virginia, where civil unions are not recognized.

Drivers Get Better at Buckling

Nearly 80 percent of vehicle occupants in Virginia are using their safety belts, according to Vincent Burgess, Department of Motor Vehicles assistant commissioner. That's up from 74 percent last year.

Burgess said Virginians have embraced the message that safety belts save lives. He said the national education and enforcement campaign -- Click It or Ticket -- is credited with prompting vehicle occupants to buckle up in record numbers.

According to the DMV, 280 law enforcement agencies in Virginia took part in the campaign by incorporating zero-tolerance enforcement of safety belt and child safety seat laws, with a special emphasis on teenagers and men younger than 35.

"I've used her books and watched her shows so much. It's helped me so much in my own cooking. I just had to say thanks."

-- Brian Sisolak, 25, after leaving a half-dozen long-stem roses outside

Julia Child's kitchen, reassembled and on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Lisa Rein

and Del Quentin Wilber and the Associated Press.