THE REGION

Work Will Cause Delays on Red Line Today

Red Line riders should expect delays today as track work continues around the New York Avenue-Florida Avenue-Gallaudet U Station, which is expected to open in November.

Trips are likely to take about 15 minutes extra because of single-tracking between the Rhode Island Avenue and Judiciary Square stations. Trains that normally run between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Silver Spring stations will run instead between the Grosvenor-Strathmore and Judiciary Square stations.

Meanwhile, an unplanned Red Line delay occurred downtown yesterday evening when a track circuit failed, forcing a supervisor to move switches manually, a Metro spokeswoman said.

THE DISTRICT

Panda Statues to Be Moved Off the Streets

The panda statues will be moved over the weekend from the city's street corners in preparation for being auctioned to the public, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities said.

Ninety will go to the main quadrangle at American University, NW, and 41 to the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel. Both sets will be on display as they are cleaned and patched.

The Marriott pandas -- along with a dozen mini-pandas -- will be auctioned at the hotel Oct. 9. Tickets cost $100, and the minimum bid will be $500. The AU pandas will be auctioned online, at www.pandamaniaauction.com, with bids closing from Oct. 13 to 18.

Three Council Members Endorse Brazil

D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D) and other council members endorsed Harold Brazil (D-At Large) for reelection yesterday, calling him a critical part of the team that led the District out of bankruptcy.

Cropp was joined by council members Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) and Sharon Ambrose (D-Ward 6).

MARYLAND

Man Apparently Asleep Under Bus Dies

A man who apparently fell asleep under a private bus was killed Thursday when the driver started the vehicle, Montgomery County police said.

They said the bus was parked in an alley in the 11400 block of Georgia Avenue in Wheaton about 9:45 p.m. When the driver started it, he felt something and stopped immediately, police said. His name was withheld until relatives could be notified.

Scores Rise on State High School Tests

High school students in Maryland improved their scores this year on state tests that will become a graduation requirement starting with the Class of 2009, state officials said.

The tests, the High School Assessments, are given in algebra, biology, English and government. More than half of students across the state passed each exam this year, officials said. Last year, the passing rate hit a low of 40 percent on the English exam.

This year, the percentage of students who passed that test jumped to 53 percent. The smallest increase was in algebra, with nearly 59 percent of students passing, up 5.6 percentage points.

State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick, who announced the preliminary results Thursday, attributed the improvement to better instruction and to officials' decision to require students to pass the tests to receive a high school diploma.

Complete results will be released Tuesday, state officials said, and will be available at www.mdreportcard.org.

Elections Chief Can Stay in Post, for Now

A judge said yesterday that State Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone can continue at least until Monday, when he is expected to rule on whether she was improperly suspended.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth heard attorneys for Lamone and the State Board of Elections argue whether the board had the authority to put Lamone on paid leave.

The Republican-led board is attempting to oust Lamone, a Democrat, based on charges that she was unresponsive to local election officials and ignored board directives. The board has attempted to suspend Lamone until an October hearing.

Enrollment Climbs at Hood College

Hood College President Ronald J. Volpe said yesterday that new student enrollment is 10 percent more than last year, making total enrollment the highest since 1995.

Hood, in Frederick, began admitting male residential students last fall to counter dwindling enrollment during the 1990s. Becoming fully co-educational has "energized the entire campus," Volpe said, and "has increased the number of women who applied."

Male undergraduate commuters have attended since 1971.

College officials said this year's enrollment is 1,968, comprising 1,038 undergraduates and 930 graduate students.

Judge Tosses Suits by Demoted Principals

A Prince George's County Circuit Court judge has dismissed lawsuits filed by two former principals who were demoted last summer by county schools chief Andre J. Hornsby.

Judge Maureen M. Lamasney ruled yesterday that Hornsby did not slander the principals -- Sinie Evans, formerly of Nicholas Orem Middle School, and Cecile Kahan, formerly of Thurgood Marshall Middle School -- when he said he was reassigning them because of their schools' performance.

VIRGINIA

Meningitis Diagnosed in Loudoun Student

Suspected viral meningitis has been diagnosed in a student at Loudoun County High School. Meningitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord, can be caused by viruses and bacteria.

Viral meningitis is considered common in the summer, and most healthy people recover. A letter sent to parents yesterday said the student was suspected to have a bacterial form. Later tests indicated that it was more likely viral.

Loudoun Health Department Director David Goodfriend said the letter's message remains accurate: Healthy students need no antibiotics and anyone with symptoms, including sudden fever, severe headaches, a stiff neck, nausea and frequently a rash, is urged to go to a doctor. The student was improving yesterday at Loudoun Hospital Center, a hospital spokesman said.

"You walk away, but you become the walking wounded."

-- April Gallop, a survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon, describing the aftermath as the third anniversary approached. -- Page A1

Compiled by reports from staff writers Lindsey Layton, Clarence Williams, Lori Montgomery, Debbi Wilgoren, Ylan Q. Mui, John Wagner, Elizabeth Williamson, Rosalind S. Helderman and Martin Weil.