THE REGION

Bay Projects Gain Grants

Community groups and governments working on environmental projects around the Chesapeake Bay will receive nearly $3 million in grants this year, the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program announced Thursday.

In all, the funding went to 93 projects involving the bay or its tributaries. The projects include a "green roof" on a nature center in Herndon, restoration of Little Beaverdam Creek in Cheverly and tree planting near Pope Branch creek in the District.

MARYLAND

Boaters Missing in Potomac

Two or more boaters were reported missing last night on the Potomac River, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service said.

A fire department spokesman said a search was underway near Pennyfield Lock.

Universities Plan Tuition Rise

University system officials warned last week that tuition increases at Maryland's public universities could be significant if state funding remains flat.

Tuition rates are usually set earlier in the year, said Vice Chancellor Joseph Vivona, but uncertainty over how much the university system will receive in state money forced the regents on Thursday to push the date back.

The finance committee of the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents is now slated to set the proposed tuition increases Oct. 14, with the full board expected to vote later that month.

The system's working budget calculations are based on the assumption that it will get no more than the $746 million Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. budgeted last year.

Tide of Turtles Hits Beaches

Nearly two dozen dead loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles have washed up on Maryland and Delaware beaches.

At least nine of the animals have been found on Assateague Island and in Ocean City since Sept. 1. The turtles are among six endangered turtle species protected by federal law.

So far, scientists said they have found no evidence that the turtles were ill or fell victim to an environmental hazard.

Police Seek Missing Teenager

A 19-year-old Seat Pleasant woman has been missing since Friday, according to Prince George's County police.

Demetri Briscoe was last seen leaving her foster parents' home in the 6600 block of Drylog Street around 9 a.m. She is described as a black female, 5 feet 2 inches and 190 pounds, with orange hair. She was wearing an orange shirt, gray sweat pants and white tennis shoes. Authorities said she has the mental capacity of an 11-year-old.

Police ask anyone with information to call them at 301-772-4910.

Conjoined Twins Have Surgery

Doctors at Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore began surgery yesterday to separate year-old German twins who are joined at the head.

The first incision was made about 12:30 p.m., and the twins, Lea and Tabea Block, were doing well, the hospital said. Benjamin Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Children's Center, is leading the surgical team. The surgery was expected to last 24 to 48 hours.

Carson also led a team in 1987 that separated 7-month-old boys from Germany.

VIRGINIA

Tornado Damage Heavier

A tornado in the town of Bowling Green last week damaged 67 homes and caused nearly $2.1 million in damage, Caroline County officials said.

Mark Garnett, county deputy emergency services director, said four of those houses were destroyed and 22 had major damage. Officials initially listed about two dozen homes as damaged, but building inspectors and residents identified more problems as the town tried to recover, he said.

Wednesday's tornado also hit six businesses, destroying two of them, Garnett said. No injuries were reported from the twister.

THE DISTRICT

Amtrak Officer Honored

An Amtrak police officer who intervened during a grenade scare at Union Station last year was honored last night for heroism.

Rodney Chambers wrested a live grenade from a 38-year-old man and held the explosive in his hands until it could be disarmed by the bomb squad.

Chambers, a former Military Police officer, was honored by the National Association of Police Organizations with a 2004 "Top Cops" Award. He is the first Amtrak officer to be so recognized.

"You think you're healed, and it brings the scab off."

-- Marilyn Pontell, whose son, Darin, a lieutenant in naval intelligence, died at the Pentagon in the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, on yesterday's anniversary observances. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers David A. Fahrenthold, Martin Weil and Lila Arzua and the Associated Press.