THE REGION

Red Line Riders Delayed in Morning Rush

Service on Metro's busiest line was disrupted several times during peak travel yesterday morning, delaying thousands of riders, according to transit officials.

A Red Line train had to be removed from service at 7:43 a.m. because of a door problem, and riders faced delays of up to a half hour in each direction as trains shared a single track between the Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations.

Another train had to be pulled from service, this one at 9:16 a.m. at Van Ness Station because of a brake problem. Riders traveling to Glenmont experienced a 15-minute delay, transit officials said.

Metro managers then emptied a train at Farragut North bound for Shady Grove and turned it around to try to pick up some of the passengers waiting for Glenmont-bound trains.

MARYLAND

Robbers Hold Up Armored Car at Eatery

Two robbers held up an armored car guard yesterday in a fast-food restaurant in Prince George's County and grabbed her gun and a sack of cash. The guard and a colleague got into the armored car, chased the robbers and caught a suspect, county police said.

The robbery occurred at Popeyes in the 6200 block of Central Avenue in the Seat Pleasant area, said Cpl. Debbi Carlson, a police spokeswoman. She said the guards pursued the robbers for about a half mile before stopping one and holding him for police.

Bay Bridge Starts New Traffic Patterns

Motorists who use the Chesapeake Bay Bridge are encountering new traffic patterns as a result of repaving work.

Starting this week, the center lane of the bridge's westbound span will be closed Mondays through Thursdays at 7 p.m. and will reopen the following morning at 5. The right lane will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The left lane will be closed at all hours.

Nighttime traffic on the bridge will be split between the two lanes on the bridge's eastbound span.

Friday and Saturday nights, the bridge's center westbound lane will close at 8 p.m., and the right lane will close at 10 p.m. Both will reopen at 7 the next morning.

On Sunday nights, the center lane will close at 10 p.m., and the right lane will close at midnight. Both will open in time for Monday morning rush hour, officials said.

Judge Declines to Postpone Bear Hunt

A Prince George's County judge yesterday declined to postpone a bear hunt scheduled by Maryland's Department of Natural Resources, possibly clearing the way for the state's first bear hunting season in 51 years.

The Silver Spring-based Fund for Animals and three individuals filed a lawsuit last month seeking postponement of the hunt, scheduled to begin next week.

Hunting opponents alleged in the lawsuit that state officials did not conduct sufficient research on Maryland's black bear population, which is estimated at 500, before deciding that 30 bears could be killed by hunters this season.

Search for Silver Spring Student Cut Back

Authorities in rural Minnesota said yesterday that they are scaling back their search for a Silver Spring college student who failed to return from a fishing and hunting expedition on which he embarked last month.

Nathaniel Williams, 21, a student at the University of Minnesota-Morris, left his off-campus residence Sept. 28 for a two-week trip in the wilderness of northeastern Minnesota, authorities said. His restored 1966 Ford pickup was found on a remote road in Lake County, north of Duluth near the shore of Lake Superior, this month.

VIRGINIA

Fire Harms Mason District Park Pavilion

Fire caused about $200,000 in damage Sunday to a pavilion in Mason District Park in the Annandale area, authorities said.

Firefighters found the 2,400-square-foot pavilion ablaze when they arrived about 5 a.m., the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said.

Delaplane Man Charged in Triple Fatality

A District firefighter trainee was indicted yesterday by a Fairfax County grand jury on three counts of aggravated manslaughter in the Oct. 9 crash on Interstate 66 near Vienna that killed three members of a New Jersey family.

Jonathan C. O'Neill, 24, of Delaplane was indicted in the deaths of Maureen O'Callahan, 41, of Barnegat, N.J., her daughter Tara O'Callahan, 20, and her nephew John Oldigs Jr., 23.

The car Maureen O'Callahan had been driving was on the shoulder near the Nutley Street exit when it was struck by a pickup driven by O'Neill, police said.

He was initially charged with drunken driving.

Nader Official Indicted in Election Fraud

Ralph Nader's state campaign coordinator has been indicted on 10 counts of election fraud, stemming from petitions to get the consumer rights advocate on Virginia's presidential ballot.

James P. Polk, 47, turned himself in to Virginia Beach police Friday, a day after a special grand jury indicted him. He remains free on personal recognizance.

The indictment alleges that Polk made or caused to be made "a false material statement or entry" on a petition to put Nader's name on the ballot. The false statements were alleged to have been made from Aug. 5 to Aug. 18 in Virginia Beach.

The disqualified signatures were illegible or belonged to Virginians who weren't registered to vote or residents of other states, said Jean R. Jensen, secretary of the State Board of Elections.

Funds to Raze Front Royal Plant Approved

Congress has authorized $5 million to demolish the last remaining buildings at the former Avtex Fibers rayon plant in Front Royal, Va., according to Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.). The federal government has spent more than $23 million to clean up the site.

The federal government forced companies that formerly owned the factory to pay additional money for cleanup. Last year, former owner FMC put the total cost at $120 million.

Officials in Front Royal plan to use the site for manufacturing and a park once the cleanup is finished.

"It is absolutely hopeless for these people to get a fair review."

-- Steve Kanstoroom, a Talbot County (Md.) advocate for flood victims who says mismanagement of flood insurance has cost victims of Hurricane Isabel hundreds of thousands of dollars. -- Page B3

Compiled from reports by staff writers Tom Jackman, Lyndsey Layton, Steven Ginsberg, Ruben Castaneda, Michael E. Ruane, Allan Lengel and Martin Weil and the Associated Press.