THE REGION

Salvation Army Listed as Largest Charity

The Salvation Army regained its position as the nation's largest charity in an annual survey of charities released today.

The survey of the 400 largest nonprofit organizations, conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, found that the Alexandria-based Salvation Army had regained the top spot after falling to No. 2 last year. Rankings are by money raised from private sources.

The Salvation Army, a faith-based group that runs thousands of soup kitchens, substance-abuse programs, homeless shelters, after-school programs and other services across the country, raised $1.3 billion last year, according to the publication.

In January, the Salvation Army announced it would receive a $1.5 billion bequest from the late philanthropist Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald's mogul Ray Kroc. That gift will show up in future contribution totals.

Last year's No. 1 nonprofit group, the District-based American Red Cross, fell to No. 8 this year with $587.5 million raised. The publication said its fundraising total was inflated the previous year by donations to its Sept. 11 fund.

The publication said the Washington area is home to 18 of the nation's largest nonprofits, including Gifts in Kind International, which solicits donations of material and equipment from corporations; Catholic Charities USA; the Nature Conservancy; and Goodwill Industries International.

THE DISTRICT

Fire Damages Dupont Circle Rowhouse

A large Victorian rowhouse in Dupont Circle was badly damaged yesterday by a third-floor fire that sent flames high enough to be seen several blocks away, witnesses and fire department officials said.

No one was hurt in the fire at 1743 18th St. NW at the corner of Riggs Street. A fire department spokesman said that at least two people were home when the fire was reported at 12:30 p.m. and that they escaped unharmed.

Firefighters broke through the third-floor windows and soaked that level and the roof with water, officials said. They then spent more than an hour throwing charred furniture, insulation, papers and other belongings through the window spaces to the ground below.

Alan Etter, spokesman for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services, said the cause of the fire had not been determined.

MARYLAND

Four Men Hurt in Anne Arundel Collision

Four men in their twenties were injured in a head-on collision Saturday night on Patuxent Road in Anne Arundel County when a car driven by a 21-year-old spun into oncoming traffic, county police said yesterday.

The driver and his front-seat passenger, also a 21-year-old man, were in stable condition at shock trauma units after the 10 p.m. collision near Odenton.

VIRGINIA

North Arlington Man Shot by Police

Arlington police shot a North Arlington man last night after he threatened them with a shotgun, police said.

Christopher Weber, 23, was taken to a hospital with wounds not believed to be life-threatening, authorities said. The shooting occurred about 5:30 p.m. after a traffic stop in the 1600 block of North Woodstock Street.

Police said Weber initially refused to get out of his car, then did so and fled into his house. Inside, they said, he pointed a shotgun at three officers. Two officers fired, and Weber was hit twice in the shoulder, police said.

Five Wounded in Dispute at Restaurant

Five people were stabbed or slashed late Saturday in a dispute at a restaurant in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, county police said. They said it was unclear whether the wounds were inflicted by a knife or a machete.

Police communications supervisor Joseph Loperto said police were sent just before midnight to the Cuco Lindo restaurant in the 8400 block of Richmond Highway, where they found three men suffering from stab wounds.

Witnesses directed police to two other men, who apparently had left the restaurant and also had been stabbed.

Apartment Building Evacuated After Crash

A five-story apartment building in Herndon was evacuated for about two hours yesterday after a car hit a gas meter outside the building and caused a leak, Fairfax County police said.

They said someone apparently drove into the meter about 3 p.m. from the parking lot of the building on John Eppes Road. Virginia Gas crews were sent, and residents returned about 5:30 p.m.

5 Hurt in Collision With School Bus

A school bus and two cars collided in Loudoun County on Saturday, injuring five people, Virginia state police said.

They said a car went out of control on Rte. 15 near Rte. 612 about 9:20 p.m. and struck the bus, which was carrying 36 students and five adults who had been at an athletic event.

Then, police said, another car collided with the first car, which had lost its lights. Two students and three people from the cars were taken for medical treatment, trooper Danny Sawyer said. He said none of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening.

Memorial Sought for Quantico 'Pioneers'

The widows and parents of eight Marines killed in 2000 during two test flights of the V-22 Osprey military aircraft want to build a memorial to the men they consider to be aviation pioneers.

They hope to erect the monument at Quantico Marine Base in 2006, the year the Marines hope to make the tilt-rotor aircraft operational. The Osprey lifts like a helicopter and flies like a plane.

The aircraft was near approval for full-scale production when a Dec. 11, 2000, crash in North Carolina killed four men. Earlier an Arizona crash killed four Quantico Marines and 15 other Marines.

"I came on their turf and was being perhaps too female for them. And there were some rocky times. When I asked them why they weren't wearing their skirts, they said that they didn't want to stand out, that they wanted to be one of the guys. It was a bit of a struggle to get them to regain their femininity."

-- L.E. Hurlbut, assistant commandant for cadet life

at Virginia Military Institute, on how women are adjusting

at the formerly all-male school. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Jacqueline L. Salmon, Lila Arzua, Allan Lengel, Martin Weil and Debbi Wilgoren and the Associated Press.