THE REGION

Redskins Assist With Food Drive

Several Redskins players and about 100 volunteers will be at FedEx Field on Tuesday to package and deliver food collected at the team's annual food drive, organizers announced.

The operation is part of a nationwide effort sponsored by Memphis-based FedEx. Last year, the volunteers delivered more than 2,000 turkeys and other items to needy families and local nursing homes.

Animal Rights Groups Merge

The Humane Society of the United States plans to merge with the Fund for Animals.

Officials from both groups hope the merger will give them greater clout on animal rights issues. The umbrella group will have headquarters in Washington and maintain a large office in Gaithersburg.

It will include a lobbying department that will have more freedom to push the group's agenda in Washington and state capitals.

It will focus on four major issues: the fur industry, sport hunting, factory farming and animal cruelty.

Both groups will keep their names.

MARYLAND

2nd Fire Flares at Courthouse

The second fire in three weeks broke out at the Prince George's County courthouse yesterday, but authorities reported no injuries or further damage to the 123-year-old building.

The fire started at 6 a.m. and was caused by insulation still smoldering from the four-alarm blaze Nov. 3, a spokesman for the fire department said.

That blaze, started by a light fixture in the attic, burned the roof and quickly spread, gutting much of the older section of the courthouse. Yesterday's fire burned in some of the same areas destroyed in the first blaze but did not touch the new wings.

"They're working to get stuff out of there and begin the process of reconstruction," said Capt. Chauncey Bowers, a department spokesman.

Officer Hospitalized After Crash

A Prince George's County police officer was transported to a hospital for observation yesterday after his cruiser crashed and rolled over in Largo, officials said.

The crash occurred about 11:30 a.m. on Route 202 near White House Road. The officer, whose name was not released, was alone in the car when it crashed, police said. No other vehicles were involved in the accident. The officer was not injured but was taken to the hospital for a checkup as a precaution, a spokesman for the county fire department said.

It could not be determined whether the officer was responding to a call at the time.

School Board Seat Filled

Nancy Navarro, an advocate of minority rights, has been elected to fill the District 5 vacancy on the Montgomery County School Board. She received four votes at a special board meeting yesterday, defeating Mary T. Edwards.

Navarro was one of four finalists vying to replace Henry Lee, who resigned in October citing family concerns. Lee had served only four months.

He had replaced Reginald M. Felton, who stepped down last spring because he was moving out of the district. The district encompasses much of eastern Montgomery, including Olney, Brookeville, Burtonsville and parts of Silver Spring.

Navarro, 39, runs Centro Familia, a Silver Spring nonprofit organization that works with Latino and immigrant communities. Navarro is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia. She and her husband have two daughters in county schools.

Navarro will be sworn in Dec. 1, along with three board members elected Nov. 2.

"That's why this walk was so good. . . . Those who are rich or have money have an obligation to help those who are poor."

-- Sangjun Kim, 18, a visiting student from Seoul, talking about the 17th annual Help the Homeless Walkathon, held on the Mall, which benefits 180 Washington area groups that serve homeless men, women and families. -- Page C3

Compiled from reports by staff writers Rebecca Dana, David Nakamura and Avis Thomas-Lester and the Associated Press.