Metro Train Goes to Wrong Station

A Metro Blue Line train headed for Franconia-Springfield took a surprising turn during yesterday's afternoon rush hour and brought its passengers instead to the Court House station on the Orange Line.

At 5:54 p.m., according to a Metro spokesman, the six-car train was at Rosslyn, where the Blue and Orange lines diverge. For some reason, the train took the Orange Line tracks, he said.

Passengers got off at Court House, rode back to Rosslyn and caught the next Blue Line train, the spokesman said. A computerized system normally directs trains onto the proper tracks, and an incident such as yesterday's "does not happen often," the spokesman said. He said Metro was investigating.

Utility Repairs Continue After Storm

Utility crews worked yesterday to restore power after a storm knocked out electricity to more than 33,000 homes and businesses in the region Monday night. As of late last night, fewer than 1,500 customers lacked electricity, most of them in Fairfax County, according to utility company figures.

Strong winds, lightning strikes and downed trees combined to cause scattered individual power outages in many neighborhoods. Mary-Beth Hutchinson, a spokeswoman for Pepco, which serves the District and Montgomery and Prince George's counties, said crews were working on two, three or four houses at a time to get the power back on.

In the Alexandria area of Fairfax County, lightning struck the chimney of a townhouse in the 6200 block of Masefield Court shortly after midnight yesterday, causing a fire that also damaged an adjoining townhouse. Two adults escaped unharmed, the Fairfax County fire department reported. Damage to the house was estimated at $250,000, officials said.

Pentagon to Hold Emergency Drill Today

Pentagon officials are asking the public not to panic today when it conducts a "full-scale real-world" exercise simulating attacks on the Pentagon and buildings in Crystal City in an effort to evaluate emergency preparedness plans.

The Pentagon said the exercise, called "Gallant Fox III," will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include noise simulation devices, or flash-bangs. It said the exercise will also include the evacuation of selected individuals from the Pentagon and the Jefferson Plaza I building in Crystal City.

Some participants will play the role of victims, the Department of Defense said in an advisory, and will be treated at the Pentagon Metrobus station. A large number of firetrucks, police cars and rescue units will respond to the simulated attacks, the advisory said.

"The purpose of this event is to enable the Pentagon Force Protection Agency and its federal, state and local response partners to exercise emergency units in a duty-day, real world scenario and evaluate existing plans and interagency coordination in response to multiple threats," the statement said.

It said the public should heed signs posted by Virginia State Police in the area.


Memorial Day Crash Victims Identified

A fourth person died one week after a Memorial Day crash on Interstate 95 in Hanover County, Virginia State Police said yesterday.

Killed in the single-car crash were Seavy Highsmith Bennett, 67, the driver, and Bennett's daughter, Bria Jvetta Bennett, 12, of Forestville; and Marie Wiggins, 66, of Washington. Wiggins's son, Carl Wiggins, 15, who had been hospitalized since the crash, died Sunday, state police said.

Police said identification of the victims was slowed by difficulty in reaching family members.

Deficiencies in Sex Offender Registry

The Virginia State Crime Commission reported yesterday that hundreds of registered sex offenders in the state are out of compliance with the system designed to track their whereabouts.

The study found that the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry does not have updated home addresses and photos of sex offenders, as required by the system. There are 13,200 registered sex offenders in Virginia, and every person convicted of a sex offense is required to register with the state police.

The report found that only 22 percent of the records for registered sex offenders living in the state contain the offender's work address. In addition, the study found that of the 643 registered sex offenders with a jail address, only 258 could be located in the jail population as of May 20. Of the 4,534 registered sex offenders with a Department of Corrections prison address, 128 could not be found in the prison population.

Virginia officials said they have set up a task force to close the loopholes and correct the deficiencies in the registry.

Arlington Delays Talks on Home Limits

Arlington County officials have decided to delay their discussion of a proposed zoning change targeting oversize homes until September in hopes of garnering more input from residents, officials said yesterday.

The proposal would limit the square footage that a house and a driveway can cover on a lot. It has been opposed by some developers and citizens' groups, who fear the new guidelines would hamper their ability to make additions to their homes.

If approved, the rules would be the region's first significant limits on so-called McMansions.

Rock Detonation to Close I-66 Briefly

Traffic on both sides of Interstate 66 between the Route 234 bypass and Gainesville will be closed for about 10 minutes this afternoon so workers can blast rock as part of a widening project. Virginia officials said the road closure would happen between 12:30 and 2 p.m.

They said it is necessary to blast a dense deposit of shale that extends into a granite layer that normal construction equipment cannot excavate. Traffic must be stopped to ensure worker and driver safety while explosives are detonated, the officials said.

The District

GWU Names International Affairs Dean

Michael E. Brown will be the new dean of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, starting Aug. 1.

Brown, an expert in international security and the director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, will replace longtime dean Harry Harding.

"It was our own piece of Washington."

-- Larry Stansbury, executive director of Brother, Help Thyself Inc., a gay charity, said of O Street SE, a hub of gay entertainment in the District for nearly three decades. -- A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Karlyn Barker, Martin Weil, Ann E. Marimow, Lisa Rein, Susan Kinzie, Annie Gowen, Steven Ginsberg, Daniela Deane and Chris L. Jenkins.