MARYLAND

Naval Academy Says Fatal Fall an Accident

A midshipmen whose body was found in April below the window of his fifth-floor dormitory room at the U.S. Naval Academy died accidentally, an academy investigation has determined.

Jay M. Dixon, 21, likely lost his balance on a ledge outside his room sometime before 1 a.m. April 9, the academy said in a statement yesterday. Other midshipmen told investigators that Dixon, from the New Orleans suburb of Destrehan, was drinking alcohol the previous evening, and investigators said they believe he had climbed onto the ledge to smoke, the statement said.

Dixon's body, which was obscured from normal view, was not found until that afternoon. There were no witnesses to his death, but other midshipmen in the dormitory, Bancroft Hall, reported hearing a loud noise before 1 a.m., which investigators determined probably was the sound of the impact.

Academy regulations forbid midshipmen from climbing on roofs or ledges, the statement said. The academy said it will install safety devices on some windows to prevent them from opening fully. Four midshipmen have fallen from Bancroft Hall since 1988, two of whom died.

Ehrlich Makes Trade Pact Notification

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) sent word to the U.S. trade representative yesterday of legislation that requires him to consult the General Assembly before allowing Maryland to become party to international trade agreements.

Ehrlich drew fire from Democrats last week for delaying notice, which some argued might limit Maryland's rights under the Central American Free Trade Agreement, passed in April. Ehrlich had listed Maryland as a signatory to the proposed agreement.

President Bush formally submitted the deal yesterday to Congress, where it faces an uncertain future.

Ehrlich vetoed the trade-related legislation, but the Democrat-led legislature overrode the veto.

Pilot's Health Diverts Flight to BWI

A US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Cancun, Mexico, was diverted yesterday to Baltimore-Washington International Airport so the first officer could receive medical attention, according to an airline official.

Flight 279, which was carrying 142 passengers, landed about 11 a.m., US Airways spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said. A replacement first officer took over, and the flight continued to Cancun at 1 p.m., she said. Kudwa would not say what medical attention the pilot needed.

Youth Summer Meals Start Monday

Federally approved meals will be available beginning Monday for children at 135 sites across Prince George's County, county officials announced yesterday.

The Summer Food Service Program, operated by the county's Department of Social Services, will offer free meals at recreation centers, libraries, summer schools, community centers, homeless shelters and other sites.

For information, call 301-909-6330 or visit www.goprincegeorgescounty.com.

Arson Suspects' Statements Released

A federal judge in Maryland ordered yesterday the release of handwritten statements made by three suspects in the fires that devastated a Charles County housing development in December.

In U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Judge Roger W. Titus granted a motion by attorneys for The Washington Post that the statements should be made public.

The handwritten statements by Aaron L. Speed, 21, Michael M. Everhart, 20, and Roy T. McCann, 22, did not include any undisclosed information.

Speed, who was to go on trial July 12, pleaded guilty Thursday to one felony count of conspiracy to commit arson and agreed to cooperate with authorities in exchange for leniency. Another defendant, Jeremy D. Parady, 21, pleaded guilty in April.

The trial of defendant, Patrick S. Walsh, 21, scheduled to begin Aug. 16, has been moved from Greenbelt to federal court in Baltimore.

THE DISTRICT

Forum Set on U Street Traffic Changes

District planning and transportation officials will have a public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss recommendations from a parking and transportation study of the U Street-Shaw-Howard University corridor.

Officials are to explain the findings of the study and offer residents an opportunity to react to specific proposals, including a possible reconfiguration of the intersection of 18th Street, Florida Avenue and U Street in Northwest Washington.

Also possible is a reconfiguration of traffic patterns and travel lanes along U Street from Seventh to 18th streets.

The meeting will be at the D.C. Housing Finance Agency, 815 Florida Ave. NW.

Tickets Issued in Anti-Jaywalking Drive

Tickets were handed out this week to alleged jaywalkers at downtown Washington intersections as part of the District's pedestrian safety campaign.

Officers said they were watching for pedestrian violations at intersections on 16th Street NW and elsewhere, but tickets also were issued to motorists for such violations as improper cell phone use.

VIRGINIA

Marine Patrol Adds Potomac, Bay Boats

The Virginia Marine Patrol is updating its Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay fleet with nine high-speed patrol boats.

The agency purchased the new boats with slightly more than $3 million in grants it has received since 2001 from the federal Office of Homeland Security and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The boats are powered by twin outboards that generate 500 horsepower. They can reach speeds of 55 miles per hour.

In addition, the agency has two 36-foot port security vessels under construction.

The acquisitions reflect the Marine Patrol's growing involvement in homeland security.

"There's no way we can build a project that costs that much money. Now's the time to separate the needs from the wants."

-- Sam Carnaggio, Virginia's project director of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, on the new $2.4 billion estimate for the project, an increase of 60 percent over earlier estimates. -- A1

Compiled from reports by Debbi Wilgoren, Eric Rich, Ruben Castaneda, Nia-Malika Henderson, Martin Weil and John Wagner and the Associated Press.