Flash-Flood Watch Is Issued

Remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy caused heavy rainstorms in the Washington region last night, and forecasters said the rainfall could cause sporadic flash flooding across the area this morning.

The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch until this afternoon as two to four inches of rain were predicted, although meteorologists expect heavy rain to ease by sunrise. Water may pool along commuter routes throughout the early morning, said Brian Guyer, a Weather Service meteorologist. High winds are possible.

The heaviest rain last night fell in Frederick County, which received up to four inches, Guyer said, and 11/2 inches were recorded in Sterling.

Lincoln Memorial Security Plan Advances

The National Capital Planning Commission approved a concept design yesterday for the security perimeter around the Lincoln Memorial.

A retaining wall has been under construction at the rear of the memorial for months, but the commission had not voted on a design for a security barrier to protect the front. They wrangled with designs that included bollards, chains and cables in various places, some closer to the monument, others nearer the Reflecting Pool.

The commission's historic preservation officer, Nancy Witherell, presented a recommendation for a plan that would extend a perimeter of bollards around the front of the memorial, down several terraces of steps and almost to the edge of the Reflecting Pool. The design preserves a plaza in front of the memorial while erecting a barricade to keep vehicles out, she said.

The commission's staff will now come up with a preliminary design that must also be approved before any construction can begin.

Rose Garden Opens to the Public Tomorrow

The White House Rose Garden will be open to the public tomorrow, one of only three days a year when citizens may stroll among the Katherine crabapple trees and roses and see the rare view of the Jefferson Memorial from the South Lawn.

Tickets, which are free, are required and will be available at 7:30 a.m. at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, at 15th and E streets NW. Only one ticket will be given to each person, and every visitor, including infants, must have a ticket. The tickets will be time-stamped for admission between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., said Bill Line, a spokesman for the National Park Service's National Capital Region.

The tour is self-guided, and visitors may stay as long as they like. Strollers, wheelchairs and cameras will be allowed past the security check, at the Sherman Park entrance to the White House, just south of the Treasury Department building on 15th Street.

The tours were suspended in 2001 and 2002 but resumed in 2003. They will be offered again this year on Aug. 13 and Sept. 17, Line said.

More information is available at 202-208-1631.

Fired BGE Worker Fires Shots, Kills Self

Hours after he was fired, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. employee returned to his suburban Baltimore office building yesterday and fired shots through the window of his supervisor's office before apparently taking his own life, police said.

No one else was injured. The 46-year-old man, who had worked for BGE for 28 years, was found dead in the supervisor's office at the BGE facility on Parkway Drive in Hanover, near Baltimore-Washington International Airport. His name was not immediately released.

The man had been fired yesterday afternoon and returned to the building about 5:30 p.m., said Sgt. Shawn Urbas, an Anne Arundel County police spokesman.

The man worked as an assistant designer who drew up plans for new gas and electric business, BGE spokeswoman Linda Foy said. About 150 people work in the Hanover office, but it wasn't clear how many were there when the fired employee returned.

Washington Monument Elevator Traps 35

About 35 people had to be rescued yesterday when the elevator in the Washington Monument stalled.

Responders safely evacuated everyone down the monument's stairs. A 17-year-old was taken to a hospital after she complained of trouble breathing, said Alan Etter, the D.C. emergency services spokesman.

The elevator also became stuck May 16, briefly trapping 25 people.


Officer Wounds Springfield Area Man

A Fairfax County police officer shot and wounded a Springfield area man last night, authorities said.

Officials released few details about the 8 p.m. shooting outside a house in the 8800 block of Winding Hollow Way. Police had responded to a call for assistance there about 30 minutes before the shooting, said Officer Richard Henry, a police spokesman. Henry did not know the nature of the initial call.

The 22-year-old man was injured in the lower body and was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, police said.

Henry said the officer was the only person who had fired a gun. Officials released no details about the officer or what prompted the shooting.

Alexandria Names Chief Deputy for Sheriff

Veronica Mitchell, a 28-year member of the Alexandria sheriff's office, was promoted yesterday to chief deputy, making her the highest-ranking woman among all city public safety agencies, Sheriff James H. Dunning said in a statement.

With her promotion, Mitchell also becomes the highest-ranking black officer in the history of the sheriff's office. For 11 years, Mitchell has overseen the security division at the city's detention center and the 103 deputies assigned to that section, which is responsible for the safety of approximately 450 inmates, according to the statement released by Dunning's office.


Fort Detrick Gets Scientific Research Chief

The new commander of the Army's medical research and logistics arm at Fort Detrick took office yesterday, pledging to stress cooperation among the base's many military and civilian tenants involved in scientific research.

The incoming head of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Brig. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, replaced Col. James A. Romano Jr. in an hour-long ceremony on the base's parade ground. Romano had served as acting chief since April, when he filled in for departing Maj. Gen. Lester Martinez-Lopez. Romano will return to his post as deputy commander.

"I would live on my bike if I could. I get bike fever so bad in the winter I can't stand myself."

-- Debbie Waltz, 49, a surgical technician from Michigan who took part in a gathering of female motorcyclists in Maryland this week. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Clarence Williams, Petula Dvorak, Jamie Stockwell and Nelson Hernandez and the Associated Press.