Weekend Construction to Delay Metro

Metro riders should expect 15- to 20-minute delays this weekend on the Red, Blue, Orange and Yellow lines because of track work and canopy construction.

Tomorrow and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Red Line trains will share one track between Fort Totten and Takoma stations. Blue Line trains will share one track between New Carrollton and Cheverly from 10 p.m. Friday to 2 p.m. Saturday.

And from midnight Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday and from midnight Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday, trains will share one track from Huntington to Braddock Road on the Yellow Line and from Van Dorn Street to Braddock Road on the Blue Line.

For more information about Metro, call 202-637-7000, TTY at 202-638-3780, or visit Metro's Web site,

Station Near New Stadium to Be Expanded

Transit officials yesterday approved the expansion of the Navy Yard Metro station to accommodate the tens of thousands of additional riders that are expected once the Nationals move to a stadium planned for the Anacostia riverfront.

The initial plans -- which will cost the District an estimated $500,000 to draft -- call for the addition of stairs, an escalator, fare gates, ticket vending machines and two elevators to the station's western entrance. After the improvements, the entrance should be able to handle as many as 15,000 riders an hour, planners said, compared with about 5,000 an hour now.

Transit officials also plan to increase bus service to the area and encourage riders to use nearby stations to ease traffic to and from the stadium.

The Nationals have been drawing 34,000 fans on average to games at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, half of whom travel by rail, officials said.

Officer Honored for Grenade-Scare Action

Vice President Cheney and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales yesterday honored an Amtrak police officer who thwarted a grenade scare at Union Station.

Rodney Chambers was given the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the highest national award for public safety officers who display exceptional courage. Nine other winners also were honored in a ceremony at the Old Executive Office Building.

In June 2003, Chambers wrested a grenade from a 38-year-old man who threatened to pull the pin outside Union Station. He then got the grenade away from bystanders and held it until a bomb squad arrived. The device turned out to be a practice grenade containing no explosives.


WASA's Financial Officer Will Resign

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority's chief financial officer will resign this month to accept a position in South Africa, the agency announced yesterday.

Paul L. Bender, 52, served as the quasi-independent agency's only chief financial officer, having been named by General Manager Jerry N. Johnson in July 1997. He developed WASA's 10-year strategic financial plan and helped the agency achieve a AA bond rating.

Bender, who will serve as consultant to the National Treasury of the Republic of South Africa, is the second of Johnson's longtime deputies to leave in the past year. Michael S. Marcotte, who headed the operations unit, left last summer to take a position in Houston.

$3 Million Gift for GW Law School Center

A $3 million gift to the George Washington University Law School will be used to launch the Humphreys Complex Litigation Center and an endowed faculty position. James F. Humphreys, who graduated from the law school in 1978, gave the money to establish a place where complicated litigation involving many parties could be analyzed.


Two Who Died in Car Crashes Identified

Two people who died Wednesday in separate car crashes in Fairfax County were identified yesterday by Fairfax police.

The first crash, on Blake Lane in the Fairfax area, killed Sheila Cooper, 22, of Wilmington, Del.

Police said Cooper was a passenger in a Honda Accord driven by Katherine B. Gimmel, 79, who apparently ran a red light at the intersection with Five Oaks Road about 10:15 a.m., authorities said. A recycling truck driven by Theodore F. Brown, 42, of Manassas struck the Honda on the passenger side, killing Cooper, Fairfax police said.

The second crash was on the Fairfax County Parkway. Police said David F. Solis, 28, of the 3900 block of Findley Road in Woodbridge, was driving a 1989 Nissan pickup truck about 2:15 p.m. and struck an SUV while changing lanes. The pickup then headed across the grass median, rolled over, landed in the northbound lanes and hit a 1995 Ford Escort.

Solis was ejected from the truck and pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Ford was in critical condition yesterday, police said. Investigators said they believe Solis's aggressive driving contributed to the accident.


Economy Fuels Big Tax Revenue Increase

The Maryland economy's rapid expansion is producing a big increase in state tax collections, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer (D) said yesterday.

Two months ago, the comptroller's office estimated that revenue would be about $250 million more than expected for fiscal 2005, which ended June 30. Now, the comptroller has boosted the estimate by $141 million, and the amount could increase by next month.

Revenue from personal and corporate income taxes topped $6 billion for the year, a growth of 17 percent over the previous year, the comptroller's office reported. Sales taxes are up about 7 percent over last year and lottery revenue was up about 4 percent.

"This is good news for the state, but it's important to remember that this is no 'extra' money," Schaefer said. "A great deal needs to be done over the coming years to address concerns in education and rising Medicaid costs."

"I keep remembering what it's like for us humans with newborns. Sleep, nurse, change diapers, repeat. Mei just amazes me in her patience and fortitude. She never gets a break, does she?"

-- Jacqueline Houtman of Madison, Wis., in an e-mail, on watching panda Mei Xiang and her newborn cub at the National Zoo on a Web site. -- B1

Staff writers Tom Jackman, Susan Kinzie, Lyndsey Layton, David Nakamura and Sandhya Somashekhar and the Associated Press contributed to this report.