Some Get Power Back, Others Lose It

Electricity was restored yesterday to most of the customers who lost power in Saturday's storm, but new outages left thousands more in the dark late yesterday, a Pepco spokeswoman said.

Nearly 6,000 homes in the District and Montgomery and Prince George's counties were without power about 10 p.m., largely as a result of overheated equipment, the spokeswoman said.

There were about 2,500 outages in the District, 2,000 in Montgomery and 1,500 in Prince George's, the spokeswoman said.

It was not immediately clear how many of those in the dark last night had been affected by the powerful Saturday storm, which shattered much of Pepco's transmission equipment in the neighborhoods affected.

Council member Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4), who is seeking the Democratic mayoral nomination, said he believes that the utility will "have to do a better job." Utility spokeswoman Debbi Jarvis called the damage extensive, requiring painstaking, dangerous work that in some cases required the utility "to rebuild the entire system," including the replacement of not only wires but poles to carry them. Some homes lost power yesterday because of a morning storm.

More Hotels Offer Panda Packages

Two more Washington area hotels have signed up with Friends of the National Zoo to offer special giant panda welcome packages, bringing the number of participating accommodation choices to 10.

Each hotel has a different package, but all include a welcome kit put together by FONZ that includes a zoo map, single-use camera, small plush panda, children's activity book and other material. The hotels donate $10 from each room booked as part of a panda package to fund FONZ science and research projects for the endangered animal.

Hotel Rouge and Washington Suites Georgetown are the newest lodgings to sign up. Others include the Capital Hilton, Connecticut Avenue Days Inn, Embassy Suites Hotel Washington, Hilton Washington, Hyatt Regency Bethesda, Lincoln Suites downtown, the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel and Omni Shoreham Hotel.


Meeting Tonight on Plan to Ease Gun Limits

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) will hold a community meeting tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 to hear public opinion about a congressional proposal to ease gun limits in the District. It will be at Shaw Junior High School at Rhode Island Avenue and Ninth Street NW.

Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey will attend. Norton said she has invited residents and people who have experienced gun violence to speak.

The House of Representatives voted June 30 to prohibit the District from enforcing a law that requires firearms kept in homes to be unloaded and disassembled or to have a safety lock on the trigger. D.C. residents can keep rifles and shotguns in their homes, as well as handguns owned and registered by Feb. 22, 1977, but only if the firearms are stored in a nonoperating condition.

The Senate has yet to vote on the proposal.

'Dog Days' Festival in NW Set for August

More than 50 businesses from the Logan Circle and U Street neighborhoods in Northwest Washington will lower prices and bring wares outside next month for the Dog Days of August Sidewalk Sale and Festival. The event, which will include entertainment and refreshments, will run Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Aug. 7 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. U Street businesses from Ninth to 17th streets and between Thomas Circle and Florida Avenue will participate.


Ride On Buses Update Security Measures

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) held a news conference yesterday at a bus station in Rockville to discuss several security measures that he said are in place or being incorporated into the county's Ride On bus system. Duncan also announced that Ride On will add 33 buses in fiscal 2006.

Duncan said the security measures were not a reaction to recent attacks on transit systems in London. But he reminded bus riders to be alert for suspicious activity. The incidents in Europe, he said, show that similar attacks "could happen here at any time as well, and we want to be prepared."

Ride On provided services to a record 25 million passengers in fiscal 2005, the county said. The safety measures include having uniformed or plainclothes police officers aboard buses and providing silent alarms for drivers as well as emergency cell phones.

Missing Frederick Boy Found Drowned

Frederick County sheriff's deputies and Maryland State Police searching for a missing 9-year-old autistic child found the boy had drowned in a swimming pool yesterday afternoon.

Johann Von Ballmoos had wandered off at 1 p.m. while his mother was home, said Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, a sheriff's office spokeswoman. Unable to find her child inside her home in the 5000 block of Mercantile Drive in Ballenger Creek, she called police. Authorities marshaled numerous officers and a helicopter to look for the boy, whose autism prohibited him from speaking, Bailey said. The search ended two hours later, when after receiving a tip, deputies found Johann submerged in a swimming pool on Derby Drive. A police helicopter flew him to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Teen Runs Into Road, Is Struck, Killed

A 14-year-old Springfield boy was fatally struck by a car Saturday evening after he ran into the road, Fairfax police said.

Nathan Jacobi of the 6400 block of Wyngate Drive ran into the path of a Buick Regal traveling on Old Keene Mill Road near Bauer Drive about 6:30 p.m., police said. Jacobi was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died that evening. Police said neither speed nor alcohol was a factor in the accident. No charges were filed against the driver.

Jockey's Death Under Investigation

The Virginia Racing Commission said yesterday that it is looking into the death of a jockey who collapsed in the shower after a race at Colonial Downs in New Kent.

Emanuel Jose Sanchez, 22, an apprentice jockey from Carolina, Puerto Rico, rode Bear on Tour in the fourth race Friday. Later, he went into the shower in the jockeys' room, where he was found on the floor, the racetrack said in a statement. Sanchez was taken to a Richmond hospital, where he fell into a coma and died.

"It gives them something to do that doesn't put them in a situation where they feel pressure to drink. They're off the streets. They're in a group. They're safe"

-- Bob Jasper, whose two sons play dodgeball

at night at Tilden Woods Park in Rockville. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Debbi Wilgoren, Martin Weil, D'Vera Cohn, Spencer S. Hsu, Fulvio Cativo, Tim Craig and Maria Glod and the Associated Press.