THE REGION

Negro League Exhibit Comes to RFK

A traveling museum dedicated to Negro league baseball will be open to the public in the parking lot outside Robert F. Kennedy Stadium tomorrow, before the Washington Nationals game. Buck O'Neil, 93, a Negro league player and manager, plans to sign autographs as part of the exhibit, which also will include historic photos, videos, uniforms and other memorabilia. The exhibit will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The District is among 30 cities that the exhibit is visiting during a five-month tour that ends Oct. 1.

D.C. Leads in Drop in Highway Death Toll

Traffic deaths on U.S. highways declined for the second straight year in 2004, according to a report released yesterday -- with the District of Columbia having the largest percentage decrease.

Fatalities in the District fell from 67 in 2003 to 43 in 2004. Virginia had 925 deaths in 2004, down from 943 the previous year. Maryland's total was 643 in 2004, down from 650 in 2003.

A spokesman for the D.C. Department of Transportation said that traffic deaths generally have declined over the past 10 years and that automated enforcement and safety awareness campaigns were reasons for the overall decrease.

THE DISTRICT

Firefighters' Facial Hair Safe for Now

A federal judge temporarily extended yesterday an injunction that prevents D.C. fire officials from ordering three firefighters to shave their facial hair.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled after a day-long hearing on whether D.C. fire officials would be allowed to restrict facial hair as a safety measure. The officials argue that facial hair can hamper the seal between oxygen masks and skin, endangering firefighters responding to a chemical or biological attack.

Several Muslim firefighters are fighting the rules in federal court, saying it restricts their religious freedom.

Robertson gave attorneys until Friday to submit legal arguments and extended the injunction for 10 days, said Arthur Spitzer, an ACLU lawyer who represents the firefighters.

The issue has been a source of contention in the fire department since officials first tried to impose a grooming policy in 2001.

Schools Urge Students to Get Shots

City officials said that at least 2,700 District students need to get required immunizations before school starts this month. That's an improvement, however, over past years, when tens of thousands of students did not have current immunization records, officials said.

Students who do not have the needed shots by Aug. 29, the first day of classes, will not be allowed to attend, a health compliance officer for the District's public schools said.

School nurses have been calling the homes of students who need immunizations, the officer said. Public service announcements aimed at reminding parents will be running this week, according to a spokeswoman.

MARYLAND

Construction Worker Hurt in Fall

A worker was seriously injured yesterday evening in the Sandy Spring area of Montgomery County when he fell from the roof of a house that was under construction, authorities said.

The man, whom officials did not identify, fell about 30 feet from the roof of the house, in the 17400 block of Bird Road, said Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. He was flown by helicopter to a hospital, Piringer said.

No Charges in Fatal Boating Accident

The Waldorf man who died in a Fourth of July boating accident on the Patuxent River was intoxicated while driving the vessel, according to a toxicology report released yesterday.

Gregory Allen Bucklew, 31, had a blood alcohol level of 0.08, which is above the legal limit, said Cpl. Kenneth Turner, spokesman for the Maryland Natural Resources Police. Turner said the case has been closed and no charges would be filed.

The accident happened about 10:45 p.m. just south of the Route 231 bridge connecting Calvert and Charles counties.

Bucklew crashed a 20-foot power boat into a commercial fishing trap known as a "pound net," killing himself and injuring the five passengers on board, according to the Natural Resources police. Bucklew was thrown into the river with two passengers, and a third passenger was knocked to the deck of the boat, police said

Olney Crash Injures 10, None Seriously

Eight children and two adults were taken to Montgomery General Hospital yesterday after a crash on Route 108 near the intersection with Georgia Avenue in the Olney area. None sustained serious injuries.

The accident, shortly after 4 p.m., involved two minivans and possibly another vehicle, said Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Pete Piringer. Paramedics said serious injuries were avoided because the children, from 11 months to 8 years old, were properly restrained.

Computer Cable Cut in Upper Marlboro

Computer service for Prince George's prosecutors, the public defender's office and other workers in the Upper Marlboro courthouse was interrupted yesterday when a major cable was cut accidentally, apparently by a contractor working for the county, officials said.

Ramon Korionoff, a spokesman for the State's Attorney's office, said prosecutors worked with paper files and "business proceeded as usual." Judges yesterday conducted their hearings as scheduled.

Officials said they expected full service by today.

VIRGINIA

Fairfax Worker Found Dead in Manhole

A Fairfax County public works employee was found dead last night in a storm drain manhole, county police said. No cause of death could be learned immediately.

The man was found about 7:30 in the 11400 block of Random Hills Road, where he had been working, police said. They said he was 57 and worked for the county's maintenance and storm sewer management unit. Officers were called to the scene by someone who noticed that the manhole cover had been removed.

The death was under investigation, police said.

"This is a tradition. . . . We've been coming here on and off since high school."

-- Tara Linhardt, in Leesburg, about one of the Bluemont concerts,

which are part of the summer night scene of outdoor concerts

across the area. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Jonathan Abel, Lori Aratani, Ruben Castaneda, Fulvio Cativo, Allan Lengel, Nia-Malika Henderson, Paul Schwartzman, Martin Weil and Del Quentin Wilber and the Associated Press.