THE REGION

Metro Starts Tests of Eight-Car Train

Metro began testing an eight-car train on the Red Line yesterday in another step to ease crowding on the capital's busy transit system.

The agency wants to make sure the train stops in the right place, because, at 600 feet, it is as long as the station platforms. Metro, which has an average of 700,000 riders a day, hopes to have eight-car trains rolling by the end of next year. The system regularly uses four- and six-car trains.

An eight-car train was operated manually and carried passengers from 5 to 9 a.m., then continued to run on automatic mode without passengers until 1 p.m. Testing will continue for the next few weeks on a similar schedule, Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said.

"Everything seemed to go fine with day one, but this is just a single day of testing," he said. "We've got to go through a lot of analysis."

THE DISTRICT

Earlier Juvenile Curfew Begins Thursday

The District's juvenile curfew will begin an hour earlier on most weeknights starting Thursday, D.C. police said.

The curfew, which is for youths 16 and younger, will start at 11 p.m. and end at 6 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the curfew starts at midnight.

During curfew hours, juveniles are not allowed to be outside without an adult or must be involved in activities associated with work, school or religious or civic organizations. The new curfew hours correspond with the start of the school year. They will be in effect through June.

More information about the curfew law is available on the D.C. police Web site, mpdc.dc.gov.

MARYLAND

Death of Man Found by Road Investigated

Montgomery County police are investigating the death of a 53-year-old man whose body was discovered late yesterday morning on the shoulder of Seven Locks Road near Bradley Boulevard.

Arquimedes Loyola of the 13000 block of Clifton Road in the Colesville area was last seen at 3:30 p.m. Sunday and is thought to have collapsed while walking from a bus stop to his workplace near the intersection, a police spokesman said. "There were no obvious or visible signs of trauma," Officer Derek Baliles said.

Police are treating the matter as an "undetermined death" until the state medical examiner concludes how Loyola died.

Mom, 2 Kids Rescued From Fire at Home

Two children and their mother were rescued from a burning District Heights apartment complex yesterday, Prince George's County fire spokesman Mark Brady said.

The children, 2 and 4, were trapped with their 22-year-old mother in their second-floor apartment in the 6900 block of Walker Mill Road about 4 p.m., Brady said. Firefighters took them out of the building by the stairway, he said.

All three suffered smoke inhalation, but their injuries were not life-threatening. The fire appeared to have started in the kitchen and spread through the apartment and to the unit below. Brady said he was unsure how much damage the fire did to the four-story building.

Religious Leaders Support Gay Marriage

With court arguments scheduled today on a lawsuit challenging Maryland's ban on same-sex marriage, a group of religious leaders in the state signed a statement yesterday in support of marriage protections for same-sex couples.

Other church leaders who oppose the lawsuit called for prayer, saying it was wrong for the matter to be decided by a judge rather than by state lawmakers.

About 50 leaders from a range of religious faiths voiced support for the lawsuit yesterday at Baltimore's Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church. Together, they said it was time to end legal discrimination against same-sex couples.

"More and more people are beginning to realize that to deny same-sex couples the right to marry doesn't just impact that same-sex couple, it impacts their families," said the Rev. Anthony McCarthy of the Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore.

The Rev. Rick Bowers, chairman of Defend Maryland Marriage, said opponents are denouncing the lawsuit because they believe same-sex unions are not in the best interest of children or adults.

Antietam Trail to Give Taste of Past Toil

A new trail at the Antietam National Battlefield will enable hikers to feel the strain that soldiers from both sides experienced while marching over hilly farm fields toward a meeting that ended with the Union failing to corner Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

"When you have an opportunity to see the 200-foot change in elevation, when people come out here and walk, they can see the terrain stopped the Union advance as much as the Confederate soldiers did," said Brian Baracz, a park ranger and historian.

The Final Attack Trail will open next month during a weekend of activities marking the 143rd anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. More than 23,000 men were killed, wounded or reported missing at the western Maryland site on Sept. 17, 1862, in the bloodiest one-day clash of the Civil War.

VIRGINIA

U-Va. May Alter Code After Race Incidents

Several racial incidents have jarred the University of Virginia and could lead to a change in the school's honor code.

University spokeswoman Carol Wood said that Charlottesville and university police are investigating five racial incidents, which began around Aug. 20. In some instances, Wood said, people driving by dorms yelled racial epithets, including a slur against blacks.

Days later, a group of black upperclassmen reported the same slur scrawled outside their off-campus apartment. Another upperclassman reported a similar incident early Saturday.

Wood said there has been discussion of making hate speech an honor code offense. Students wore black shirts on campus yesterday to show solidarity with the victims and to speak out against racism and intolerance.

"You watch them grow up from the time they are 15 together. They are competing in [Army JROTC] competitions, and you get really close. They go into the military. You lose one, then you hear about this. I couldn't believe it."

-- Garry R. Green Sr. of Rosedale, on the deaths of his daughter,

Spec. Toccara R. Green, in Iraq, and her former classmate,

Sgt. Damion Campbell, in Afghanistan. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Cameron W. Barr, Susan Kinzie, Allison Klein and Del Quentin Wilber and the Associated Press.