THE REGION

Days of Light Traffic Are Over, AAA Says

Vacationers back at work, students returning to college and school buses taking to the streets the day after Labor Day add up to what road watchers call "Terrible Traffic Tuesday," or "T3" for short.

But AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Lon Anderson warned that the region's continuing population and job growth could make this year's T3 the most gridlocked ever.

This week, "there will be more commuters than ever before," he said. "We have not added any new capacity to help resolve this transportation problem, so it gets worse."

Summer Months Warmer Than Normal

The three months that make up summer for meteorologists were almost three degrees warmer than normal for Washington, the National Weather Service said yesterday.

The average temperature in the city in June, July and August, the three months that spell summer in the U.S. weather-watching trade, was 78.8 degrees, the Weather Service said. It said that Washington's typical summer average is 76 degrees.

According to the Weather Service, temperatures of 90 degrees or above were recorded at Reagan National Airport on 32 days in the three-month period. That works out to slightly more than one day in three.

The temperature never reached above 97 degrees, however, on any of those days. What raised the average temperature, the weather service said, was not so much the heat of the days as it was the heat of the nights.

MARYLAND

Two Teens Die in Carroll County Crash

Two 16-year-olds were killed and three other youths were injured in Carroll County yesterday morning when their vehicle veered off the road and struck a tree.

The accident happened about 1:40 a.m. on Slasman Road west of Niner Road in Finksburg.

The 1998 Jeep Wrangler carrying the five people failed to negotiate a sharp curve, veered off the road and struck a tree, according to Maryland State Police.

Passengers Zachary D. Ondrish, of the 600 block of Blizzard Farm Lane in Westminster, and Keith M. Flem of Pine Hill, N.J., were pronounced dead at the scene.

The other youths were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, said Sgt. John Carhart of the Westminster state police barracks. All were younger than 18, police said.

Two Men Die in Motorcycle Accidents

Two men were killed in motorcycle accidents yesterday in Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties, Maryland State Police said. No other vehicles were involved in either crash, police said.

The first occurred just before 6 p.m. in a southbound lane of Interstate 97 south of Interstate 695. The driver was pronounced dead at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. In the second accident, which occurred about 8:30 p.m. in an eastbound lane of Route 50 at Route 201, the driver died at the scene. Names were withheld until relatives could be notified, police said.

Man Beaten and Stabbed in Columbia

A 20-year-old man was found beaten and stabbed early yesterday in Howard County.

Police identified the victim as Eric L. McGhee and said he was found unconscious about 4 a.m. next to the Snowden River Parkway near Tamar Drive in Columbia. He was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical condition.

One Killed, One Wounded in Suitland

A Suitland man was fatally wounded and another man was badly hurt in a shooting early yesterday in the 4600 block of Chelsea Way in Suitland, according to Prince George's County police.

Kenneth A. Stanford, 22, of the 4700 block of Hudson Avenue, and the other man were shot in the upper body, said Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a police spokesman. Stanford died at a hospital, and the other man was in critical condition there, Copeland said.

The attack took place in an area that police have said is plagued by violence and drug activity.

Fire Damages Chillum Apartment Building

Seventeen residents were displaced yesterday after flames damaged an apartment building in Chillum.

Prince George's County fire officials said the blaze, in the 600 block of Sheridan Street, broke out late Sunday in a third-floor bedroom. It caused $120,000 in damage and was believed to be accidental authorities said. Two firefighters were slightly hurt.

Bartlett Plans Conference on Energy

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Md.) is organizing a conference Sept. 26 to discuss life after what he calls the age of oil.

The conference at Frederick Community College was prompted by gasoline price spikes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Bartlett said he wants to promote thinking about long-term energy needs.

Bartlett said he was the first member of Congress to buy a Toyota Prius, a hybrid car that uses gas and battery power.

VIRGINIA

Teenager Found Dead in Appomattox River

A Colonial Heights teenager apparently drowned Saturday in the Appomattox River, police said.

Andrew Harrell, 16, was with three teenage friends about 7:45 p.m. at the river in a city park off Archer Avenue when he stepped into water over his head, Sgt. Keith Early said. Early said the youth's friends tried to help but could not.

State Responds to Report of Sick Deer

Virginia has activated its response plan for chronic-wasting disease after the discovery of a white-tailed deer with the fatal neurological infection nearby in West Virginia

Chronic-wasting disease is a transmissible illness similar to mad-cow disease in cattle and scrapie in sheep, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Virginia game officials will hold meetings in the Frederick County area to inform the public about the disease and the department's management actions.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said it was notified Friday of the deer found in Hampshire County, about 10 miles from Virginia's Frederick County.

"It's just the right thing to do, because it's all we can do."

-- Michael Petrillo, who with his sister, Michele Petrillo, donated $32,000 to the effort organized by St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Rockville to bring 50 Hurricane Katrina evacuees from Houston to Montgomery County. -- B5.

Compiled from reports by staff writers Jonathan Abel, Susan Levine and Martin Weil and the Associated Press.