THE REGION

Silver Spring Festival to Raise Relief Funds

Today's Silver Spring Jazz Festival has been designated a relief concert for victims of Hurricane Katrina, Montgomery County announced.

The free concert, which will feature trumpet player Wynton Marsalis, will be from 2 to 10:30 p.m. at Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street.

American Red Cross representatives will be accepting donations with the help of county firefighters and others. County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) has arranged for as many as 30 evacuees from the D.C. Armory to be brought to the concert on county buses, the county said.

VIRGINIA

Driver May Have Had Fatal Asthma Attack

A woman driving along Interstate 95 in Fairfax County might have suffered an asthma attack and pulled over to the shoulder, where she died early Thursday in her car, Virginia State Police said yesterday.

The driver was identified as Leslie J. Cardoso, 34, of the Fairfax area. A state Department of Transportation worker spotted Cardoso's 1989 Honda Accord on the shoulder of northbound I-95 just north of the Occoquan Bridge with the emergency flashers on. Police said she was dead at the scene..

2 Shelters Approved for Katrina Evacuees

Governor Mark R. Warner (D) approved two shelters yesterday that volunteers are preparing to house Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

The Virginia Army National Guard's Fort Pickett and the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center are in Blackstone, about 90 minutes southwest of Richmond. The governor said the shelters can house about 1,400 people. They will offer indoor bathrooms, large dining facilities and beds.

It's not clear when, or if, Virginia will receive evacuees.

Passenger Is Killed in Fairfax City Crash

A woman was killed Thursday night in Fairfax City when the car in which she was riding turned in front of oncoming traffic and was struck by another car, Fairfax City police said yesterday.

Erica Arellano, 18, of the 3300 block of Willow Crescent Drive in the Oakton Park area of Fairfax was a passenger in a 1995 Mitsubishi sedan driven by Juan Luna-Matias, 30, of the same address. Police said Luna-Matias was driving west on Route 50 about 8:40 p.m. and was turning left when the vehicle was struck by an eastbound 1995 Volvo sedan driven by Virginia Peters, 67, of the Alexandria area, police said.

Arellano died several hours later at Inova Fairfax Hospital. Luna-Matias and another passenger were treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. Luna-Matias was charged with failing to yield, police said.

MARYLAND

Ehrlich Meets With Petroleum Officials

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) met with petroleum industry executives for more than an hour yesterday seeking an explanation for why gas prices are higher in Maryland than in 46 other states.

Yesterday, AAA reported that Maryland's average prices were third-highest in the nation, behind the District and New York. "It's my strong belief [that prices are] artificially high," Ehrlich said.

An industry spokesman called the meeting productive and blamed prices on supply problems, which have been slowly improving. Ehrlich said he was not satisfied and asked for another meeting Monday.

College Tuition Waived for Some Evacuees

The University System of Maryland board of regents voted yesterday to ensure that qualified students who had paid tuition at a college or university closed because of Hurricane Katrina will not have to pay tuition to study this fall at public colleges in Maryland.

Many schools, including the University of the District of Columbia, Georgetown University and American University, have scrambled to accommodate displaced students and waived tuition for those students who had already paid an affected school. George Washington University is deferring up to $15,000 in tuition.

Group Challenges Voter Registration Rule

An advocacy group has sued the Maryland State Board of Elections, arguing that rules barring payments to people who register voters violate free speech rights.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, filed a lawsuit Thursday in Montgomery County Circuit Court to obtain the right to pay workers to register voters during election cycles.

ACORN has paid about 75 people $50 a day to register voters during previous election cycles. During the 2002 race, ACORN registered about 22,000 people statewide.

Road Worker Is Struck and Killed

A steamroller operator was struck by a vehicle and killed Thursday night in Prince George's County as he was placing a cone near his vehicle.

The accident occurred about 11 p.m. on Annapolis Road near the Capital Beltway. Police said a green 1996 Chevy Tahoe hit two cars before entering the work zone, where it struck the man.

The sport-utility vehicle then continued past the construction zone and hit a curb in the 7800 block of Annapolis Road.

Moises Limon, 22, of the 2000 block of Oglethorpe Street in Hyattsville was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries.

The driver of the SUV, whose name was not release by police, was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. No charges have been filed, police said.

THE DISTRICT

Bomb Threats Clear NW Office Building

An office building in Northwest Washington has been evacuated on five occasions since Aug. 31 because of repeated bomb threats to two companies at the site, a D.C. police spokesman said.

Officer Quintin Peterson said a male caller has telephoned the companies 12 times to say there was a bomb in the building, in the 1100 block of 15th Street NW.

Seven of the calls were made to ACS State and Local Solutions, which performs information processing services, and five were to Strayer University.

On each occasion, no bomb was found, Peterson said. The threats are under investigation by the D.C. police's Intelligence Division.

"Gas is almost like liquid gold."

-- Detective Sgt. Ronald Best of the Maryland State Police, on gasoline thefts, which have risen along with the prices in recent weeks. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Caryle Murphy, Jonathan Abel, Susan Kinzie, Matthew Mosk, Martin Weil and Tom Jackman and the Associated Press.