Detours Planned on Northbound I-395

The northbound lanes of Interstate 395 at Springfield will be closed tonight, Saturday night and Monday night so workers can position steel beams on bridges that are part of the Springfield interchange project.

The lanes will be closed tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. tomorrow; from 8:30 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday; and from 9:30 p.m. Monday to 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Northbound I-395 motorists heading to exits inside the Capital Beltway or to the inner loop of the Beltway will follow a seven-mile detour onto the outer loop to Van Dorn Street, to Eisenhower Avenue and back onto the inner loop. There they can take the exit for I-395 north. Officials said the detour could take as long as 45 minutes.

HOV lanes will be open for northbound traffic during the construction periods, and officials said through travelers should use them.


Abu Ali Denies Plot to Kill President

An American student charged in an al Qaeda plot to kill President Bush pleaded not guilty yesterday to terrorism charges that include trying to conduct a Sept. 11-style terrorist attack in the United States.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 24, of Falls Church was charged with a variety of terrorism counts in February. That indictment referred to the plot to kill Bush, but Abu Ali was not formally charged with conspiring to assassinate the president until a second indictment was returned last week by a federal grand jury in Alexandria.

Defense attorneys and Abu Ali's family have alleged that much of the government's evidence was obtained when Abu Ali was tortured while in the custody of Saudi Arabia. The government denies any torture.

Falls Church Sends Classrooms South

At its meeting Tuesday night, the Falls Church School Board agreed to donate two classroom trailers to the West Baton Rouge Parish public schools in Louisiana, where displaced hurricane victims have enrolled in large numbers. The student population there has increased 16 percent in two weeks, prompting a need for additional classroom space and additional teachers.

Louisiana school officials expressed their appreciation for the gift yesterday.

The four-year-old trailers had been used by the Falls Church schools to ease crowding. Because Falls Church opened a new middle school this year, it no longer needed the portable classrooms. One trailer contains four classrooms, and the other contains a single classroom.

Louisiana school officials are making arrangements to transport the trailers to West Baton Rouge. The costs will be reimbursed by the federal government, officials said.


Pedestrian Killed in SE Washington

A 40-year-old pedestrian died after being struck by a car as she crossed the street in Southeast Washington yesterday afternoon, D.C. police said.

Sheila L. Chew was in the 4400 block of B Street SE when she was struck shortly after 5 p.m. by a 1998 Mercedes SUV, police said. Chew, who lived in the 1400 block of T Street SE, was pronounced dead at Prince George's Hospital Center.

The driver, a 35-year-old man from Fort Washington, remained at the scene after the accident, said Kenneth Bryson, a police spokesman. Bryson said the incident is under investigation.

Man, 25, Dies in Southeast Shooting

A 25-year-old man was fatally shot in Southeast Washington early yesterday, D.C. police said.

Nathan J. Larkin was found shot about 12:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of Stevens Road SE, police said. Larkin, of the 2200 block of Rand Place NE, was taken to a hospital, where he died.

City Tax Office Gets New Director

Secretary of the District of Columbia Sherryl Hobbs Newman was named yesterday to head the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, a 500-person agency that collects the city's taxes.

Newman, who came to the District from New York in 1997, has held a variety of key posts, including serving as director of the Department of Motor Vehicles and as the mayor's customer service czar. In the latter post, she instituted "improved customer service standards" for agencies throughout city government, according to a statement released by the office of Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D). Newman also designed the tax office's customer service center when she served at the agency shortly after her arrival.

Groups Plan Events Around Antiwar Rally

Street theater, panels and workshops are on the agenda of groups participating in a Sept. 24 antiwar rally on the Mall. Several of the groups released details of their plans at a news conference yesterday.

Officials with the Mobilization for Global Justice said they will demonstrate against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which have their annual meetings in the city that weekend. The group will organize a teach-in on Sept. 22, a theatrical farce at 18th and H streets NW on Sept. 23 and a march from Dupont Circle to the White House on Sept. 24.

The Campaign to Stop Torture will have panels and workshops Sept. 24 and 25, culminating with a mock torture trial in which the group says actor Martin Sheen will play the role of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Empower D.C., an advocate for low-income residents, plans to protest the loss of low-income housing Sept. 24. And Operation Ceasefire announced the addition of Joan Baez and several other performers to the Sept. 24 antiwar concert on the Mall.


Shooting Kills Man in Capitol Heights

A man was shot and killed last night in a Capitol Heights parking lot, Prince George's County police said.

The man was shot at least once in the upper body shortly after 10:30 p.m. in the 1200 block of Boones Hill Road, police said. The man, whose identity was not immediately released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

As of late last night, no arrests had been made, police said.

"In metropolitan Washington, we are always in the eye of the hurricane. We can never have too much planning . . . and Katrina gives us the opportunity to address what went right and what wrong."

-Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, on the decision of regional leaders to retool the area's disaster plans so they are less dependent on federal help. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Jerry Markon, Allan Lengel, Del Quentin Wilber, Steven Ginsberg, Petula Dvorak and Lori Montgomery.