VIRGINIA

I-395 Detours in Springfield

The northbound lanes of Interstate 395 at Springfield are scheduled to be closed tomorrow night and Tuesday morning for construction work.

The closures, which will last from 9:30 p.m. to 4 a.m., will allow crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation to continue erecting spliced steel bridge beams over the I-395 north travel lanes just before the Capital Beltway.

Outer loop traffic toward the Woodrow Wilson Bridge will not be affected.

Northbound motorists on I-395 seeking access to local exits from Edsall Road north toward the District and motorists heading to the Beltway's inner loop must use a seven-mile detour onto the outer loop to Van Dorn Street, Eisenhower Avenue and back onto the inner loop. The detour could take up to 45 minutes before midnight.

MARYLAND

Ehrlich Skeptical of Slots Vote

Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said yesterday that he might support a referendum on next year's ballot to legalize slot machine gambling but expressed doubts that Democrats would agree to put the issue to a vote during an election year.

Ehrlich, appearing on WBAL radio, was asked about comments earlier in the week by House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) suggesting that there might be enough votes in the House next year for a 2006 slots referendum.

"If he wants a referendum next year, count me in," said Ehrlich, who in the past has urged the General Assembly to pass a bill directly.

Ehrlich, a major slots proponent, said other Democratic leaders have told him they are not likely to put slots on the ballot the same year he is up for reelection.

Man's Body Found in the Bay

The body of a St. Mary's County man was found in the Chesapeake Bay yesterday morning, two days after he disappeared.

Police recovered the body of Lewis E. Blackistone, 29, about 7:58 a.m., according to a Maryland Natural Resources Police spokesman.

Blackistone left his fishing partner on the pier at Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary's about 2 p.m. Thursday to get more bait or a crab trap, according to accounts from the Natural Resources Police and the U.S. Coast Guard.

A camper reported hearing a cry for help. Authorities found Blackistone's shoes on the shoreline, with his socks tucked inside.

The cause of death has not been determined.

Crash Shuts Segment of I-270

A four-vehicle collision sent 10 people to hospitalsand closed part of Interstate 270 near Bethesda yesterday morning.

Five children, including a 20-month-old baby, were injured, and two adults suffered serious injuries, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said. They were taken to hospitals. All are expected to survive.

The crash occurred about 10:40 a.m. on I-270 near Old Georgetown Road, said Piringer. Normal traffic resumed about 12:30. State Police said one vehicle struck another triggering a chain reaction.

THE REGION

Work Disrupts Red Line Today

Work on a Metro rail bridge between the Grosvenor-Strathmore and Medical Center stations is interrupting service on the Red Line this weekend.

The two stations will be open today, but trains will not operate between the stations. Instead, Red Line trains will operate in two sections: one between Shady Grove and Grosvenor-Strathmore and the other between Glenmont and Medical Center.

Metro is operating free shuttle buses every five minutes between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Medical Center.

Metro expects to complete the work in time for regular service to resume tomorrow morning.

Very Warm Days Continue

Washington's mid-September heat wave continued yesterday as the temperature at Reagan National Airport reached 90 degrees for the third time in the four days.

It also was the 20th day of a drought, with no rain measured at the airport and only 0.1 inch since Aug. 28.

THE DISTRICT

Man Hurt in SE Duplex Fire

D.C. firefighters rescued an elderly man from a burning duplex in Southeast Washington yesterday morning.

A D.C. fire spokeswoman said the man was taken to a hospital in serious condition.

Flames were reported soon after 10 a.m. coming from the second floor of the house in the 4200 block of H Street SE.

"Everybody has lost the chance for closure."

-- Lucille Czechanski, aunt of 20-month-old Akilah Austin, whose body was mistakenly cremated. -- B1.

Compiled from reports by staff writers Jonathan Abel, Sudarsan Raghavan, Martin Weil and John Wagner and the Associated Press.