THE REGION

Utility Crews Work to Restore Power

Nearly 1,800 customers remained without power yesterday as utility crews struggled with the lingering effects of a drenching storm that brought down trees and electrical lines across the region.

The damage was concentrated in Maryland, where Pepco said late yesterday afternoon that outages numbered 1,100 in Montgomery County and 300 in Prince George's County. About 100 outages were reported in the District, and nearly 300 customers remained without power in Northern Virginia.

Pepco and Old Dominion officials said the effects of the storm were compounded by the lack of rain in recent weeks, which left tree limbs dry and brittle and root systems weakened.

Even after the rain had stopped, trees continued to fall and new outages were reported, said Pepco spokeswoman Mary-Beth Hutchinson.

Man Pulled From Car in Potomac Dies

A man pulled from a car after it plunged into the Potomac River on Saturday night was later pronounced dead at a hospital, authorities said.

The car was headed north on George Washington Parkway about 10:40 p.m. when it left the road and plunged into the river upstream from the 14th Street Bridge, according to U.S. Park Police. Officers from the D.C. police harbor unit pulled him from the water, and he was taken to George Washington University Hospital, authorities said. His identity was not immediately available.

Smithsonian Gets Margarita Machine

The modified soft-serve ice cream machine that a Dallas restaurateur first used to mass-produce frozen margaritas has found its way to the Smithsonian.

The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History recently acquired the 34-year-old machine and added it to a collection of cultural markers.

"I have a pretty fertile imagination. I have big dreams," said Mariano Martinez, owner of the Dallas restaurant Mariano Hacienda. "But this is beyond what I ever imagined."

In 1971, Martinez was just trying to run a restaurant, not become an inventor. But with a desire to create something to set his eatery apart and some inspiration from a Slurpee machine at a 7-Eleven store, the frozen margarita machine was born.

"To us, it's a story about American innovation and entrepreneurial spirit," said Rayna Green, curator of the National Museum of American History. "And it coincides with the very interesting story of Tex-Mex becoming a phenomenon."

THE DISTRICT

2 Men, Both 19, Die in Separate Shootings

District police are investigating shootings over the weekend that left two men dead.

Officers called to the 2900 block of Knox Street in Southeast shortly before midnight Saturday found Maurice Williams, 19, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound in the neck area, Sgt. Joe Gentile said. Williams, of the unit block of Galveston Street in Southwest, was pronounced dead at the medical examiner's office.

About an hour later, police were called to the 4200 block of Seventh Street SE. They found a 19-year-old man with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. The man, whose name police did not release, was pronounced dead at Howard University Hospital.

Assumption School Closed Today

The weekend's heavy rain has forced the closure of a Southeast school today.

Archdiocese of Washington spokeswoman Susan Gibbs said Assumption Catholic School will be closed because of problems with its roof. Repairs were made once, but the rain offset that work.

Gibbs said school officials hope the school will be open tomorrow.

MARYLAND

Driver Killed in Limb Accident Is Identified

Montgomery County police have identified the man who died Saturday when a tree limb fell on his pickup as Garrett Leroy Hopkins, 62, of Silver Spring.

Hopkins, of the 100 block of Lexington Drive, was traveling east in the 800 block of Bonifant Street when his truck was struck by a limb 4 feet in diameter and nearly 30 feet long, police said yesterday. Passenger Darryl Coleman, 48, of the 9600 block of Grace Avenue in Laurel was hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

One Dies in Beltway Crash on Inner Loop

An accident on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway at Pennsylvania Avenue yesterday morning left one person dead, state police said.

Police did not release the name of the victim but said the incident at 4:30 a.m. involved two vehicles that were stopped on a shoulder and a vehicle in a travel lane. An investigation is continuing, and no charges have been filed, state police said.

Fire Damages Towson Chemistry Building

Fire caused about $10,000 in damage yesterday at the Towson University chemistry building, the state fire marshal said.

The building was unoccupied at the time of the 9:23 a.m. fire.

VIRGINIA

Pedestrian Dies Crossing Route 50

A man in his late forties was struck by a car and killed last night in the Seven Corners area of Fairfax County as he tried to cross Route 50 on foot, county police said.

The man, who was not identified immediately, was trying to cross from north to south at Patrick Henry Drive about 8 p.m. when he was struck. Route 50 in the Seven Corners area has been the scene of several pedestrian fatalities in the past.

Many Norfolk Voter Applications Rejected

More than half of Norfolk's new voter applications have been incomplete or rejected.

That has prompted the registrar's office and a social action group to call for intervention by the Virginia State Board of Elections. Lawyers from the Washington-based Advancement Project got involved at the request of Project Vote, which has submitted 5,000 voter applications in Norfolk this year.

"We're more accepted when we're quiet about our faith. But this is an open pep rally kind of thing, and it's wonderful."

-- Chris Miller, on attending the DC Festival, organized by Christian evangelical preacher Luis Palau. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Eric Rich,

Allan Lengel and Martin Weil and the Associated Press.