Three Md. Guardsmen Killed in Iraq

Baltimore Unit's Vehicle Caught Fire After Crash

Three soldiers from a Baltimore-based Maryland National Guard unit were killed in Iraq when an 18-wheeler accidentally struck the back of their armored vehicle, sparking a fire and detonating ammunition.

The Defense Department identified the three soldiers as Sgt. Brian R. Conner, 36, of Baltimore, Spec. Samuel M. Boswell, 20, of Fulton in Howard County, and Spec. Bernard L. Ceo, 23, of Baltimore.

Protective Order's Dismissal Called Error

Court Administrator Disputes Judge's Contention

Prince George's County Judge Richard A. Palumbo, facing criticism for dismissing a protective order against a man who later allegedly set his wife on fire, did not intend to dissolve the order at all, his attorney said yesterday.

The District Court judge contended through his attorney that the order against Roger B. Hargrave was dissolved through a clerical mistake.

A top District Court judge later disputed the assertion.

Chief Administrative Judge Thurman H. Rhodes said he believes Palumbo clearly dismissed the protective order during a hearing. Rhodes oversees the administration of the District Court.

Montgomery Restricts Housing Heights

Decision Changes Method of Measuring Houses

The Montgomery County Council brushed aside a vigorous lobbying campaign by developers and voted 8 to 1 to place new limits on the height of single-family houses in the county's older neighborhoods.

The decision, which covers building permits issued after Oct. 11, changes the way height is measured and eliminates a loophole that allowed developers to construct homes exceeding the limit.

Terror Threat on 2 Baltimore Tunnels

Informant Told Authorities of Detonation Plans

A warning from an overseas informant that terrorists planned to detonate explosives in a tunnel under the Baltimore harbor led state officials to temporarily close one of the harbor's two highway tunnels shortly and to restrict travel in the other, officials said.

The Harbor Tunnel on Interstate 895 was closed for more than 90 minutes, and vehicles were searched at Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95, where one lane was open in each direction. The threat is uncorroborated.

Five men have been arrested in connection with the investigation.

Ex-Senator Charged With Corruption

Politico Accused of Accepting Payment for Favors

Former Maryland state senator Thomas L. Bromwell, once one of the most powerful figures in Annapolis, was indicted on federal corruption and fraud charges, accused of using his influence to benefit a prominent developer in exchange for concealed payments and other favors.

A grand jury named the Baltimore Democrat, who left the Senate in 2002, his wife, Mary Pat, and W. David Stoffregen, a former president and chief executive of Poole and Kent construction company, in a 30-count racketeering indictment that alleges a six-year conspiracy ending in 2004. Bromwell's attorneys maintained the couple's innocence.

Duncan Enters Governor's Race

Montgomery Executive to Spotlight Education

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan announced his candidacy for governor, vowing to focus his campaign on education and embracing an uphill bid to become the first governor elected from Maryland's most populous county.

Duncan, 49, spoke of his efforts to improve county schools, expand its economy and revitalize neighborhoods. He pledged to make such initiatives statewide.

Across the Region

Panda Named; Synagogues Get Security Grants

* The National Zoo's giant panda cub was officially dubbed Tai Shan and heralded as a symbol of friendship between the United States and China. Tai Shan, pronounced tie shahn, means "peaceful mountain."

* Thirty-one nonprofit organizations in the Washington area, including 14 synagogues and eight hospitals, have received federal grants to fortify their facilities under an anti-terrorism program that has divided Jewish leaders and drawn criticism from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

A Dreamer Gus McLeod checks fluid levels before leaving Gaithersburg on a planned solo trip around the world via the poles. The flight was grounded in Frederick.