$5.7 Billion Offered for Dulles Toll Road

Developer Would Add Lanes, Fund Metro Line

A developer and part-owner of the Dulles Greenway said he plans to offer Virginia $5.7 billion to take over the Dulles Toll Road and build four express toll lanes on it, one of several such proposals before the state.

Franklin L. Haney said his proposal would include as much as $717 million to fund the state's share of building a Metrorail line to Dulles International Airport, plus "several hundreds of millions of dollars" more to make improvements to the toll road and surrounding highways.

Virginia would get $700 million on the day the deal was signed -- the amount needed to cover the first phase of the rail project, highway fixes and some state debt.

Haney's group, Dulles Express, would operate and maintain the toll road for 50 years in exchange for the revenue it would generate.

Several Seek to Become U.S. Attorney

McNulty to Leave Alexandria for Justice Dept.

Several private lawyers and prosecutors are emerging as possible candidates for U.S. attorney in Alexandria, a job that will be vacated by Paul J. McNulty when he moves to the Justice Department in Washington to become deputy attorney general.

The list of possible successors includes Lewis F. Powell III, 53, a Richmond lawyer, according to political and law enforcement sources. Also likely to be considered are Howard C. "Toby" Vick Jr., 53, a Richmond lawyer and former federal prosecutor; Chuck Rosenberg, 45, the U.S. attorney in Houston and a former federal prosecutor in Alexandria; and Stephen E. Baril, 50, a Richmond lawyer who lost the primary for Virginia attorney general this year, the sources said.

More Absentee Ballot Requests in Va.

Commuters, Overseas-Voting Law Credited

More Virginians are requesting absentee ballots for this year's general election than four years ago, a trend local registrars attribute to voters who want to avoid driving through traffic to their precincts and a new federal law requiring that ballots automatically be sent to citizens overseas, including military members, who made requests last year.

As of 2000, voters who can show that their commutes and workdays consume at least 11 of the 13 hours that polls are open can cast absentee ballots.

Applications must be received by Thursday, and the deadline to vote early is 5 p.m. Saturday, three days before Election Day, Nov. 8.

Va. Drunken Driving Statute Challenged

Fairfax Judge Calls Law Unconstitutional

Fairfax County prosecutors challenged a lower-court judge's belief that the state's drunken driving law is unconstitutional, arguing that the statute does not put motorists in the position of having to disprove intoxication.

The arguments came in two DWI cases as defense attorneys -- who agree with General District Court Judge Ian M. O'Flaherty's opinion that the law is unconstitutional -- asked a Circuit Court judge to dismiss the charges. Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Robert W. Wooldridge Jr. set both cases for trial in December and said he would issue his rulings before then.

The cases probably will end up in the Virginia Supreme Court for a ruling on the legality of the state's laws on driving while intoxicated.

Both cases originated in the lower court, where O'Flaherty made it clear in other cases that he believed the state's DWI laws made some unconstitutional presumptions.

Across the Region

$3.75 Million for Ladner; D.C. Seizes Property

* Ousted American University president Benjamin Ladner agreed to a nearly $3.75 million departure package that ends his ties to the school and allows him to resign rather than be fired. The deal, which drew criticism from students and faculty, includes about $2.75 million in deferred compensation and a one-time $950,000 severance payment. Ladner was dismissed as president Oct. 10 after an investigation into the personal and travel expenses of him and his wife, Nancy Ladner.

* The D.C. government filed court papers to seize $84 million worth of property from 16 owners in Southeast, giving them 90 days to leave and make way for a baseball stadium.

From Storm to Storm To escape Hurricane Wilma, Pat and Bob Gay of Thonotosassa, Fla., visited Locust Grove, Va., where the 31/2 inches of snow was a welcome break.