Beltway Work to Cause Overnight Delays

Each direction of the Capital Beltway in Alexandria will be reduced to a single lane during overnight hours beginning tonight and lasting into next week.

Additionally, all outer loop lanes will be closed periodically for intervals of 20 to 30 minutes, and the ramps from northbound and southbound Telegraph Road to the outer loop will be closed during overnight hours.

Wilson Bridge officials advise drivers to avoid the area and warn that backups could extend as far west as the Springfield Interchange, where overnight work is also planned this weekend.

The closures will allow crews to lift 80-foot-long steel beams over the Beltway for new highway ramps that are part of the bridge project. Bridge officials said similar lane closures last month produced backups of about 2.5 miles.

The lanes will definitely be closed tonight and tomorrow night, and possibly Sunday and Monday nights, if necessary.

Man Hit by Metro Train, Seriously Hurt

A man suffered serious injuries last night when he was struck by a Metro train at the Columbia Heights Station in Northwest Washington, authorities said.

Witnesses told investigators that the man might have stepped into the path of the Green Line train heading toward Greenbelt just before 6 p.m., said Steven Taubenkibel, a Metro spokesman. The man was taken to a hospital with injuries that included possible internal head trauma, said Alan Etter, a spokesman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

Rescuers found the man under the second car of a six-car train, Etter said.

Officials closed the station for about two hours but allowed trains to run through the area on one track, Taubenkibel said.

Metro to Open Hour Early for D.C. March

Metrorail will open one hour early, at 6 a.m., tomorrow to accommodate crowds expected to attend the Help the Homeless Walkathon, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

The walk will proceed from Seventh to 14th streets NW on the Mall. Participants and spectators are encouraged to take Metrorail and exit at Archives-Navy Memorial on the Green and Yellow lines, Federal Triangle and Smithsonian on the Blue and Orange lines or Gallery Place-Chinatown on the Red, Yellow and Green lines. Parking is free at Metro-operated parking lots and garages on weekends.


Duncan to Unveil Education Plan

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D), a candidate for governor, is expected today to announce a series of education policy initiatives.

Duncan has called the measures his Education First Plan. The initiatives include creating an Education Cabinet to encourage representatives from various state departments and agencies to work more closely with the Maryland Department of Education. The cabinet also would include representatives from labor and the business and nonprofit sectors.

Duncan faces Baltimore Mayor Martin O' Malley in the Democratic primary.

O'Malley Gets 3rd Labor Endorsement

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) yesterday picked up his third labor-union endorsement for next year's governor's race.

At an event in College Park, O'Malley received the backing of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Board of UNITE HERE as well as that of one of its Washington area affiliates. UNITE was formed in the merger of the former Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees and the former Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union.

UNITE HERE represents 5,000 members across Maryland, not including its Local 25 affiliate. Local 25, which also endorsed O'Malley yesterday, represents an additional 2,000 members in Maryland, most of them in Prince George's County.

O'Malley faces Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan in the Democratic primary.


Warner Aides to Join Kaine Administration

Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced two hiring decisions as governor-elect yesterday, saying that William H. Leighty will be the chief of staff for his administration and that Wayne Turnage will be the deputy chief of staff.

Leighty, a veteran bureaucrat, is the chief of staff to Gov. Mark R. Warner (D). Turnage also works in Warner's office, as an adviser for special projects. He is also a director in the state's Department of Medical Assistance Services.

Loudoun Closer to New Limits on Homes

Loudoun County supervisors yesterday voted to start the formal legal process needed to pass far-reaching growth controls in a broad swath of the county.

The 6 to 2 vote came nearly four months after supervisors first signaled their intention to institute new home-building limits in the western two-thirds of the county.

Previous restrictions were thrown out on a technicality by Virginia's Supreme Court. Current rules allow one home per three acres. The proposal would block construction of tens of thousands of homes with a range of new rules that would generally require between 7.5 acres and about 40 acres per home, depending on parcel size, location and other factors.

Proponents say the changes are needed to slow increases in traffic congestion and public spending and to preserve a scenic and historic part of Virginia. Opponents say the rules would be an unfair and unnecessary intrusion on the private use of property in one of the nation's fastest growing and most profitable markets.


Police Identify Man Killed in NE Fire

D.C. police yesterday identified John Dixon, 72, as the man who died in a fire Tuesday night in Northeast Washington.

Fire officials said the blaze started about 11:45 p.m. in Dixon's single-family home in the 1900 block of Lawrence Street NE. Firefighters pulled Dixon, an amputee, from the blaze. He later died at Washington Hospital Center, authorities said. The fire appears to have been started by smoking materials, authorities said.

"My son is my life. He is my friend, my mentor. . . . Without this program, we would not be able to take care of Samir."

-- K.C. Patel, whose son, severely disabled by cerebral palsy, receives therapy through Medicaid, now a target of cuts in the House of Representatives. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Lori Aratani, Steven Ginsberg, Chris L. Jenkins, Michael Laris, Lisa Rein, John Wagner and Del Quentin Wilber.