Panda-Viewing Reservations Start Today

The public can begin signing up today for free, timed-entry tickets to see the National Zoo's giant panda cub.

Tai Shan will go on limited public view beginning Dec. 8. The tickets will be available starting at 9 a.m. today at The Web site, run by Friends of the National Zoo, has detailed instructions on how to reserve and print the tickets. People who don't have access to the Internet can obtain tickets by calling the zoo between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays at 202-633-4486.

The tickets, issued on a first-come, first-served basis, will initially be made available through Dec. 31, officials said. They allow entry into the Panda House at 10-minute intervals, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. One ticket will be issued for each group of visitors, with up to six people per ticket, depending on availability. A person may print up to two tickets a day. Children age 2 and younger are exempt from the six-person limit.

The cub was born July 9. His parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, remain on exhibit.


Pr. George's Accidents Claim Two Lives

A 15-year-old girl was killed and two other teenagers were injured yesterday afternoon in a single-car crash in the Brandywine area of Prince George's County, police said.

A 13-year-old passenger, a boy, was airlifted to a hospital, where he was treated for burns, Cpl. Kim Brown said. The driver, a 17-year-old girl, suffered cuts and other minor injuries. The victims' names were not immediately released, but all lived in Prince George's, Brown said.

The Dodge Neon was traveling north in the 15600 block of Brandywine Road about 2:20 p.m. when the driver lost control of it. It crossed into oncoming traffic lanes, ran off the road, hit a tree and caught fire, Brown said.

A witness was able to pull out the driver and the boy, Brown said. A dog in the car also died.

It was the second weekend traffic fatality in southern Prince George's. On Saturday, a 40-year-old woman died about 11:30 p.m. after she lost control of her vehicle on a curve on Piscataway Road near Temple Hills Road in the Clinton area. The vehicle then veered into oncoming traffic and hit a utility pole, police said. Her name was not released.

Woman Fatally Struck by Amtrak Train

A woman was killed yesterday when she was struck by an Amtrak train in Gaithersburg, police said. She was walking on the tracks, with her back to an oncoming train, when she was hit about 12:45 p.m. near East Diamond and Russell avenues, authorities said. Her identity was not released. Amtrak officials said the train was headed to Washington from Chicago.

3 Fire Victims Believed to Have Been Youths

Three people were killed and two were injured yesterday in an early-morning fire that burst through the roof of a two-story brick rowhouse in Baltimore.

The fire started just before 3 a.m. Three victims, believed to be children, were found in a second-floor bedroom, apparently killed by smoke inhalation and burns, said Baltimore fire department spokesman Kevin Cartwright.

A man and woman were also found with severe burns and trauma. Both were in critical condition at hospitals.

Eight people in Baltimore have died in fires since Friday morning.

Pr. George's Officer, Shot Man Identified

Prince George's County police yesterday released the names of a man suspected of breaking into a woman's home over the weekend and the police officer who shot and wounded him.

Authorities said Timothy M. Boone, 29, of the District broke into a home in the 2700 block of Iverson Street, in the Hillcrest Heights area, about 6 p.m. Saturday. A woman in the house fled with her baby to an upstairs bedroom, where she called 911.

Police arrived minutes later and saw a man attempting to flee, authorities said. He allegedly fired a shotgun at an officer, police said. Officer Clarence Black fired back, hitting the man at least once in the lower body. Boone was in critical condition yesterday at a hospital.

Black, who has been on the force for three years, was placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, police said.

Pedestrian Dies After Being Hit, Dragged

A man walking on a road in La Plata on Saturday night died after he was hit by a car and dragged for a half-mile.

Scottie M. Queen, 53, of La Plata was walking on the shoulder of Hawthorne Road about 6:30 p.m. when he was hit by a driver who was preparing to turn right onto Bivins Place. The driver, Carla Y. Crump, 20, of La Plata, did not notice Queen, Maryland State Police said. Police are investigating the case.

Man Arrested in Fatal Shooting in Lanham

A 27-year-old Waldorf man was arrested Saturday night and charged in the Nov. 4 killing of a man in Lanham. Ray A. Blanchard is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Michael L. Broderick, 50, who was shot while in the driver's seat of a car near his home, police said. A fight preceded the shooting, police said earlier.


Man, 23, Found Fatally Shot in Head in NW

A 23-year-old man was found shot to death about 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the 5800 block of Seventh Street NW, police said. Antoine Womack, of the 6000 block of North Dakota Avenue NE, died from an apparent gunshot to the head, authorities said. Police urged anyone with information to call detectives at 202-727-9099.


Aging Population Called a Major Challenge

State agencies in Virginia are not prepared to cope with an increasingly aging population, according to a study.

Five years ago, 1.1 million Virginians were at least 60 years old. That number will jump to 2.4 million by 2030. The study, by the state legislature's investigative arm, warned that Virginia must prepare for a shortage of Medicaid-funded nursing home beds, rising costs in the care of the mentally retarded, more demands for transportation services and the challenges of an aging prison population.

"I'm underwhelmed. I wanted it to be far more putrid and revolting."

-- Eric Zanot of College Park, one of thousands of people

who sniffed the aroma of the titan arum, or "corpse flower,"

a notoriously stinky plant, at the U.S. Botanic Garden. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Karlyn Barker, William Wan, Allan Lengel and Paul Schwartzman and the Associated Press.