THE REGION

Snow Could Tangle Morning Commute

Up to six inches of snow is expected to fall on the Washington area by 10 a.m. today, making for a potentially treacherous morning commute, the National Weather Service said last night. Luis Rosa, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said the Washington area was expected to get three to six inches of snow, most of it falling from 1 to 6 a.m.

Meteorologist Andy Woodcock said the heaviest accumulations were expected in Loudoun, Montgomery and Fairfax counties and the District.

Rosa said some of the accumulation could turn to slush as temperatures climb into the mid-30s today.

Nonprofit Collecting Donations for Pets

The Washington Animal Rescue League is collecting supplies to give to low-income people who have pets.

The nonprofit organization is seeking donations of unopened pet food, pet toys, and gently used blankets and towels. The supplies can be taken to the league's shelter at 71 Oglethorpe St. NW from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Dec. 17. Contributions also will be accepted at the Kathleen Ewing Gallery, 1609 Connecticut Ave. NW, from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Families interested in receiving pet supplies can sign up with the league. More information about donating or receiving pet supplies is available on the league's Web site, www.warl.org.

THE DISTRICT

Man Killed, 2 Hurt When Minivan Hits Car

A 23-year-old man was killed, and two others were injured when the minivan they were in crashed into a car early yesterday in Northwest Washington, authorities said.

Police said Theodore Jackson of the 800 block of Sixth Street NE died shortly after the crash, which occurred about 3 a.m. in the 2700 block of Georgia Avenue NW.

Jackson and three other men were in a minivan heading north on Georgia when it crashed into a Chrysler Sebring at Fairmount Street NW, police said.

Police said two other occupants of the minivan were injured and taken to area hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening. They were identified as Charles Dixon, 26, of the 1500 block of Madison Street in Hyattsville and Michael Young, 21, of the 600 block of Harvard Street NW, police said.

Police said no charges had been filed in the accident, but the minivan had been traveling at high speed. Officers also recovered a handgun in the minivan, police said.

MARYLAND

Woman Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver

A woman died last night after a hit-and-run driver struck her in the Suitland area, Prince George's County officials said.

Officers found the victim, thought to be in her forties, lying about 100 yards from Homer Avenue and Suitland Road just before 5:30 p.m., said Cpl. Kim Brown, a police spokeswoman. The woman was taken to an area hospital. Her name had not been released.

Police think that the woman may have been struck by a blue Honda and that the vehicle probably suffered front-end damage.

2 Firefighters Hurt in Chevy Chase Fire

Two Montgomery County firefighters suffered minor burns while fighting a blaze at a Chevy Chase residence last night, fire officials said. Damage to the house was estimated at more than $700,000.

The blaze burned for about an hour through a two-story, single-family home in the 3500 block of Taylor Street, said Pete Piringer, a fire department spokesman. No one was in the home when the fire began, but the family dog died in the blaze.

One firefighter's ears were burned, and the other suffered burns to a hand, Piringer said. Both were taken to a hospital, where they were expected to be treated and released.

The fire threatened to spread to two nearby houses, but firefighters were able to prevent them from igniting, Piringer said. He said late last night that the blaze apparently was caused by improperly discarded fireplace ashes.

Inquiry Sought Into Prosecutor's Death

A Pennsylvania state legislator has requested an independent investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general into the death of Jonathan P. Luna, a Maryland federal prosecutor who was found stabbed and drowned in a rural creek in Pennsylvania two years ago this week.

In a Dec. 2 letter to Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, State Rep. Mark B. Cohen (D) wrote that he was making the request because, in his view, the FBI has not taken seriously the possibility that Luna's death was retribution connected to his work. An FBI spokesman had no comment on Cohen's letter.

Luna, 38, had 36 stab wounds, most of them superficial. The FBI has said that a year-long investigation turned up no evidence that Luna was with anyone between the time he left his Baltimore office late one evening and the discovery of his body six hours later. The spokesman said that the FBI has not ruled out the possibility that Luna took his own life. Cohen dismissed that theory as unlikely.

Kaufman to Lead Howard School Board

The Howard County Board of Education unanimously selected Joshua M. Kaufman as chairman of the board at yesterday's meeting. Kaufman was appointed to the board in fall 2003 to replace a member who resigned in the middle of a term. Kaufman, 34, is the only member of the five-person board who was not chosen through the general election. He plans to run for the board in 2006.

Outgoing board chairman Courtney Watson was required to step down after serving the maximum two years. Watson has announced plans to run for the Howard County Council in 2006.

The board also voted Diane Mikulis to be vice chairman.

VIRGINIA

Chamber Pushes Transportation Funding

Virginia's top business lobby said yesterday that it wants the General Assembly to create a sustainable revenue source to pay for state transportation needs and said legislators need to be open to a wide range of options, including raising the fuel tax.

At a news conference, the Chamber of Commerce said it wants legislators to first consider adopting tolls on existing and planned highways; expanding public-private partnerships on transportation projects; introducing high-occupancy toll lanes and other traffic-management measures; and using one-time payments from the state's general fund during budget surpluses.

"Every time there was hope of him moving, everyone would start screaming."

-- Kirstin Corbett, 24, who was in the first group of ticket-holders to see baby panda Tai Shan's public debut at the National Zoo. -- A1

Staff writers Tom Jackman, Ernesto Londono, Eric Rich, Del Quentin Wilber, Josh Zumbrun, Allan Lengel and Clarence Williams and the Associated Press contributed to this report.