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Chesapeake Bay states are studying whether oysters native to China can safely rekindle the oyster industry, ravaged by disease and overfishing.

Mark Luckenbach, director of the institute's Eastern Shore Laboratory, said the 30-month-long experiment would begin in August. The Asian oysters would grow in cages in four sites in Maryland and Virginia, including in the York River.

The oysters would live in plastic trays that would not protect them from small crabs or snails that feed on shellfish. But they would be protected from the most ravenous oyster predators: cownose rays and adult blue crabs.


Drive-By Shooting Ends in Man's Death

A man was killed and three people were wounded last night in a drive-by shooting on Benning Road in Southeast Washington, police said.

Shots were fired from one car into another about 8 p.m. in the 5000 block of Benning Road, said Lt. Ed Bernat of the 6th Police District. The victims' car jumped a curb and stopped against the side of a building.

Police said they knew of no motive in the shooting. The man who was killed was about 20 years old, they said.

Taxi Drivers Add $1 Gas Surcharge

Beginning today, District taxicab drivers will be adding a $1 surcharge to their fares to cover the rising cost of gasoline.

The D.C. Taxicab Commission approved the emergency gasoline surcharge last month. It will be in effect for 120 days, at which time the commission will consider whether to extend the surcharge.


Landover Hills Man Slain in Laurel

Prince George's County police are investigating a fatal shooting in Laurel early Saturday.

About 3 a.m. Saturday, county police officers went to the 12600 block of Laurel Bowie Road to investigate a report of gunfire, authorities said. Police found Charles Craig, 35, in a parking lot, suffering multiple gunshot wounds in the upper body, they said.

Craig, of the 7500 block of Buchanan Street in Landover Hills, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. Police said they have no suspects or motives in the homicide.

Allegany Schools Cut Energy Use 17%

Allegany County's public schools have saved more than $752,000 over the past two years through an energy conservation program, according to a report filed with the school board.

"We had a total energy cost avoidance of $752,444, or 16.8 percent, over the two-year period," said Dennis Read, the school system's energy manager.

The primary goals of the systemwide energy management program, which began in 2003, are to eliminate energy waste and save money but still maintain comfort and safety for students and staff.

The program uses round-the-clock monitoring of electricity and other utilities in school buildings. It also involves auditing bills and meters for errors or overcharges and coordinating the use of school facilities for best energy savings.

"In 2004, our total energy cost was $1.8 million, and 53 percent of that was for electricity," Read said. "But last year was the first time in three years that electricity costs were below $1 million."


People who try to fight big fires "need to change their priorities. That means getting everyone out of the house and notifying 911 from a safe location. . . . People need to be realistic."

-- Mark E. Brady, spokesman for the Prince George's Fire/EMS Department, advising against trying to put out a residential fire if it is bigger than the

size of a trash can and if no fire extinguisher is available. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Lyndsey Layton, Karlyn Barker, Allan Lengel, Martin Weil and Ruben Castaneda and the Associated Press.

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