80 Candidates Studied For Presidency of UDC

A committee searching for a new president for the University of the District of Columbia has 80 candidates and is looking for more.

Its chairman, Trustee Peter B. Edelman, said the search, which has been moving slowly, is expected to wind up with three finalists being recommended to the university trustees in early fall.

"We were a little slow in getting started," Edelman said last week. "But now I think we're moving quite well."

The city's public university has had an acting president, Claude A. Ford, since the resignation under fire in late August of Robert L. Green, who was embroiled in controversy over spending university funds for consultants and personal trips. Green, who served two years, succeeded Benjamin H. Alexander, who resigned after less than a year after conflicts with trustees and faculty members over cutting back on administrators and programs.

Edelman said the committee expects to cut its list to 10 in July and will interview all of them before recommending three to the trustees. UDC is paying $15,000 to the presidential search consulting service of the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities.

-- Lawrence Feinberg Magnet Schools Draw Applications

Parents at two informational sessions held in May submitted more than 2,500 applications for entry into magnet school programs scheduled to open in the 1986-87 school year in Prince George's County.

About 1,400 students will be accepted into the schools, which offer specialized programs as an incentive for white parents to enroll their children in schools where enrollment is predominantly black. The program was introduced this school year and is designed to resolve a federal desegregation lawsuit dating from 1972.

Magnet programs opened this year offering courses for gifted students and before- and after-school day care.

School officials said they were were surprised but pleased when parents submitted more than 1,600 applications May 20, with some parents waiting in line 11 hours. The following night, more than 800 applications came in.

Although there are already far more applications than seats, there could still be openings because programs must be filled according to residential area and racial guidelines.

-- Barbara Vobejda Return of the Bay Monster

Robins have been back for months (and lots did not even bother to go away last winter), summer is nigh, and so -- it's sea monster time.

Yes, Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay's own version of the creature that made a legend of Loch Ness, has been reported spotted again, this time in a bay tributary on the Eastern Shore.

It happened May 25. Dr. Jack Bishop, a dentist of Easton, Md., and a friend, Kenneth Bordrie, owner of a furniture store, said they saw Chessie before sundown while Bordrie was showing his boat to Bishop. They were on a dock, and they said the creature was about 100 yards away in the Tred Avon River.

It swam in a snakelike fashion, they said, then sped off downriver.

About 30 sightings of Chessie have been reported since 1978, and a Kent Island, Md., man made a videotape in 1982 purporting to show the beast.

Bishop said the creature had three sections, each about 15 feet long and four feet wide.

-- Associated Press Judge Merhige Is Honored

U.S. District Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr., who ordered Richmond's public schools desegregated 14 years ago, has been honored by an organization of black lawyers in Virginia, which cited him for a "significant contribution to civil rights and equal justice under law."

Merhige, 67, was guest of honor at the opening reception of the 46th annual convention of the Old Dominion Bar Association, held a week ago in Arlington County.

"A lot of times his decisions were unpopular," said Gerald B. Lee, cochairman of the convention's program. "We felt his commitment to equality under law was quite clear and he had exhibited intellect, independence and courage in the administration of justice."

Merhige was presented with a medallion of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who appointed him to the bench in August 1967, and with a quotation from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: "Morality cannot be legislated. But behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless."

-- Caryle Murphy