MARYLAND

Bear Avoids Capture in Frederick County

A small black bear that visited Emmitsburg apparently returned to the wooded Catoctin Mountains after eluding state wildlife managers.

The animal, as big as a Labrador retriever, wandered into the northern Frederick County town Thursday, surprising drivers and delighting children at a day-care center who watched from a safe distance.

"The children got all excited, shouting, 'Bear! Bear!' They talked about the bear all day," teacher Sandy Leight said.

George Timko, a Department of Natural Resources wildlife specialist, said it was probably a young adult male, recently kicked out by his mother and looking for a home.

"He's probably tired, lost and a little confused," Timko said.

Pr. George's Budget Director Resigns

Prince George's County budget Director Charles Richardson, has resigned less than a week after County Council members adopted a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. No reason was given.

County Executive Wayne K. Curry (D) named the deputy budget director, Brian K. Ashford, yesterday as acting director of management and budget until a new director is selected and confirmed by the County Council.

Horse Used in Botulism Research Dies

First Flight, a horse used by Army biological defense researchers to develop a botulism antidote, has gone to greener pastures at age 31.

The dark bay thoroughbred gelding was injected with inactivated botulism toxins and produced antibodies that became the source of an antitoxin developed at Fort Detrick in Frederick County in 1978.

He died Monday of natural causes and has been cremated, Caree Vander Linden, a public affairs officer, reported in this week's edition of the Fort Detrick Standard.

First Flight was the only horse immunized against all seven types of botulism, a debilitating and sometimes fatal illness caused by toxins with potential to be used as biological weapons.

Because the botulinum toxins were dead, the horse did not become ill, according to Capt. Sue Goodwin, a veterinarian with the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

VIRGINIA

Weekend Crackdown on Interstates

Virginia state troopers will be out in force this holiday weekend as they continue a stepped-up enforcement of traffic safety laws, officials said.

Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R) ordered a special effort to enforce traffic laws on interstate highways after a crash that killed four people on Interstate 81 near Lexington in January.

During the holiday, the police presence will be especially pronounced: At least 75 percent of nearly 1,000 available troopers will patrol roads during the long weekend.

Funds Aim to Halt Underage Drinking

Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R) has allocated $40,000 to finance grants for group projects to prevent underage drinking. The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Community Mini-Grants, worth as much as $500 each, are available to schools, local and state agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Some school grants will help finance nonalcoholic graduation and prom parties.

Several schools will bring in motivational speakers or hold peer mediation workshops. Grants are available through June 15 of next year, or until all the funds are allocated.

THE DISTRICT

Dean Named for Georgetown College

Georgetown University President Leo J. O'Donovan has announced the appointment of Jane Dammen McAuliffe as the new dean of Georgetown College, the university's undergraduate school of arts and sciences.

McAuliffe, an authority on Islam, has been a member since 1992 of the Victoria College faculty at the University of Toronto, where she held joint appointments as a full professor in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and the Department for the Study of Religion.

She is the only North American member of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims.

She succeeds longtime dean Robert B. Lawton, who is leaving Georgetown to become president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

City Streets Closing for Weekend Events

Activities in the District are closing city streets this weekend. From 2:30 a.m. today until 8 p.m. tomorrow, U street between 10th and 14th streets NW will be closed for the mayor's Futurefest event.

The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally will be held tomorrow, but an event associated with it will close the 1900 block of I Street NW and the 900 block of 20th Street NW from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. today.

The 200 block of 22nd Street NW, which was closed last night, will remain closed until 9 p.m. tomorrow.

The rally is expected to affect traffic on streets around the downtown memorials and the national Mall throughout tomorrow.

THE REGION

U.S. to Study Appalachian Highway Traffic

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $500,000 to study improvements to north-south highways in a central Appalachian area in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

The grant will pay for a coordinated study of north-south routes through the Appalachian regions of those states, according to a statement released by U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes--both Maryland Democrats--and Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. (D-Allegany).

The routes under study include Interstate 81 and U.S. highways 219 and 220, the officials said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I think the weirdest thing is men dressed as women. You see a lot of that. . . . Earrings and makeup. . . . I don't know where they're going."

-- Beverly Gernert, a toll taker on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.