CAT Scan for an Ailing Spider

When tarantula No. 79011 gets angry, she rears up, shows her fangs and shoots barbed hairs from her rump. It's a good thing she's been a perfect patient so far.

The Goliath tarantula, the largest spider species in the world, had her second CAT scan yesterday at the National Aquarium in Baltimore in hope of saving her from a nasty infection oozing from her side.

The spider is part of an aquarium exhibit on poisonous creatures.

David Herring, a veterinary radiologist who is donating his expertise, said the images looked worse than the first ones taken last month.

The good news is that the abscess appears to be contained within the spider's body cavity, making it possible to perform surgery.

No. 79011, weighing in at a hefty 2 1/2 ounces, is the size of a salad plate and has dark brown hair and a turret of eyes atop a flat head.

The abscess is causing the spider problems with her legs.

Instead of walking on the tips of her toes like a ballerina, she's down at the heel--a sure sign of trouble in tarantulas.

Glendening to Depart on Trade Mission

Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) departs tomorrow for an eight-day trade mission to Demark, Italy and England, where he will meet with business leaders to encourage investment in the state.

It will be Glendening's fourth out-of-the-country trade mission since he was elected and his first since he visited Israel in October 1997.

Among those traveling with Glendening will be Transportation Secretary John Porcari and Jim White, director of the Maryland Port Administration, because Glendening is trying to drum up business for the Port of Baltimore and Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Also traveling with Glendening is his wife, Frances Anne, who has several meetings of her own relating to the arts.

The trip is projected to cost the state $45,000.

After the official portion of the trip, the Glendenings will vacation in Ireland and Scotland before returning to Maryland on June 27.

Doctor for the Elderly Reported Missing

A Prince George's County doctor known in part for the house calls he makes to elderly patients disappeared Thursday, and police are seeking the public's help in finding him.

Henry Wieman, 52, who directs the geriatrics program at the Fort Lincoln Family Medicine Center in Bladensburg, missed several daytime appointments with patients and did not return to his Silver Spring home Thursday night, Montgomery County police spokesman Derek Baililes said yesterday.

Wieman, who was featured Sunday in a Washington Post story about geriatric medicine, is about 6-foot-1 and weighs 270 pounds.

He has short brown hair, blue eyes and sometimes wears glasses.

Baililes said he drives a 1998 red Dodge Caravan with Maryland license plate ACW65G. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Montgomery police non-emergency line at 301-279-8000.


Fairfax City Mayor Faces Cancer Surgery

Fairfax City Mayor John Mason will undergo surgery next week for bladder cancer and could be away from his duties up to two months.

Mason, 64, said yesterday that he will undergo eight hours of surgery in which his bladder will be removed next Friday at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He said he expects to be in the hospital two weeks.

Mason said doctors have told him that his chances for a full recovery are good.

He said that a tumor was found during a routine physical two years ago and that after chemotherapy, the cancer had spread. While he is recovering, Mason plans to turn his duties over to City Council member Gary J. Rasmussen.

"I'm very fortunate. I've been healthy all my life," Mason said. "I look at this as a blip on the radar screen that needs to be overcome."

Suspension for Bomb Essay Reviewed

The School Board in Virginia Beach will decide next week whether to uphold a decision to suspend a 16-year-old high school student who wrote about a bomb on an essay exam.

Chris Bullock's attorneys are appealing a disciplinary panel's ruling to suspend him for the rest of the school year and place him on strict probation until the end of May 2000.

The panel also says Bullock must attend weekly psychological counseling until school authorities are assured that he is not a threat.

Bullock has been out of school since May 14, when school and fire authorities decided that he made a bomb threat through a test. Bullock wrote the essay in March as part of the Standards of Learning exams.

Bullock says he was trying to be creative when he wrote about a fictional student strapping a nuclear bomb to his chest.


Special Events to Close City Streets

Community events will close some District streets this weekend.

In Southeast, Unifest, the city's largest and most diverse community festival, will close streets from noon today until 11 p.m. tomorrow.

They include: the 11th Street Bridge at I-295, the 1800 to 2300 blocks of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, the 1100 and 1200 blocks of W Street, the 1200 block of Good Hope Road, U and V streets between 13th Street and Shannon Place, and the 1200 block of Pleasant Street.

Some surrounding streets also will close between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. today for a parade.

Construction work related to the new Washington Convention Center will close Ninth Street NW between N Street and Mount Vernon Place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. From 2 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow, Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 11th and 13th streets will be closed for the Philippine Festival.

A parade beginning at Sixth Street NW will go along Pennsylvania Avenue and may disrupt traffic briefly during morning hours.


"At least I didn't call you a bimbo."

-- Alan Harris, a Baltimore lawyer whose use of the word "babe" in addressing another lawyer at a legal proceeding moments before led a judge to ban the term as {ldquo}gender-biased and derogatory.

CAPTION: Henry Wieman was reported missing.