Water Conservation Urged in Montgomery Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) called on county residents yesterday to voluntarily conserve water to prevent the Potomac River from falling to even lower levels.

Already the water and sewer agency that serves Washington's largest Maryland suburbs is considering draining half of the Little Seneca Reservoir in northern Montgomery to replenish the Potomac. The move could hamper both boaters who use the lake for recreation and the aquatic life that lives there.

Water officials will brief the Montgomery County Council today on whether that will be necessary. To make it less likely, Duncan called on county residents to stop watering lawns, washing cars and taking long showers, among other activities.

Blind Couple Struck by Delivery Truck A Federal Express truck hit a blind couple as they were crossing a Baltimore street yesterday, killing the wife and seriously injuring the husband, police said.

Bethel Mines, 55, of the 100 block of North Duncan Street in Baltimore, was pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, where her husband, Raymond Mines, 55, was reportedly in critical condition. Although both were legally blind, they frequently walked on the sidewalks of their neighborhood, police said.

The accident occurred at Fayette Street and Collington Avenue in East Baltimore. Police said that they were investigating and that the death appeared to be an accident.

Officials Aim to Kill Some Canada Geese Officials at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland's Eastern Shore hope the federal government will approve plans to kill thousands of nonmigratory Canada geese, which they say are destroying habitat vital to 300 other species of birds.

Refuge officials say the resident geese, descendants of animals released a half-century ago at the 25,000-acre Dorchester County refuge, have eaten thousands of acres of marsh grasses and have destroyed almost all of the 200 acres of corn, soybean, buckwheat and clover that were planted to provide food for native and migrating birds.

Blackwater officials expect to begin killing the geese in about two weeks, after the harvesting plan is approved by the regional office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said assistant refuge manager Keith Weaver. The goal is to bring the numbers down to 1989 levels, when the refuge had 350 nonmigratory Canada geese, he said.

The Humane Society of the United States opposes the plan. Last week, a U.S. District Court judge blocked efforts by Virginia and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to kill more than 3,000 geese that have taken up residence at airports, golf courses, business parks and housing developments in that state.

Florida School Taps Salisbury State Head The president of Salisbury State University on the Eastern Shore was named yesterday as the second president of Florida Gulf Coast University, the newest school in the Florida state system. William C. Merwin will succeed Roy McTarnaghan, who guided Florida Gulf Coast through its construction and opening in August 1997. Merwin, 60, has been president at Salisbury State for three years.


Night Parking Banned Near Interchange In an effort to discourage interstate trash trucks from parking overnight and stinking up commercial neighborhoods near the Capital Beltway and Shirley Highway, Fairfax County supervisors yesterday voted to ban parking in those areas from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The streets affected include Industrial Drive, Industrial Road, Electronic Drive, General Washington Drive, General Green Way and Stephenson Way in the Shirley Industrial Park and the Shirley Edsall Industrial Park. Both areas are just north of the Springfield interchange.

According to county officials, trash trucks on their way to industrial dumps in southeast Virginia have been stopping overnight, and their trash has been putrefying in the recent heat--creating a stench and drawing rodents and other vermin.


Complaint Against School Board Chief A formal complaint was lodged yesterday with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance against Board of Education President Wilma R. Harvey (Ward 1), alleging that she asked a staff member to do research for a personal project while the aide was supposed to be working on school issues.

Board member Westy Byrd (Ward 2) said in a notarized statement that she saw Harvey and aide Pat Bond researching a trip Harvey was planning; that Harvey acknowledged asking Bond to do the work but on her own time; and that Bond told Byrd she had done work unrelated to schools for Harvey during work hours on three or four occasions.

Harvey has denied any wrongdoing. Citing advice from her attorney, Bond declined to discuss the allegations yesterday. Several board members have signed a letter asking Harvey to resign her post as president, saying she has shown poor leadership.

Board member Don Reeves (Ward 3) notified the campaign finance office of the allegations last week but did not submit the information in the proper form.

Noncompliance Found in Parks Dept. A review of contracting and management practices at the D.C. Department of Recreation and Parks has found that agency workers do not always comply with city regulations, but the violations do not suggest malfeasance, the agency's interim director said yesterday.

The probe by the D.C. inspector general's office is examining record-keeping at the agency's Northwest Washington warehouse and travel by employees, among other things, Interim Director Diane Quinn said.

It is taking place at a time when Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) is calling for changes in the agency. Last week, Williams asked Parks Director Betty Jo Gaines to resign, saying he was dissatisfied with the upkeep of various facilities. Quinn said that the probe revealed that parks workers occasionally did not do paperwork before removing items from the warehouse but that it did not appear that anything had been stolen. She said that no staff members have been demoted or reassigned but that changes will be made if needed.


"It's just another example of the evil machinations of the Allen administration on the environment. No data, no pollution, no problem."

--Glen Besa, director of the Sierra Club's Virginia chapter, upon learning that information about river pollution was kept under lock and key when George Allen (R) was governor. Allen's staff argues that water quality improved during his administration.