A METRO ITEM YESTERDAY SAID INCORRECTLY THAT SEN. PAUL S. SARBANES (D-MD.) HAS NO REPUBLICAN CHALLENGER AS HE ANTICIPATES RUNNING FOR REELECTION AND MISSTATED HIS LENGTH OF SERVIVE. MONTGOMERY COUNTY ACTIVIST ROBIN FICKER HAS DECLARED HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION. SARBANES IS IN HIS FOURTH TERM.

VIRGINIA

Tobacco Growers to Receive $340 Million

Virginia tobacco growers will receive up to $340 million over the next 12 years in a side agreement to the national tobacco settlement, state officials said yesterday.

The aid is in addition to the $4 billion the state expects to receive over 25 years as its share of the $206 billion settlement reached last year by the tobacco industry and state attorneys general who sued to recover the costs of treating sick smokers.

The $5.15 billion trust was established between tobacco-growing states and major cigarette makers to create a pool of money separate from the Master Settlement Agreement. The money is intended to help farmers cope with revenue losses as a result of the settlement.

The funds will be administered by a board consisting of Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R), Attorney General Mark L. Earley (R), state Agricultural Commissioner J. Carlton Courter III, two state legislators, two Virginia congressmen and seven citizens appointed by the governor.

Man Sues After Getting HIV in Transfusion

A Petersburg, Va., man who was infected with the virus that causes AIDS by a contaminated blood transfusion during surgery has sued the Richmond doctor who operated on him and the agency that provided the tainted blood.

Cappy Young, 53, who learned about the HIV infection seven weeks ago, said in court papers filed Thursday in Richmond that Virginia Blood Services was negligent when its screening tests failed to identify the infected blood. He also complained that the surgeon, Raymond G. Makhoul, failed to fully inform him of the risks of undergoing vascular surgery to improve circulation in his extremities or of the possibility of using self-donated blood.

Virginia Blood Services denied it was negligent and said it performed all standard screening tests on the tainted blood, which apparently slipped through during the 16-day window between the time a donor is infected and HIV can be detected in the blood.

The doctor was unavailable for comment, according to officials at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia Hospitals.

Novelist to Give Money to Jamestown Dig

Best-selling mystery writer Patricia Cornwell will donate a portion of the proceeds from her latest novel to archaeologists digging for clues about a possible murder in Jamestown, Va., America's first permanent English settlement.

Cornwell, of Richmond, said yesterday she will give some proceeds from "Black Notice" to support the Jamestown Rediscovery Project.

The project, headed by archaeologist Dr. William Kelso, has turned up the grave of a young man who many have been the victim of a murder in colonial times.

MARYLAND

Sarbanes Adds $661,000 to War Chest

U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.) raised $661,000 in the first half of 1999 in anticipation of his campaign next year, leaving the five-term senator with a campaign fund of $705,000.

The amount, according to a summary of documents released to the Federal Election Commission yesterday, is more than twice the $284,000 that Sarbanes raised in a comparable period before his 1994 campaign.

The senator reported raising $404,000 from individuals and $257,000 from political action committees and spending $137,000 for the year ending June 30.

Sarbanes so far faces no Republican challenger.

MARC Train Line to Extend to Frederick

The Mass Transit Administration of Maryland will receive $16.9 million in federal money to extend a commuter rail line to Frederick.

The money will be used to continue extending the MARC line from Point of Rocks to Frederick. It will provide funds for 13.5 miles of track with two stations, one in downtown Frederick and the other east of Maryland Route 35.

The grant brings the total amount of federal money awarded to the project to nearly $105 million.

Ducks Killed in Crofton Botulism Outbreak

Botulism has killed several dozen ducks at a pond in the Crofton area in the third outbreak of the toxic bacteria in as many summers, state officials said.

The bacteria do not pose a major health risk to humans but can affect pets, especially dogs, which may feed on the bird carcasses. Wildlife officials said algae and a lack of oxygen in the water cause the toxin.

Ducks become infected with the disease through digesting polluted water and algae, and from sick ducks that take the bacteria to different ponds. The birds die within two or three days and the outbreak continues in waterfowl that feast on dead ducks.

The pond where botulism first was detected two summers ago has been drained, but resident Hilda Strehle said several runoff ponds were infected, including the one near her home.

THE REGION

Law Enforcement Museum Proposed

Law enforcement officers may have a national museum to go along with their national memorial if a bill introduced in Congress passes.

According to the office of Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), the "National Law Enforcement Museum Act of 1999," would create a comprehensive law enforcement museum on federal land in downtown Washington. The site would be across the street from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in the 400 block of E Street NW.

The museum would be paid for by private donations, as was the memorial.

Campbell's bill is supported by 15 national law enforcement organizations including the Fraternal order of Police, the International Union of Police Associations/AFL-CIO and the National Sheriffs Association, according to Campbell's office.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"I had this welling up of emotion and feeling, after so many years and so many umpteen millions of dollars of investigation. . . . I felt I was speaking for the overwhelming majority of the American public."

-- Richard Douglas Llamas, who was convicted yesterday of disrupting Congress by shouting "Good God Almighty, take the vote and get it over with!" during the impeachment trial of President Clinton.