MARYLAND

Regents Approve Tuition Cap

Tuition at University System of Maryland schools will not increase more than 4 percent next year, the system's governing board has decided.

The Maryland Board of Regents approved the tuition cap for the nine state schools.

Two years ago, Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) asked the state's public colleges to limit tuition increases to 4 percent. All of the schools met that goal in their 2000 to 2001 plans.

The University of Maryland at College Park plans to raise tuition by 3 percent, as does Coppin State College. Tuition at Frostburg State will go up 3.9 percent, and five schools will institute tuition increases of 4 percent.

State Proposes Permit for Pig Operation

The Maryland Department of the Environment has drafted a proposed permit for a controversial pig farm in Frederick County that has drawn protests from neighbors complaining of the smell.

The department will seek public comment over the next several weeks and require farmer Rodney G. Harbaugh to minimize odors and better manage waste from his operation before giving final approval. Harbaugh has said he doesn't know if he can meet all the conditions.

In May, an administrative law judge ordered Harbaugh to reduce his 4,000-pig herd to 2,400 pigs, and ruled that he must obtain a state permit for concentrated animal feeding operations before he can operate the farm at its original size.

Cumberland Teen Is State's Farm Queen

A 16-year-old Cumberland teenager became the Maryland's new Farm Queen last week at the State Fair.

"Farming is alive and strong in the nation," said Evie Hardman, who won the title and $6,000 in cash and scholarships Friday night. Over two days, Evie and 22 other county fair queen winners had been tested on their knowledge of agriculture and public speaking skills. They were also judged on their appearance.

As farm queen, Evie will hand out prizes at the State Fair, which runs through Labor Day weekend. For the next year she will travel to promotional events for the Maryland Farm Bureau.

Howard County Creates Growth Dept.

A new Howard County department for environmental and community planning is being created by County Executive James N. Robey (D), as the fast-growing county wrestles with how to manage development.

No new county funds would be used for the department, Robey said Friday. Nine current employees will be assigned to the division, Robey said.

VIRGINIA

School Proposals Get ACLU's Attention

The American Civil Liberties Union says it will take legal action against the Appomattox County School Board if it posts the Lord's Prayer in county schools and allows two minutes of silent prayer.

"If these policies are adopted . . . the ACLU of Virginia will take whatever legal action is appropriate to prevent their implementation," said Kent Willis, executive director of the state ACLU chapter.

"There have been no policies proposed," said Appomattox County School Superintendent Walter F. Krug.

Last week, the county's School Board directed Krug to formulate policies to meet two requests from a citizens' group, which wanted two minutes of silence "for the purpose of prayer" and asked that the Lord's Prayer be posted at the entrance of the schools.

Krug and his staff are developing several alternative policies to address the School Board's directives.

A. David Hawkins, the School Board's attorney, told Krug that the policies requested by the citizens would not stand a constitutional test.

Sorry, Really Wrong Number

Callers dialing a toll-free number to buy this year's state migratory waterfowl stamp will hear about the birds, all right--and the bees.

Unbeknownst to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the 800 number for the stamp's private vendor recently changed to one advertising a 99-cent-a-minute sex line.

Game and Inland Fisheries officials learned about the error three weeks ago from a stamp buyer. Someone called for the stamp and heard a message, but not the kind they were expecting. "Truly, it was a good number last year," said Charlie Sledd, the department's program development director.

The $5 stamp is voluntary and is not required to hunt waterfowl in Virginia. Many people order it as a collector's item, Sledd said. "There is a very limited audience," he said.

THE DISTRICT

District to Hold Housing Lottery

The District's Department of Housing and Community Development will hold a Homestead Housing Lottery at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW, on Tuesday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Sixty-eight vacant properties will be sold to lottery winners for as little as $250 each. The first-time home buyers who purchase the properties will be required to renovate the houses and live in them for at least five years.

Repairs on Constitution Ave. Begin

Constitution Avenue NE between Eighth and 13th streets will be resurfaced starting tomorrow, the D.C. Department of Public Works announced. Work will include repairing the road base; laying asphalt; and replacing damaged curbs, gutters, sidewalks and wheelchair ramps.

At least one travel lane of the avenue will remain open in each direction while the work is being done, the department said.

THE REGION

Sporting Goods Sought for Youth Clubs

New and "gently used" sporting equipment can be donated for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington at local Sprint Communications Stores from Sept. 1 through Oct. 15. The organization serves more than 20,000 children from ages 6 to 18 at its 16 clubs and nine group homes. Customers donating equipment at Sprint PCS stores will receive $20 off the purchase of a handset.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "This was a class of risk-takers. They were introduced to technology 10 years ago--before things like the Internet were so mainstream." -- Pat Gabriel, who has taught math at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology, as the schools' first graduating class celebrates its 10th reunion. Page B1.