VIRGINIA

More Localities to Get Disaster Aid

Five more southern Virginia jurisdictions affected by Hurricane Floyd have been designated eligible to receive federal disaster assistance, and two other jurisdictions now are eligible for an additional federal disaster program.

That brings to 43 the total of Virginia localities eligible for federal disaster aid, the Virginia Department of Emergency Services and Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

Charles City, King George, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Mathews, Northumberland and Richmond counties are eligible for public assistance, which pays for 75 percent of approved costs of debris removal, storm-related emergency services and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities.

Three Unions Endorse Sheriff's Opponent

Three Fairfax County public safety unions, including the union of sheriff's deputies, announced their endorsement yesterday of Democrat Stanley G. Barry in his attempt to unseat two-term Sheriff Carl R. Peed (R) in the November election.

The Fairfax County Deputy Sheriffs Coalition, the Fairfax County Coalition of Police and the Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters said they were dissatisfied with Peed's handling of the department.

"There's a lack of direction and a big feeling among our members that we're becoming a second-rate department," said Pat Henty, president of the deputies union.

The police union endorsed Peed in the sheriff's contest four years ago, but the other two organizations made no endorsements.

Peed said yesterday he had not sought the endorsements of any of the groups. "I do not want to pit employees against employees," the sheriff said. "This race is not about anything other than qualifications. And Stan Barry is not qualified."

Bacterial Infection at Portsmouth Jail

Two inmates have been removed from the Portsmouth jail suffering from a bacterial infection that may be similar to one at the Richmond jail, where 43 cases of staphylococcus infection have been documented.

After several Portsmouth inmates complained of oozing growths on their bodies, officials sprayed the jail with a disinfectant and moved two infected inmates to a nearby facility. A sheriff's department spokeswoman said the two men had common bacterial conditions.

Inmates blame crowded conditions at the jail and say a water outage caused by Hurricane Floyd added to the unsanitary conditions.

THE REGION

Black Students Receive Scholarships

Hundreds of accomplished black high school seniors from the Washington area were offered scholarships totaling more than $18 million yesterday at the seventh annual Project Excellence/Freedom Forum Scholarship Day.

Nearly 800 public and private school students from the District, Alexandria and Fairfax, Arlington, Montgomery and Prince George's counties stood in line at recruiting booths set up by 37 colleges and universities at the Washington Hilton downtown.

The students were nominated by their schools and had grade-point averages of at least 3.2 out of a possible 4.0. Many were offered acceptance to and scholarships from one or more schools on the spot, officials said.

Colleges at the fair included Cornell, Duke, DePauw, George Washington, Howard, Princeton, Rutgers, the University of Pennsylvania, and Washington and Lee.

The event was organized by syndicated columnist and author Carl T. Rowan and has drawn more than $66 million in scholarship offers in the last seven years.

MARYLAND

Pfiesteria Worries Affect Seafood Sales

A new study finds that mid-Atlantic residents have cut back on their consumption of seafood for fear of Pfiesteria piscicida, while nearly two-thirds of residents think that their local seafood is unsafe to eat because of recent outbreaks of the toxic microbe.

The University of Delaware study reveals that Maryland's seafood industry has yet to fully recover from the pfiesteria outbreak two years ago and is susceptible to another scare.

The study, which polled residents of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey and New York, also found that more than half would cut back on their consumption of local seafood if an outbreak occurred in their state's waters.

An outbreak of the toxic form of single-cell organism killed up to 50,000 fish in the Pocomoke River in 1997 and sickened 13 people, who were diagnosed with memory loss, confusion and other mental problems.

Six Hurt in 10-Car Beltway Pileup

Six people were injured last night when a tractor-trailer's lane change resulted in a 10-car pileup on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway in Prince George's County, Maryland State Police said.

The truck continued on its way, according to Sgt. T. Rouse, and no one was able to provide a usable description of it.

The incident occurred about 8:05 p.m. when the truck made an "unsafe lane change" near Rhode Island Avenue and sideswiped an auto, Rouse said. The other collisions followed in a chain reaction, he said.

The injured were taken to three hospitals, and initial indications were that their injuries were not serious.

The Beltway's southbound lanes were closed for about an hour, causing a backup of several miles, Rouse said. The crash is under investigation.

Baltimore Pollution Suit Settled

Baltimore officials have agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed discharges from a sewage plant and a water filtration plant polluted the Chesapeake Bay.

The city agreed to pay a $1 million fine and to spend $2.5 million on three projects designed to reduce water pollution runoff, according to the settlement filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

In addition, the city agreed to correct problems at the two plants that were the source of wastewater that exceeded federal pollution control limits.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I've seen dozens and dozens of murders, and none of them were like this."

-- Katherine Winfree, a Montgomery County prosecutor, on the rage demonstrated in the slaying of 15-year-old Kirill Varnovatyy.