MARYLAND

Catholic Leaders Back 'Smart' Guns

Catholic priests and bishops across Maryland will urge congregants to support Gov. Parris N. Glendening's push for "smart" handguns in the coming legislative session, Auxiliary Bishop Gordon D. Bennett of Baltimore said yesterday.

Glendening (D) wants to make Maryland the first state to require gun manufacturers to make weapons that only the owner or a registered user can fire.

Driver in Lunch-Time Crash Dies

Mikhail Barg, the 17-year-old Montgomery County high school student who suffered severe head injures in a car accident during school lunch break Thursday, died yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, police reported.

They said Barg, a junior at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown and the son of Russian immigrants, never emerged from a coma. He was transferred to the Baltimore hospital on Friday from Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

Barg lost control of a Ford Probe on a curve of Middlebrook Road near the entrance ramp to Interstate 270 and slammed into a steel utility pole.

A passenger in Barg's car, Boris Parris, 14, was released Sunday from Children's Hospital. Another passenger, Dennis Shrewsberry Jr., 16, was treated Thursday at Suburban Hospital and released the same day.

Howard Authorizes 28-Day Deer Hunt

Thirty veteran hunters will help thin a deer herd that Howard County officials say consists of about 350 animals, nearly 10 times the size it should be.

County officials ordered the hunt at the 1,000-acre Middle Patuxent Environmental Area. It is opposed by Animal Advocates of Howard County, which has called the action inhumane.

County Executive James N. Robey (D) authorized 28 days of hunting through December in the hope of thinning the herd, which officials say is decimating small shrubs and plants, intruding on residential lands, spreading Lyme disease and endangering motorists. Robey authorized the expanded hunt after a study concluded it was needed because nonlethal methods such as birth control haven't been perfected.

The county is also testing special roadside reflectors to prevent vehicle-deer collisions.

The hunt ends Wednesday and will resume for five days starting Oct. 25. More hunting is scheduled in November and December.

Woman Killed in Wheaton Collision

One person was killed and three others were injured when two cars collided in Wheaton yesterday, Montgomery County police said.

A 1999 Toyota Corolla struck a 1987 Ford Taurus as the Taurus turned left from eastbound University Boulevard onto Sligo Creek Parkway about 4:30 p.m., police said. Knocked off the road, the Taurus went down an embankment and hit a tree, said Officer Derek Baliles, a police spokesman.

The passenger in the Taurus was pronounced dead at Holy Cross Hospital, and the driver was listed in critical condition at Suburban Hospital, police said. Both are female senior citizens from Takoma Park, Baliles said.

The driver of the Toyota, a male teenager, was not injured, and two young adult male passengers were treated for minor injuries at a hospital, Baliles said.

Baliles said it was unclear who had the right of way. The accident is under investigation.

Charles Eases Proposed House Standards

The Charles County Commissioners eased their proposed standards for detached single-family housing yesterday, saying new homes could be smaller and use less brick than under tentative regulations made public two weeks earlier.

The proposal, approved unanimously by the five commissioners, would set a minimum size of 1,650 square feet for new single-family homes. On Oct. 4, the same board of elected commissioners voted 5 to 0 for a minimum size of 2,000 square feet. Commissioners said then that they wanted to avoid a surge of small, cheap homes by builders thwarted by recent restrictions on town houses.

Yesterday, Board of Commissioners President Murray D. Levy (D-At Large) said conversations with constituents made it apparent that the original proposal would affect too much of the housing market.

Yesterday's vote moves the measure to the appointed Planning Commission for hearings in mid-November and a nonbinding recommendation. The commissioners then cast a deciding vote.

VIRGINIA

U-Va. Backs Admissions Policy Change

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors has endorsed the decision of President John T. Casteen III to discard a scoring system that gave preference to nonwhite applicants.

In a statement released Saturday, it said it supports the admissions system changes but also favors a "continuing commitment to recruiting and enrolling students of diverse talents and backgrounds."

Although some board members had expressed concern earlier this year that the university might be sued for alleged discrimination against whites, the board agreed unanimously that the U-Va. admissions system is "equitable" and "in accordance with law."

THE DISTRICT

U. of Calif. Breaks Ground for NW Center

The University of California broke ground in the Scott Circle neighborhood yesterday for a $20 million, 11-story yellow brick and glass center to open by the spring of 2001.

The building will house undergraduates in Washington for study programs and graduate students doing research and offer space for visiting faculty to hold classes, according to a university spokesman.

Spokesman Charles McFadden said the building at 1608 Rhode Island Ave. NW will also house the Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation, a University of California multi-campus research center with the mission to bridge the gap between the academic and policy worlds.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Sometimes you have to go to hell to find the devil."

--Dee Dee Appleby after the emotional Montgomery County trial that ended yesterday when Hadden Clark was convicted of murdering her 6-year-old daughter, Michele Dorr, 13 years ago.

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