Charles Bus Service Lands Grant

The Charles County VanGO bus service received a $440,000 federal grant last week to expand its schedule in support of Welfare to Work initiatives.

Federal Transportation Administrator Gordon Linton presented a check to representatives from the Housing and Community Development division of the county's Community Services Department. The grant is part of a collaboration with the county Social Services Department, which will contribute half the funding for bus service operations.

The grant will enable VanGO routes to be extended as late as 11 p.m., which would provide transportation for persons working late shifts. The new service will begin later this fall.

Gun Task Force to Hold Hearing

The governor's Task Force on Childproof Guns will conduct a public hearing Tuesday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf.

The session is one of several hearings being held around the state seeking citizens' comments on Gov. Parris N. Glendening's proposal that handgun manufacturers be required to develop safety features to prevent unintentional and criminal misuse of handguns.

Halloween Candy Screening

The radiology department at Civista Medical Center in La Plata is offering free X-ray screening of children's Halloween candy on Oct. 31 until 9 p.m.

The radiology department is located through the emergency room lobby at the rear of the hospital at 701 E. Charles St.

Senior Center's Grand Opening

The St. Mary's County Office on Aging will host a grand opening of the interim Northern Senior Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Zion United Methodist Church hall in Mechanicsville.

Lunch will be served after the ribbon-cutting. Lunch reservations can be requested by calling 301-475-4500.

The center will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bus Trip to Atlantic City Casino

The Four Seasons of St. Mary's County is sponsoring a bus trip to the Trump Casino in Atlantic City on Nov. 13. Proceeds from reservation charges will benefit the St. Mary's Branch of the NAACP.

The bus will leave from Lexington Park Super Fresh parking lot at 6 a.m. Advance reservations are required. The reservation fee is $30, which will cover transportation and $5 toward lunch. There may be a rebate, depending on how many sign up for the trip. The bus also will stop at the Charlotte Hall Park and Ride lot.

For more information, call Elsie Lawrence at 301-994-2656 or Martha Carter at 301-769-2179.

Orchestra's Opening Night

Opening night for the new season of the Chamber Orchestra of Southern Maryland in Concert (COSMIC) is Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Patuxent Presbyterian Church in California.

Season tickets cost $30 individually or $60 for an entire family. Discounts are available for senior citizens, students, the disabled and enlisted personnel. There are five concerts in the season, which concludes in May 2000.

For more information about ordering tickets or joining COSMIC, call Laura Theofilis at 301-994-0221 or Lynn Keates at 301-373-5277.

Craft Show Exhibit Space Available

Applications are being accepted for exhibit spaces at the 1999 Mother Catherine Spalding Christmas Craft Show and Bazaar.

The show is scheduled for Nov. 21 at the school on Chaptico Road in Helen. The rental fee for a space is $25. For an application and more information, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the school at 38833 Chaptico Road, Helen, Md. 20635.

Office on Aging Offers Workshops

A series of workshops on legal and financial issues affecting persons over 50 is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Calvert Pines Senior Center in Prince Frederick.

The program, which marks Elder Law and Finance Day, is sponsored by the Calvert County Office on Aging and the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.

Speakers will address subjects such as planning for long-term care, maximizing retirement investments, the role of probate and trusts in estate planning, and how to set up a family record system. There is a $15 registration fee, which includes lunch.

To register, call the Office on Aging at 410-535-4606 or 301-855-1170, or the Cooperative Extension Service at 410-535-3662 or 301-855-1150.

Funds Available to Help Ill Children

The Kiwanis Club of Waldorf Foundation Inc. is accepting applications for funds to assist a family of any child experiencing illness or injury, whether or not it is life-threatening.

Funds awarded should be used to help pay expenses associated with caring for the child. Any Charles County resident who is the parent or legal guardian on an ill or injured child is eligible to apply.

To obtain an application, write the Kiwanis Club of Waldorf Foundation, P.O. Box 723, Waldorf, Md. 20604.

Hazardous Waste Collection Day

The next household hazardous waste collection day for Charles County residents is Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the county landfill on Billingsley Road East.

Items such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, batteries and other household poisons will be accepted free of charge. The materials should be kept in their original containers whenever possible and delivered in cardboard boxes to ease unloading.

Additional information is available from the county Department of Public Facilities at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or from the landfill information line at 301-932-5656.