THE DISTRICT

Metro Agrees to Lend Workers to City

Metro officials approved a plan yesterday to lend 35 workers to the D.C. Department of Public Works for a year to help the city design and manage road construction projects.

The plan, which needs D.C. financial control board approval by Nov. 10 before it can take effect, marks Metro's first step away from transit projects and toward road work.

The agreement comes as Metro is winding down its capital program and finds itself with surplus staff experienced at designing and managing major construction work. At the same time, the city has been struggling with a shortage of managers to oversee road building and street repairs, a deficit that has slowed the pace of work, city officials said.

The proposal calls for a one-year, $3.7 million contract that could be renewed for up to two additional years. Metro staff would review the city's drawings and design plans, inspect construction and see projects to completion.

Washington Monument Closed Today

The Washington Monument will be closed to visitors all day today so workers can examine the stones around the entrance, according to a Park Service spokesman.

Spokesman Earle Kittleman said said the work to restore the exterior of the monument is 80 percent finished and on schedule, with an expected completion date of July 4, 2000.

THE REGION

Residents Give $1.5 Million to Aid Taiwan

Organizations in the Washington area Chinese community have raised more than $1.5 million to help victims of the powerful earthquake that struck central Taiwan last month, an amount far exceeding of expectations.

The local groups originally had hoped to raise about $100,000 for relief efforts but were overwhelmed by thousands of contributions. Most of the donations were under $100, though several were for more than $1,000. The largest donation of $100,000 came from two retired Taiwanese American scientists who asked to remain anonymous.

"People have been very generous," said Akey C.F. Hung of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation, which raised more than $350,000. "We're really moved."

Eric Chiang, a spokesman for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, said Taiwan has received more than $35 million in donations worldwide. He expressed gratitude to local donors. Contributions may be sent to the CCBA-Taiwan Relief Fund, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, 803 H St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.

VIRGINIA

Fairfax Schools Receive Wireless Phones

Five Fairfax County public schools will receive free wireless phones and air time to allow teachers and staff to keep in touch with each other, Cellular One announced yesterday.

Thirty-four phones will be distributed at Annandale High School and Frost, Glasgow, Holmes and Poe middle schools through Cellular One's "Classlink" program. The company will provide 204,000 minutes of free air time for teachers and other school staff to use with the wireless phones donated by Nokia Mobile Phones.

Each school will receive five to 14 phones.

Sculpture of Jefferson Unveiled

A bronze sculpture showing Thomas Jefferson seated on a bench with a draft of the Declaration of Independence in his hands was unveiled yesterday in Merchants Square near historic Colonial Williamsburg.

The sculpture, dedicated jointly by the College of William and Mary and Colonial Williamsburg, was a gift from William and Mary alumnus Douglas Morton and his wife, Marilyn Brown. Both are members of the college President's Council.

The work was crafted by sculptor George Lundeens of Colorado.

George Mason Names New Provost

Peter N. Stearns, dean of the college of humanities and social sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, has been named the new provost at George Mason University.

Stearns, whose appointment is effective Jan. 1, replaces David L. Potter, who resigned as provost to become president of Delta State University in Mississippi.

Stearns has served as a dean at Carnegie Mellon since 1992. He joined Carnegie Mellon in 1974 as its Heinz professor of history and has served in a number of capacities since then. As provost, Stearns will serve as GMU's chief academic officer.

MARYLAND

First Hispanic Circuit Judge Appointed

Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) has appointed Audrey Carrion as the first person of Hispanic descent to serve as a Circuit Court judge in Maryland.

Carrion was appointed Wednesday to the Baltimore Circuit Court along with Kaye Allison, an assistant U.S. attorney. Glendening reappointed Thomas Noel to a second 15-year term on the city Circuit Court.

The governor said his appointments "reflect our longtime commitment to select the most highly qualified Marylanders to serve on our judiciary while ensuring that women and minorities are significantly represented."

Carrion was in private law practice for six years and with the state attorney general's office for six years before she was appointed to the District Court. She replaces Judge Mabel Hubbard, who recently retired.

State to Purchase Land Along River

Maryland will buy the last privately owned tract of land along the Youghiogheny River, one of the state's premier stretches of white water.

The $2.7 million purchase of 783 acres was approved yesterday by the Board of Public Works, which must approve all state contracts.

The purchase will nearly complete the state's efforts to preserve the river that draws kayakers and rafters from around the country to its renowned rapids.

Maryland will have acquired 4,300 of the 4,700 acres of the forested land along the river designated as "wild and scenic" by the state, according to Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D).

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"The District was reduced to a mule to carry across the labor bill."

-- Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) on Republicans' decision to attach a labor, education and health spending bill, which is headed for a presidential veto, to the city's budget.