MARYLAND

Storm of Protest Forecast for Yacht Race

A proposal for a yacht race from Cuba to Baltimore in April is drawing enthusiastic support from Baltimore leaders, but Cuban American groups say they will lobby to block the race.

Jose Cardenas, Washington director of the Cuban-American National Foundation, said it would be in bad taste to sponsor a competition along the same Atlantic route traveled by Cubans fleeing the island.

"It just doesn't look good--not for anybody who cares about freedom and democracy and can think beyond issues like what's the main course at the yacht club tonight," said Cardenas, whose group opposes U.S.-Cuban diplomatic relations.

Baltimore officials suggested the race during negotiations for exhibition baseball games between the Baltimore Orioles and a Cuban national team last spring. The proposal is under review by the U.S. government, which must rule on any exchanges because of a trade embargo.

Council Member Recalled as 'Statesman'

Cliff R. Roop, the Anne Arundel County Council member who suffered a fatal heart attack Monday night, was eulogized and buried yesterday.

About 400 people attended a funeral service at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, during which Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens remembered Roop as "a statesman, someone who had just as much love for his county as he did for his district."

Roop was buried at Mount Comfort Cemetery in Fairfax.

An Arnold Republican, Roop, 45, represented the 5th District, which encompasses the Broadneck Peninsula. According to the county charter, council members must choose a successor within 30 days; by law, Roop's successor must be a member of his party and must have lived for at least a year in the district.

THE REGION

Historic Canal Houses for Lease

Five historic houses along the C&O Canal, dating from the 1800s, are available for lease from the National Park Service, according to a spokeswoman.

Rents range from $115 a month for a small house in Little Orleans, Md., that has no public electricity or phone service to $880 a month for a large, limestone house near Williamsport, Md., that has two living rooms and a stone fireplace.

The Park Service will have each house open on specified dates in January. For more information, call 301-714-2214.

THE DISTRICT

Suspect in One Attack Charged in Another

A Southeast Washington teenager who is being questioned in the slayings of his girlfriend and her roommate was ordered held without bond on charges in a similar attack, court officials said.

Marquette Johnson, 19, was remanded to jail until March 10, said Channing Phillips, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Johnson was charged in the Dec. 27 wounding of Marquis Henderson. The incident took place about 2 a.m. in the 200 block of 37th Street SE. Henderson was ambushed on the street and shot seven times, in the leg, arm, neck and chin, according to D.C. Superior Court records.

Johnson also is being interviewed about the slayings of his girlfriend, Natosha Adams, 17, and her best friend, Melissa Payne, 16.

Both were shot several times on the night of Dec. 27, less than a block away from where Henderson was attacked.

Investigators said ballistics tests show different weapons were used in the two assaults. Neither gun has been recovered.

One Dies in Collision Near Mall

One person died early yesterday in a crash just south of the Mall, police said.

The crash, involving two vehicles, occurred about 1:30 a.m. on Independence Avenue near Seventh Street SW. Three other people were involved in the broadside collision, but none was reported injured.

The victim remained unidentified yesterday evening.

VIRGINIA

Man Gets 15 Months Over Spy Equipment

An Israeli national who lived in Vietnam was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison for trying to export defense equipment to Israel without a license.

Shalom Shaphyr, 53, former head of Sky Media Ltd., was arrested in Alexandria in July after trying to buy restricted video intercept equipment from undercover federal agents for $30,000.

The equipment is designed to covertly receive the electromagnetic signals radiated by computers, which could include those dealing in classified material, and then reproduce the data. As part of his October guilty plea, Shaphyr admitted telling an undercover agent to falsify the shipping papers to say the equipment was video reception test equipment valued at $1,500.

U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema also ordered Shaphyr, who had a business visa allowing him to live in the United States, to pay a $3,000 fine.

He already has forfeited $17,000 to the U.S. government and will be deported after he serves his sentence.

Panel Recommends Wetlands Protections

Virginia should join its Chesapeake Bay neighbors, Maryland and Pennsylvania, in adopting a comprehensive regulatory program to protect nontidal wetlands from development, a state commission has recommended.

Nontidal wetlands control flooding, provide wildlife habitat and filter pollutants, scientists say. In Virginia, they are most commonly found in Hampton Roads.

Without a regulatory program, Virginia will fail in its policy of "no net loss" of wetlands, and Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R) will not live up to his pledge of increasing wetlands during his tenure, Del. W. Tayloe Murphy Jr. (D-Warsaw) said Friday during a meeting of the Commission Studying the Future of Virginia's Environment.

Panel members voted 6 to 2 along party lines, with Democrats favoring the program and Republicans saying it goes too far. The Gilmore administration has not decided its position, officials said Friday.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I hope you find what you're looking for."

--Convicted killer Hadden Clark, addressing Montgomery County police officers after he led them to the area in Silver Spring where he had buried 6-year-old Michele Dorr.