THE DISTRICT

Girl, 14, Stabs Boyfriend, 21, Police Say

A 14-year-old girl stabbed and critically wounded her 21-year-old boyfriend during a dispute yesterday in Southeast Washington, police said.

The girl, whose name was not released, was in custody last night. Charges were pending, police said. The man, who was stabbed in the chest, was listed in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center.

The stabbing occurred outdoors in the 3200 block of 15th Place SE about 4 p.m. after the man confronted the girl about whom she may have been seeing, said D.C. Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer.

Abortion Foes Gather for Conference

Nearly 200 college students from across the country, in town to rally today at the March for Life against abortion, gathered yesterday at Georgetown University for the Inaugural College Conference for Life.

The students were addressed by Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) and Helen Alvare, of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and then met for small group discussions.

Said Alvare, advising the students on how to comport themselves when debating abortion-rights supporters: "You respect the person, but you don't respect the lies."

The event--held the day after the 27th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which affirmed a woman's right to have an abortion--was sponsored by Compass, a network of college antiabortion groups; University Faculty for Life; Georgetown Knights of Columbus; and Georgetown University Right to Life.

MARYLAND

Ad Campaign for Electricity Deregulation

The Maryland Public Service Commission will launch a $6 million consumer education program April 1 to help electricity customers decide how to choose their power supplier.

The commission plans to use newspaper, radio and television advertising, as well as billboards and brochures. The campaign also will feature a Web site, consumer guidebook and toll-free number.

In November, the Public Service Commission approved a proposal to deregulate central Maryland's electricity market. The settlement guarantees residential customers of Maryland's largest utilities a six-year, 6.5 percent rate reduction.

The commission also approved restructuring plans for Potomac Electric Power Co. service territory in Prince George's and Montgomery counties as well as utility service areas in Western Maryland and Eastern Maryland.

Seven power suppliers have filed to sell electricity in Maryland.

The commission's goal is to establish itself as a neutral resource for information as competing electricity suppliers flood consumers with marketing pitches, said Glenn F. Ivey, PSC chairman.

3 Men Stabbed at Silver Spring Party

Three men were stabbed at a party in Silver Spring early yesterday, according to Montgomery County police. About 1 a.m., police said, several people attending a party at a residence in the 1000 block of Quebec Terrace went outside to settle an argument. One man stabbed three other men and fled.

The three men were admitted to area hospitals, but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. Two were cut in the arm, head and back, and the third man was wounded in the chest, back and neck, police said.

The suspect was known to the partygoers only by his first name. Investigators had not been able to identify him as of last evening.

Conflict-of-Interest Questions in Baltimore

Baltimore's development director, who also has started a job with a development company competing for a city project, is continuing in her $79,300-a-year municipal job until March, raising concerns in some quarters about a conflict of interest.

Since Jan. 1, city development chief Catherine Fennell has been the full-time director of the city branch of Philadelphia-based Pennrose Properties Inc., the Baltimore Sun reported.

Pennrose is competing for city approval to transform the city-owned Bromo Seltzer office tower into an apartment building.

The administration of Mayor Martin O'Malley, who took office Dec. 7, asked Fennell last month to continue working for the city until the end of March to prevent any delay in development projects during the administration's transition.

Fennell said she has been careful to avoid any discussions of Pennrose's $2.5 million proposal for the tower. She said her assistant and other city officials are overseeing the company's three projects in Baltimore.

VIRGINIA

New Area Code on the Way for Central Va.

The 804 area code, which central Virginians have used for nearly 30 years, will be full by next year, and the State Corporation Commission is looking for ways to set up a new area code to accommodate the increasing number of new phone numbers.

The only proposal on the table so far is an overlay, SCC Director Ken Schrad said. That would mean that existing customers would keep the 804 area code while new customers, or new numbers, would receive a new area code.

The public will be allowed to comment on the change at three hearings in March. Schrad said there are no plans to split the region, and the area code, geographically, with part of the area keeping the 804 code and the other part getting the new number.

Senate to Debate Voter ID Bill

A GOP-sponsored voter identification bill is due to be debated this week in the Virginia Senate, where Republicans hold a 21 to 19 advantage. The bill, introduced by Sen. Kevin G. Miller (R-Harrisonburg), would require voters throughout the state to show identification at the polls before they cast their ballots.

Democrats successfully challenged in court an earlier voter identification pilot program involving 10 Virginia localities, including Fairfax and Arlington counties.

Richmond Circuit Court Judge Melvin Hughes issued a preliminary injunction. The state Supreme Court left the injunction intact, killing the project for the Nov. 2 elections.

"It's probably our first issue of the session where there's serious disagreement between the parties," said Sen. Walter A. Stosch (Henrico), chairman of the Senate Republican caucus.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"This is under immediate investigation. This is something serious. We are absolutely going to follow through on this even if it leads to criminal sanctions for anyone here."

-- Col. John Moss, chief deputy for Prince George's County Sheriff Alonzo D. Black (D), on the failure of his department to report the existence of $45,000 seized from an alleged drug dealer and deposited in the department's account.