News of interest to Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties that appeared in the daily Post, June 6 to 12

Monday | 7

Task Force to Study Student Aid

The University System of Maryland has formed a task force to examine financial aid policies at its 11 degree-granting campuses, with an eye toward making higher education more affordable for the neediest students. State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D) will lead the task force, which is to submit a report by September.

Tuesday | 8

Lobbying Funds Opposed

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has turned to a team of Capitol Hill lobbyists to secure federal funds for Maryland transportation projects. But legislative analysts in Annapolis are recommending against spending $200,000 for the extra lobbying muscle. Funds for road projects are tied up in the six-year transportation reauthorization bill that was to be voted on last fall but has been delayed several times because of differences between Congress and the Bush administration on spending levels.

Lawyer Sentenced to 3 Years

La Plata lawyer William Ellinger, 70, was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $580,000 in restitution for stealing money from the estates of his clients. Ellinger pleaded guilty in February in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to two counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud.

Thursday | 10

Exams Inadequate, Study Finds

The English and math tests that all Maryland high school students will have to pass before receiving diplomas beginning in 2009 do not reflect what the students should have learned, according to a study by Achieve Inc., a nonprofit group whose goal is to raise states' academic standards. The study said the math material on the Maryland exams is equivalent to what students worldwide would learn in seventh or eighth grade, and the English exams test eighth- and ninth-grade material.

Friday | 11

Safety of Rockfish Consumption

Rockfish caught in the Chesapeake Bay are safe to eat, the Maryland Department of the Environment said, as long as consumption is limited to two meals a month for men and one meal a month for women and children. The recommendations came at the conclusion of a three-year survey of rockfish for the presence of PCB, mercury and other pollutants.