THE REGION

National Zoo to Host Birds of Prey Shows

The National Zoo will present several shows featuring live birds of prey today through June 27 to allow visitors a close-up look at large birds rarely seen in the wild, including the bald eagle, golden eagle, peregrine falcon and great horned owl.

The "Wings of America" shows, presented by the American Eagle Foundation, will be at the zoo's Lion/Tiger Hill every day except Monday and Tuesday and will feature hawk demonstrations and bald eagle feedings. Some birds will fly over the crowd. Shows today through Sunday will be at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Smithsonian Center Tallies Millionth Guest

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's new center at Dulles International Airport welcomed its millionth visitor last week, museum officials said.

Julie Malinowski of Ashburn received a gift bag with goodies from area tourism agencies and a behind-the-scenes tour at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, according to the museum.

The center, which houses the Enola Gay, a Concorde and the fastest plane in the world, the SR-71 Blackbird, opened Dec. 15.

Four Injured in Rough Docking at Dulles

Four people suffered minor injuries yesterday when a mobile lounge shuttling them from the terminal at Dulles International Airport to Concourse D had a rough docking, a spokesman said.

Tom Sullivan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said the cause of the 11:15 a.m. accident is under investigation. The mobile lounge, which was carrying 24 passengers, was traveling "very slowly" and triggered a jolt when it did not fit properly into the docking station, he said.

Three people asked to be transported to Reston Hospital Center for unknown injuries, Sullivan said.

THE DISTRICT

City to Co-Sponsor Job Fair Set for Today

The District plans to co-host a job fair today that will focus on employment opportunities with the city as well as in several industries, including health, construction, sales and food services.

The fair will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Capital City Pavilion, 3401 Georgia Ave. NW. Sponsors include the D.C. Office on Latino Affairs, New Commandment Baptist Church and the Development Corp. of Columbia Heights.

MARYLAND

Lead Discovered in 5 More Schools' Water

Elevated levels of lead have been found in the water at five more Montgomery County elementary schools: Bel Pre and Weller Road in Silver Spring, Lake Seneca in Germantown, and Stedwick and Whetstone in Gaithersburg.

Bel Pre had the most contaminated sample found in the county: One faucet had 8,014 parts per billion of lead, compared with the federally approved standard for schools of 20 parts per billion.

Each of the 28 schools Montgomery County has tested has had high lead levels. The highest levels were found in sources such as sinks rather than drinking fountains.

School is out for the year, but lead testing will continue through the summer until all faucets at all facilities are tested, officials said.

Lawyers Warn Against Drug Importation

Montgomery County lawyers said yesterday that a proposed plan to purchase lower-cost drugs from Canada for county employees and retirees is illegal.

"In short, criminal liability . . . creates the greatest hurdle to instituting a drug re-importation program," says a memo signed by County Attorney Charles W. Thompson Jr. and three subordinates.

County council member Tom Perez (D-Silver Spring), the chief proponent of the plan, remains undeterred. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has indicated that it might sue the county, Perez said. "That's the litigation risk," he added.

Perez said the benefits to taxpayers and employees outweigh the risk of a civil lawsuit on a matter that is legally "muddled." A council committee will take up the plan next week.

Perez may find the going tough. "We tend to give a fair amount of deference to the county attorney's office," said council President Steven A. Silverman (D-At Large).

Montgomery School Board Picks Member

The Montgomery County Board of Education last night selected Henry Lee, a dentist from Derwood, to be its newest member.

Lee will replace Reginald M. Felton, who resigned from the District 5 Silver Spring seat because he is moving elsewhere in the county. Lee, who has served on many county and school system committees, will be sworn in July 1. He was chosen from among 17 applicants.

Ehrlich Cheers on Malpractice Proposal

Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) responded enthusiastically yesterday to a proposal to address skyrocketing medical malpractice rates and said he may try to convene the legislature to consider it.

Ehrlich said he was encouraged that representatives for the insurance industry and the medical and legal communities were able to sit down with him and jointly offer what he said was "not a plan, exactly, but an approach to solving this problem."

The concept they devised would call on the state to create a pool of taxpayer money that could be used by insurance companies to pay malpractice claims if their rates get too high. Ehrlich said a massive rate increase -- said by some to be about 40 percent -- is expected within the next few weeks.

The governor asked the industry representatives to bring him a plan in writing within two weeks.

VIRGINIA

Dogs Can Dine Alfresco in Alexandria

Alexandria restaurant owners have won their battle to allow customers' dogs to eat at outdoor patios at city restaurants as long as they apply for a variance and follow restrictions approved by city and state health officials.

The ruling comes after health officials cracked down in April on restaurants that permitted doggie dining, citing health hazards. After a public outcry, city officials struck a deal with the restaurants and dog lovers.

"It is my decision not to override the judicial determinations of the sentence of death imposed upon Steven Oken."

-- Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., denying clemency for Steven Oken hours before Oken was put to death last night. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Karlyn Barker, Cameron W. Barr, Matthew Mosk, Linda Perlstein, Elaine Rivera, Ian Shapira and Eric M. Weiss and the Associated Press.