News of interest to Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties that appeared in the daily Post, June 13 to 19

Sunday | 13

Slower Growth Advocated

The high-velocity growth in southern Prince George's County just north of Charles County has sparked a vigorous debate over the future of the area, where expansive parcels of land once home to farms and forest are being transformed by developers into subdivisions with houses starting at $300,000. Some members of the County Council want to curb construction and redirect development to older communities in need of revitalization. But the real estate industry has arrayed a coalition of builders, zoning lawyers and lobbyists on the other side of the issue.

Monday | 14

Familial Devotion to Demolition

For the Stirlings of Mechanicsville, crashing cars is a family thing. On four Saturday nights every year, family members take their cars to the demolition derby. It's a tradition that started with Drew Stirling more than 25 years ago. His sons -- Jim, 31, and Robert, 26 -- competed in their first derbies as teenagers. Last weekend, all three were on the track at Budds Creek to compete in the Silver Hill Lions Club-sponsored derby, which has become the largest event of its kind in Maryland.

Monday | 14

Ehrlich Pledges Help for Bay

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), at Broomes Island on the Patuxent River for former state senator C. Bernie Fowler's annual wade-in to test water quality in the river, promised more state help to improve the long-term health of the Chesapeake Bay. He said his administration is developing several initiatives aimed at extending efforts beyond his program to upgrade sewage treatment plants.

Wednesday | 16

Tests of High School Students

The Maryland State Board of Education gave final approval to a testing program that will allow high school students to fail at least one of the four High School Assessments and still graduate as long as they earn a passing score when the results are combined. The exams in English, algebra, biology and government will be required -- starting with the Class of 2009 -- of all high school students in the state.