THE DISTRICT

Last Day for Children's Museum Moved Up

The Capital Children's Museum will close its doors Aug. 22, two weeks earlier than planned, so it can focus on fundraising and planning for a larger, more prominent facility on L'Enfant Plaza in Southwest Washington.

The museum, behind Union Station at 800 Third St. NE, will offer free admission July 31 and Aug. 1 as a way of saying farewell to the community. Museum officials said another reason the closing date was moved up from Labor Day weekend was that significant parts of the collection will be disassembled in late August.

Plans call for the proposed National Children's Museum to open in 2008. The existing facility will be turned into condominiums.

Software Donated to Whitman-Walker

Microsoft Corp. has donated computer software worth more than $380,000 to the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the Washington region's largest provider of medical and social services to the HIV-AIDS community. After the software arrives this week, the organization will update programs on all of its central servers and all 300 personal computers at its four sites in the District, Maryland and Virginia, said clinic spokesman Chip Lewis.

The new software is designed to improve tracking patient care and improve publishing and management programs.

MARYLAND

IRS Names Criminal Investigation Head

Rick A. Raven, a veteran criminal investigator, has been named special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation division for the Baltimore field office, which covers Maryland, the District and Delaware, the agency announced yesterday.

Raven, 40, was director of special investigative techniques at IRS headquarters. Before that, he headed criminal investigations in Seattle. He joined the IRS in 1987 in Reno, Nev.

The IRS criminal division investigates public corruption, money laundering, drug trafficking and other crimes.

September Primaries for Shapiro's Seat

Voters in Prince George's County will go to the polls Sept. 14 to nominate candidates to succeed to former County Council member Peter A. Shapiro (D-Brentwood).

Shapiro resigned last week in the middle of a four-year term to take a job at the University of Maryland.

The county approved the date yesterday for the special primary elections and set an Aug. 16 deadline for candidates to be certified by the Board of Elections. The special general election will be held Nov. 2, the same day as the general election.

In a county where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5 to 1, the winner of the Democratic primary is favored to win the seat.

Earlier this week, Democrat Karren Pope-Onwukwe, a lawyer from Hyattsville, formally announced her bid to represent District 2, which includes Brentwood, Hyattsville, Mount Rainer and North Brentwood.

VIRGINIA

Killer's Appeal, Stay of Execution Rejected

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeal of Virginia death row inmate Mark W. Bailey yesterday along with his request for a stay of execution.

Bailey, convicted of fatally shooting his wife and 2-year-old son in their Hampton home, is scheduled to be executed by injection tonight.

The court rejected the appeal unanimously, but Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg indicated that they would have granted the stay. Bailey has also asked Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) for clemency.

Bailey, 34, used a .22-caliber pistol to shoot his wife, Katherine, three times in the head as she slept Sept. 10, 1998. He shot his son, Nathan, as the child climbed out of bed.

His attorneys say that Bailey is manic-depressive and was severely depressed at the time of the slayings because his marriage was in trouble.

New Social Studies SOLs Don't Count Yet

The state Board of Education voted yesterday to delay requiring school divisions to use the scores of new social studies Standards of Learning exams as a factor in accreditation.

The one-year reprieve allows elementary and middle schools to use those scores if they help achieve accreditation.

This year, the state Department of Education introduced two history exams and one civics and economics exam to replace a cumulative test that covered three years of coursework. School divisions were allowed to choose the grade levels in which to administer the new tests or stick with the old test, which was given in eighth grade.

Poor results on the old tests prompted some superintendents to call for a review. About half the state's 132 school divisions chose the new option, education officials said.

Poor test scores on the old tests would have kept several schools from earning full accreditation under state guidelines. A school achieves full accreditation if 70 percent of students pass tests in English, math, science and social studies.

Aircraft Carriers, Crew Arriving in Norfolk

Three aircraft carriers, their support ships and more than 13,500 sailors will be arriving at Norfolk Naval Station over four days starting tomorrow.

The USS George Washington deployed six months ago to support the Iraq war. The USS Enterprise and USS Harry S Truman left in early June to participate in a dispatch exercise.

The Enterprise strike group will return Friday, followed by the Truman on Sunday and the George Washington on Monday.

Second Hantavirus Victim Reported

Federal and state health officials are trying to determine how two people contracted hantavirus in Randolph County, W.Va.

The disease is passed on by rodents. One victim, an Elkins man, became ill after removing mice from a plastic garbage barrel in a cabin near Helvetia over the Fourth of July weekend. He remains hospitalized in Morgantown.

Another victim, Virginia Tech graduate student Jeffrey Kaminski, 32, died last week after being hospitalized for pneumonia. He had conducted field studies of small mammals in West Virginia.

The respiratory infection is spread by rodent urine, feces or saliva. Infected people usually have flulike symptoms. There is no cure for hantavirus.

"The rich got richer and the poor didn't get richer. The poor can't afford to get out of Washington to the suburbs."

-- Stephen Fuller, a regional economist at George Mason University in Fairfax, on the District's widening gap between rich and poor. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Debbi Wilgoren, Avram Goldstein, Allan Lengel and Ovetta Wiggins and the Associated Press.