THE REGION

Part of Red Line to Close Through Holiday

A section of Metro's Red Line will shut this weekend, from tonight until Tuesday morning, as work is done to prepare the new station at New York Avenue.

Metro also warned riders yesterday that two more weekend shutdowns are a certainty before the station opens. Construction is expected to be finished by mid-November, and officials will determine an opening date this month.

Service will be suspended between Union Station and Fort Totten from 8 p.m. today until 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. Metro will run free shuttle buses between the stations with stops at Brookland-CUA and Rhode Island Avenue stations.

Crews have been laying inbound track to the new station.

By Tuesday morning, trains heading to Union Station will be passing through the New York Avenue-Florida Avenue-Gallaudet U Station.

Officials said there could be some minor delays heading from Glenmont to Union Station through Wednesday. The trains might be moving slower as crews test communications and signal systems.

New York Avenue is the only station in the Metro system built between two existing, operating stations.

The station will have entrances at M Street and Florida Avenue. Metro predicts it will serve 1,500 passengers daily in the first six months, a number expected to rise after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives finishes building its headquarters next to the $103 million station.

THE DISTRICT

Warning Issued on Rabies-Infected Bats

D.C. health officials have issued a warning about rabies-infected bats.

Fourteen turned up last month, and the Department of Health recommends that residents take such precautions as fixing broken screens, shingles and vents -- openings where bats can squeeze into a home.

Officials said anyone bitten by a bat should wash the wound with soap and water and see a doctor right away. Rabies can be fatal.

MARYLAND

2 Groups Ask Ehrlich to Stop Bear Hunt

Two animal protection groups appealed to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. yesterday to halt Maryland's proposed black bear hunt and conduct an independent scientific review of the bear population.

The Fund for Animals and the Humane Society of the United States also said that if the hunt isn't stopped, it should be limited to private lands where bears have damaged crops or property.

Ehrlich will likely decide after Labor Day whether to override a legislative committee's rejection of proposed rules for a hunt this fall targeting 30 bears in Western Maryland, spokeswoman Shareese N. DeLeaver said.

The governor's approval would authorize the Department of Natural Resources to publish and then adopt a final version of the rules for the state's first bear hunt in 51 years.

In a letter to Ehrlich and Secretary C. Ronald Franks of the Department of Natural Resources, hunt opponents disputed a bear population study the department conducted in summer 2000 that put statewide population at 327, up 64 percent from 1990. Natural resource officials said the state's bear population has since grown to about 500, including 400 in the proposed hunt zone west of Cumberland.

The opponents cited a critique of the study by statistical consultant Phillip I. Good of Huntington Beach, Calif. Good said the department's conclusions about an expanding bear population were "inappropriate and grossly in error."

The proposed hunt would take place in two phases, Oct. 25 through 30 and Dec. 6 through 11.

Frederick Might Restrict Adult Businesses

Frederick city planners are drafting an ordinance that could restrict any new adult businesses to the city's industrial areas.

The current ordinance allows adult bookstores, strip clubs and X-rated movie theaters in general commercial areas but not within a thousand feet of homes, playgrounds, parks or places of worship.

Planning Director Charles W. Boyd said Wednesday that it is possible none of the city's existing commercial areas meet the buffer requirements.

The potential areas left for adult businesses lie mainly along the city's eastern edge on land zoned for industrial use, according to the Planning Department.

Grant to Be Used for Security Database

A federal agency has awarded $347,225 to a Cumberland-based organization to create a database of 300 trained homeland security volunteers in Western Maryland and parts of neighboring Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

The grant to the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center from the Corporation for National and Community Service is the first of three anticipated annual installments, said Susan Stewart, program development coordinator for the local organization.

She said the money will be used to recruit, train and place volunteers with select public agencies and community and faith-based organizations to assist in responding to emergencies and disasters.

Group Urges Caution With Asian Oysters

The nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation this week echoed a call by the National Academy of Science for more extensive research before Maryland environmental officials scatter fertile, nonnative oysters into the estuary.

Foundation scientists, who are publicizing their position to lawmakers as the state moves toward introducing Asian oysters, now say at least three more years of research on Crassostrea ariakensis is needed. It's a timeline that far exceeds the state's tentative deadline 11 months from now.

"The issue at the core of our position is really looming more and more and is going to be the crux of the debate in the coming months," said Bill Goldsborough, the foundation's chief scientist. "That's the question of whether we know enough about this to make a responsible public policy decision to introduce."

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is steaming toward the completion of an accelerated environmental impact statement assessing the liabilities of bringing in the oysters, which are native to China. The report is set to be complete next July.

"Behavior has to change. Responsibility for your own behavior has to change. We have people who just let TV and video games and music raise their kids and instill the values that they ought to be instilling in their children. And then we wonder why we have a problem."

-- D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, speaking on WTOP radio yesterday with Bill Cosby about the entertainer's urging blacks to take more personal responsibility. -- Page B6

Compiled from reports by the Associated Press.