THE REGION

Poll Finds Support for Bay Funding

A poll paid for by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and conducted by a bipartisan research team found that a majority of those surveyed would support paying $50 a year in fees to help clean up the bay and its tributaries.

Of the 1,215 registered voters from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District who were polled by telephone from July 28 to Aug. 5, 64 percent said they would support annual state or local government fees of $50 if the funds were dedicated to "cleaning up and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and your local rivers, lakes and streams."

Will Baker, head of the nonprofit bay foundation, called the poll "definitive proof" that voters want to see the ailing bay restored.

Sixty-one percent of those polled rated bay pollution and pollution of rivers, lakes and streams "very serious" problems.

MARYLAND

2 Women Injured in St. Mary's Crash

Two St. Mary's County women remained hospitalized yesterday, a day after their car plunged 46 feet from an Interstate 70 overpass onto a Frederick County road.

The driver, Aimee L. Mendoza, 23, of Lexington Park was in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Her passenger, Lia Stevenson, 21, of St. Mary's City was in serious condition at Washington County Hospital.

Sheriff's deputies said the women were eastbound at 4:50 a.m. Sunday when the 1999 Honda Accord went out of control and fell onto Monument Road.

Commandments Monument Moved

The Allegany County government has moved a Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse lawn to neighboring private property to avoid a First Amendment lawsuit.

County Administrator Vance Ishler said county workers moved the five-foot granite monument to the C. William Gilchrist Gallery, which agreed to take it.

Edward Taylor Jr., president of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization, said the group would demand the marker's return because the United States was built on the moral foundation of the Ten Commandments.

THE DISTRICT

Tuition Voucher Sessions Planned

Eight information sessions are scheduled over the next two weeks for parents to apply to the District's federally funded tuition voucher program.

Four sessions will be held this week at the D.C. Armory, 2001 East Capitol St. SE: tomorrow, Thursday and Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Next week, four sessions will be held at the Boys and Girls Clubs clubhouse at 620 Milwaukee Place SE: Oct. 20, 21 and 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. and Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The sessions are sponsored by the Washington Scholarship Fund, the nonprofit group hired by the U.S. Department of Education to administer the voucher program, which was signed into law in January.

Additional information can be obtained by calling 888-DC-YOUTH.

Police Identify Man Killed in Shooting

D.C. police yesterday identified the victim of a weekend killing at 14th and W streets NW. They said Pierre Johnson, 22, of the 300 block of V Street NE was shot about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Detectives are asking anyone with information to call police at 202-727-9099.

City to Collect Hazardous Materials

D.C. residents may dispose of hazardous materials and exchange damaged recycling bins from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 23 at Carter Barron Amphitheatre, the Department of Public Works says.

Residents may drop off lawn and garden chemicals, pesticides and poisons, aerosols, gasoline and other hazardous materials.

Electronic items, including cell phones, pagers and fax machines, will be accepted for recycling. Televisions should have screens no larger than 19-inches.

Residents also may exchange damaged recycling bins for new ones.

Explosives, bulk trash, propane tanks, appliances and radioactive or biologically active wastes will not be accepted. Detailed information is available at Department of Public Works Web site, www.dpw.dc.gov.

All items collected will be taken to a federally approved, environmentally safe site for disposal.

Series to Showcase Latino Authors

Local Latino authors will be showcased over the next two months at two Northwest Washington public libraries as part of a weekly series of discussions in both Spanish and English.

The series, "Exploring Latino Authors," is scheduled from Oct. 19 through Dec. 14 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW, and the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library, 3160 16th St. NW.

About 13 authors and poets from the Washington area will participate. The series will culminate with the Young People's Poetry Marathon in Spanish, a Spanish poetry recital expected to include more than 100 children and teenagers.

The series is free and open to the public. Call 202-727-1183 for the complete schedule.

VIRGINIA

Another Betting Parlor Opens

Colonial Downs' latest off-track betting parlor opened yesterday in Vinton, drawing hundreds of people looking to place their bets on up to 20 races from across the country.

Sixty people had already lined up half an hour before the doors opened to the 14,600-square-foot parlor, where bets are accepted on televised horse races.

Last November, Vinton voters narrowly approved the parlor, which can hold as many as 500 people and features more than 150 televisions and a VIP dining room. The Vinton parlor is the sixth off-track betting facility owned by Colonial Downs. Colonial Downs runs steeplechase, harness and thoroughbred races at its New Kent County track. Its off-track parlors allow betting on races held at 23 tracks.

"We're the Rodney Dangerfield of federal holidays. But next to the Fourth of July, there's no national holiday that is older in America than Columbus Day."

-- John B. Salamone, executive director of the National Italian American Foundation, discussing why Columbus Day does not inspire the regionwide closures generated by other federal holidays. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writer Sewell Chan, editorial aide Bruce C.T. Wright and the Associated Press.