EPA's Nutrient Plans Satisfy Bay Group

Leaders of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said yesterday that they are satisfied with the Environmental Protection Agency's response to a long-delayed petition for nutrient controls on sewage plants in the watershed.

In December 2003, the foundation, an environmental advocacy group, sought permit limits on nitrogen from sewage plants, one of the chief causes of pollution in the bay.

The EPA said yesterday that new rules were not necessary but pointed to a strategy developed in December that would require hundreds of wastewater treatment plants to have enforceable limits on nutrients that foul the bay.

Arts Grants to Help Low-Income Students

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced yesterday $3 million in grants to help arts organizations across the country find and support low-income students. Six of the groups have programs in the District and Arlington.

Among the local grant recipients are the Levine School of Music, which will receive $83,000, and the Higher Achievement Program, a District academic enrichment program for low-income middle school students that will receive $252,000 to expand into Prince George's County and Alexandria.


Cooling Problems Close 8 Schools Early

Classes at eight public schools in the District were dismissed early yesterday because of faulty air-conditioning systems, a schools spokeswoman said.

Students at Benning Elementary, Brookland Elementary, West Elementary, Browne Junior High, Anacostia Senior High, Woodson Senior High, Marie H. Reed Community Learning Center and Sharpe Health Center were dismissed at 12:30 p.m., spokeswoman Roxanne Evans said. She said many of the schools did not have enough operable windows to compensate.

The schools will reopen today, Evans said. Crews hoped to have the air conditioning repaired by today.


Sanitation Chairman Vote to Be Redone

Last week's vote for a new chairman of the Loudoun County Sanitation Authority board was improper and will be redone, an authority spokeswoman said yesterday.

Loudoun County Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles) beat current Chairman John Rocca on Thursday by a vote of 6 to 3, but the vote violated proper procedure because board members did not identify themselves on their ballots for the public record, said Samantha Villegas, the authority's communications manager.

A new vote could come within days or weeks, Villegas said.

Leader Picked for Hispanic Ministry

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde has appointed the Rev. Jose Eugenio Hoyos, former pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Falls Church, as director of the diocese's Spanish Apostolate.

Hoyos, 49, who was born in Colombia, has been a priest in the Arlington diocese since 2000. He replaces the Rev. Ovidio Pecharroman, the apostolate's director since 1992. Hoyos served most recently as pastor of Holy Family Parish in Dale City.

The apostolate ministers to Spanish-speaking Catholics and seeks to increase the involvement of Hispanics in the church.


Panel to Evaluate Ehrlich-Era Dismissals

Maryland legislative leaders plan to announce today the formation of a panel to review dismissals of state employees after Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. took office in 2003.

Democratic lawmakers have accused aides to Ehrlich (R) of scouring state agencies for employees to fire -- an accusation administration officials have played down.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said yesterday that a legislative subcommittee would include members of both parties and probably would report in August on how to proceed with its review. Among the issues to be decided are whether to hire additional staff and whether subpoena power is necessary.

Miller said the review will be tightly focused on whether "abuses" occurred. "It's not going to be a fishing expedition," he said.

U-Md. Student Burned in Explosion in Lab

A college student at the University of Maryland in College Park suffered burns on his upper body yesterday when a chemical reaction sparked a small explosion, authorities said.

The student was in an electronics lab in the Engineering Classroom Building about 6:45 p.m. when he mixed nitric acid with another substance, sparking an explosion, said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.

The student, whose name was not released, was decontaminated at the scene and taken to a hospital burn unit, Brady said. He said the injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Prince George's Girl, 14, Is Missing

A 14-year-old girl has been missing from the Brentwood section of Prince George's County for almost a week, police said.

Sisayo Odewole left for school from her home in the 4500 block of Banner Street at 8 a.m. Wednesday, police said. She did not return after school and has not been heard from since.

Police say she is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. She has brown eyes and black hair. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 301-699-2601.

Senate Candidate Stabbed in Home

A. Robert Kaufman, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, was stabbed multiple times in the upper body in an attack at his west Baltimore home yesterday afternoon, police said.

Kaufman was in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, a spokeswoman there said last night.

Investigators think the attack stemmed from a landlord-tenant dispute. Kaufman rents out several rooms in his home and owns a few nearby buildings with tenants, said Michael Melick, a member of the City Wide Coalition, Kaufman's activist organization.

Kaufman, 74, is a social activist and perennial candidate who has run previously for Congress, governor and mayor of Baltimore. He is one of three declared candidates in the Democratic primary for the seat of Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, who is retiring.

"If you give up too many civil rights, and have too draconian security, what exactly is it you are protecting?"

-- Tim Travan, an adviser to bird-watchers who fought

security restrictions on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. -- A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers V. Dion Haynes, Allison Klein, Michael Laris, Allan Lengel, Caryle Murphy, Jacqueline L. Salmon and John Wagner and the Associated Press.