News of interest to Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties that appeared in the daily Post, June 12 to 18

Wednesday | 15

Arson Sentencing Delayed

U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus delayed until October the sentencing of Jeremy D. Parady, who has admitted helping set the fires that devastated the Hunters Brooke subdivision in Charles County in December. The judge said he wants to know more about Parady's role before deciding on punishment for the "extraordinarily heinous" crime. Many of the people who had bought or were buying homes in the Hunters Brooke subdivision are black, and Titus said the arson caused "incalculable damage" to race relations. Each of the five men charged in the arson fires is white. None has been charged with a hate crime.

Titus said whoever spearheaded the crime will be dealt with more harshly if they are convicted. "At this point, I'm not sure if I have a leader or a follower in front of me," Titus said of Parady during a hearing in Greenbelt.

Wednesday | 15

Probe of Ehrlich Firings

Leading Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly agreed to investigate the firing practices implemented by the administration of Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. The review was announced jointly by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel). Miller said several longtime employees of various state agencies have complained of being fired to clear the way for new hires when Republicans took over the governorship after Ehrlich's election in 2002.

Thursday | 16

Dual-Sex Crab Discovered

Watermen say that female blue crabs "paint their fingernails," meaning that the tips of their claws turn bright red as they age. Male crabs, on the other hand, have sky-blue claws -- a sign as masculine as a mustache in the world of crustaceans. So when Robbie Watson -- aboard his boat, the Wharf Rat -- dumped out a crab trap and found a specimen with one red claw and one blue one, the discovery stopped him.

Scientists said the crab, caught May 21 near Gwynns Island in the lower Chesapeake Bay, is an extremely rare creature, called a "bilateral gynandromorph," that is split between two genders -- its right side female and its left side male. The last time such a crab was caught in the Chesapeake region was about 1980, scientists said.

Thursday | 16

Bolo Ban Apology Sought

Thomas Benya, who was not allowed to receive his diploma because he wore a bolo tie to the McDonough High School commencement, said he wants an apology from school officials and the principal to present the diploma to him in front of his family.

This rare dual-gender crab was caught last month in the lower Chesapeake Bay.