Blood Shortage Eases -- Slightly

The region's blood supply remains critically low, though inventory has improved slightly from the dire levels of two weeks ago. The Greater Chesapeake & Potomac Region of the American Red Cross still has less than a day's supply of one blood type, and less than two days' supply of another, spokesman Shaun Adamec said yesterday.

Donors can make an appointment by calling 800-GIVE-LIFE.

In the days after the Independence Day holiday, distribution to area hospitals was extremely limited. At one point, only two units of type B blood was available for an emergency call. "That couldn't have even helped one patient," Adamec said.

Home Runs Will Benefit Scholarship Fund

The Sallie Mae Fund has announced that it will donate $750 to a student scholarship fund every time a Washington Nationals player hits a home run. A grand slam will bring a $5,000 donation to the Home Runs for College Scholarships Fund, company officials said. Sallie Mae is one of the country's largest student loan companies.

Financially needy Washington area students with a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher can apply for $2,000 scholarships from the fund at


Income Taxes Boost State Revenue

Maryland's revenue collections are up 12.8 percent over the previous fiscal year, according to a preliminary tally released yesterday by legislative analysts.

A memo sent to legislative leaders credited growth in corporate and personal income taxes for driving up general fund collections to $10.8 billion through June, the final month of the 2005 fiscal year. The tally does not include some miscellaneous revenue expected to be logged later.

If the trend continues, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) and lawmakers should have an easier time enacting a balanced budget next legislative session than in previous years.

Stricter Sex Offender Laws Proposed

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. has announced that he will seek legislation requiring lifetime state supervision of violent sex offenders.

He also wants to provide specialized training to parole officers who work with such criminals and find ways to notify residents that a sex offender is moving into their neighborhood, rather than simply maintaining a public registry.

Curran (D) said he is preparing a package of measures for introduction in the General Assembly in January. The lifetime supervision requirement would apply to violent sexual predators, violent sex offenders and the most serious child sex offenders, according to a statement issued by Curran's office. It said offenders could petition for discharge from lifetime supervision.

Program Seeks to Expand Teaching Corps

Johns Hopkins University and Montgomery County Public Schools are offering a program to encourage adults who already have had one career to consider teaching as another.

The two institutions are offering a two-year graduate program in which people would take courses at Johns Hopkins' Montgomery County campus while also working as teaching interns and fellows in Montgomery County public schools. All tuition and fees plus the cost of books would be paid by the school system after a student completes six credits of the program. Participants also would be eligible for a stipend while a teaching fellow.

The program is interested in applicants in the following specialties: special education, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, French, Spanish, English and English for Speakers of Other Languages.

For more information, go to or call 301-294-7040.

Tallies Up for Political Fundraising

Maryland's two major political parties are enjoying unprecedented success raising money this year, spokesmen for both the Democrats and Republicans said yesterday.

The Maryland Democratic Party announced that it had raised $706,754 in the first six months of the year, which party leaders said was the highest midyear total since at least 1998.

Audra Miller, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Republican Party, said the GOP raised more than $800,000 during the same period. "We haven't even held our largest fundraising event of the year," Miller added.


GOP Hopes to Restrict Eminent Domain

House Republicans said yesterday they will offer two pieces of legislation in January to curb the government's authority to take private property from its owner and give it to developers to build private projects.

The pledge by several dozen delegates in the House Republican Caucus follows the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that a Connecticut city could use eminent domain power to seize homes in a working-class neighborhood that a developer needed for an upscale shopping, residential, office and entertainment complex.

Governments always have had the authority to seize private property for public use, such as a highway or a public school, in return for what the government determines to be fair payment. But the Supreme Court ruling said governments can take property for what is not a clear public use. It said states could enact tighter laws against the practice.

HBO to Film Miniseries in State

An 11-part HBO miniseries based on David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning book "John Adams" will be filmed in Virginia, which beat out Adams's Massachusetts birthplace for the honors.

Filming will start in the fall and continue through April 2006, generating an estimated economic impact of $60 million, state officials said. Locations in Williamsburg, Richmond, Petersburg and elsewhere in central Virginia will used by Playtone, a production company owned by Tom Hanks.

Gov. Mark R. Warner (D), who announced Virginia's selection yesterday, said in a statement that the miniseries "will help secure Virginia's reputation as a premier location for American historical film projects."

"This is beyond tragic. It's something that should anger anyone, that a youngster could be so sadistically killed."

-- D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, commenting on the slaying

of a 6-year-old boy who was found in a bathtub

with his hands and ankles bound. -- A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Susan Levine, Susan Kinzie, John Wagner, Cameron W. Barr and Lori Aratani and the Associated Press.