News of interest to Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties that appeared in the daily Post from Nov. 13 to 19

Monday | 14

Chesapeake Still Ill, Report Says

The Chesapeake Bay's health remains dangerously out of balance despite 30 years spent trying to clean it up, according to a report released Monday. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's annual State of the Bay report ranks the quality of the bay's waters, habitat and fish at 27 on a scale of 100, or a letter grade of D. Particularly troubling, the report's authors say, is that oxygen levels in more than 40 percent of the bay's main stem are too low to support healthy aquatic life and in some sections too poor to maintain life at all. In 2000, the region's political and environmental leaders signed the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement, a detailed plan to significantly reduce pollution in the bay and its tributaries by 2010.

Tuesday | 15

Aspiring Rapper Killed in Charles

Danny R. Stigers of Indian Head, a 23-year-old aspiring rapper, was shot and killed Nov. 11 after an argument outside a residence in the western Charles County town, where he and some friends had gathered to watch a televised basketball game.

Tuesday | 15

La Plata Voting Questioned

La Plata, the Charles County seat, could become the eye of a voting rights storm because it requires residents to show identification to cast ballots in local elections. The American Civil Liberties Union, joined by the NAACP, considers the practice a "violation of the fundamental right to vote" in Maryland. The groups are asking La Plata to repeal the identification requirement, and the ACLU has suggested it might pursue legal action if the town does not comply. Twenty-two states, including Virginia, require proof of identification on Election Day. Maryland does not, and La Plata appears to be unusual -- if not unique -- among the state's cities and towns. ACLU staff attorney David Rocah and the NAACP said the state constitution does not allow counties or municipalities to add to the state's registration requirements. Opponents say the identification procedure is restrictive and intimidating, particularly to minorities and the elderly. Supporters see it as necessary to curb voter fraud.

Tuesday | 15

Panthers Lose Championship

The Patuxent Panthers played in their first-ever state field hockey championship game Monday night. When the game was over, the 2A title belonged to Parkside High School from Salisbury. The Patuxent High School team finished the year with a 14-3 record. The Panthers' 2-0 loss in the final marked the first goals the Panthers had allowed in postseason play.

Wednesday | 16

Teen Dies in Dirt Bike Collision

A Calvert County teenager died Monday night when his dirt bike crashed head-on into another dirt bike, the county sheriff's office said. The rider of the second bike was seriously injured. Both riders were 19. Authorities later identified the dead man as Nicholas J. Schmoltze of Port Republic. Conray G. Savoy of St. Leonard was the injured rider. The two friends were riding on Williams Wharf Road when they collided.

Wednesday | 16

Bay Cleanup Efforts Denounced

The government agency leading the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay has consistently overstated its progress while minimizing threats to the bay and its own failures to address them, according to a federal oversight report released Tuesday. A Government Accountability Office review found that the Chesapeake Bay Program Office -- an arm of the Environmental Protection Agency -- has no coordinated, comprehensive plan for cutting pollution in the bay, even after nearly $6 billion in state and federal money has been devoted to the effort in the past decade.

Thursday | 17

Wal-Mart Girds for Md. Bill Battle

Preparing for a showdown with organized labor in the Maryland legislature, Wal-Mart has deployed at least a dozen Annapolis lobbyists and is making strong overtures to black lawmakers. The retail giant hopes to derail legislation that would effectively force the company to boost spending on employee health benefits. The General Assembly passed the landmark bill in April, but it was vetoed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who called the measure an unwarranted intrusion by government. Lawmakers will seek to override his veto in January.

Thursday | 17

Coach Peck Reports Back for Duty

Just back from duty with the Army National Guard in Iraq, Great Mills High School basketball coach Frank Peck has traded his combat fatigues for a green school T-shirt and his coach's whistle and is back at courtside in charge of the 2005-06 Hornets.