A spokesman for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said yesterday that the governor is expected to sign into law a measure that would allow the Mount Vernon estate to sell small amounts of George Washington's own brand of rye whiskey.

The estate will sell whiskey from the first president's rebuilt distillery, which is scheduled to open to the public next month.

Mount Vernon historians have said that after serving two terms as president, Washington was the nation's largest producer of whiskey in 1799, producing 11,000 gallons a year in a state-of-the-art distillery.

Archaeologists found the remains of the distillery in 1997, and it has been rebuilt with funding from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.

The distillery will reopen next month with a museum and will serve as part of the American Whiskey Trail, which runs through distilling sites in Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Tennessee.

-- Associated PressBill Allowing Immunity for Killing Intruders RejectedA Senate committee rejected legislation yesterday that would provide civil immunity to residents who kill intruders in their home, after a prosecutor argued the measure could have the unintended consequence of protecting the bad guy. The Courts of Justice Committee voted 10 to 5 to kill William R. Janis's proposal. Janis (R-Goochland) said a person who shoots an intruder should not have to defend a wrongful-death civil suit. His bill would not have prevented a criminal prosecution if warranted.

Henry County prosecutor Bob Bushnell, speaking for the Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys, said the legislation would shield someone who opens fire on a mentally ill person who wanders into his home. It also would provide immunity to a drug dealer who shoots a police officer who enters a home unlawfully because he didn't notice that a magistrate forgot to sign a search warrant, Bushnell said.

-- Associated Press