Professor is chosen to fill vacancy in House of Delegates

Montgomery County Democrats on Thursday night nominated Morgan State University professor Pamela Queen to fill the 14th District seat in the House of Delegates, ending an intramural scuffle over how best to diversify the county’s legislative delegation.

Queen would replace former Del. Craig J. Zucker (D-Montgomery), who was selected by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee last month to fill the opening created by the retirement of state Sen. Karen S. Montgomery (D). Queen’s nomination goes to Gov. Larry Hogan, who is required by law to act on it within 15 days. Although Hogan is a Republican, it is exceedingly rare for a governor to reject the recommendation of a county committee in such matters.

Queen, 56, is African American and a member of the Central Committee. She prevailed over two other candidates for the opening in the 14th, which runs north from Silver Spring along Montgomery’s eastern border with Prince George’s County and includes some of Montgomery’s most economically distressed communities.

Queen’s candidacy was supported by County Executive Isiah Leggett (D).

— Bill Turque

Funding to preserve Civil War battlefields is announced

The National Park Service says $5.3 million in preservation funding is heading to 17 Civil War battlefields, primarily in Virginia.

The Park Service says the federal dollars from the Land and Water Conservation Fund will help preserve 1,640 acres at battle sites in Virginia and six other states.

The primary source of the funding is fees paid by oil and gas companies drilling in offshore waters.

Among the Virginia battlefields receiving the preservation funding will be Appomattox Court House, Fredericksburg, Brandy Station, Gaines Mill and Sailor’s Creek.

— Associated Press

Officials warn against eating some fish from the Potomac

If you’re in search of some locally sourced fish, be selective about what you choose to consume from the Potomac River.

American eel, carp and striped bass — also known as rockfish — caught in these waters have tested positive for elevated levels of toxic chemicals, according to an advisory this week from the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment.

The fish contain elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, a man-made chemical long banned in the United States that has been linked to cancer and other adverse health effects.

“Our goal is to protect the health and well-being of our residents,” Tommy Wells, head of the department, said in a statement. “This advisory helps ensure that residents who enjoy fish from District waters are aware of the health risks associated with consuming certain fish species.”

— Perry Stein