Regional Digest



In Maryland

State investigates killings of hundreds of white perch

ANNAPOLIS -- State biologists are trying to figure out what has been killing hundreds of white perch discovered floating in isolated areas from the Susquehanna River to the Chesapeake Bay.

The fish, which have been found in five spots from the Susquehanna south to the West River near Annapolis, began turning up dead in the past week, said Department of Environment spokesman Richard J. McIntire. Each pocket included a few hundred white perch.

MDE staff will continue to monitor the fish kills, which McIntire said also afflicted white perch in the late 1990s. "I don't think we've established a trend or a major reason for concern as of yet," he said.

Development task force seeks public comment

A state task force looking into the amount of land available for development in Maryland is seeking public comment at meetings this week and next.

The nine-member Development Capacity Task Force plans to submit recommendations to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. by July 1.

Its draft report can be reviewed at the Maryland Department of Planning's Web site,

The first meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow in Annapolis at the state planning office, 16 Francis St. A second meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. June 2 at the planning department's central offices in Baltimore, 301 W. Preston St., 11th floor. Information: 410-767-4562.

Red Cross research team moving to UM med school

The University of Maryland School of Medicine announced yesterday that it will add a team of 23 biomedical researchers from the American Red Cross. The scientists will investigate possible new treatments for heart disease, stroke, cancer and other diseases.

The new hires, who will begin July 1, bring with them more than $10 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health. The scientists had worked for the Red Cross' national lab in Rockville. In November, the Red Cross decided to reduce its research and development program.

The investigators will stay in their current labs for another year, until new labs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore's west-side biopark are completed.

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