State Digest

STATE DIGEST

February 01, 2006

Rockville: Jewish Day School

Smith family donates $10 million

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School received a $10 million gift this week that will go to supporting a variety of programs at the private Rockville school. The gift from Robert and Clarice Smith and Robert and Arlene Kogod -- the children of a major benefactor, Charles E. Smith -- will be given to the school in $1 million increments each year. The gift is in addition to a $5 million pledge the family made three years ago.

Liz Bowie

western maryland: black bears

DNR is seeking to expand hunt

Black bear hunting would expand to include all of Allegany and Garrett counties under proposed regulations the state Department of Natural Resources is considering for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Since 2004, when bear hunting returned to Maryland, the hunting area has consisted of Garrett County and the section of Allegany west of Evitts Creek. The proposed expansion would open up the Green Ridge State Forest to bear hunting by moving the eastern boundary about 20 miles farther east. The change is part of a package of proposed regulatory changes that the agency will air Monday in Annapolis.

Washington Co.: Fort Ritchie

Army sees no need for review of plans

The Army has concluded there is no need for an environmental review of redevelopment plans for the former Fort Ritchie, setting up a legal showdown with neighbors of the old training base. "We flatly disagree," said James H. Lemon, a nearby property owner who has filed a lawsuit contesting the redevelopment. Corporate Office Properties Trust, a Columbia-based developer, has proposed 673 new homes and 1.7 million square feet of office space on the 630-acre mountaintop site near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. Some of the buildings would be designed for defense or intelligence agencies and contractors.

Worcester County: Bishopville

Removal of dam to aid aquatic life

A small Worcester creek is about to get bigger, a move which environmentalists hope will provide an aquatic paradise for the fish living there. The Army Corps of Engineers and the State Highway Administration are investing about $6 million to remove a dam on Bishopsville Prong at Buntings Branch, on the edge of Delaware.

Allegany County: Barton

No trout-stocking for polluted creek

No trout will be stocked this year in a four-mile section of Georges Creek polluted by acid drainage from an abandoned coal mine, the state Department of Natural Resources says. The stretch, from Barton downstream to Westernport, is usually stocked with adult rainbow trout along with a 6 1/2 -mile section upstream. The drainage of acidic water into the stream began in August, killing all aquatic life in the four-mile stretch. The DNR said it is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other experts to correct the problem.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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