The recent heavy rains have damaged roads and other facilities at Patuxent Research Refuge. As a result, the North Tract entrance to the refuge, off Route 198, is temporarily closed.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has also had to stop operation of its daily tram tours at the National Wildlife Visitor Center, because the gravel tram route near the visitor center has been severely damaged.
The rains, combined with water releases from upstream reservoirs on the Patuxent River caused flooding in the North and Central tract areas of the refuge. The refuge entrance gate on Bald Eagle Drive and the access road have also been damaged.
The North Tract will remain closed until access and safety issues are resolved. Public programs scheduled for the North Tract are being moved to the National Wildlife Visitor Center.
Ari Kenneth -- To Darrell and Rebecca Snyder of North Laurel on June 16. Babette and David Silverman of Ellicott City are maternal grandparents; maternal great-grandparents are Elsbeth Schmidt and Morton Silverman of Allentown, Pa. Paternal grandparents are Barbara and Darrell Snyder of Arlington, Va. The baby's brother, Elijah Joseph, celebrated his fourth birthday July 9.
Wine tasting -- The Happy Jewel, Classic Interiors, Memories of Finland and Yolanda Voss - all of Historic Savage Mill - will hold a wine tasting from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. today at the mill, 8600 Foundry St., Savage. Admission to the promotional event is free. Reservations: 301-497-9797.
Accelerated college -- The College of Notre Dame of Maryland will hold an information session about its Accelerated College's business program at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Laurel College Center. Designed for working adults, the accelerated program allows students to earn a bachelor's degree in business in as little as 2 1/2 years. The students form a cohort of about 20 to 25 and move through the program together. Reservations are requested. 410-532-5500, or www.ndm.edu.
Historical society -- The Savage Historical Society will not meet this month. Its next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 21. The 2007 historical calendar, Sketches of the Savage I Remember, illustrated by Laurence H. Whitehead Sr., is available. 301-725-1241.
For families -- Family and Children's Services is expanding its services at Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center in North Laurel with the goal of creating a "one-stop shop" of services for individuals and families in need of counseling or other assistance. Among the nonprofit organizations to join Family and Children's Services in North Laurel will be Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, the Domestic Violence Center, FIRN (a Howard County nonprofit organization providing services to immigrants) and the Community Action Council. Family and Children's Services offers counseling, employee assistance, in-home services for elderly and disabled people and a "Healthy Families" program for first-time parents.
The Community Action Council, available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, offers help with eviction prevention, energy assistance and crisis intervention, and it maintains a food bank. Walk-ins are welcome. Information or to schedule an appointment: 301-498-7509 or 410-313-6440.
Kristin Lilly, FIRN's information and referral counselor, will be in North Laurel from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays. She is fluent in Spanish and can assist with medical bills, applying for a tax identification number (ITIN), legal referrals, birth certificates, housing, passports and other needs. Walk-in clients are welcome. 301-498-7509, Ext. 228, or 410-992-1923, Ext. 12.
The Domestic Violence Center is available from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursdays. Walk-ins are welcome. 301-498-7509 or 410-997-2272.
Grassroots counselor Dianne DeSantis is available from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to help with crisis resolution. 301-498-7509, Ext. 302, or the 24-hour hot line, 410-531-6677.
The Family and Children's Services office, 9105 All Saints Road in Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center, is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 301-398-7509.
Doll, teddy bear Show -- Historic Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry St., Savage, will hold its annual Doll and Teddy Bear Show and Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 6. 301-498-6871, or www.savage mill.com/events.html.