WESM

Richmond, VA – Environmentalists don't like it, but Virginia is hoping an exchange program will help reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The state is planning to allow sewage plants and industrial sources to buy, sell and trade water pollution credits in a program that will take effect January 1st. The experimental program is one of several initiatives that was signed into law last month to combat the flow of excessive nutrients polluting the bay. The damaging nutrients come from storm runoff carrying fertilizer and animal waste.

Salisbury, MD – A man accused of killing two people on a random shooting spree in Delaware and Maryland was wanted at the time on charges related to another shooting incident last year. Allison Norman, 22, of Seaford, Delaware was arrested yesterday morning after a string of shootings. Two people were killed and four others were wounded, on critically. Just a day earlier, a warrant was issued for Norman's arrest after he failed to appeal in Wicomico County Circuit Court.

Salisbury, MD – Absentee ballots will be counted today in two close races for Salisbury City Council. In District One, challenger "Shanie" Shields leads incumbent Lavonzella Siggers by six votes with 11 absentee ballots yet to be counted. In District Two, challenger Deborah Campbell leads incumbent Michael Day by 25 votes with 145 absentee ballots yet to be counted. Meanwhile, Mayor Barrie Tilghman breezed to a third term, defeating challenger Donald Long. And voters narrowly favored eliminating primary elections for city offices.

Bivalve, NJ – Delaware Bay oysters could drop in numbers again. That's in a new report by Rutgers University marine scientists. It says oysters larvae aren't growing on the bottom of the bay in high enough numbers to replace the oysters that are harvested or eaten by predators. Scientists say they could force the closing of oyster beds if the problem isn't solved. And that could threaten a fishery that's been producing oysters for more than 200 years. The numbers illustrate the effect of the mysterious scourge. Last year there were 68,000 bushels of oysters harvested from the bay.

Bivalve, NJ – Delaware Bay oysters could drop in numbers again. That's in a new report by Rutgers University marine scientists. It says oysters larvae aren't growing on the bottom of the bay in high enough numbers to replace the oysters that are harvested or eaten by predators. Scientists say they could force the closing of oyster beds if the problem isn't solved. And that could threaten a fishery that's been producing oysters for more than 200 years. The numbers illustrate the effect of the mysterious scourge. Last year there were 68,000 bushels of oysters harvested from the bay.

Baltimore, MD – A Baltimore native is playing a key role managing affairs at The Vatican until a new pope is chosen. Cardinal Francis Stafford is a former auxilary bishop of Baltimore and serves now as bishop to the Vatican tribunal that deals with excommunications. He is one of the highest-ranking Vatican administrators and one of the eleven American Cardinals with a vote at the conclave that will choose John Paul's successor. Staffor received his degree from Loyola College and Saint Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained in Rome in 1957.

Wilmington, DE – Conectiv is on its way out-- the name, not the company. Even though it's now owned by Washington-based Pepco, the utility wants to show that it's serious about its local ties. It will revive the name Delmarva Power for customers on Delmarva. Corporate communications director Tim Brown says customers can expect a notice about the name change in their next bill. The Conective name is expected to be gone from bills, signs, and letterhead by the end of the year. The Conective name was created in 1998 with the merger of Delmarva Power and Light and Atlantic Energy.

Cambridge, MD – The Dorchester County Council is going on record against slot machines for Maryland. Council members this week reversed an earlier decision and agreed to send a letter to state officials objecting to slots. The decision came after an appeal from members of an anti-slots group, NoCasiNo. The group says Talbot County Council also has gone on the record against slots in the state. Although Dorchester County recently was dropped from pending legislation as a proposed site for slots, the group says the issue isn't over.

Ocean City, MD – The Worcester County Commissioners will get their first look today at the first draft of the county's new comprehensive plan. The Planning Commission has been working on the new plan since last summer. Chairwoman Carolyn Cummins says the current plan needed more than simple fine tuning. She says the Planning Commission gave it a complete makeover to reflect the fast pace of growth in the county. Officials expect to make the 80 page plan available today on the county's website.

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating a man who came to Ocean City with three other co-workers to do construction work. Police believe Eduardo Masoller, 52, drove to Ocean City from Virginia Monday afternoon and has not been seen since Monday night.

Pages