Refuge ending its hunting season early

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel is ending its hunting season about two weeks earlier than scheduled. The season was to continue until Jan. 31.

Small-game hunting, deer-archery hunting, a restricted hunt by youths and a half-day restricted firearm hunt are affected. Administrative, management, public safety and law enforcement concerns are the reasons for the early closure.


The refuge plans to offer opportunities for hunting in the fall.



Around Town

Bingo -- The Ladies Auxiliary of the Savage Volunteer Fire Company will sponsor bingo, featuring Vera Bradley bags, at 7 p.m. Saturday at the fire hall, 8925 Lincoln St., Savage. Raffles are also planned. Doors and the kitchen open at 5 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance; $17 at the door, if tickets are available. Admission includes 20 games and door prizes; two jackpot games are extra. Children are welcome if they pay admission. To reserve tickets: 301-725-6409 or 301-604-2468.

Volunteers session -- Laurel Museum, 817 Main St., Laurel, will hold an orientation for volunteers at 2 p.m. Jan. 28. Volunteers are needed to work one Friday or Sunday a month as docents or in the museum's gift shop. Shari Pollard, 301-776-5229.

Help at center -- Representatives of the Department of Social Services will be available from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays at the Multiservice Center in North Laurel to help residents in need apply for food stamps, cash assistance and medical assistance. The department joins the Community Action Council, Domestic Violence Center, Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland, FIRN, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center and the Legal Aid Bureau in offering services at the center in the Whiskey Bottom Shopping Center, 9105 All Saints Road.

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. Third-party insurance is accepted; uninsured clients pay on a sliding scale.

The Community Action Council, available from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, offers help with food, eviction prevention, energy assistance and crisis intervention. 301- 498-7509 or 410-313-6440.

Kristin Lilly, FIRN's information and referral counselor, will be in North Laurel from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Lilly is fluent in Spanish and can assist with many needs, including medical bills, applying for a tax identification number, legal referrals, birth certificates, housing and passports. Walk-ins are welcome. 301-498-7509, Ext. 228, or 410-992-1923, Ext. 12.

The Domestic Violence Center is available to help people in immediate crisis from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays. Walk-ins are welcome. 301-498-7509 or 410-997-2272 (a 24-hour hot line).


Counselor Dianne DeSantis of Grassroots 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.

Barbara Coleman of the Legal Aid Bureau will be available from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursdays. The office is open from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays, noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays and 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays. 301-498-7509.