BALTIMORE, CITY MARYLAND — Two arrested in drug raid
Police raided a house in southwest Baltimore last night and arrested a former female correctional officer and a man on multiple drug charges.
In the 7:15 p.m. raid, police seized nearly $1,300, 118 bags of suspected cocaine valued at nearly $6,000, eight bags of suspected heroin valued at $240, 16 bags of suspected marijuana worth about $200, a .22-caliber handgun and gold jewelry.
Sgt. J.C. Smith, head of the Southwestern District drug enforcement unit, said those arrested were Ursula Watkins, 31, and Davin Kelly, both residents of the raided house in the 3800 block of Colborne Road. They were each charged with narcotics possession and distribution charges and possession of a handgun while involved in an illegal drug enterprise.
Smith said Kelly was held overnight at the Southwestern District lockup pending a bail hearing today before a District Court commissioner. He said Watkins was held at the women's detention center at the Central District pending a bail hearing today.
Following her arrest, Smith said, Watkins told him she formerly worked as a guard at the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup and showed him a photo of herself in uniform.
The arrests came after Officer Delphine Houston kept the house under surveillance for most of September, during which she bought $20 worth of cocaine.
Smith said when the narcotics squad and four uniformed officers entered the house, they found Kelly packaging and sorting cocaine at a dining room table. He said Kelly went for a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun but was restrained before he could use it.
Downstairs, the raiders found Watkins hiding in a bathroom, Smith said.
Fire reported at Hickey School
Five female residents at the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School were treated at two hospitals for smoke inhalation following a fire last night in one of the school's dormitories, a Baltimore County fire official said.
All were treated and released, officials at the hospitals said.
The names of the residents of the school for juvenile offenders were withheld.
A trash fire in unit 2 was reported at 8:09 p.m., said a Fire Department communications officer. Fire apparatus from the Towson station, four county ambulances and a fire truck from the school responded to the one-alarm fire, which was declared under control at 9:07 p.m.
Three of the teen-agers were treated at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and two at St. Joseph Hospital. Emergency room supervisors at each hospital said the girls were released before 11 p.m.
The extent of damage to the dormitory was unknown.
A state trooper at the Valley barracks said officials at the school in Cub Hill handled the incident and that no police report was made.
Park zoning vote is delayed
A scheduled vote by the county planning board on new zoning regulations designed to allow the proposed Asia-U.S.A. cultural theme park in Middle River has been delayed at the request of County Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen.
Citing the complexity of the issue and the public concern voiced at a public hearing last week, Rasmussen asked for a study committee to propose amendments to the proposed new rules at the next planning board meeting Oct. 18.
The board agreed and postponed the vote at a meeting yesterday. The committee will include three residents who spoke at the public hearing, three planning board members, the county attorney, zoning commissioner and planning director. Additional public comment is to be allowed at the Oct. 18 meeting before the vote.
Libraries to close Oct. 12
All branches and administrative offices of the county public library will be closed Oct. 12 for the annual staff day. The mobile libraries, Stop 'n Go and Read Rover, also will be closed that day.
False alarms risk citations
Annoyed by the nearly 15,000 false burglary alarms in Howard County annually, county Police Chief Frederick W. Chaney says the department soon will begin enforcing a state law against false alarms.
Chaney announced yesterday that a 45-day grace period beginning Oct. 15 will give county residents time to learn about the new policy.
After Dec. 1, officers will be authorized to issue civil citations to residences and businesses if police respond to more than three false alarms within a 30-day period or more than eight within a 12-month period. Civil violators will be fined $30 for each citation.
The policy exempts alarms activated by severe weather conditions and other causes beyond the control of the property owner and signals tripped within 60 days of a new system's installation.
Anyone deliberately setting off an alarm in a non-emergency or continuing to use a malfunctioning alarm system after being notified by police of its defect could be subject to criminal misdemeanor charges. Criminal violators could be subject to a $500 fine or 90 days in jail or both.