Tornado rips through Reisterstown, but only one serious 0) injury reported
Mother Nature sent Baltimore County a reminder of who was && in charge, but she did it almost without shedding blood.
A tornado with winds of 75 to 100 mph leveled houses and uprooted trees in the northwest part of the county, with most of the damage concentrated around Reisterstown. Officials said they had counted more than 300 houses and apartments that had been damaged by the storm. About 60 people were left temporarily homeless, and the Red Cross made arrangements to put them up at a Westminster motel. Despite the devastation, only one serious injury was reported. Dudley Cook, 58, of the Chartley Apartments suffered fractures to his pelvis and thigh after high winds hit his home and the walls collapsed upon him. Surgeons at Sinai Hospital operated on him, and he was listed in fair condition. Seven other patients -- some of them victims of traffic accidents that may not have been related to the tornado -- were taken to Sinai with cuts and bruises. Three people with minor injuries were taken to Baltimore County General Hospital. Ralph Nelson, a spokesman for the county Fire Department, said it was "a miracle" that more people weren't seriously injured.
Convicted killer's sentence halved
Frank Paul Barnum was sentenced to 63 years in prison in June 1988 for killing two men after a traffic dispute in March 1987. But a Harford County Circuit Court Judge reduced his sentence to 33 years, making him eligible for parole in four years and outraging the family of one of his victims. Judge Cypert O. Whitefill, who heard testimony from Barnum and Barnum's mother before reaching his decision, modified two 30-year sentences on second-degree murder convictions by making them concurrent instead of consecutive. The judge was not available for comment, but prosecutors said he was favorably impressed by changes in Barnum since his sentencing. Unimpressed was Janet Waitkus, 21, whose fiance, Dennis BTC Comar, was one of the two men slain by Barnum on her parents' front porch. "I don't think it's fair," she said. "I don't think the judge was worried about the victims' families at all. My whole life is ruined. . . . I try not to think about it because it makes me sick." "I don't think he deserves to get off like that," said Lucy Waitkus, Janet's mother. "He killed two people. He's ruined three families. It's just not right. Too many people are let out of jail and turn around and do these things again."
Baltimore, Baltimore County eye recycling
Lawmakers from Baltimore and Baltimore County hope they have found a way to pay for picking up trash without using property taxes. If the city and county decide to carry out suggestions by the Baltimore City/Baltimore County Task Force on Waste Stream Management and Reduction, which presented them to a joint meeting at Baltimore's City Hall, they will be adopting a wide range of measures to discourage residents and businesses from using disposable materials. Such a system would reward recycling, punish the use of non-recyclable materials and end government reliance on property taxes to pay the cost of garbage removal. The recommendations call for setting up a solid-waste "enterprise fund" as well as independent authorities in the city and the county to pay for collecting and disposing of trash. The program would be similar to a 30-year-old program in Seattle, where residents subscribe to a collection service and are given trash containers that are picked up weekly. As in Seattle, financial incentives would be given for recycling trash, rather than throwing it away. The report recommends other measures to boost conservation and to save the environment, ranging from legislative initiatives to save trees to using building and housing codes to save energy and water.
Judges' pay raise may get gaveled down