Man hunted in fatal burningPolice today are continuing...

Maryland Newswatch

October 28, 1991

BALTIMORE CITY — Man hunted in fatal burning

Police today are continuing their search for James Covel, 25, of the 1800 block of Ashland Ave., in connection with the fatal burning of another man during an argument on Oct. 18.

Police said the victim, Morris Gilliam, 20, of the 300 block of Mason Court, died Saturday at the regional burn unit at Francis Scott Key Medical Center of injuries he received when he was doused with a flammable liquid and set aflame during an argument at the suspect's home more than a week ago.

After being splashed and set afire, Gilliam fled the house in flames and collapsed in the street, police said.

Police said two other people in the house during the argument, Vandestine Covel, 24, also of the 1800 block of Ashland Ave., and John Tillery, 21, of the same address, each were doused with the liquid and received minor burns.

They were taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where they were treated and released.

Police said anyone having information on James Covel's whereabouts should call the homicide squad at 396-2100.

Dorchester bridge burns


Most of the two-lane wooden DeCoursey Bridge, which spans the Transquaking River about 15 miles southeast of Cambridge in Dorchester County, has been destroyed in a fire that state fire officials described as suspicious.

Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas said the one-alarm fire was discovered shortly after 6 a.m. yesterday. Firefighters fought the fire for about 30 minutes before bringing it under control, he said.

The bridge was closed to traffic, forcing motorists to take a 10-mile detour around the area, Thomas said.

Investigators determined that a flammable liquid had been poured on the bridge. A damage estimate was not immediately available.

Thomas said the fire may have been set as a result of a Halloween prank. According to legend, ghosts have been seen at the bridge at night.

Several people were seen fleeing the area after the fire broke out, Thomas said.

Effort to fill UM job halted:

University of Maryland Chancellor Donald Langenberg has halted a search for a vice chancellor for public affairs because of the state's fiscal crisis.

Langenberg on Friday also laid off Deputy Chancellor Jean E. Spencer and disbanded her office, which employed three other administrators, because of recent budget cuts totaling $527,789 for the UM System.

Spencer earned $119,576 annually and assistant vice chancellor Sheila Tolliver earned $80,842. Two aides in the disbanded office earned salaries totaling nearly $60,000.

Langenberg said he will study further streamlining of his office, including furloughs for some employees and the elimination of other jobs.

The deputy chancellor's office will cease to exist effective Dec. 31. Its duties will be assumed by the UM vice chancellors for academic affairs and general administration.

Inmate education gets a push:

Legislative leaders have asked the governor to come up with $1 million to restore inmate education programs at the Patuxent Institution.

Lawmakers blamed the problem on a budgetary "oversight" and informed Gov. William Donald Schaefer of the problem in writing Oct. 18.

"The problem is, there was no check with that letter. It still leaves us with the problem to come up with the money to restore it somehow," said Page Boinset, a spokeswoman for Schaefer.

The problem, which threatens 22 jobs, arose because the educational programs at Patuxent are budgeted separately from those at other prisons. When the legislature asked the governor to restore prison education programs that were eliminated as part of a $450 million cost-cutting plan, Patuxent was overlooked.

"It was an oversight," said William S. Ratchford 2nd, director of the General Assembly's Department of Fiscal Services.

Unless something is done, the jobs will be eliminated Nov. 5.

Maryland Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Bishop Robinson would like to restore the programs, but there is no money, said prison system spokesman Gregory M. Shipley.

"No one wants to see that program end," said Shipley. "But Patuxent was forced in these budget cuts to come up with $1,096,000, and it is either the therapy program or the education program. What it boiled down to was the therapy program was mandated by law and education was not."

Programs that would be eliminated include high school equivalency classes, and literacy and vocational programs.

No jackpot winner:

There was no jackpot winner in the Maryland Lotto drawing Saturday night, which was worth an estimated $1.5 million annuity, lottery officials said.

The numbers drawn were 4-9-17-22-28-44.

Five numbers were picked by 56 players, with each ticket worth $844. Four numbers were picked by 2,688 players, with each ticket worth $30.

The next Lotto drawing will be worth an estimated $2 million annuity.

Fort Meade high on site list


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