Fireworks plant has 2nd fireA second explosion and fire in...

MARYLAND NEWSWATCH

March 26, 1992

BALTIMORE CITY: — Fireworks plant has 2nd fire

A second explosion and fire in 48 hours have hit a fireworks plant in Elkton, a state fire official said today.

An explosion and fire late last night destroyed a concrete storage building at New Jersey Fireworks, said Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas, noting that arson has not been ruled out.

At least two other buildings at the plant also were broken into last night, Mr. Thomas said. An investigation is under way by the state fire marshal's office.

On Tuesday, two buildings were destroyed when a chemical reaction during manufacturing caused an explosion and fire.

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A Worcester County grand jury looking into the suspicious death of a 91-year-old Pocomoke City nursing home patient may return criminal indictments today or tomorrow, according to sources close to the investigation.

The grand jury, which met privately in the county courthouse in Snow Hill yesterday, has sifted through evidence reportedly showing that Maidie Lang Shay, a patient at the Hartley Hall Nursing Home, died Jan. 29 as a result of an unauthorized dose of the morphine-based painkiller Roxanol.

Mrs. Shay's remains were exhumed. Toxicologic tests by the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore revealed traces of morphine in tissue samples.

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At least one large whale, possibly the same humpback that spent more than a week swimming south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge recently, has spent several days in Tangier Sound, off Crisfield in Somerset County.

Barbara MacLeod, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department Natural Resources, said one or two large whales were in the sound yesterday. Like the 35-foot humpback seen often near the Bay Bridge, the whale or whales off Crisfield did not seem to be in any trouble, she said.

Susan Riffle, an assignment editor for WBOC-TV in Salisbury, said a news crews from the station filmed one whale yesterday in Tangier Sound. People in the area had reported seeing a large whale in the area since Sunday, she said.

DNR officials hope the whale or whales make it back to the Atlantic soon. Humpbacks, which normally spend winters in the Caribbean, migrate north in the spring to the waters off Cape Cod, Mass. Last week, scientists in Virginia and Maryland concluded that the humpback seen near the Bay Bridge March 9 was photographed earlier off Virginia Beach.

A quick-thinking Western District police officer has been credited with protecting several pedestrians from injuries when he used his patrol car to block a run-away vehicle in the 800 block of N. Payson St. Tuesday night.

Officer Charles Brawner said two men jumped out of the car, attempting to elude police in a 1983 Mazda-RX7 that had been stolen Monday in Baltimore County. The car slipped into reverse and rolled backward in the 800 block of N. Payson St.

As the Mazda picked up speed, Officer Clifton Macer, 28, who RTC was headed south in the same block, saw that pedestrians were in the path of the Mazda.

So he drove his patrol car in front of the Mazda, stopping it.

Arundel County:

Starting next month, a contractor will begin rebuilding the beach and dunes at Ocean City that were damaged by a severe winter storm in January.

The state Board of Public Works yesterday in Annapolis approved a $12.2 million contract for the project, which is expected to last about three months.

The federal government will pay about $8.8 million of the cost of the restoration project. The remaining $3.4 million will come from a fund set up by the state, Ocean City and Worcester County to maintain the beach and dunes.

Baltimore County:

A developer has failed to get Baltimore County government's support for a 3,000-home, Italian-style hillside village in Cockeysville.

In a letter to the attorney for Victor Posner's Security Management Corp., administrative officer Merreen E. Kelly said county agencies "are unanimous in their opposition" to the proposal and north county residents have expressed strong objections as well.

The project, named Colvista, would put condominiums, apartments and townhouses on 215 hilly acres east of York Road and south of Phoenix Road -- land now zoned for watershed protection because of its proximity to the Loch Raven Reservoir.

The county Planning Board is to consider the rezoning request next month. The board's recommendation will be passed on to the County Council, which is to make a final determination in October.

Mr. Kelly's letter summarizes a slew of objections from every department that reviewed the plan.

G. Scott Barhight, an attorney for Security Management Corp., said the developer will continue to work for the rezoning.

Carroll County:

The owner of a Carroll County hardware store was fatally shot last night during an apparent robbery, state police said.

Shortly before 8 p.m., a customer discovered the body of Charles William Therit Jr., 51, behind the counter of the store on Md. 30 in Melrose, just south of the Pennsylvania line, police said.

Mr. Therit, of the 20200 block of Middletown Road in Freeland, was shot in the face with a 20-gauge shotgun, said Chuck Jackson, a state police spokesman.

The cash register drawer was open.

Police said they were seeking a white man in his 30s, the driver of a dark-colored pickup truck with Pennsylvania tags. THe truck was seen outside the store.

Investigators were seeking to determine if a 20-gauge shotgun was missing from the store.

Harford County:

The Susquehanna Private Industry Council Inc., which provides job training for low-income and jobless residents in Harford and Cecil counties, is looking to sponsor-supervised summer jobs for young people.

Sheila Terry, operations manager for the council, said the council wants to sponsor jobs that not only pay but provide an environment in which to learn a work ethic and skills.

The deadline to apply is is March 31. Call 642-6384, 939-4240, or 575-7248.

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