City keeps high bond ratings
Despite serious financial troubles that have hampered some services, Baltimore has managed to hold on to its bond ratings for another year.
The bond ratings are major factors in determining the interest rate the city government pays to investors when it borrows money for building projects. The city received an A-1 rating from Moody's Investment Service and an A from Standard and Poor's.
Moody's says the city's continued good bond rating is a tribute to the substantial state aid it receives as well as the Schmoke administration's "timely implementation of cost controls to address potential budgetary imbalances."
A University of Maryland sophomore has been charged with manufacturing and selling fake identification out of his College Park dormitory room, police said.
Bradley T. Yarnell, 20, of Cherry Hill, N.J., a computer science and mathematics major, was charged Saturday with the manufacturing and sale of fake identification. About 130 fake driver's licenses were confiscated in Mr. Yarnell's room, said College Park Police Capt. Richard Doran.
UM police yesterday warned area bars and colleges to look out for fake New Jersey licenses.
Mr. Yarnell, who transferred to Maryland from the University of Miami last fall, was arrested in his dorm room. Police said they found materials that could be used to create the forgeries, including an Apple computer, a lamination machine and a Polaroid camera.
Anne Arundel County:
A Baltimore teen-ager was being questioned and four other city youths were being sought today in connection with two auto thefts and a 15-mile, high-speed chase with police.
Officer Terry Robey, a spokeswoman for Anne Arundel County police, said the chase began on Fort Smallwood Road, near Energy Parkway, after an officer spotted a 1986 Chevrolet Camaro that had been stolen from in front of a house in Pasadena. The theft was reported about 2:50 a.m., she said, and the chase of the suspects began about 20 minutes later.
Officers in two cruisers reached high speeds while chasing the suspects, Officer Robey said, but she did not know how fast the police and suspects traveled. The suspects bailed out of the Camaro at the end of Whistler Avenue in Baltimore, near Wilkens and Caton avenues in the southwestern section of the city, police said.
One youth, who police said was 17 years old, was apprehended quickly, police said. Police in Anne Arundel and Baltimore, joined by a state police canine unit, searched unsuccessfully for the four other youths in a nearby wooded area.
Officer Robey said the youths allegedly stole a Jeep in the city a short time before the Camaro was stolen. They drove the Jeep to Pasadena, abandoned it, then stole the Camaro, police said.
The Baltimore County Police Department has authorized Mass Transit Administration police to fine people who drive around lowered gates at the two light-rail crossings.
In recent weeks, the gates at the Timonium Road and Seminary Avenue crossings reportedly have lowered when the track was clear. Drivers would stop and, growing impatient, steer their cars around the gates and over the tracks.
Lawrence M. Engleman, acting chief MTA police chief, last month asked county Police Chief Cornelius J. Behan to give his police the authority to ticket. Mr. Behan gave his approval April 1.
MTA police now can write a $40 ticket to any driver who interferes with traffic control devices, railroad signs or signals; fails to stop at certain railroad crossings; or moves heavy equipment at a crossing.
The MTA has asked the city police for similar authority at the Howard Street light-rail crossing. So far, the city has not responded to the request, says the MTA.
Starting in 1994, Westminster city employees may receive Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a paid holiday.
Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein, who is researching the issue, says that most of Maryland's municipalities observe the holiday. In Carroll, Union Bridge, Hampstead and Manchester employees already receive Rev. King's birthday as a paid holiday.
Opponents say adding the day would be too expensive. However, Ms. Orenstein said it would cost an additional $3,433.52, the amount spent paying overtime to 15 police officers, five dispatchers, three water plant operators and three sewer plant operators.
Regular payroll costs $9,855.08 each working day or holiday.
A weekend fire at an Edgewood apartment complex in which two people were injured was caused by an electrical short-circuit in a lamp cord, says Bob Thomas, a spokesman for the state fire marshal.
Thelma Preston, 35, was injured Saturday morning when she jumped to safety from a second-floor bedroom window.
Mrs. Preston was taken to Fallston General Hospital. She was listed in stable condition today.
Her daughter, Kimberly Denise Battle, 15, was treated at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace for smoke inhalation. She has been released.