Lead-paint award is $500,000A brother and sister who...


April 21, 1992

MARYLAND: — Lead-paint award is $500,000

A brother and sister who suffered permanent brain damage after ingesting lead paint in their run-down rowhouse have been awarded $500,000 by a Baltimore Circuit Court jury.

Christopher Brown, attorney for Jamall Holman, 7, and Jamika Holman, 8, said yesterday that the jury deliberated 3 1/2 hours before reaching the verdict on Friday.

The defendants in the case were Richwind Joint Venture 4, owner of the rowhouse, and Scoken Management Corp., which managed the property.

Dr. Julian Chisolm testified for the plaintiffs that Jamall lost seven intelligence quotient points and his sister Jamika five points. Jamall was awarded $252,000 and his sister $247,500.

The Holman children now live in Andrews, S.C., with their grandmother. The damage award will be put in a trust to pay for tutors and to compensate the children for expected lost income as adults, Mr. Brown said.

The Commission on State Debt recommended yesterday that the state property tax rate remain at 21 cents per $100 of assessed value next year.

If the Board of Public Works accepts the recommendation when it sets the rate tomorrow, the rate of taxation will remain at the level where it has been since fiscal year 1982.

The state property tax is part of the tax bill sent out each year by Baltimore and the 23 counties. A 21-cent tax would raise $199 million during fiscal 1993, which begins July 1.

Anne Arundel County:

Minutes after a former roller-skating coach was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping two of his teen-age son's girlfriends, a 14-year-old Laurel girl came forward to say the man had gotten her drunk and raped her, too.

That was in December. Yesterday, the former coach, 38, was indicted for sexual offenses against the girl, who had been a member of his skating team.

The girl told authorities last summer the man had threatened to kill her.

The new charges include second-degree rape, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The Jessup man's name is being withheld to protect the identities of the juveniles.

He pleaded guilty in October to two counts of second-degree rape.

In court, a prosecutor described how the man, after raping a 12-year-old girl in July 1990 in an equipment room at the Laurel Skating Center in Howard County, "called for [his 14-year-old son] and told him it was his turn."

The man admitted raping another girl, also 14.

Baltimore County:

The Baltimore County planning board will hear comments on comprehensive rezoning issues in the 5th Councilmanic District tonight at 7:30 at Perry Hall High School, 4601 Ebenezer Road. Speakers may sign up from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The comprehensive rezoning process occurs every four years.

Friends and foes of development in Perry Hall and White Marsh, new zoning for marinas and boatyards, increased commercialization of Belair Road, and protection for rural Kingsville are expected to turn out in force at the hearing.

"The issues are very different throughout the district, from the waterfront to the growth area of White Marsh," said Joan Morrissey Ward, community planner for the 5th Councilmanic District.

Near the designated growth area of Perry Hall and White Marsh, there are hundreds of acres on the list of land-use issues, most raised by planners and the Perry Hall Improvement Association.

"The problem for planners is that land zoned for high density is in the growth area, but we wonder whether it's appropriate. We may not be able to sustain it -- with water, sewer, roads, schools, open space -- and no money," Ms. Ward said.

Planners placed more than 600 acres of the land on the list of issues earlier this year, but didn't recommend any change in zoning because staff members found they needed more information to resolve the tension between rapid growth and the county's master plan, she said.

County Executive Roger B. Hayden has proposed a three-year moratorium on construction on 3,000 acres in the Honeygo area, north of Perry Hall.

Carroll County:

Although the county budget hasn't been hit as hard as the commissioners feared, employees who were furloughed probably won't see their lost salaries restored.

Commissioners say they would prefer to use the savings to ease about $7 million in cuts in next year's budget.

"The truth of the matter [is] we're just not out of the woods," said Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy.

In anticipation of state budget cuts, Carroll's commissioners cut $1.95 million from education spending and $1.75 million from the county government budget in December.

Budget reductions included two furlough days for educators, for a savings of about $700,000, and two to four furlough days for county employees depending on their salary, for a savings of about $350,000.

However, the final round of state cuts totaled $1.4 million rather than an estimated $3.7 million.

Harford County:

Harford Community College and the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore have established a satellite program that would allow Harford residents to receive a baccalaureate degree without leaving the county, say educators at the two colleges.

The program will start this fall, offering undergraduate degree programs in business and nursing at the community college's campus near Bel Air.

The agreement between the two institutions is a part of the effort to establish the Higher Education and Applied Technology (HEAT) project in Harford County.

The Harford program is made possible, in part, through a $100,000 Maryland Higher Education Community College Challenge Grant.

More details of the program will be announced tomorrow by Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

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