City wants say on OTB parlorsCouncilman Anthony J...

MARYLAND NEWSWATCH

May 19, 1992

MARYLAND — City wants say on OTB parlors

Councilman Anthony J. Ambridge wants the City Council to have the final say over where off-track betting parlors are located. And Councilman Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr. wants the state to legalize payouts from video poker machines so the city can charge hefty licensing fees for them.

Mr. Ambridge, D-2nd, introduced a bill yesterday that would designate off-track betting parlors as conditional uses in commercial zones. That designation would allow a parlor in an area only after a hearing and council approval.

Off-track betting was approved by the 1992 General Assembly. Gov. William Donald Schaefer is expected to sign the bill.

Mr. D'Adamo, D-1st, introduced a resolution yesterday urging the General Assembly to legalize payouts from video poker machines. Mr. D'Adamo said the city could then levy a $5,000 licensing fee on each of the estimated 2,000 machines in Baltimore, raising $10 million in revenue that he would like to see spent on public safety and education.

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The financially troubled N. M. Carroll Health Care Facility has filed for bankruptcy to forestall a foreclosure sale by the city of Baltimore, which is owed $3.8 million on the as-yet-unfinished West Baltimore nursing home.

Nelson R. Stewart, an attorney representing the owners of the facility in the 1000 block of N. Gilmor St., said yesterday that his clients are still trying to come up with the $1.2 million needed to finish construction on the 140-bed facility.

The owner of the project -- a community, non-profit corporation associated with the successful N. M. Carroll Manor senior citizens complex -- ran out of money last year when the building was 95 percent complete.

Maryland managed to cut pollution and restore wildlife and fish in Chesapeake Bay in 1991 despite recession-related budget cuts, according to an annual report on bay cleanup programs released yesterday.

"It's at least safe to say that the patient has been stabilized and we're actually beginning to make progress in turning it around," said Michael Sullivan, a Department of the Environment spokesman.

But an environmental group cautioned that, with the population around the bay increasing, cleanup efforts must be increased. "To stay where we are, we're going to have to work harder and harder," said Michael Hirshfield, science adviser to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Baltimore County:

A group of about 20 blind people went before the Baltimore County Council last night to ask that Bill Ramsey, 52, a blind

vendor, not be forced out of his snack and toiletry shop in the county's detention center in Towson.

The administration of County Executive Roger B. Hayden is considering a proposal to hire another contractor -- who is not blind -- to run the stand in exchange for a percentage of the profits.

"Where is it going to stop?" asked Alfred Hill, who is legally blind and operates a similar stand at the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn.

Sharon Maneki, president of the Maryland chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, told the council that replacing Mr. Ramsey with another private contractor who is promising to pay the county part of his profits would "set a dangerous precedent, and will weaken [an employment] program for the blind."

James Gashel, another federation officer, said unemployment runs about 70 percent among the blind, and that 4,000 blind vendors compose the largest single employment group among people with the disability nationally.

The vendors operate in many public buildings under a 1936 federal law that created the program.

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A Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. lineman was killed yesterday when he came in contact with a live wire as he worked on a utility pole in Hunt Valley.

Baltimore County police said David J. Crizer, 23, of the 4800 block of Carea Road in White Hall, Harford County, died while replacing caps on electrical lines near the top of a utility pole at McCormick Road and International Drive shortly after 11:30 a.m.

Art Slusark, a BG&E spokesman, said 7,600-volts entered the man's body. The victim was killed instantly, he said.

Carroll County:

State police have arrested a man accused of slashing his estranged wife's face and hands Sunday after forcing his way into her house.

Police arrested Ernest Robert Thomas Jr., 26, yesterday. Mr. Thomas, of the 6500 block of Davis Road in Mount Airy, was charged with burglary, maiming and assault with intent to maim. Police would not say where they apprehended Mr. Thomas.

Police said that about 4 a.m. Sunday, Mr. Thomas entered the house of his estranged wife, Tina Marie Thomas, 24, on Chapel Road in Westminster, and attacked her.

When police arrived , they found Mrs. Thomas with cuts on her cheeks and hands.

Police said she received the cuts while defending herself.

Harford County:

Residents will get a chance to quiz the 11 candidates vying for two open seats on the Harford County school board at a forum at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bel Air United Methodist Church on Md. 24 and Linwood Avenue in Bel Air.

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