Power being restored downtownA handful of business...

MARYLAND NEWSWATCH

July 10, 1992

BALTIMORE CITY: — Power being restored downtown

A handful of business customers in downtown Baltimore, including Tio Pepe Restaurant and Our Daily Bread soup kitchen, remained without electricity today after a power outage last night.

The problem was traced to a blown fuse that caused a transformer to fail about 8:45 p.m., said Peggy D. Mulloy, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. A total of 234 customers, including the Baltimore Sun building and the Maryland Penitentiary, were affected. All but six had power restored by 11 p.m.

Repairs were expected to be made and power restored to the six today, Ms. Mulloy said.

She said BG&E was delivering dry ice to Tio Pepe and Our Daily Bread, which offers meals to the needy. Both are near Franklin and Cathedral streets.

Some homeless people with AIDS and serious mental illnesses will be able to find shelter in Baltimore, thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the federal government.

The grant will pay for 22 rooms in what are known as single-room-occupancy buildings, which provide private bedrooms and common living areas. Another 30 people will be given rent subsidies for one-bedroom apartments. Those who receive housing also will get comprehensive medical treatment, employment training, nutrition services and transportation.

The program, Shelter Care Plus, is underwritten by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city will be responsible for running the program, but will have help from private partners -- Housing Unlimited Group Inc. and Baltimore Mental Health Systems Inc.

Maryland

Gov. William Donald Schaefer announced the appointment yesterday of a task force that will identify government functions that could be better performed by private businesses.

The appointment came a day after Mr. Schaefer visited a Toronto airport to discuss efforts to "privatize" operations there.

The task force will be chaired by William K. Hellmann, former state transportation secretary. A preliminary report is due in September with a final report by Dec. 31.

A state employees' union announced yesterday that it is appealing a court decision that upheld the firings of some of its members during the budget crisis.

The case involves 100 members of the Maryland Classified Employees Association who lost their jobs when the state ordered hundreds of terminations in October 1991 to balance the budget. The firings did not consider employee layoff rights and seniority, the union protested.

The Office of Administrative Hearings agreed with the union March 12, but the state appealed. Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. sided with the state June 8.

MCEA has filed its appeal in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Anne Arundel County:

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an amendment that would shut down the troubled D.C.-owned Cedar Knoll youth detention center near Laurel by next June.

The measure, included in the District's $3.9 billion spending plan, goes to the Senate, which is expected to take up the package in the next couple of months.

Cedar Knoll, a minimum-security detention center near Md. 32 DTC and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway that has no fences, has been plagued by escapes.

Since January 1990, 43 youths have escaped, 49 have fled while on outside job or school assignments and 85 more have failed to return from unsupervised home visits or special leave.

A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered the facility to shut down in 1987.

Yesterday, Larry Brown, a spokesman for the D.C. Department of Human Services, said he hopes negotiations can keep the facility open.

Baltimore County:

In a series of predawn raids yesterday, the Baltimore County )) sheriff's office rounded up 17 fathers whose delinquent child support payments totaled more than $80,000.

The raids, which began at 3 a.m. with two teams of six deputies each, were part of Sheriff Norman M. Pepersack Jr.'s attempt to cut into his list of 800 "deadbeat dads" who are behind on paying court-mandated child support. In all, 35 raids were made throughout the county.

During the raids, one other man was arrested on a warrant in a paternity case. He admitted paternity, signed an agreement to pay $40 a week in child support and was released, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Each man taken into custody was held without bail until a bail review hearing, or until he paid the debt in full. Typically, those unable to pay or who are unemployed are sentenced to the county jail work-release program, where their wages and their whereabouts can be closely monitored, Sheriff Pepersack said.

Carroll County:

A 16-year-old boy, charged as an adult with armed robbery, was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday. Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. suspended all but one year of the sentence and ordered Brian Myers to serve that time in the detention center.

Myers originally faced nine criminal charges, including attempted murder. In a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to the armed robbery and the remaining charges were dropped.

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