Animal-rights group sues NIH
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a federal lawsuit in Baltimore yesterday against the National Institutes of Health in an attempt to force the agency to release records of tests conducted on animals in a head-injury study.
PETA, in the suit filed in U.S. District Court, is requesting copies of documents from the study, being conducted at the University of Pennsylvania with a $523,185 grant from NIH.
The animal-rights group from Rockville says the study inflicts high levels of pain and prolonged suffering on animals, including guinea pigs that are allowed to live for two weeks after having their eyes pulled from their sockets and pigs that have their brains scrambled in a device.
It says the documents will provide more information on the methods used to inflict the injuries.
NIH officials would not comment on the lawsuit.
The experiments, according to the NIH-affiliated National Institute of Neurological Disorders, are performed on animals to help scientists understand the effects of head injuries on humans.
The United Way of Central Maryland has made an $8,000 donation to the Maryland Boys & Girls Clubs Inc. to support programs offered to more than 500 disadvantaged city youths at two East Baltimore public housing sites.
The grant offsets shortfalls from recent fund-raisers run by the non-profit youth group, according to United Way officials. It also will enable the group to receive a matching grant from the Abell Foundation.
"This makes it possible to provide a full summer of programs at Flag House," says Robert T. Kiernan, the group's executive director.
The 2-year-old program offers recreational and educational activities for youths, ages 6 to 18. The organization has two sites in the city, at Flag House Courts and at Claremont Homes.
Mr. Kiernan says the grant will be used solely for the Flag House center, providing pay for five part-time employees, supplies and the upkeep of continuing programs.
The center is open six days a week. Mr. Kiernan says that with
out the grant the Flag House center would be on a limited schedule.
Annapolis police, acting on a state prosecutor's advice, apparently violated a Maryland wiretap statute by taping an officer's telephone conversation at work without a court order.
Having received the go-ahead from an assistant state's attorney, an internal affairs investigator recorded a brief phone conversation between a female officer and her ex-boyfriend, police officials say. The officer is under investigation concerning a series of allegations, including harassing her former boyfriend and making violent threats, according to sources in the city government.
"There's been no cloak and dagger routine," says Annapolis Police Chief Harold Robbins. "We sought legal advice and direction before we took any action, and then we proceeded on the basis of that opinion."
Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins says he has spoken with the chief and is fully satisfied that "the department has done nothing wrong."
It's not illegal to intercept a conversation under federal law if one person in the conversation agrees. But some states, including Maryland, have adopted stricter statutes.
Police said yesterday that two men charged with robbing a Woodlawn video store are suspects in about 20 other robberies in which the pattern was similar.
One of the two men was charged yesterday with four additional robberies, police said.
The men were arrested Wednesday night after county police officers trailed them in their car for about 10 miles on the Beltway and into Baltimore, said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a county police spokesman.
Vernon Covington, 25, of the 1500 block of E. Preston St. in the city, and Dana Molinaro, 25, no known address, have been charged with robbing Video Magic in the 7100 block of Security Blvd., Sergeant Doarnberger said.
In addition, police have charged Mr. Molinaro with the robberies of a WaWa convenience store in the 300 block of Stemmers Run Road July 3; a Mr. Photo store in the 6400 block of Belair Road and a TCBY yogurt store in the 7600 block of Belair Road, both July 6; and a Baskin Robbins ice cream store in the 8600 block of Philadelphia Road July 8.
Both are being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, police said.
The county commissioners have authorized the Public Works Department to release the remaining capacity of flow allocations at the Freedom Waste Water Treatment Plant.
A total of 156,000 gallons a day is available for use.
Of that figure, 27,000 gallons have been allocated but not used; 20,000 gallons are reserved for industrial use; and 83,850 gallons are on the waiting list, leaving 24,800 gallons for new allocations.
The allocations are being released in anticipation of the expanded Freedom Waste Water Treatment Plant opening, scheduled for September. The expansion allows for a flow of 3.5 million gallons a day.
No allocations have been made since the fall of 1990 due to diminishing capacity.
An assistant bank manager charged with stealing more than $40,000 from customers' accounts has pleaded guilty to forgery and theft in Circuit Court.
Susan M. Wozniak, of the first block of Sheraton Road in Randallstown, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of felony theft for stealing from the Key Federal Savings Bank in the 9400 block of Baltimore National Pike, the Ellicott City branch where she worked.
Wozniak, 28, also pleaded guilty to seven counts of forgery, one for each of the accounts from which she stole money. She admitted signing customers' names on withdrawal slips and taking amounts ranging from $500 to $6,400 from last August to January.
Judge Cornelius Sybert requested a presentence report on Wozniak's background before he sentences her Sept. 8.
Assistant State's Attorney William Cookson had asked for a six-month jail sentence. But William Kirkpatrick, Wozniak's lawyer, requested a five-year probation sentence so she can pay restitution.