Passage of gun-control bill is urgedMaryland Attorney...

MARYLAND NEWSWATCH

September 16, 1992

BALTIMORE CITY: — Passage of gun-control bill is urged

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. and local officials called on Congress yesterday to pass federal legislation requiring gun buyers to wait five days before obtaining a handgun.

Mr. Curran said the so-called Brady bill would help deter dangerous people from obtaining handguns. He said the legislation would be modeled on Maryland's gun-control law, which was passed in 1966. It requires would-be buyers to wait seven days to purchase a handgun. Meanwhile, the state police perform background checks to screen applicants.

Since the state's law went into effect, 12,000 people have been denied handgun purchases after checks revealed histories of crime, serious mental illness, or drug or alcohol abuse, Mr. Curran said.

He said yesterday's gathering of local officials was part of a nationwide effort by local officials to "free" the Brady bill from "congressional gridlock" during the current session. Among the Brady bill backers are officials from the city and Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Baltimore counties.

Hampstead Hill Middle School, in an effort to combat poor attendance, has received automatic telephone-dialing equipment to let the school notify parents when their children are truant.

The equipment, donated by Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. and expected to be operating as early as today, is part of a systemwide push to combat truancy.

In the 1990-1991 school year, the latest figures reported by the state, nearly 37 percent of 110,000 Baltimore students missed more than a month of school. At Hampstead Hill, 63.3 percent of the 1,256 students missed more than a month.

Anne Arundel County:

U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest is winning over environmentalists in the battle for the 1st District. But so is his Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen.

No sooner had the national Sierra Club announced its endorsement yesterday of Mr. Gilchrest than several Anne Arundel County environmentalists threw their support to Mr. McMillen.

A half-dozen activists from Annapolis, Pasadena, Glen Burnie and South Baltimore have endorsed Mr. McMillen. They cited his efforts to win federal financing to dredge several north county creeks, his opposition to incinerators, and his role in preserving 9,000 acres at Fort Meade.

But the Sierra Club praised Mr. Gilchrest's work in protecting non-tidal wetlands, preserving public lands and opposing a high-span bridge over the Severn River.

Baltimore County:

A county policeman was listed in serious but stable condition at the Maryland Shock-Trauma Center today after his cruiser crashed into a guardrail and a tree near Owings Mills.

Police said Officer Kevin Roger, a member of the force for 13 years, was on routine patrol and southbound on Reisterstown Road near Pleasant Hill Road about 2 a.m. when his car went out of control, crossed into the opposite lane and struck a guardrail.

After bouncing off the guardrail, the car re-entered the southbound lane, drove onto the west shoulder and crashed broadside into a tree.

Police said the officer sustained several broken bones, a possible broken hip and multiple lacerations and bruises.

Jerry Kendall, a home builder whose questionable dealings havangered customers and stiffened the state regulation of builders, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of bank fraud on the day he was scheduled to go to trial.

Appearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Kendall, formerly // Jerome J. Knoedler, admitted to Judge John R. Hargrove that he was guilty of one charge in a three-count indictment.

Kendall faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but under a plea agreement with prosecutors, he is expected to receive a substantially lighter penalty at sentencing, set for Dec. 9.

Carroll County:

In a ruling issued Monday, Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. will allow the murder trial of Michael C. Bryson to be moved to Anne Arundel County.

A trial date has not been set.

The 25-year-old Carroll man was arrested April 6 and charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the March 25 shotgun slaying of Charles W. Therit, a Melrose hardware store owner.

Judge Burns agreed to the change of venue after Mr. Bryson said , during pretrial motions last week, that he would not be able to "have a fair and impartial trial" in Carroll.

State's Attorney Thomas Hickman is seeking the death penalty.

Harford County:

County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann and other county officials will bring government to the people from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. tomorrow at Havre de Grace High School as part of the Harford County Speakout series.

Conducted in a town-meeting format, the event will give residents an opportunity to share their views with Mrs. Rehrmann and officials from major county government agencies, including public works, the sheriff's office, community services, parks and recreation, planning and zoning, economic development, treasury and procurement. Information: 638-3223.

Howard County:

If Md. 100 is built where the State Highway Administration wants it in southern Ellicott City, the road will destroy county parkland, according to nearby residents who want the County Council to adopt a resolution seeking federal protection of property along Deep Run.

Also, residents of Hunt Country Estates charge that the SHA has presented residents and county officials with erroneous comparisons of how much damage seven different Md. 100 alternatives would cause.

The SHA used those comparisons to label as "not preferred" an alternative favored by Hunt Country Estates residents.

"Are you getting straight talk from state highway? Because I don't feel I am," says Tom O'Brien, whose home is close to one of SHA's preferred alternatives.

The SHA is expected to hold hearings in December on alternatives to the Md. 100 alignment that federal regulators rejected because of the amount of damage it would do to the wetlands of Deep Run.

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