More children hurt by gunsThe number of children treated...


September 17, 1992

BALTIMORE CITY: — More children hurt by guns

The number of children treated for gunshot wounds at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore is rising so sharply that an official attending a meeting in New York City yesterday predicted the year-end total will be nine times higher than in 1986.

The Hopkins pediatric trauma center treated five children with gunshot wounds in 1986, said Dr. David Nichols. The number rose to 27 in 1991, and to 22 through the first half of this year. At the current rate, Hopkins will have treated 45 child gunshot victims by the end of 1992, he estimated.

"Don't you look at these statistics and be numbed or hardened by the abstract," Dr. Nichols, director of Hopkins pediatric intensive care unit, told reporters at a media briefing on trauma sponsored by the American Medical Association. "Imagine the child you know picking up a gun in the house and shooting himself or his brother," he told them. He said society should treat the problem as a "public health emergency" and enact handgun controls.

The Amstar Corp. is seeking city planning commission approval today for a plan to buy land from the CSX Corp. that will help eliminate a noise problem for neighbors of the Domino Sugar plant just south of the Inner Harbor.

The plan calls for CSX to subdivide land it owns so a piece of it can be sold to Amstar, said Amstar attorney Ann Clary Gordon. That will let Amstar redesign the traffic flow into the Domino plant so that it can stop using a parking lot across Key Highway East as a staging area for trucks.

That will put idling trucks farther from nearby homes, said Alfred W. Barry, assistant director of the city planning department.

A horse in training for the police mounted patrol bolted from ittrainer yesterday at Druid Hill Park and galloped several city blocks before a citizen yelled "Whoa!" Police said Noble, a stallion, took off shortly before noon during exercises in the park. The horse was brought under control by an unidentified citizen about 10 minutes later at Eutaw Place and McMechen Street.

Noble was unharmed and is back at the Police Department's stable on Holliday Street. Noble will continue the training program.

Maryland State:

The Pride of Baltimore II ran aground yesterday along the Chesapeake Bay's eastern shore and remained stuck on the muddy bottom for about 10 hours before floating free at high tide last night.

"They misjudged where they were on a chart and got stuck," said the Pride's executive director, Linda Jordan. "Boats run aground all the time. It happens. You wish it hadn't. It can be embarrassing."

Ms. Jordan said no damage resulted and that the goodwill sailing ship -- with a crew of 12 that includes several new members -- dropped anchor overnight near the mouth of the Sassafras River.

The Pride, which is visiting towns along the bay and its tributaries, was in Georgetown last weekend and is due to arrive this afternoon for a weekend stay at Havre de Grace, Ms. Jordan said.

Anne Arundel County:

With the threat of budget cuts looming, County Executive Robert R. Neall is looking for ways to better use volunteer firefighters to provide fire protection services.

Mr. Neall said last week that he is working on a plan that would use volunteer firefighters on shifts such as evenings and weekends and allow the county to use paid firefighters on week days.

Although Mr. Neall has not completed his plan, the president of the Volunteer Firefighters Association said he would welcome a greater use of the volunteers.

"I think it would boost the morale of the volunteers and be beneficial to the taxpayers," said Louis D'Camera, who was elected to his second term.

Fire service costs $93 per person in Anne Arundel, nearly as much as the $96 per person cost in Baltimore County, a jurisdiction with a population more than a third greater.

The per capita cost of fire protection in the other suburban jurisdictions ranges from $88 in Montgomery County to $72 in Howard County.

Carroll County:

One Westminster middle-schooler's math quiz becomes another student's jewelry, after the Dangling Dittos corporation is done with it.

The brightly painted and lacquered earrings, pins and barrettes worn by West Middle School students were once the "ditto" sheets teachers handed out with lessons and tests, hence the name of the 3-year-old corporation.

The enterprise already has raised hundreds of dollars for the school, and over the summer it won a $250 regional award and recognition from the American Paper Institute in its "Best Recycling Stories" contest.

"It basically was a rather well-rounded project with a lot of subject areas, and it involved a lot of students," said Sandy Kravetz, a spokeswoman for the American Paper Institute.

Harford County:

More than 50 private and public services for senior citizens will be displayed from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the annual Harford Senior Fair at Harford Mall, in Bel Air.

Fair-goers will be able to have their health tested, view exhibits and enjoy a variety of live entertainment.

The two-day event is being sponsored by the county Office on Aging, the American Association of Retired Persons, and the Harford County Retired Teachers Association.

Howard County:

Suspensions increased in county middle schools but dropped in elementary and high schools last school year.

The number of suspensions in middle schools rose from 336 to 359 in the 1991-1992 year, but dropped from 135 to 82 in elementary schools and from 885 to 796 in high schools.

School officials blamed the infractions leading to the suspensions -- ranging from poor attendance to theft -- on peer pressure, increased violence, and puberty.

Most suspensions were for fighting and disruptive behavior.

"A lot of the fighting starts in the community and continues into school, where the principal must deal with it, " said Alice W. Haskins, instructional director of middle schools.

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