Two injured sisters get nearly $800,000ANNAPOLIS -- An...


November 10, 1992|By From Staff Reports

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY ANNAPOLIS — Two injured sisters get nearly $800,000

ANNAPOLIS -- An Anne Arundel Circuit Court jury yesterday ordered the State Highway Administration and a Chapelgate motorist to pay $800,000 in damages to two women injured in a 1989 car accident on rain-slick Route 176.

Anna Connors, 62, of Wright Road, Hanover, was awarded $564,200 and her sister, Martha J. Marris, 58, of Morgantown, W.Va., won $234,100 after a two-week trial.

The jury agreed with the plaintiffs that poor design work by the state on a road-widening project caused flooding that contributed to the July 5 accident.

Mrs. Marris was eastbound on Route 176, about a quarter-mile east of I-295, when a rented Ford Tiempo being driven west by Wille James Oaks of Chapelgate spun 180 degrees and struck her van.

Mrs. Connors suffered numerous broken bones and spent 15 days in the hospital. Mrs. Marris was at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for four days with severe head injuries, broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a fractured sternum.

Mr. Oaks, who was 24 at the time, remained unconscious at the trauma center for three weeks.

Easier registration pressed by Ambridge


BALTIMORE -- City Councilman Anthony J. Ambridge introduced a resolution yesterday calling on the General Assembly to change election laws to make it easier for people to register and vote.

The council resolution urges the state to consider same-day voter registration and weekend voting. It also says the state should change the law so that court juries are drawn from other available lists in addition to voter registration lists. Mr. Ambridge, a 2nd District Democrat, maintains that many people don't register to vote to avoid jury duty.

Statewide, about 69 percent of the voting-age population is registered to vote. In Baltimore, about 65 percent of the adults over 18 are registered voters.

Despite many reform efforts over the years, state lawmakers have resisted changing registration laws. They say they do not allow same-day registration to avoid voter fraud.

Some political observers say that voter registration is tied more closely to income, and the length of time someone lives at one address.

And with Maryland having a high number of transient residents, voter registration suffers, they say.

Plaza security guard shoots suspect



WOODLAWN -- An off-duty Baltimore county policeman, working as a security guard at the Pace Plaza department store in Woodlawn, shot and wounded a man suspected of shoplifting yesterday.

Police said Officer Elmer L. Aulton, 38, was alerted to a shoplifter by a shopper about 2:30 p.m. and saw a man putting on several coats.

Officer Aulton, a 17-year veteran who works on the county's tactical squad, told police he ordered the suspect to put his hands on the wall. Instead, police said, the man fled outside, where he turned on the officer, brandishing what appeared to be a handgun.

The policeman fired and the shot struck the suspect in the upper left arm. Police said the suspect's weapon was a BB gun taped to make it resemble an automatic weapon. It was not fired. Two coats from the store were recovered, police said.

Police said that charges are pending against Collins Eugene Jackson, 36, of the 4000 block of Park Heights Ave., who was listed in serious condition at Sinai Hospital.

Options would redraw elementary school lines



WESTMINSTER -- As many as 179 children attending the crowded Mount Airy Elementary School would switch to an expanded Winfield Elementary School next fall, under plans to be laid out tomorrow for the Carroll County school board.

The board meets at 9 a.m. at Francis Scott Key High School in Union Bridge. No vote will be taken on the redistricting until Jan. 5, said Kathleen Sanner, a facilities planner for the schools.

Tomorrow will be the first presentation of three options to the board. The options vary in the number of children to be moved, she said.

The same options will be presented to parents at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at Mount Airy Elementary and Nov. 18 at South Carroll High School.

After the parents have a chance to comment to school officials, the staff will present one option to the school board at the Dec. 9 meeting.

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