Watermen's Cooperative to pay utility bills without help from 0) city
The Maryland Watermen's Cooperative, the struggling project that once was heralded as the savior of the Annapolis area's seafood industry, has agreed to start paying its utility bills tomorrow.
A new manager has been appointed, and the co-op is working to line up permits to start shucking oysters and picking crabs, said City Administrator Michael Mallinoff.
The city had been paying the electricity bill to help the 54 watermen who lease the old McNasby Oyster Co. plant in Eastport. Members said they were victimized by costly delays in renovating the plant and the decline of oysters and crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.
Mr. Mallinoff plans to brief the City Council's Finance Committee today on progress at the co-op.
Last spring, the co-op opened after nearly a three-year wait and a $1.3 million government investment. At the time, it was seen as the best hope of revitalizing the area's once-robust seafood industry.
But six months later, the refurbished oyster shucking room, the 40-foot stainless steel tables, the crab kettles and processing line were as idle as the day McNasby's closed.
Delays in finishing the processing area have been financially draining for watermen at a time when they have been struggling to make ends meet, members said at a Finance Committee meeting in November.
The committee agreed then to pay an overdue $2,500 electricity bill and continue paying the utilities until the co-op was on its feet. Mr. Mallinoff said yesterday that members of the co-op, while acknowledging that they're in the midst of another lean winter, are upbeat about the future.
Lothian man charged in Moreland's robbery
County police have charged a Lothian man with robbing a convenience store Tuesday.
According to the police report, a gunman walked into Moreland's store on Route 408 at 11 a.m. and demanded money from the clerk. The clerk turned the cash over to him and the robber was last seen getting into a car driven by another man.
Soon, police stopped the car on Route 408 and questioned the driver, who said he had been at the store with a friend, whom he dropped off at the intersection of Route 408 and Sands Road.
Investigators went to the home of Earl Lionel Franklin, 30, of the 1200 block of Marlboro Road. Mr. Franklin agreed to let them search his house, and officers found evidence they said linked him to the robbery.
Mr. Franklin was charged with armed robbery and handgun violations.
Maryland National branch robbed
A robber made off with cash from an Annapolis bank Tuesday afternoon, county police reported.
Investigators said the robber walked into Maryland National Bank in the 100 block of Defense Highway at 2 p.m. and gave the teller a note demanding money.
The clerk gave the robber money with a dye pack attached , and it exploded as the robber left the bank.