In Baltimore City Acrid odor forces evacuation of state...

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

September 19, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

Acrid odor forces evacuation of state health employees

More than 2,000 people were evacuated from the state health department building at 201 W. Preston St. for nearly three hours yesterday after employees on one floor noticed an acrid odor that stung their eyes and irritated their throats.

When the fire alarm went off about 9 a.m., workers said, they first thought it might be a false alarm or a drill. But because of the terrorist attacks one week ago, many took the alarm more seriously. "Everybody thought about chemicals. We were thinking, `What if?'" said Edna Gan, who works in the molecular biology department.

Investigators from the state Department of the Environment tested all six floors for combustible gases, carbon monoxide and other substances, but found nothing and the cause of the irritation remained unknown. One spill response team stayed on site all day to monitor the situation.

City man fatally shot behind Belvedere Hotel

A 29-year-old Northeast Baltimore man was fatally shot Monday night behind the Belvedere Hotel in what police said appeared to be a drug-related ambush.

Derrick Valentine of the 1500 block of Northwick Road was shot several times about 9 p.m. in a parking lot off the 1000 block of St. Paul St. after washing his car. Valentine, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was left there with cash and a wallet in his pocket, police said.

Two people saw the shooting, and nine were in the area when it happened, police said. "It took a lot of nerve to do something like that with a lot of people around," said Lt. Ed Schillo of the Police Department's Central District.

Urban League to honor computer class graduates

About 500 adults and children will be recognized tonight for completing a community computer training program based at the Baltimore Urban League headquarters.

The technology award ceremony -- at 7 p.m. at the league facilities at 512 Orchard St. -- will honor those who completed the training for "making strides toward self-betterment and closing the `digital divide,'" the organization said.

Before the ceremony, league staff members will offer tours of the computer center. The training there is intended to help open doors to entry-level positions with competitive salaries, the league said. In Baltimore County

Patriotism rally scheduled this evening at fairgrounds

TIMONIUM -- A rally, "United We Stand: A Salute to the American Spirit," will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at the 4-H Building at Maryland State Fairgrounds in response to last week's terrorist attacks.

"This is an opportunity for local residents to come together and reaffirm their support to our country at this difficult time," said Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.

Two large "remembrance walls" signed by thousands of county residents during the recent Baltimore County Cultural Diversity Festival will be on display. New walls will be set up to allow residents to express their feelings. The Handel Choir of Baltimore will perform.

Woman, 46, killed in Bel Air Road crash

KINGSVILLE -- A 46-year-old woman from northeastern Baltimore County was killed early yesterday when her car struck a truck in the 12000 block of Bel Air Road in Kingsville.

Veronica Garrish of the 5600 block of Sweet Air Road in Baldwin was traveling north on Bel Air Road about 3 a.m. when she hit the rear fender of a dump truck that had stopped to make a left turn, Baltimore County police said.

Garrish was brought to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where she died a short time later, police said. The driver of the truck was not injured.

Training in how to detect mud pollution set Saturday

ESSEX -- Training in how to spot mud pollution in county waterways will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Business Building (Building B) at the Essex campus of the Community College of Baltimore County.

After training, volunteers will be divided into teams to survey construction sites in the county. Mud pollution can choke fish and stunt the growth of aquatic vegetation.

The workshop is sponsored by Save Our Streams, the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the state Department of Natural Resources. Registration is required. Information: Brett Johnson, 410-766-7370.

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