Annapolis employees called to military duty to get pay...


October 10, 2001

Annapolis employees called to military duty to get pay supplements

The Annapolis city council has voted to give city employees called to active military duty supplemental pay and continued benefits.

The measure, which could affect more than a dozen city employees in the military reserves or the National Guard, will pay employees the difference between their military pay and allowances and their city salary.

The legislation, passed Monday, also allows them to maintain their city medical benefits. The city will pick up the employees' share of the cost.

In other legislative action, the council approved an ordinance that will allow Ward 1 council candidate Isaac Opalinsky to be listed on the ballot as a member of the Green Party.

The change in law eliminates what some council members described as a flaw in city election law that made it virtually impossible for a third-party candidate's affiliation to be listed.

Boy, 14, admits role in attack on waitress

A 14-year-old boy was committed to a juvenile facility and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service yesterday after admitting involvement in the July 21 beating and robbery of a waitress in downtown Annapolis, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors dropped hate crime charges against the boy, who police said was among a group of four teen-agers who attacked the waitress, after two witnesses changed their testimonies, said Kristin Riggin, a spokeswoman for the county state's attorney's office.

Initially, witnesses told police that the teens said they attacked VanDagna because she is white. The teen-agers are black. The boy, who is not being named because of his age, and two other teens were charged as juveniles in the attack on 22-year-old McGarvey's Saloon waitress, Tracy VanDagna. Tacarra Tyler, 17, of the 1300 block of Colony Drive, was charged as an adult in the case.

The boy, who had been held at a juvenile detention center in Prince George's County since his arrest, yesterday entered an Alford plea, in which a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction.

County Circuit Judge Philip T. Caroom ordered the boy committed to New Dominion, a residential treatment and education center in Western Maryland, and ordered him to perform community service in his Annapolis neighborhood of Eastport Terrace, Riggin said.

Annapolis woman dies in head-on collision

An Annapolis woman died when the car she was driving was hit head-on by another car on Route 450 in Davidsonville, authorities said yesterday.

Juliet Mae Payne, 59, of First Street was driving east on Route 450 near Crownsville Road about 7:30 p.m. Monday when her Buick LeSabre collided with a westbound BMW that crossed the double yellow line, county police said. A Jeep Grand Cherokee then struck the BMW, police said.

Payne was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The driver of the Jeep was not injured.

The driver of the BMW, Amy Beth Haberstick, 38, of Gambrills was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center with head, arm and leg injuries, authorities said. She was in serious but stable condition yesterday.

Police said the accident was under investigation, and that a blood sample from Haberstick had been sent to the state police crime lab to determine whether alcohol was in her system.

Decomposed body discovered in river

A decomposed body was pulled from the Patapsco River near Hammonds Ferry Road in Linthicum yesterday afternoon, authorities said.

A fisherman spotted the body in the water about 1 p.m., county police said. The body was taken to the state medical examiner's office, where an autopsy to determine the cause of death is scheduled for today.

Police could not immediately determine whether the body was that of a man or a woman. Police said they are investigating the death as suspicious.

Two men charged in home invasion

Two men were being held yesterday in Anne Arundel County jail after being charged with armed robbery in a home invasion in West River, police said.

Aaron Kressley, 21, and Brian Ondo, 31, both of Ohio, were arrested after being stopped by police on suspicion of failing to pay for gasoline.

They are charged with forcing their way into a house in the 1100 block of Cherry Point Road on Monday and stealing several shotguns from a gun cabinet, authorities said.

Two people who were home at the time of the robbery were unhurt, police said.

The men were stopped later Monday in Montgomery County by police investigating the theft of gasoline from a gas station. Police said they found the stolen shotguns and a 9 mm handgun in the trunk of the Mercury Sable in which the men were riding.

Anne Arundel County police went to Montgomery County to interview Kressley and Ondo. Police said Kressley's father was a neighbor of the robbery victims.

Kressley was being held without bail. Ondo was being held in lieu of $30,000 bond, officials said.

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