In Baltimore County
Department names officers who shot man holding pellet gun
TOWSON -- Baltimore County police have identified the officers who shot and killed a shoplifting suspect who threatened them with what turned out to be a pellet gun Sunday. They are officers Anissa Watkins and Ronald Lane Jr.
Watkins has worked for the department since June 1998 and Lane since June, said Cpl. Vickie Warehime, a police spokeswoman. They were placed on administrative leave, and are expected to return to full duty after an investigation, which is routine in such cases, Warehime said.
On Sunday morning, the officers went to the Vagabond Motel in the 12300 block of Pulaski Highway, near the Harford County border, to confront Phillip James Lamberson about a bottle of whiskey he was accused of stealing from a nearby liquor store. Lamberson, 44, verbally threatened the officers and pointed a pellet gun at them, police said.
Watkins and Lane fired a total of five times, Warehime said. Lamberson was hit once in the torso and died at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
School bus strikes boy, 10, when he runs into road
COCKEYSVILLE -- A 10-year-old boy was struck by a Pot Spring Elementary School bus as he crossed Warren Road near Cockeysville Middle School yesterday afternoon, according to police and school officials.
The boy was treated for minor injuries at Johns Hopkins Hospital's Pediatric Trauma Center, police said.
The bus was empty, except for the bus driver and her two children, whom she was driving home at the end of her route at 4:08 p.m. No one else was hurt when the boy darted into the street, said Baltimore County schools spokesman Charles A. Herndon, who did not know where the boy attended school.
Panel for better schools plans public meeting today
TIMONIUM -- The Visionary Panel for Better Schools will hold a public forum on "Achievement Matters Most: The Report of the Visionary Panel for Better Schools" from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. today at Dulaney High School, 255 Padonia Road.
Public comment is invited but limited to three minutes per speaker. For information on the panel -- which was asked to recommend ways to make Maryland schools better -- go to www.msde.state.md.us and click on the Visionary Panel icon.
Agency offering free copies of drug identification book
TOWSON -- The Bureau of Substance Abuse of Baltimore County Health Department is offering free copies of its drug identification book, Straight Talk/Street Drugs.
The 48-page book has photographs of illegal drugs and information about them.
The book may be obtained by calling 410-887-3828.
In Baltimore City
2 teens charged after car in chase crashes into house
Two city teen-agers were charged yesterday in connection with the crash of a stolen car into a Southwest Baltimore rowhouse late Monday, police reported.
Officers had received a tip that a Chevrolet Monte Carlo stolen from a rental car agency was being used in drug deals, and spotted it heading west on Baltimore Street about 10 p.m. They lost track of the car after it went the wrong way on a one-way street, police said.
They found the car again after it had crashed into the house in the 100 block of S. Calhoun St., sending a shower of bricks and debris into a basement apartment, rupturing a gas line and touching off a fire. Officer Doug Pryor and a neighbor rushed into the house and pulled three people to safety, police said.
Ernest Ratchford, 19, of the 1200 block of Guilford Ave. was charged with unauthorized use of a car, and James Davis, 18, of the 1200 block of W. Pratt St. was charged with auto theft and drug possession, police said.
Zoo to close an hour early for slain worker's services
The Baltimore Zoo will close at 3 p.m. tomorrow -- an hour early -- because of a memorial service there for its public relations manager, Melanie J. Wentz, who was killed last week when a Jeep Wrangler crashed through the wall of her Cockeysville apartment.
The "Celebration of Remembrance" is scheduled for 3 p.m. on the Mansion House porch, and is open to the public.
A memorial fund to benefit the zoo's animals has been created in her name, and donations may be made at the service or by calling 410-396-6473.
Social services workers get probation in thefts
Two former city social services workers who pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and conspiracy have been sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to pay more than $3,000 in restitution for stealing cash and food stamp benefits.
Karen Dailey, 38, of the 400 block of N. Athol Ave. and Katrina Richardson McCoy, 30, of the 4000 block of Parkton St. received three-year suspended sentences from city Circuit Judge Thomas Ward, who stayed the verdicts in granting them probation before judgment. McCoy worked in the Electronic Benefits Transaction System Unit at Mondawmin Mall. Dailey worked there as a receptionist.
Insurer donates $38,000 to pay for smoke detectors
State Farm Insurance Co. donated $38,000 yesterday to pay for 4,500 smoke detectors that will be installed in Baltimore homes during the next six months.
The company made the contribution as part of the 2 Save a Life campaign sponsored by WMAR-TV and the city Fire Department.
Last year, 22 people died as a result of fires, and in 18 cases there was no working smoke detector.