In Baltimore City Panel approves benefits district for...



In Baltimore City

Panel approves benefits district for Charles Village

The city planning commission unanimously approved a bill for reauthorization of the Charles Village Community Benefits District yesterday after hearing resident testimony for and against the proposal.

The benefits district, which encompasses 100 blocks and a population of 14,000, imposes a small annual tax on residential and business property owners. The district organization employs about 17 people to work on reducing crime and grime and seeking out neighborhood economic development projects in the North Baltimore neighborhood.

The reauthorization bill, approved on a 6-0 vote, proceeds to the City Council. Before casting his vote, commission member Javier Bustamente said, "The sense of community [in Charles Village] may be the biggest benefit of all."

Experts to speak against death penalty at symposium

The father of a victim of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing and a Marylander who was sentenced to death after a wrongful murder conviction will be among the speakers tomorrow at a symposium on the death penalty at Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington.

Guest speakers include Bud Welch of Oklahoma City, whose 23-year-old daughter died in the bombing of the federal building, and Kirk Bloodsworth of Cambridge, who was pardoned in 1993, after nearly a decade in prison, when proved innocent by DNA testing in the slaying of a 9-year-old Rosedale girl.

Both oppose capital punishment, and Welch was an outspoken opponent of the execution of Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City case.

The symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Fine Arts Building auditorium on the campus at 4403 Frederick Ave. Admission is free, but a $5 donation is requested. For information or to register, call 410-644-3300.

3K walk to benefit Celiac disease research

Baltimore will be among the cities across the nation taking part this weekend in walks raising money for research into a cure for Celiac disease, a genetic disorder estimated to affect nearly 1 out every 150 Americans - leaving them unable to eat foods with the protein gluten.

The Baltimore walk, covering a 3-kilometer downtown route, will take place at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the University of Maryland Medical Center, at Baltimore and Greene streets.

The fee is $15 in advance, $20 on race day. Information: 410-328-1213. or

In Baltimore County

Pet adoptathon scheduled for tomorrow and Sunday

BALDWIN - The Baltimore County Department of Health Animal Control Division will hold a pet adoptathon from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday.

Dogs, cats, puppies and kittens will be available for adoption at the county animal shelter, 13800 Manor Road. Rabies shots will be available for dogs and cats from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow.

The adoptathon is one of several being held this weekend by public and private animal shelters in the Baltimore area. Information on the county event: 410- 887-5961. Information on other adoptathons: 866-288-3738.

Fire Museum of Maryland opens season tomorrow

LUTHERVILLE - The Fire Museum of Maryland opens for its 31st season tomorrow.

The museum houses an extensive collection of firefighting apparatus. It will be open Saturdays, May through November, and Tuesday through Saturday in June, July and August. Admission is $6; $5 for firefighters and those age 62 and older; $4 for ages 3 to 18; and free for younger than age 3.

The museum is at 1301 York Road. Information: 410-321-7500.

Park & Ride lot on I-83 to close today for repairs

MARYLAND LINE - The Park & Ride lot at the Interstate 83 and Old York Road interchange will be closed for about two weeks, beginning today.

Commuters should use lots at the I-83 and Middletown Road interchange (Exit 31) or at I-83 and Mount Carmel Road (Exit 27).

The Old York Road lot, at Exit 36 of I-83, is being patched and repaved. New lighting and drainage will be installed. Information: 410-321-2800 or 800-962- 3077.

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