In Baltimore City 2 initiatives aim to improve care of...



In Baltimore City

2 initiatives aim to improve care of abused children

Two initiatives aimed at improving the care of physically abused children will be announced today by the Baltimore Child Protection Team, a task force that includes law enforcement and social services agencies, and the staff of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center pediatric emergency department.

The first of the initiatives began in January, when Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris signed an order for his officers to bring all child abuse victims to the Hopkins Children's Center for a medical evaluation.

The second is a new prosecution unit being launched by city State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy that will combine all family violence cases, including abuse crimes against children and the vulnerable elderly. Social workers also will work with victims to prepare them for testifying at trials.

Drug dealer sentenced to life term in two killings

The leader of a crack cocaine ring that stretched from street corners in Northeast Baltimore to Main Street in Westminster was sentenced Friday to life in prison after federal prosecutors said he ordered a pair of violent drive-by shootings on Jan. 18, 2000, that left two young men dead.

Eric L. Bennett, 24, formerly of the 800 block of Cator Ave., pleaded guilty in February to drug and weapons charges in U.S. District Court in Baltimore along with two of his top lieutenants, Solomon Jones and Tavon Bradley, both of Baltimore. U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis, who handed down Bennett's life term, sentenced Jones to 60 years in federal prison and Bradley to 24 years and six months.

Authorities said Bennett's drug gang, known as the "Old York and Cator Boys," routinely used violence to protect its turf, including the January 2000 shootings in the 5100 block of Lodestone Way in Baltimore that killed Calvin Henderson, 22, of Waverly and Aaron Edwards, 21, of southern Baltimore.

Hearing, speech agency plans workshop tomorrow

The nonprofit Hearing and Speech Agency will offer a free education and information workshop for parents of children with special needs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at 2220 St. Paul St.

Special education teachers, speech-language pathologists and occupational/physical therapists will take part in the workshop and answer parents' questions.

Information: 410-243-3800; 410-243-1275 for the hearing-impaired; or visit

In Baltimore County

Military investigates items found outside apartment

COCKEYSVILLE - The U.S. military is investigating two suspicious items found yesterday outside a vacant apartment in Cockeysville, Baltimore County police said.

Cpl. Vickie Warhime, a police spokeswoman, said maintenance employees cleaning a recently vacated apartment at the Spring Valley apartment complex in the 400 block of Lake Vista Circle discovered what appeared to be unexploded ordnance in a storage bin on the apartment's balcony. The men called police, who had technicians from Andrews Air Force Base retrieve the devices for further testing.

Warehime said the police investigation is on hold until the tests are completed. Residents of the apartment building said a woman recently moved from the apartment.

Police look for second man in shooting of woman May 3

TOWSON - Baltimore County police are searching for a second man in the shooting of a Randallstown woman May 3.

Charlotte Phoenix of the first block of Virunga Court was shot once in the head and once in the upper body during a robbery attempt at her home, police said. She has been released from Maryland Shock Trauma Center, hospital officials said yesterday.

Police arrested Phoenix's brother Kevin Wonson, 25, shortly after the shooting and charged him with attempted murder and armed robbery. Wonson, of the 600 block of Charraway Road in Southwest Baltimore, is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center. Anyone with information should call police at 410-307-2020.

Franklin High student wins congressional arts contest

A 10th-grader at Franklin High School in Reisterstown was named last night, in a reception at the Walters Art Museum, as winner of the 2002 Congressional Arts Competition for the 7th Congressional District.

Warren Nock will have his 25-inch-by-19 1/4 -inch painting, Self-Portrait, displayed for a year in the Capitol with works by more than 300 other high school artists who have won congressional competitions in their districts.

Nock's piece was selected from among 104 entries in the 7th District competition by a panel of curators and directors representing area art and cultural institutions. Each student submitting an entry was given a merit award by the district's Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings.

Bond Avenue to be closed for roadwork starting today

REISTERSTOWN - Bond Avenue, between New Avenue and Sacred Heart Lane, will be closed starting today for installation of curbs, gutters, sidewalks and a storm drain.

Traffic will be detoured to Sacred Heart Lane, Chatsworth Avenue and New Avenue. The quarter-mile stretch of road is expected to reopen in September.

Baltimore County officials estimate the project will cost $400,000.

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