In Baltimore City Group seeking to cut size of City...



In Baltimore City

Group seeking to cut size of City Council gathers more names

A group that wants to shrink the size of Baltimore's City Council submitted 7,320 more petition signatures to the mayor's office yesterday, bolstering its bid to get the plan on the November ballot.

At last count, Community and Labor United for Baltimore (CLUB) lacked about 4,000 of the 10,000 petition signatures needed to place the issue before voters. But the names submitted yesterday do not automatically put the effort over the top because city election officials must confirm that petition signers are registered city voters. In May, CLUB submitted 10,600 names. Of those, about 6,000 were valid.

CLUB officials say they will continue collecting signatures until the Aug. 12 deadline. The group seeks to cut four seats from the 19-member council and create single-member districts.

Escaped pit bull is shot by police

A pit bull menacing residents of a Southwest Baltimore street last night was fatally shot by a city police officer. No one was injured by the dog.

Police said the dog reportedly escaped from the back yard of a house and was chasing people in the first block of S. Rosedale St. shortly before 8 p.m. when police and a city animal control officer arrived. Police said that when the animal control officer was unable to restrain the dog, the animal control officer asked police to shoot it.

Armed with a 12-gauge shotgun, the officer fired two rounds, striking the dog and killing it. Police were attempting to locate the dog's owner.

Police identify victim in southwest shooting

Police identified last night the man found shot to death early yesterday on a Southwest Baltimore street as Tyrone Brock, 24.

Police said Brock was shot in the head about 2:40 a.m. in the first block of N. Bernice Ave., where he lived, and was pronounced dead at the scene about eight minutes later.

Police said they knew of no motive or suspect in the slaying. Anyone with information may call Detective Irvin Bradley at 410-396-2100.

Body found behind school shows signs of beating

An unidentified man whose body showed signs of a beating was found yesterday afternoon lying behind the Laurence G. Paquin School in the 2200 block of Sinclair Lane. Police said the death is being investigated as a homicide.

Officer Nicole Monroe, a Police Department spokeswoman, said the body was discovered about 2:30 p.m. behind the school and near the Chessie System railroad tracks not far from the southern edge of Clifton Park.

The body was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy. Attempts will be made to identity the man through fingerprints, police said.

Sheriff's office to arrest those who owe court fines

The city sheriff's office will mobilize a task force today - dubbed "Operation Payday" - to execute 125 arrest warrants for outstanding court fines and costs.

Six three-member arrest teams will canvass the city to collect fees and make arrests.

Last month, anyone who owed money to the Circuit Court received a 25 percent discount on fines and costs. If a warrant was attached to the unpaid bill, a judge would quash it once the 75 percent was paid.

Despite the amnesty effort, sheriff's office officials said many accounts remain unpaid.

Youth Congress to hold forum tomorrow afternoon

The Baltimore Youth Congress is holding a forum tomorrow afternoon for area teen-agers to discuss a range of social and political issues facing youths today.

The forum, sponsored by Community Law in Action, will include discussions on education, juvenile justice, employment and peer pressure.

The three-hour event will start at noon at the War Memorial Plaza, across from City Hall.

In Baltimore County

Police rule woman's death in home's pool an accident

OWINGS MILLS - Baltimore County police said yesterday that a 29-year-old woman whose body was found Wednesday night in a swimming pool in the first block of Aston Court drowned accidentally.

Maria Yujra, a Bolivian native who was living and working as a domestic at a house in the 1100 block of Hidden Trail Drive, was pronounced dead at Northwest Hospital Center. She was found floating in the pool by a friend who worked in the Aston Court house about 8 p.m. Attempts to revive Yujra, who could not swim, failed, said Cpl. Ron Brooks, a police spokesman.

The owners of the home were not present at the time of the drowning. Brooks said no signs of foul play were found.

Police searching for man accused of serial break-ins

ROSEDALE - Baltimore County police are searching for a serial burglary suspect who they say has been stealing jewelry and money from area apartments.

Police said they have obtained a warrant charging James Earl Richardson, 27, whose last known address was in the 9200 block of Oswald Way in Rosedale, with one count of first-degree burglary in a break-in Jan. 28 at an apartment in the first block of Paula Place.

Police believe Richardson is a suspect in several other burglaries, said Sgt. Vickie Warehime, a department spokeswoman. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410-307- 2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 410-276-8888.

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