In Baltimore City
Va. woman dies in motorcycle crash on the JFX
A Leesburg, Va., woman died yesterday evening after she lost control of her motorcycle and tumbled over an embankment on the Jones Falls Expressway near Chase Street, Baltimore police said.
Sharon Van Brokern, 39, was riding northbound in the left lane about 6 p.m. when a witness saw her 2001 Honda motorcycle start to wobble, said Officer Richard J. McCarthy of Baltimore police accident investigation unit. It was unclear whether she hit the jersey divider separating traffic, but Van Brokern was thrown across three lanes of traffic and over a wall onto an embankment on the east side of the expressway.
A nurse and off-duty police officer stopped to offer first aid. Paramedics took Van Brokern to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where she was pronounced dead at 6:50 p.m. Her husband, Stefan, was riding in the right lane at the time of the accident. Both riders wore helmets.
Unidentified woman dies in fire in west-side house
An unidentified woman was killed by a West Baltimore house fire early yesterday, city officials said.
At 2:19 a.m., firefighters were called to a fire on the second floor of an attached house in the 1500 block of N. Fremont Ave. The dwelling appeared to be abandoned, fire officials said, and the woman apparently was a squatter.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Women's Civic League to hold festival Saturday
The Women's Civic League will hold its first Fall Apple Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Shot Tower Park, across from city police headquarters.
The event is organized in the same tradition as the Flower Mart festivals in Mount Vernon, which the group sponsored until 2000, and will feature food, arts and crafts, a stage with live entertainment, raffle prizes, plants and flowers.
In case of rain, the festival will be held at the park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Information: 410-837-5424.
Journalist set to lecture at Hopkins symposium
Journalist David Brock will lecture on "Defining the Times: The Power of the News Media" at 8 p.m. Thursday in Shriver Hall Auditorium on the Homewood campus as part of the Johns Hopkins University's 35th annual Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium.
Brock wrote an investigative story for The American Spectator that questioned the credibility of Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Brock later said he regretted the attacks on Hill.
Established in 1967 to honor the university's eighth president, the symposium is a student-organized lecture series that is free and open to the public. The symposium addresses the theme, "Changing Times: Who Are We? An Introspective Look at American Identity in the 21st Century." It includes a debate, book signings, exhibits and a film series. Information: 410-516-7683, or www.jhu.edu/ mse.
Fund-raiser to benefit St. Vincent's Center
A fund-raiser benefiting St. Vincent's Center will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Cloisters, 10440 Falls Road.
Operated by Catholic Charities, St. Vincent's is a group home for children with behavioral, psychiatric and emotional problems. Most children referred to the center have suffered trauma related to child abuse and neglect.
The Friends of St. Vincent's Center is sponsoring the "Vine and Vintage" event, which includes wine tasting and antiques appraisal. Tickets and information: 410-252-4000, Ext. 1629.
In Baltimore County
Mulch plant fire is second at facility since August
SPARROWS POINT -- It took county fire crews nearly two hours to contain a wood-chip fire that broke out last night at a mulch plant in Sparrows Point -- the second fire at the facility in as many months.
Firefighters responded to the plant owned by Environmental Recycling Waste Reduction Co. about 9:50 p.m. after receiving a call reporting a mulch fire. Several engines and fireboats, including one from the city, were called to the scene, where crews reported seeing a blaze about 100 feet wide.
The blaze was contained by 11:30 p.m. No injuries or damages were reported. Last month, county fire officials declared that a blaze in August that burned for three days at the plant was intentionally set. The cause of last night's fire is under investigation.
Liberty Rd. ramp to close for gas line replacement
RANDALLSTOWN -- The State Highway Administration will temporarily close the outer loop ramp from the Baltimore Beltway to eastbound Liberty Road, and the right lane of Liberty Road near the Beltway, at night during the next two weeks to allow Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews to replace underground gas lines.
The closures will take place between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. through Thursday and between Sunday and Oct. 17. While the ramp is closed, motorists who want to go from the outer loop to eastbound Liberty Road will have to take Exit 17, Security Boulevard, and follow detour signs.
The utility work is part of the highway agency's $4.5 million project to improve safety at the Liberty Road interchange.
Loch Raven High honored for character education
TOWSON -- Loch Raven High School has been named a 2002 Character Education School of the Year by the Maryland Center for Character Education, a nonprofit group.
The high school received the award for adding character education to the curriculum, a character program for parents and guardians, and a student public service project.
In addition, Carol Nemeroff, principal at Loch Raven Technical Academy, and Marilyn Dobyns, principal of Milbrook Elementary School, were two of 10 principals statewide honored for their efforts promoting character education.