Regional Digest


January 04, 2003

ANNAPOLIS — In Maryland

Aumann officially nominee as secretary of state

ANNAPOLIS - Timonium resident R. Karl Aumann is officially Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s nominee for secretary of state, the Ehrlich transition office announced yesterday.

Aumann, 42, was Ehrlich's chief administrator and district director during the congressman's four terms in the House of Representatives. He is an attorney who is married with two children.

The appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate.

In Anne Arundel

Naval Academy worker indicted on porn charge

ANNAPOLIS - A maintenance help-desk employee at the U.S. Naval Academy was indicted by an Anne Arundel County grand jury yesterday on one count of possession of child pornography.

David N. Sprachner, 44, of Glen Burnie was arrested last month at his apartment after a three-month investigation initiated when a co-worker reported seeing sexually explicit photos of children on his desktop computer at the academy.

Sprachner is on house arrest, according to a detention center official.

In Baltimore City

Former Northern High evacuated after small fire

A small fire in a first-floor hallway at the former Northern High School forced the evacuation of the building yesterday morning and the cancellation of classes, which are scheduled to resume Monday, officials said.

The fire started about 11 a.m. in new furniture being stored in a corridor by the gymnasium, Baltimore school officials said. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, which destroyed the furniture and damaged the ceiling, said Vanessa Pyatt, a school system spokeswoman.

Officials have not determined the cause of the fire or a damage figure, Pyatt said. The building in the 2200 block of Pinewood Ave. was split into two schools last year. One was renamed W.E.B. Dubois High School. The fire occurred in the other school, No. 419, which is unnamed.

Sentencing delayed for woman in tax case

The sentencing for Valerie Batts, a Baltimore County woman accused of bilking the Internal Revenue Service of nearly $200,000, was postponed yesterday.

Batts, of the 4000 block of Winlee Road in Randallstown, pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Treasury Department.

A new sentencing date in federal court has not been scheduled.

In Baltimore County

Police seek man, 36, missing since Sunday

PARKVILLE - Baltimore County police are seeking a 36-year-old mechanic who disappeared Sunday after telling his wife and mother that he was going to work to pick up keys.

Curtis Amburgey of the 8800 block of Victory Ave. was last seen by his mother. He also left a telephone message for his wife about 4 p.m. Sunday saying that he had to go to work. He is the manager of a Jiffy Lube on Baltimore National Pike in Catonsville, police said.

Amburgey is described as white, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 165 pounds, with blue eyes, short brown hair and a goatee. He was driving a burgundy two-door Chevrolet Z24 with Maryland license plates RYN-547. Anyone with information about him is asked to call police at 410- 307-2020 or 410-887-3943.

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