Arundel Digest

ARUNDEL DIGEST

February 05, 2003

County to take up development issue Feb. 18

Anne Arundel County Council members will take up a staff plan for guiding development in the Annapolis Neck area - as well as a controversial zoning request for a Bestgate Road property - at a meeting Feb. 18.

Council members heard five hours of public testimony from Annapolis Neck and Crownsville residents at a meeting Monday night. At the end of the meeting, council members decided to postpone asking their questions until the next regular meeting.

Councilman Bill D. Burlison, an Odenton Democrat, disagreed with the decision, saying the council shouldn't delay action any longer. Many people who attended the meeting asked the council to amend the development plan to reflect input by an advisory committee made up of residents.

Others voiced support for a plan by Sturbridge Homes of Gambrills to build condominiums, shops and offices on land on Bestgate Road near Annapolis.

Court rules paramedic was wrongly dismissed

State airport officials cannot fire a paramedic for punching a psychiatric patient who was spitting his way because officials made no distinction between "excessive force" and "unwarranted force," and did not explain why the punishment fit the action, Maryland's second-highest court ruled yesterday.

The ruling by the Court of Special Appeals returns the case to state officials for more hearings. The court said officials wrongly interpreted state law when they concluded that punching the patient represented the use of both excessive and unwarranted force and that the paramedic should be fired.

The decision upholds an Anne Arundel County circuit judge's decision that said state officials should consider Clifton Noland's statement that he hit the patient as a reflex in self-defense and out of fear because of the man's extreme behavior, which included drinking from a toilet and yelling profanities.

State of Magothy River to be discussed Feb. 19

An annual report on the state of the Magothy River will be presented at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Room 101 of the Florestano Building at Anne Arundel Community College.

The public forum, sponsored by the Magothy River Association, will include a discussion of projects to restore the oyster population and underwater grasses.

Information: 410-647-8772.

Woman pleads guilty to auto manslaughter

A Glen Burnie woman who had a blood-alcohol content of more than twice the state's legal limit for drunken driving when she was involved in a crash that later claimed a Crofton man's life pleaded guilty yesterday to automobile manslaughter.

Assistant State's Attorney Shelly Stickell said she will seek substantial jail time when Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Joseph P. Manck sentences Kimberly Ann Honaker, 31, on April 7. Stickell noted Honaker's 0.20 percent blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash. The legal threshold of intoxication in Maryland is 0.08 percent. The maximum sentence for automobile manslaughter is 10 years in prison.

Honaker, described by her attorney, William C. Mulford II, as a single mother of two, was returning from a party when the crash occurred early March 31. Prosecutors said Honaker was driving south on Gambrills Road when she went through a stop sign and struck the driver's side of a car driven by Donald Glenn Meadows, 30, of Crofton, who was traveling east on Annapolis Road.

Meadows was returning home after spending the evening with his stepfather and celebrating Meadows' impending marriage, planned for the following week. Meadows died of his injuries four days later.

Court reverses ruling on Scheibe's pension

The Court of Special Appeals overturned last week a ruling by an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge that doubled the pension of Philip C. Scheibe, a former county attorney and County Council member.

Judge Joseph P. Manck erred last year in telling the county it should pay Scheibe a $2,200- a-month pension - twice what the county said Scheibe should receive, the court said. The court said Manck needed to look at other legal issues.

The dispute centers on whether any portion of Scheibe's tenure with the county should be calculated for his pension at the lower rate that was in effect at the time.

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