City/County Digest


February 14, 2003|By From staff reports

In Baltimore City

Syphilis cases drop 83 percent, hit lowest level in three decades

Baltimore's syphilis rate, which plummeted during the past several years, has hit its lowest level in at least three decades. According to Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, the city health commissioner, Baltimore posted 110 cases last year, compared with 662 in 1997, an 83 percent drop.

The numbers reflect a continued outreach and education effort since the city ranked No. 1 in syphilis nationwide in 1997. That year, one in every 20 syphilis cases in the country was in Baltimore, Beilenson said.

Less progress has been made with two other sexually transmitted diseases. Rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia, which have been among the highest in the country, were about the same in the city last year. Beilenson said the rates might not have changed because testing has been widely expanded.

Stokes to be sentenced today for handgun offenses

Dontee Stokes is expected to be sentenced to house arrest today by city Circuit Judge John N. Prevas.

Stokes, 26, was convicted of three handgun offenses in December in connection with the shooting May 13 of the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell outside his Reservoir Hill home.

Stokes has said Blackwell sexually abused him for years when he was a teen-ager. Blackwell has not been charged, and the Baltimore's state's attorney's office is investigating the allegations.

Man, 36, fatally shot; another victim identified

A 36-year-old man was fatally shot early yesterday on a West Baltimore street, and police said they knew of no suspects or motive in the slaying.

Beldin Dillard of the 1300 block of Wildwood Parkway was standing in the 2600 block of W. Fairmount Ave. about 2:35 a.m. when he was shot in the upper body, said Detective Mark Veney. He was found lying in the stairwell of a building around the corner, and died an hour later at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

In an unrelated slaying, police named Eric Hill, 41, of the 700 block of Washington Blvd. as the man fatally shot about 5 p.m. Wednesday in the 600 block of N. Payson St. No arrest had been made.

Dedication is set for today for rehabbed Habitat house

A house rehabilitated by Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity in the Better Waverly section is being dedicated today.

A family of six that includes a mother, her three children and two cousins will receive the keys to the house in the 900 block of Homestead St.

The Baltimore Window Factory of Essex provided funding for the renovation.

Award ceremony is Sunday to honor humanities writing

The annual Emmart Memorial Award ceremony, which honors the best writing on the humanities published in Maryland in the previous year, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Maryland Institute College of Art, 1300 Mount Royal Ave.

A panel of Baltimore journalists will discuss whether local media accurately reflect culture.

The public is invited. Information: 410-235-2747.

In Baltimore County

Man who had been missing accused of theft from work

TOWSON -- A 36-year-old mechanic who was reported missing in December and later turned up in Arkansas is scheduled to appear in Baltimore County District Court next month on a charge that he stole more than $5,000 from the Catonsville Jiffy Lube where he worked as manager.

Curtis Amburgey of the 8800 block of Victory Ave. in Parkville disappeared Dec. 29, shortly before $5,042 was found missing from the store safe, according to police charging documents.

Amburgey was spotted Jan. 9 sleeping in his car by a deputy sheriff in Franklin County, Ark. He was arrested Tuesday outside a relative's house in Catonsville on the felony theft charge, police said. He was released yesterday from the Baltimore County Detention Center after posting bond.,

Two elementaries honored as Blue Ribbon Schools

TOWSON -- Two Baltimore County elementary schools have been named 2003 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence by state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick.

Summit Park Elementary School in Pikesville and Timonium Elementary were among six schools honored statewide. Grasmick said the six "exemplify high levels of achievement or dramatic improvement of economically disadvantaged students."

The schools were selected on the basis of national criteria. They will represent Maryland in the National No Child Left Behind -- Blue Ribbon Schools program. National winners will be invited to Washington and honored by President Bush in the fall.

Orthodox Christian laymen honor relief organization

TOWSON -- A group of Orthodox Christian laymen has given its 18th annual Athenagoras Human Rights Award to International Orthodox Christian Charities, a worldwide relief group based in Towson.

IOCC received the award from the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, for its distribution of more than $160 million in aid in the United States and 21 countries around the world.

The award, which will be shared with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, will be presented in New York on March 8.

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