Between The Lines

March 24, 2003

Some lighter moments while covering the news in the Baltimore area.

Next time, pay the fine

When you're wanted on a murder charge, it is probably better to mail in the fine than show up for trial on a traffic offense.

After being found guilty of speeding and fined $300 Thursday at the Edward F. Borgerding District Court on Wabash Avenue, William Beverly, 35, of the 300 block of S. Fremont Ave. was arrested outside the courtroom by members of the city police Warrant Apprehension Task Force.

Sgt. Jae Kim said that upon being surrounded by police officers, Beverly's reaction was: "What's this?"

Kim said Beverly didn't know he was sought in the fatal shooting of Walter Bedford, 50, whose body was found Sept. 5 in a trash bin behind a Hampden building.

-- Richard Irwin

Tropical retreat

Who says the worm hasn't turned on Baltimore County's colorful eastern waterfront?

Long neglected through tough economic times, proud communities like Middle River and Essex are hopping with revitalization projects. Larry Rosenberger, developer of the new WaterView village on Eastern Boulevard, is a major player in the transformation. But even he needs a rest now and then.

A reporter seeking comment on a project left a message on Rosenberger's cell phone last week, and heard back 15 minutes later -- from Jamaica, with the sounds of waves kissing the shore of Montego Bay in the background. Lapsing into a somewhat passable Kingston accent, Rosenberger said, "I always try to return my calls, mon."

-- Joe Nawrozki

Protecting his turf

Leonard J. Kerpelman, a neighborhood activist from Mount Washington, has a theory that "the gambling mafia" pushing slot machines in Maryland is scheming with the city to seize 4 acres of woods near his home for illicit purposes.

Video camera in hand, Kerpelman confronted Mayor Martin O'Malley during a news conference in City Hall last week. He accused the mayor of gerrymandering City Council districts to engineer political support for condemnation of the woods, near Pimlico Race Course.

"It's to hand the woods over to the racetrack ... to build a hotel ... whorehouse or a hotel with a parking lot," Kerpelman insisted.

O'Malley professed to know nothing of the trees-for-tramps plot. But, for the record, he promised: "I have no intention of taking the woods for a hotel or anything else."

-- Tom Pelton

Losing their cool

Once a month, City Council members meet with O'Malley and his staff to discuss city business over lunch. With a catered buffet attended to by servers in black tie, the setting appears civil.

Last Monday, civility suffered as council-member debate reached a fever pitch. Deputy Mayor Jeanne Hitchcock was forced to repeatedly stop her presentation to allow a staff member to clap her hands and shush the elected officials.

At one point, council members Lisa Joi Stancil and Stephanie Rawlings Blake ended up talking over one another in a debate over redistricting.

"Let me finish," Stancil demanded.

"Let me finish," Blake said.

The collective volume that followed interfered with a news conference next door. When a member of O'Malley's staff attempted to close the door, council members quickly objected, saying that would violate open-meetings laws.

A curious notion, considering the only way to gain access to the lunch is to get past a different locked door.

-- Doug Donovan

The Kenwood clique

Harvard may have the distinction of producing more U.S. presidents than any other college or university. But when it comes to award-winning police officers in Baltimore County, Kenwood High School is clearly on top -- at least this year.

Three of seven recipients at last week's Baltimore County Police Foundation Awards Dinner were from the Essex high school -- Detective Jeffrey Kyger, a 1980 graduate; Detective Joseph Ripple, Class of 1984; and Officer Gary R. Inskeep, Class of 1973.

This did not escape the attention of the master of ceremonies, former TV anchor Stan Stovall, who joked to the audience that in the interest of simplicity, he would henceforth refer to a recipient's high school only if it wasn't Kenwood.

-- Laura Barnhardt

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