City/County Digest

City/County Digest

April 03, 2003|By From staff reports

In Baltimore City

Board OKs loan of $300,000 for Santoni's expansion

The city's Board of Estimates approved yesterday a $300,000 loan to help pay for an expansion of Santoni's Supermarket, a landmark of East Baltimore since 1930.

Santoni's, operated by the family of Robert N. Santoni, is at 3800 E. Lombard St. in the Highlandtown Village Shopping Center.

Currently 26,828 feet, the store will grow by 3,000 square feet, according to Santoni and city officials. The store's staff of 107 will grow by 15 employees.

The city approved the funds because the administration of Mayor Martin O'Malley has been trying to retain supermarkets and stimulate the construction of more food stores in the city.

Officer cleared in wreck that killed colleague

The Baltimore police officer who was involved in a car crash in which fellow officer Crystal Sheffield, 35, died last year will not be charged criminally in the accident, the state's attorney's office announced yesterday.

Sheffield's patrol car collided with Officer John Lester's cruiser at a West Baltimore intersection as they both responded to help another officer in August.

In a report released yesterday, Assistant State's Attorney Roberta Siskind found "no gross negligence" on the part of Lester. The report indicates that there were no mechanical failures in the cars or defects on the road. Neither officer was wearing a seat belt, according to the report.

Man, 22, found shot on porch dies at hospital

A 22-year-old man was shot and killed early yesterday in Northeast Baltimore, police said.

Police responding to a call of a shooting found Kevin Mark Wright about 2 a.m. on a porch of a house in the 700 block of E. 43rd St.

Wright, of the 4000 block of White Ave., was suffering from gunshot wounds and died about 45 minutes later at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Police said they had no suspects and knew of no motives in the killing. Anyone with information is urged to call detectives at 410-396-2100.

Officer's detention hearing rescheduled for today

A detention hearing scheduled yesterday for a Baltimore police officer charged with federal drug violations was rescheduled for today after his lawyer appealed for more time to prepare.

Eduardo Munoz Jr., 32, who joined the city force in 2000 and was assigned to the criminal intelligence unit, was arrested Monday on a federal charge of conspiring to possess and intending to distribute drugs. U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner granted the postponement at the request of Steven Silverman, who said he had only met his client for several minutes before the hearing.

Federal agents wrote in charging documents that an undercover informant bought a gun and drugs from Munoz and co-defendant Jose Raul Estela, 29. City police internal affairs detectives aided in the investigation, although federal authorities and police officials declined to elaborate on their role.

Public hearing on budget will be held tonight

A public hearing will be held tonight to allow residents to express their views and concerns regarding next year's $2.1 billion city budget.

The budget, known as the ordinance of estimates, is 2.6 percent larger than the current year's spending plan, but it will not require a tax increase. However, it may require the elimination of 71 city jobs in the 2004 fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Board of Estimates, which establishes and administers the city's finances, also is inviting comment on the impending 9 percent increase to the water and sewer rates. The board will vote on the increases April 23. For a family of four living in the city, the increases translate into an annual $564 water and sewer bill, $46 more than the current bill. The hearing will begin at 7 p.m. in the War Memorial Building, 101 N. Gay St., near City Hall.

Emergency department at hospital is dedicated

A new $12 million emergency department at Good Samaritan Hospital in Northeast Baltimore was dedicated yesterday and is expected to begin receiving patients this month.

The emergency care facility was partially funded through a $2 million gift from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

The department is 21,000 square feet, triple the size of the current emergency room, and will be able to handle 60,000 patient visits a year. Good Samaritan's ER now treats about 40,000 patients a year.

In Baltimore County

North Point man charged in bludgeoning death

TOWSON -- Baltimore County police have charged a North Point man with murder in the bludgeoning death of Kenneth Allen Roberts during the weekend.

Joseph Conrad Reimer, 44, whose last known address was in the 3100 block of Walford Drive, has been charged with first-degree murder, police said. He is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

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