City/County Digest

City/County Digest

April 18, 2003|By From staff reports

In Baltimore City

Baltimore man gets 10 years for trying to set ATF van on fire

A federal judge sentenced a Baltimore man to 10 years in prison yesterday for attempting to set fire to a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives surveillance van last summer. Federal prosecutors said the sentence for Lee Johnson, 25, was the maximum allowed under the law.

Johnson pleaded guilty in January to assaulting federal officers with a dangerous weapon, admitting that he had approached the surveillance van in the 1500 block of Argyle Ave. in August and threatened to set it on fire if the officers did not leave the area. When the agents remained in the vehicle, Johnson stuffed newspaper into the van's gasoline tank as if preparing to light it on fire, prosecutors said.

Johnson was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis, who previously sentenced two other men who were with Johnson during the attack. Rhoman King, 20, and Donhosia Hopkins, 26, both of Baltimore, were sentenced respectively to four months and 21 months.

Greektown gets $1 million for revitalization effort

Efforts to revitalize the Greektown neighborhood received more than $1 million in federal, state and private funding yesterday.

During a news conference at Samos Restaurant on South Oldham Street, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, delivered a check for nearly $480,000 in federal aid to improve building facades, purchase problem homes and enhance streetscapes.

The federal aid, awarded to Greektown Community Development Corp., was supplemented by $156,000 from the state, $50,000 from Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, $45,000 from the Abell Foundation, a $20,000 enterprise grant and a pledge of $300,000 from an unidentified benefactor.

The money is to be used to establish a revolving fund to provide low-interest loans or matching grants to help stabilize the area, said John E. Gavrilis, executive director of the development group.

Ex-school officer's trial in fatal shooting delayed

The trial of a former Baltimore City school system police officer accused in a fatal on-duty shooting of a 14-year-old boy, scheduled to begin yesterday, was postponed until Aug. 28 at the request of the defense.

Marlon Rene Lynch, 29, was indicted last fall on a second-degree murder charge in the killing April 6, 2002, of Northern High School freshman Samuel Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was standing behind Leithwalk Elementary School in Northeast Baltimore, smoking marijuana and drinking with a companion at 1 a.m. when he was shot in the head. Police charged Lynch with firing his department-issued handgun at the boy. Lynch's attorney, Warren A. Brown, said the shooting was in self-defense. Brown requested the postponement yesterday, saying he needed more time to investigate the incident.

Police lieutenant dies after being found at desk

A 36-year city police veteran was found unresponsive at his desk at the Eastern District station yesterday afternoon and was pronounced dead a short time later at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Baltimore Police Department announced.

Lt. Walter A. Taylor Jr., 59, joined the force in 1966, police said, and was considered a dedicated police officer who mentored many men and women of the department. During his career, he was assigned to the department's Education & Training Division, the Southwestern, Central, Southern and Eastern districts, the Tactical Section and the Operations Support Bureau.

Lieutenant Taylor is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, a daughter and two grandsons. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

In Baltimore County

Blaze in church attic causes $100,000 in damage

STONELEIGH -- A two-alarm fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage yesterday at the First and St. Stephens United Church of Christ, 6915 York Road, said a spokesman for the Baltimore County Fire Department.

Capt. Glenn Blackwell said the blaze, which started just after noon, was confined to the attic of the stone structure and did not spread to the chapel. The cause of the fire, he said, was a light fixture that malfunctioned in an area of the church that was being remodeled.

The church operates a children's day care center during the week, but it was closed yesterday because of spring break, Blackwell said.

Retired general to discuss N. Korea's nuclear program

TOWSON --Park Seh Jik, a retired major general in the Republic of Korea's army, will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a lecture sponsored by the Institute for Korea-U.S. Business Relations of Towson University.

Park will discuss North Korea's nuclear provocation. He has been an army infantry commander, a member of the National Assembly and president of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee. He also served as mayor of Seoul.

The lecture will be held at the Burkshire Marriott Conference Center on Burke Avenue. It is free and open to the public. Information: Dean Esslinger, 410-704-5415.

Senior summit to be held at Sheppard Pratt center

TOWSON -- The annual Senior Solutions Conference, co-sponsored by the Baltimore County Department of Aging and Commission on Aging, will be held May 1 at the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center on Charles Street.

Issues to be discussed include Medicare and Medicaid, sexuality in older adults, dementia and emergency preparedness. Nursing home administrators, professional counselors and social workers who attend can earn continuing education units.

The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $55. Registration is required. Information: 410-887-2002.

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