City/County Digest

City/County Digest

April 29, 2003|By From staff reports

In Baltimore City

Proposal to change city's election cycle introduced in council

City Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector introduced a proposed charter amendment last night that would change the city's election schedule, setting mayoral and City Council elections after next year for November 2007 and every four years after that.

The legislation, co-sponsored by council President Sheila Dixon and three other council members, would reverse a 1999 decision by voters to move elections to a presidential election cycle, with elections next year and every fourth year after that.

Supporters of Spector's proposal, which must be approved by the council and then by voters in a citywide referendum, say it is necessary to close a 14-month gap between primaries and the general election in the current schedule. But opponents note that keeping the city schedule on the presidential cycle would save the city up to $1.8 million a year.

Ex-council chief of staff files to run in 4th District

A former City Council chief of staff announced his candidacy yesterday for a seat on the panel he had served as an employee.

Bill Henry, 34, will run in the city's new 4th District in North Baltimore. Henry, who once worked as a staff assistant for Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, is assistant director of Patterson Park Community Development Corp.

Henry is a resident of the Radnor-Winston neighborhood off York Road. He said his campaign will focus on public safety and neighborhood revitalization. He will run against incumbent Councilman Kenneth N. Harris Sr., who recently indicated he would not run for City Council president.

Block of E. Lombard Street to close for movie filming

A block of East Lombard Street is going Hollywood this week.

From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to midnight Thursday, Lombard will be closed to traffic between Broadway and Washington Street during filming for Ladder 49, a movie about firefighters starring John Travolta.

During both days, traffic will be detoured north on Washington Street, west on Baltimore Street and south on Broadway back to Lombard, the city Transportation Department said.

Man convicted of murder in fatal stabbing last year

A West Baltimore man was convicted of first-degree murder yesterday by a city Circuit Court jury in the fatal stabbing of a maintenance worker during an argument last April.

Brian Christopher Cooper, 19, was convicted of killing 21-year-old Elliott Scott, who was stabbed in the abdomen April 17, 2002, during a disagreement near a hack taxi stand in the 2600 block of Fairmont Ave. He could be sentenced to life in prison plus six years for weapons charges.

The trial began Thursday and jurors deliberated for four hours yesterday. "It was basically a `What's up? What are you looking at?' kind of thing," said Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Grunwell, who prosecuted the case.

Man who beat 3 charges of murder is sentenced

A West Baltimore man who faced down three sets of murder charges over three years was sentenced yesterday for violating probation for a 2000 drug conviction.

Courtney Noakes, 22, who received a 10-year sentence last month for selling heroin on a West Baltimore street, admitted with his plea that the conviction violates the terms of his release on the earlier drug charge.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Joseph P. McCurdy Jr. sentenced Noakes to three additional years, to be served after the 10-year sentence is completexd. Juries twice acquitted Noakes in fatal shootings, and prosecutors dropped a third murder case.

In Baltimore County

County executive digs in for Earth Day celebration

WOODLAWN -- Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. pitched in with three projects in the Woodlawn area yesterday as part of the county's celebration of Earth Day.

Wearing blue jeans and boots, Smith unveiled a community sign and did beautification work in Franklintown, helping students plant a red oak at Woodlawn High School and planting a dogwood tree on Dogwood Road.

The plantings are part of a city-county effort to improve water quality in the Gwynns Falls Watershed and to protect Dead Run, an area stream.

Police urge bicycle owners to engrave numbers on bikes

TOWSON -- With the beginning of warm weather, Baltimore County police warn bicycle owners to get their bikes engraved with identification numbers.

Police suggest owners engrave their Maryland driver's license number or identification card number -- but not a Social Security number -- on bikes for easy identification if they are stolen. Engraving tools are available at all police precinct stations.

They also recommend that bikes stored in sheds be chained and locked to a lawn mower or other bulky equipment that would make it difficult to steal.

Nonprofit group seeks items for fund-raiser on eBay

TOWSON -- CASA of Baltimore County, a nonprofit group that helps abused and neglected children in foster care, seeks donated items for an eBay auction fund-raiser.

Jewelry, collectibles, video games and game systems are needed.

Donation information: 410- 828-0515.

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