In Baltimore City
Public meeting set Saturday on planned budget for schools
The Baltimore school board is holding a forum Saturday to give the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed budget for next fiscal year.
This week, the board proposed spending about $40 million less next year -- by cutting schools' budgets, laying off employees and getting rid of many academic coaches -- in an effort to slice $25 million from a projected $41 million deficit.
The forum will be held at 1 p.m. in the first-floor boardroom of school system headquarters, 200 E. North Ave. Information: 410-396-8709.
Police identify 2 men killed in quadruple shooting
City police identified yesterday two men killed during a quadruple shooting Saturday morning in West Baltimore as Bernard Davis, 25, and Jason Gregory Owens, 22.
Davis and Owens were standing outside the 2-Spot Bar at Wheeler Avenue and Calverton Road about 7:30 a.m. when gunfire broke out. Davis, of the 2500 block of E. Preston St., and Owens, of the 4400 block of 68th Place in Landover, were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where they died.
Two others were wounded in the shooting, and police identified them as Baltimore men: Antwoin Davis, 27, and Titus Grant Strong, 23. Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.
Man convicted in murder of unlicensed cabdriver
A 29-year-old Baltimore man was convicted yesterday for the murder of an unlicensed cabdriver who was forced from his vehicle, taken into an alley where he was told to take off his clothes, then shot four times.
Michael Quinton Taylor of the 2400 block of Loyola Northway is scheduled to be sentenced June 23, according to the city state's attorney's office.
Jurors convicted him of killing Damon Cooper, 34, who had picked up Taylor and another man in his cab April 6, 2001. The passengers forced Cooper at gunpoint to drive to the 2700 block of Tivoly Ave., where he was told to take off his clothes in an alley. He was shot when he tried to retrieve his clothes.
African-American festival seeking groups, sponsors
As part of its effort to raise $500,000 for this summer's African American Heritage Festival, the city is looking for 50 neighborhood organizations to participate.
The festival, which attracted 480,000 people last summer, is scheduled for June 6, 7, and 8 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It will feature food, arts, music and other exhibits -- including one featuring individual neighborhoods.
For $150, community groups can set up booths at the festival in exchange for a half-hour of airtime on the city's cable access Channel 21. The deadline for applications is May 16. Organizers are charging corporate sponsors $5,000 to $75,000. The city is expected to pay $100,000 as the festival's title sponsor.
In Baltimore County
Towson University begins arts center improvements
TOWSON -- Towson University broke ground yesterday for a $40 million renovation and addition at the school's Center for the Arts.
The 165,000-square-foot building will grow to 288,000 square feet, officials say, and the number of performance venues will double. The new building will house the departments of music, theater arts, art and dance.
Improvements will include a black box theater; theater directors' labs and lecture halls; a recording studio; a recital hall seating 140; an expanded Asian Arts Gallery and a Main Art Gallery. The project is expected to be completed in fall 2005.
County executive to speak to senior citizens association
TOWSON -- Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. will address the Baltimore County Association of Senior Citizens at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Towson United Methodist Church, 501 Hampton Lane.
The topic of Smith's address is "Helping the Senior Population Find Solutions." The public is invited.
County police TV show to profile marine division
TOWSON -- The current edition of the Baltimore County Police Department's cable television show features a profile of the marine team and tips on preventing burglaries.
Police Report, which runs through June 6, includes interviews with Detective Ed Spragg from the burglary unit and Sgt. Wayne Lloyd and Officer Roland Greenwalt Jr. from the marine team.
The show is broadcast on Comcast Channel 25 at 8:30 p.m. Mondays, 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.