City/County Digest


October 09, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

Panel allocates funds to trim health care increases for retirees

The city's Board of Estimates decided unanimously yesterday to spend $1.13 million to slightly reduce pending increases in what retired city workers pay for their health care.

In February, the city established a formula that would provide a flat monthly subsidy to cover 50 percent of estimated premiums for the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield plan. Under the formula, retirees would pay the other 50 percent. Rates for the plan were set higher than the anticipated estimates, lowering the city's flat cash subsidy to 48 percent and increasing retirees' share to 52 percent.

Yesterday's action allocates enough money to guarantee an even split. The decision will save retirees $7.46 to $19.59 a month, depending on their insurance plans. Retirees, however, are seeing substantial rises in their insurance costs. A family with the BlueCross BlueShield plan will pay about $400 a month, up from $261.

Dundalk man gets 25 years for stabbing in Canton

A 34-year-old Baltimore County man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday in Baltimore City Circuit Court for assaulting a couple with a knife as they left a Canton pub last year.

Ronald Kirchner of the 1600 block of Leslie Road in Dundalk was convicted by a jury Sept. 26 of first- and second-degree assault and use of a deadly weapon with intent to injure.

The incident happened Nov. 19 when Tony Seider and Prosha Korangy of Columbia left a bar in the 1100 block of Streeper St. and were confronted by a group of men, including Kirchner. Kirchner took Korangy's car keys at knifepoint, and when Seider tried to come to her aid, Kirchner stabbed him five times, prosecutors said. Seider survived the knife attack.

Communications director for archdiocese leaving post

Stephen J. Kearney, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is leaving that job to become director of policy and communication for Mayor Martin O'Malley.

Kearney worked as O'Malley's director of communications from December 1999 to July last year, when he left to help the archdiocese during the national scandal over sexual abuse allegations in the Roman Catholic Church.

Kearney returns to the O'Malley administration Tuesday to help formulate policy and head the mayor's media relations team. "Those who have had the pleasure to work with Steve know he is very gifted at understanding how good public policy is shaped and communicated. We couldn't be happier to have him back at City Hall," said Michael Enright, the city's chief operating officer.

Toxicology report pending in death of city man, 43

Police are awaiting results of toxicology tests in the death of a man whose decomposed body was found Tuesday night in his West Baltimore apartment, but said it did not appear to have been a homicide.

The body of Larry Chesley, 43, of the 1300 block of N. Mount St. was found by officers responding to a 911 call from his godfather, who hadn't seen Chesley for about three days, police said.

The body was lying on a floor, with the cord connecting his telephone to a wall jack loosely draped around the back of his neck. The cord had nothing to do with the death, which was not the result of strangulation, the medical examiner's office told police.

In Baltimore County

Delegate to explain ways to get involved in legislature

PARKVILLE -- Del. Joseph C. Boteler III will give a presentation to the Greater Parkville Community Council tomorrow about how residents can get involved in the 2004 state legislative session.

Boteler, an 8th District Republican, will discuss how bills are prepared, how to contact legislators, how to track legislation and other issues.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at Morningside House Assisted Living Facility, 8800 Old Harford Road. Information: 410- 668-2580.

Reimbursements available for debris container rentals

TOWSON -- Baltimore County will reimburse residents who rented roll-off containers to dispose of debris from Tropical Storm Isabel and will waive some dumping fees at Eastern Sanitary Landfill.

Residents who rented the containers can, with proper documentation, be reimbursed up to $450. To receive the reimbursement or the waiver of dumping fees, residents must show the expenses are not covered by private insurance or federal assistance.

Information: 410-887-2000.

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