City/County Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

November 19, 2003|By From staff reports

In Baltimore City

Two city men plead guilty to shooting six people

Two Baltimore men pleaded guilty yesterday to murder and other charges in a series of crimes that ended with six people being shot, one of them fatally.

Gregory Veale, 20, of the 3000 block of Presstman St. and George Smith, 27, of the 1200 block of N. Bond St. pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder.

From May 4 to May 18, prosecutors say, the two robbed and shot several people, including Jamal David Felton, 27, who was killed in an alley off East Lanvale Street. At the time of the shootings, Veale was finishing a prison sentence for armed robbery at Dismus House, a halfway facility in East Baltimore.

They are scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 23. Veale is expected to receive 35 years in prison, and Smith 30 years.

Man's appeal may result in harsher U.S. sentence

A Park Heights man's appeal of his 2001 conviction on drug and gun charges has backfired, with rejection by a federal appeals panel and an order for new sentencing that said he should have been given harsher punishment as a "career offender."

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., affirmed the conviction of Rolando Stockton this week, but said his two previous felony drug convictions should have been counted separately during sentencing. Career offender status could result in more prison time for Stockton, who is serving a 27-year sentence.

Stockton appealed an April 2001 decision by a federal jury in Maryland convicting him for his role in a heroin ring called the "Woodland Organization," which was responsible for beatings, shootings and two killings in Northwest Baltimore during the late 1990s.

Lab confirms city teen is first flu case in Md.

A Baltimore teen-ager is Maryland's first laboratory-confirmed case of Type A influenza for the 2003-2004 flu season, the state health department announced yesterday.

"Although the flu is here in Maryland, it is not too late to get a vaccination," said state health Secretary Nelson J. Sabatini. "We encourage anyone who has not had their shot, especially those in high-risk categories, to contact their physician or health care provider."

Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Recommended steps to avoid the flu, in addition to the shot, include avoiding prolonged contact with people who have possible symptoms, eating balanced meals, getting adequate rest and washing hands frequently.

Assault charges dismissed against Stokes, ex-fiancee

The dueling assault allegations between Dontee D. Stokes and his former fiancee were dismissed yesterday in Baltimore District Court after both declined to testify against the other.

Stokes, who served an 18-month term under house arrest for handgun offenses stemming from his shooting of a priest he claimed had abused him, was charged with striking his former fiancee, Tiffani Taft, in August in front of a barbershop.

Taft also was charged with assaulting Stokes in the same incident. They have a 3-year-old daughter.

In Baltimore County

Council OKs $1.2 million for victims of Isabel

TOWSON -- The County Council approved an additional $1.2 million this week to provide home repair grants for victims of Tropical Storm Isabel.

Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. made the funding available by reallocating federal funds the county would not have used this year. The grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners who meet income guidelines.

Information: 410-887-3124.

School board seeks to fill vacancy on ethics panel

TOWSON -- The Baltimore County Board of Education is looking for a resident to fill a vacancy on the school system's Ethics Review Panel.

The panel serves as an advisory group to the board to help interpret ethics code policies, issue advisory opinions and act as a hearing examiner. The five panel members are appointed by the board. The new member, who will serve the remainder of a one-year unexpired term, must be a U.S. citizen and county resident, at least 18 years of age, can not hold elected or appointed office; can not be a member of the school board; can not be a school employee or spouse of a school employee, and can not be a registered lobbyist for an organization that may create a conflict of interest.

Applicants should send a letter of interest by Friday to Risa Schuster, 6901 Charles St., Towson 21204, or fax it to 410-887-4308.

Grasmick to hold meeting on parent advisory council

COCKEYSVILLE -- Nancy S. Grasmick, state superintendent of schools, will convene the first in a two-year-long series of meetings of the new Maryland Parent Advisory Council at 5 p.m. today at Cockeysville Middle School, 10401 Greenside Drive.

Grasmick will discuss the duties of the council and the importance of parental involvement in education. She will be joined by Esther Parker, chairwoman of the council and president of the Maryland PTA; and Linda Hodge, president of the national PTA.

A public comment period will be held from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with comments limited to three minutes.

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