City/County Digest


November 26, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

Merchants stage protest over plans for west-side renewal

About a dozen merchants afraid of being ousted by an urban renewal project held a protest yesterday to demonstrate their desire to be part of a new, improved west side.

Outside the Peanut Shoppe in the Lexington Street pedestrian mall, members of the group said they would fight the city's attempt to take businesses by eminent domain. Carrying signs reading, "The city likes my building but doesn't like me," the merchants noted that the buildings they own are historic structures and cannot be torn down, but their businesses can be destroyed.

The city plans to take control of a 5-square-block area and find developers willing to remake it with shops, restaurants and homes. The Baltimore Development Corp., the city's economic development arm, has asked developers to submit proposals by Feb. 27.

The city is trying to work with the current merchants, some of whom might be incorporated into redevelopment plans, said Sharon Grinnell, the BDC's chief operating officer.

Decomposed body found tied to tree in Cherry Hill

Baltimore police are investigating the death of a person believed to be an adult male, whose badly decomposed body was found yesterday morning tied to a tree in Cherry Hill.

The body, found in woods behind an apartment complex off Round Road, was discovered by a maintenance worker, said Agent Donny Moses, a city police spokesman.

Police were not sure how the person died or how long the body had been there, Moses said. The remains were taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

In Baltimore County

Mikulski moves to block new prison construction

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said yesterday that she has inserted in a bill language that would block construction of a maximum security prison at any of four proposed sites in Maryland.

Two private firms had recommended the sites -- one in Dundalk in eastern Baltimore County and three in Prince George's County -- to the Office of the Federal Detention Trustees, a division of the U.S. Justice Department. Federal officials said hearings on the sites could begin in January.

Mikulski included the construction ban in the fiscal year 2004 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill. The bill is part of a larger spending package that is pending in the House of Representatives.

Free holiday parking offered at designated times

TOWSON -- Free holiday parking will be offered throughout Baltimore County on specified days next month, County Executive James T. Smith Jr. and the Revenue Authority announced yesterday.

All metered spaces and authority garages will be free all day Friday, and after 4 p.m. Dec. 22 to 24. The move is designed to encourage shopping in neighborhood businesses around the county.

The parking holiday also includes free parking after 5 p.m. in Towson for the holiday tree lighting ceremony, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Courthouse Plaza.

County revises schedule for trash pickup for holiday

TOWSON -- Baltimore County residents whose trash is usually picked up tomorrow will be picked up Friday instead because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Recyclables also should not be put out tomorrow. They will be collected on the next scheduled pickup day, Dec. 11.

Trash and recycling drop-off centers and county offices will be closed Thanksgiving, but will reopen Friday. Information: 410-887-2000.

Volunteers needed to help with Isabel cleanup

DUNDALK -- Volunteers are needed for a community cleanup Saturday to help residents of the Watersedge neighborhood who were victims of Tropical Storm Isabel.

Organized by Baltimore County Councilman John Olszewski Jr., the cleanup will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers will meet at Watersedge Park at Bull Neck and Peach Orchard roads.

Along with volunteers, trucks are needed to help haul debris to trash containers, which will be provided. Volunteers and those needing assistance are asked to call Mark Persiani at Olszewski's office at 410-887- 7174.

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