City/County Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

December 02, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

MTA to upgrade transport services for the disabled

In response to criticisms of the treatment of disabled transit riders in the Baltimore region, the Maryland Transit Administration is putting 57 new vans on the road equipped with features to help officials keep track of vehicles and their riders, ease scheduling and verify that riders were picked up when promised.

Officials announced yesterday the Mobility program will have 17 new vans on the road by the end of next week to be operated by the MTA and another 40 in January to be operated for six months by vendor Yellow Transportation. More than 14,000 disabled riders use the Mobility service.

A satellite device will allow the MTA to track the vans if drivers are lost and or late and enable it to dispatch another vehicle if one is delayed. They will have Smart Card readers to show when a rider boarded.

Police identify three men killed by carbon monoxide

The three men found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning over the weekend in a Northeast Baltimore rowhouse were identified yesterday by city police as a resident and two guests -- all victims of a faulty furnace.

They were identified as Ronald A. Green, 45, who lived in the house in the 4700 block of Elison Ave.; Derrick Griffin, 20, of the 3900 block of Duvall Ave.; and Vandrew Woods, 24, of the 4800 block of Denwood Road.

Police said they found the men about 1:50 p.m. Saturday -- Green and Griffin dead in bedrooms, and Woods lying dead on a landing.

Man guilty of killing his girlfriend's uncle

A 29-year-old man pleaded guilty yesterday in city Circuit Court to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his girlfriend's uncle.

Michael Barnes of the 3000 block of McElderry St. pleaded guilty to the March 9 murder of Martan Brooks, 33. Judge Thomas Ward sentenced Barnes to 30 years in prison, with 10 years suspended.

Prosecutors say the murder occurred when Barnes was assaulting his girlfriend in the 1300 block of Carroll St., and her uncle intervened on her behalf. Barnes then stabbed Brooks twice -- in the neck and chest, according to prosecutors.

In Baltimore County

Man dies after losing control of motorcycle

KINGSVILLE -- After revving his engine outside the Maryland State Police barracks in Bel Air and driving away, a Harford County man lost control of his motorcycle, struck a sign and died yesterday morning, Baltimore County police said.

Kurt David Wilhelm, 39, of the 300 block of Whitefield Road in Churchville was apparently speeding south on Belair Road when he lost control of his motorcycle near New Cut Road about 12:15 a.m., police said. He was not wearing head or eye protection, accident investigators said.

Trooper Ryan List saw Wilhelm outside the Bel Air barracks revving his motor and called the dispatcher when he saw Wilhelm drive off, police said. List followed him on Belair Road but couldn't keep up safely, state police said. The officer was never in pursuit of the motorcycle, said Cpl. Rob Moroney, a state police spokesman.

3 injured when bus heading to pick up students is struck

ESSEX -- A school bus headed to pick up high school students yesterday was hit by a car on U.S. 40 near Martin State Airport, sending three people to area hospitals, police and school officials said.

The bus, operated by First Student, was en route to pick up Eastern Technical High School students about 3 p.m. when it was hit from behind by a Volkswagen on U.S. 40 at Martin Boulevard, said Doug Neilson, a county school spokesman.

The bus driver and a passenger in the car were taken to Franklin Square Hospital Center, and the driver of the car was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The identities of the injured and their conditions were not available last night. Neilson said the bus company has a "very good" safety record with the county.

Board of Education sets meeting for today

TOWSON -- The Baltimore County Board of Education will meet today in the Educational Support Services building, 6901 Charles St.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m., when the board is expected to discuss scheduling matters. A closed session will follow.

The board will resume its open meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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