City/County Digest


December 17, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

O'Malley endorses Dean in Democratic presidential race

Mayor Martin O'Malley endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean yesterday, saying the former Vermont governor has a promising plan for reviving America's economy.

"Governor Dean's vision is one that will result in more jobs, not 2 million fewer jobs, as we have seen on President Bush's watch -- with poverty growing," O'Malley said in a written statement.

"As a doctor, he understands that it is simply unacceptable that 40 million Americans don't have health care," O'Malley said. "He is committed to a strong national defense - both abroad and here at home. And he realizes that America's cities are the places where we will determine just how great our nation is. He sees cities like Baltimore as opportunities, not as burdens."

Dean's candidacy was endorsed Saturday by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Police cars getting devices to aid heart attack patients

Baltimore police cars soon will be equipped with 140 defibrillators to help people suffering cardiac arrests, officials said yesterday.

The American Heart Association -- which donated several thousand dollars this year to help the city purchase 50 of the devices -- secured a $210,000 gift from the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation to buy the defibrillators, officials said.

Officers using the devices attach electrodes to a patient suffering cardiac arrest and flip a switch on the defibrillator, which monitors the victim's heart rate. The defibrillator tells the officer whether to initiate a shock to restore the patient's heart to its regular rhythm. The devices are expected to be in patrol cars by the end of February.

Man in liquor store refuses to surrender until drunk

A gunman was holed up early today in an East Baltimore liquor store after a robbery -- reportedly refusing to surrender until he got drunk, police said.

Shortly after 11 p.m., officers responding to a holdup alarm at the liquor store in the 2100 block of E. Biddle St. backed off after learning the gunman was still inside. Moments later, a man believed to be an employee fled the store and was led to safety.

Police surrounded the store and summoned tactical officers armed with rifles and tear gas. A negotiator also was summoned, a command post was set up at a nearby intersection and a police helicopter crew watched from above.

More than an hour into the standoff, the suspect was heard yelling, "I'm not coming out until I get drunk," police said in radio communications from the scene. Officers were still waiting there after 1 a.m.

Man becomes year's 252nd homicide victim

The city homicide total for the year reached 252 during the weekend when a 20-year-old man died of wounds suffered in a shooting Friday morning in West Baltimore, police said yesterday.

Brandon Wilson of the 1000 block of W. Lanvale St. was shot in an eye about 10:25 a.m. in the 600 block of N. Carrollton Ave. and taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, police said.

Wilson died Sunday at the hospital. His death pushed the city's homicide total for the year to one below last year's mark of 253.

Adult club's hearing on zoning is again delayed

Opponents of an adult entertainment club on downtown Baltimore's west side managed yesterday to postpone for the second time a key zoning hearing on the club's future. A hearing has been rescheduled for Jan. 6.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore said its lawyers still need time to study a zoning request by Club Bunns, at 606-608 W. Baltimore St., for permission to stage strip shows.

The club says it has long held such shows with the city liquor board's permission but has been told it needs formal approval of the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals to continue them. The university, which also asked to postpone a hearing in September, said sanctioning strip shows could harm the west side's revival.

In Baltimore County

County Council approves sale of former fire station

PIKESVILLE -- The County Council has authorized the sale of the former Pikesville Fire Station to Pikesville Realty Co. LLP for $100,000, council Chairman Kevin Kamenetz said yesterday.

The station, built more than 80 years ago at 1212 Reisterstown Road, is on the county's landmarks preservation list. As a condition of the sale, the new owner will be required to invest at least $125,000 to develop and renovate the property within the next 14 months, said Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Ruxton Democrat.

The council approved the sale Monday night. The station was replaced by a new building nearby four years ago.

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