City/County Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

December 23, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

Briefcase left on walk outside office disrupts traffic at rush hour

A briefcase left outside a law firm in the Mount Vernon area of downtown Baltimore disrupted yesterday's evening rush-hour traffic for nearly two hours -- until police, using a high-pressure water gun, determined it did not contain explosives.

About 4:30 p.m., the police bomb squad responded to the 400 block of St. Paul Place, where the briefcase was found on the sidewalk in front of an attorney's office. Police detoured southbound St. Paul Street traffic to Centre Street, and barred right turns onto Centre from Charles Street.

The briefcase was hit with the high-pressure water as a precaution before a bomb squad officer opened it, and found only business papers, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman. The traffic restrictions were lifted about 6:10 p.m.

"With the heightened [national] security alert, anything that appears suspicious will be investigated," Moses said.

Baltimore boy, 16, dies after being found stabbed

A 16-year-old boy died Friday at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center after being found stabbed that morning at his girlfriend's apartment, city police said yesterday.

The victim was identified as Derrick Colbert of the 3600 block of Liberty Heights Ave. Police said he was stabbed in the living room of his girlfriend's apartment in the 5500 block of Bowleys Lane.

Police said officers had responded to the apartment earlier that morning for a domestic dispute and arrived as Colbert was walking away. After the officers left, Colbert returned and was stabbed, said Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman. No charges have been filed.

The city's homicide toll for the year stood at 260 yesterday, police said.

Ramp closing further snarls southbound JFX traffic

The traffic snarl on the southbound Jones Falls Expressway through downtown Baltimore grew even worse early yesterday when the Guilford Avenue exit ramp was unexpectedly closed, forcing some motorists to make their own detours. The ramp was reopened by yesterday afternoon.

The ramp was scheduled to be narrowed to one lane during the weekend for pothole repair, but the pavement was too cold to allow the work to be done, a city spokeswoman said. The delay forced the ramp to be closed several hours yesterday, including during part of yesterday's morning rush.

Beginning at midnight through 8 a.m. today, the southbound Jones Falls Expressway from Guilford Avenue to Fayette Street was scheduled to be narrowed to one lane for road repairs.

In Baltimore County

Activists, officers, groups lauded for crime prevention

TOWSON -- Baltimore County community activists, business groups and police officers received 14 Governor's Crime Prevention Awards this year, police said.

Among the winners: the county Police Department; the Berkshire Area Community Association; Peter Definbaugh, founder and president of the Overlea Citizens on Patrol (COP) group; Louis Edmonds, property manager of Lantern Hill Apartments in Woodlawn; Joseph Powell, who started a COP group in Essex; Paul Eugene Treash from the Middlesex COP; and the Towson-area COP, which began an e-mail network to share crime information.

Officers Gary Dahle and Kenneth Stetson, who perform security surveys in the Towson Precinct; the Parkville Precinct Shift 3 Auto Anti-theft Prevention Program; the county's Taxis on Patrol program; and the Collaborative Supervision and Focused Enforcement (formerly HotSpot) programs in Towson, Woodmoor and the Deep Creek neighborhood in Essex also were recognized.

Agency wants residents to recycle wrapping paper

TOWSON -- Baltimore County residents are urged by the county Bureau of Solid Waste Management to recycle as much gift-wrapping paper as possible over the holidays.

Wrapping paper without foil and the cardboard tubes inside can be set out for collection as part of the county's mixed-paper recycling program. Mixed paper includes phone books, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, writing and computer paper, and paper and cardboard boxes.

Residents who have recycling and trash pickup should put mixed paper in cardboard boxes or paper bags at the curb. Those who do not have curbside pickup can take recyclables to drop-off centers in Halethorpe, Randallstown, Cockeysville and White Marsh. Information: 410-887-2000.

Basketball games to benefit Children's Cancer Center

ESSEX -- Proceeds from basketball games tonight between Eastern Technical High School and Dulaney High will be donated to the Children's Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The girls varsity game will begin at 5:15 p.m., with the boys varsity game at 6:30 p.m. At halftime, spectators can compete for prizes.

Eastern Technical is at 1100 Mace Ave.

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