City/County Digest


January 09, 2004|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

Fire that killed 2 children caused by smoking materials

A West Baltimore house fire New Year's Day that killed two children and seriously injured a third was caused by discarded smoking materials, a Fire Department spokesman said yesterday.

Fire investigators found the evidence of the cause in a first-floor room of the house in the 2900 block of Windsor Ave., where the children were without adult supervision when the fire erupted about 3 a.m., said spokesman Kevin Cartwright. He did not elaborate.

Pronounced dead at Sinai Hospital were Diamond Van Dyke, 9, and her brother, Anthony, 6. A third child, Jocelyn Walker, 8, survived and was treated at University of Maryland Medical Center.

Frederick woman found fatally shot in truck

A 31-year-old woman was found fatally shot early yesterday in a pickup truck parked with its engine running on a street in Southwest Baltimore, about 45 miles from her home in Frederick, city police said.

The victim, Karen Lee Black, was seated behind the steering wheel of her father's 1998 Ford pickup at the Woodington Gardens Apartments in the 4200 block of Adelle Terrace, dead from bullet wounds to the right side of her neck, said homicide Detective Sean Jones.

"We have no idea why she was there or who killed her," Jones said of Black, described as a divorced mother of two boys who lived on Dill Avenue near the Hood College campus. She was last reported seen alive Wednesday afternoon at her father's house in Woodbine, Howard County, Jones said.

IRS employee indicted in fraud, identity theft

An Internal Revenue Service employee was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday on fraud and other charges involving tampering with tax returns, authorities said.

Antoinette Phillips, 42, was indicted on charges of conspiring to commit identity theft and witness tampering, the U.S. attorney's office said. She was arrested after investigators learned she had made unauthorized entries into an IRS database between March 2000 and July last year.

Phillips is accused of obtaining confidential information about the father of one of her children. She then allegedly submitted fraudulent federal income tax returns, enabling her to obtain more than $7,000 in tax refunds over three years -- money diverted to Phillips through the Baltimore City Child Support Enforcement office, authorities said.

In Baltimore County

GBMC holds blood drive today because of shortage

TOWSON -- Greater Baltimore Medical Center will hold an emergency blood drive today in response to appeals by the governor and American Red Cross regional chapter Wednesday because of a critical blood shortage.

Blood donations will be taken from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the hospital's Physicians Pavilion East Conference Center Room, 6701 N. Charles St.

No appointment is required, and parking is free. Appointments may also be arranged to donate blood at GBMC and at other times and sites by calling the Red Cross at 800-448-3543.

Water-main break in Towson repaired

TOWSON -- A water-main break at Bosley Avenue and York Road that caused lane closures yesterday has been repaired.

It was the second time in about two months that the pipe broke, said Baltimore Department of Public Works spokesman Kurt Kocher. He did not know the cause of the break or whether the pipe will need to be replaced.

Crews worked through the night Wednesday and repaired the break by late yesterday afternoon, Kocher said. He did not know how many customers lost water, but said the number should have been minimal.

Bureau of Corrections honoring its employees

TIMONIUM -- The Baltimore County Bureau of Corrections will honor employees for integrity and excellence at the bureau's second recognition ceremony this afternoon at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

Awards will be given in several categories, including heroism. All awards are for 2003.

The ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. in the Vista Room of the Administration Building.

Author to speak at library, sign Pony Express book

TOWSON -- Christopher Corbett, author of Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express, will speak and sign his book at 2 p.m. Sunday in the periodical room of the Towson library.

The library is at York Road and Chesapeake Avenue. Information: 410-887-6166.

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