Between The Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

April 05, 2004

Age is only a number

Heather Millar, a 60-year-old retired math teacher from Arnold, tried so hard during her tryout to be a ballgirl for the Baltimore Orioles on March 27 that she won praise from judges for her powerful throwing arm and a feature about her big league dreams in The Sun.

She did not, however, win a stool on the ball field for opening day. All four people picked by the Orioles were about a third her age: Melissa Malone of Nottingham, Laura Humphreys of Arbutus, Tom McGonigal of Severn and Sarah Shaffer of Manchester.

Monica Pence, a communications manager for the Orioles, said age was not a factor in the decision to pick the others - all college students - over Millar and more than 100 other competitors.

"I wouldn't say that ballboys and ballgirls have to be a certain age," said Pence.

- Tom Pelton

It pays to research

Criminals can't always keep their stories straight, and police should know that as well as anybody.

So you'd think Derek D. Hayes would know better.

Hayes, a city police officer, was convicted last week of insurance fraud in Howard County Circuit Court.

In October 2002, Hayes submitted a claim to State Farm insurance for a laptop computer he said had been stolen from his car, according to the Maryland attorney general's office, which investigated the matter.

First, Hayes said the computer was a Panasonic. Then he said it was a Dell. He said the laptop was a gift from his grandfather, who died in 1994. But the computer was made after June 2001.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 11.

In the meantime, Hayes has been suspended with pay as the department conducts its investigation.

- Laura Vozzella

Play nice, now

City Councilman Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr. sealed his fate last Monday when he publicly insulted his more influential colleague and the council vice president, Stephanie C. Rawlings Blake.

D'Adamo, chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, claimed at the council meeting that Rawlings Blake, his committee vice chairwoman, regularly failed to attend budget hearings.

Two days later, President Sheila Dixon stripped D'Adamo of his post and replaced him with Rawlings Blake, the daughter of the late Del. Howard P. Rawlings and a close ally of Mayor Martin O'Malley.

D'Adamo acknowledges he does not have many friends on the all-Democratic council because of his allegiance with Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who gave the Northeast Baltimore councilman a job with the state police. Yet even a D'Adamo friend on the council, Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., called D'Adamo's comments "out of line."

D'Adamo doesn't think he was removed for insulting Rawlings Blake because he never mentioned her by name, though there is only one vice chairwoman. He said Dixon and O'Malley have wanted Rawlings Blake at the helm because this year's budget will be difficult. "I think it was coming," he said.

What does Rawlings Blake say about D'Adamo's comments? "They're not worth responding to," she said.

Dixon's response apparently says it all.

- Doug Donovan

What? No lake trout?

Sure, the Wawa in Edgemere has deli sandwiches, ice cream and cold soda, but when it comes to convenience can it compete with Fearl's across the street?

The sign outside advertises ice, bait and tackle, ammunition and the great Baltimore summertime staple, snow balls.

Now that's one-stop shopping.

- Andrew A. Green

Hook, line and ethics

Normally, Baltimore officials warn residents not to fish in city streams. But in a slightly fishy move Wednesday, the city approved a $5,018 grant to stock Dead Run in West Baltimore's Leakin Park with trout for an educational program for youth April 17.

The goal of the class: "The youth will be exposed to fishing and the ethical conduct of fishermen."

Mayor Martin O'Malley said he didn't spend much time thinking about the approval. "We did it on the fly," he said.

- Tom Pelton

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