City/county Digest


April 13, 2004|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

Charges are reduced against student in airport security case

Prosecutors have reduced the charges against a Montgomery County man accused of hiding box cutters on at least two airplanes last year in what he said was an effort to expose lapses in airport security.

Nathaniel T. Heatwole, 20, of Damascus, was originally charged with taking a dangerous weapon aboard an aircraft, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. But the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore reduced the charge last month to a misdemeanor count of bringing banned items into a passenger-screening area, according to federal court records. The offense carries a sentence of up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Heatwole, a student at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., has said he committed an act of "civil disobedience" when he carried box cutters, matches, and small bottles of bleach onto Southwest Airlines flights between Baltimore and Raleigh, N.C. He then e-mailed federal Transportation Security Administration officials to warn of security lapses.

City plans to auction old school-system vehicles

Mayor Martin O'Malley and city education officials will announce today an effort to cut costs in the public school system by selling obsolete cars and trucks from the schools' fleet of vehicles.

The city school system owns approximately 300 vehicles that are used for purposes other than bus service. O'Malley administration officials looking to trim fat from the school system's deficit-ridden budget have recommended auctioning 50 cars from the fleet.

O'Malley also will announce that the city government will take over the school system's vehicle maintenance services, a move expected to save $300,000 annually.

Group to honor workers for service to downtown

The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore will hold a ceremony today at the Hyatt Regency on Light Street to honor two of its employees who work to improve the safety and appearance of downtown.

The employees -- to be honored as Public Safety Guide of the Year and Clean Sweep Ambassador of the Year for 2003 -- are part of the Downtown Partnership's Clean & Safe team of 100 workers, who are recognizable by their outfits. Cleaners wear red jackets, and safety officials wear blue-and-green jackets and baseball caps.

The partnership also will honor a Baltimore police officer and a Department of Public Works employee for their efforts to improve downtown life. Police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark and Public Works Director George L. Winfield are scheduled to attend the ceremony.

In Baltimore County

Police seek information about missing girl, 15

ESSEX -- Baltimore County police were searching yesterday for a missing 15-year-old girl.

Police describe Brittany Anissa Addy of the 600 block of Middlesex Road in Essex as 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, with a shaved head and wearing a blond wig.

Anyone with information about Anissa is urged to call the Essex precinct at 410-887-0220.

Arbutus fire company gets grant for safety programs

ARBUTUS -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department a $40,500 grant for its fire prevention and safety programs, Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin announced yesterday.

The Fire Department is to use the grant to purchase the Sparky Safety House, a model house that can be taken to schools, churches and community meetings to teach the public about fire safety.

The grant, part of a program that focuses on preventing fire-related injuries to children, also will be used to purchase visual aids and computer equipment to assist in teaching fire prevention and safety.

Sheppard Pratt to hold art auction this weekend

TOWSON -- An art auction to benefit Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital will be held Friday and Saturday. A portion of the proceeds will be used for a permanent art collection in a new hospital building being constructed at the Towson campus.

The auction art, which will include 400 pieces of American realism fine art, may be previewed from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The auction will be held in two sessions: at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. Information: 410-938-3154.

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