Regional Digest



In Baltimore City

Drugs, alcohol ruled out in water shuttle accident

The federal agency investigating the fatal capsizing of a water shuttle in Baltimore's harbor March 6 has concluded that the captain and first mate did not have drugs or alcohol in their system at the time of the accident.

But this is only one small part of the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, which hasn't determined a cause of the capsizing and won't issue a final report for several more months, said Lauren Peduzzi, spokeswoman for the agency.

In a brief update issued by the agency yesterday, investigators said they found that the steering system and engine controls of the Lady D were in good condition before the accident. The pontoon boat's aluminum canopy, which fell off and sank during the accident, has been located but not yet recovered, the board said.

In Harford County

Off-duty officer was driver in fatality, report says

BEL AIR - An off-duty Baltimore police officer was the driver of a sport utility vehicle involved in a traffic accident Saturday evening that led to the death of a 72-year-old Edgewood man, according to a report issued yesterday by the county sheriff's office.

The document did not name the driver of the Volvo SUV, but it said she is a city officer who lives in Edgewood. The officer was off duty, the sheriff's office said. No charges have been filed.

The sheriff's office said Paul Joseph Thomas of the 2400 block of Greenheart Lane was walking his dog on the crosswalk on Willoughby Beach Road with the "walk" light illuminated when he was struck by the SUV turning left onto the road. The vehicle had a green light. Thomas was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died early Sunday.

In Maryland

Ehrlich raises $1 million for campaign at event

WOODLAWN - Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. raised more than $1 million for his re-election effort last night with a fund-raiser at Martin's West in Woodlawn.

"One measure of political power and political success is your ability to fund-raise," Ehrlich told the audience in brief remarks. "Our ability to blow past $1 million for an event that we expected to take in only a half-million speaks volumes about where we are politically."

Ehrlich raised more than $10 million for his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. His most recent campaign statement, filed in January with the state Board of Elections, shows a $2 million cash balance.

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