City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

July 15, 2004|By From staff reports

In Baltimore City

Financial damage from Isabel continues to grow for city

Nearly a year after Tropical Storm Isabel blew into Baltimore, the financial toll to the city continues to grow.

The Board of Estimates agreed yesterday to spend $845,000 to repair flood damage at the National Aquarium and $645,000 on mold removal at police headquarters.

In November, the board gave police $750,000 to clean the department's evidence control room, where water rose as high as 3 feet. In February, police received an extra $800,000, saying the job had become more complex and time-consuming than expected. So far the project has cost about $1.6 million.

FOR THE RECORD - Because of an editing error, an item in yesterday's City/County Digest incorrectly reported the amount of money being paid by the Board of Estimates to the National Aquarium in Baltimore as reimbursement for property damage during Tropical Storm Isabel. The amount is $200,000. The Sun regrets the error.

The board also agreed to pay $200,000 to cover flood damage at the aquarium, which leases its facility from the city. The aquarium is required to carry property insurance on the facility, but it did not have flood insurance. It has since obtained coverage. The city intends to seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Stokes is expected to plead guilty to 3 gun violations

Dontee D. Stokes is expected to plead guilty to three handgun violation charges this morning in return for a sentence of time served, his attorney said yesterday.

Stokes is the city barber acquitted in 2002 of shooting the Rev. Maurice J. Blackwell, a priest he said had molested him years before. After admitting that he shot Blackwell, Stokes was convicted of carrying a handgun, discharging a handgun within city limits and transporting a handgun in a vehicle. The Maryland Court of Appeals overturned the conviction in February.

Stokes, who has served 18 months of home detention, is scheduled for an arraignment in Baltimore Circuit Court today.

Teenager is fatally shot during east-side robbery

An 18-year-old was shot early yesterday during a street robbery in East Baltimore and died several hours later, city police said.

The victim, Juan McMahan, was standing with three other males in the 100 block of N. Montford Ave. about 2 a.m. when two men, one with a handgun, demanded their money, said Detective Ron Ciraolo.

McMahan was shot in the head, but the others were not harmed. He died about 4 p.m. at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Anyone with information about the killing was urged to call Ciraolo at 410-396-2100.

Firefighters exposition opens at Convention Center

The Baltimore City Fire Department will host the 21st Annual Firehouse Exposition at the Baltimore Convention Center today through Sunday. More than 16,000 firefighters and emergency workers are expected to attend the event as well as members of the public.

Experts from across the nation will provide practical demonstrations in firefighting as well as information on the newest firefighting tools and gear.

Most of the training sessions will be open to emergency professionals only, but many other exhibits will be open to the public. The expo will conclude Sunday with a parade of more than 150 fire engines and apparatus. Historical apparatus used to combat the Baltimore fire of 1904 will also be on display. Information: 410-396-5616.

Mayor offers citations in summer math challenge

Mayor Martin O'Malley, as part of a citywide effort to keep students engaged in academic activities during the summer, is offering citations to children who participate in his summer math challenge.

The six-week challenge offers five questions each week organized around themes. Recent questions involved dimensions and characteristics of the American flag.

Questions and answers are available at Enoch Pratt Free Library branches and on the Web site, www.summerlearning.org.

Students will receive citations if they correctly answer at least one question each week. Answers, along with an adult's signature, must be handed in to a library by Aug. 13.

In Baltimore County

Rosedale man indicted on Medicaid fraud charges

ROSEDALE - A 41-year-old Rosedale man and his company have been indicted on felony charges of theft and Medicaid fraud for allegedly submitting $200,000 in claims for services that had not been performed, the Maryland attorney general's office announced yesterday.

Prosecutors said the fraudulent claims were "knowingly submitted" by Stanley Junious Benn and his company, Resolutions Unlimited Inc., from May 2002 until March of this year, when the state Mental Hygiene Administration suspended payments.

"Those claims represented that the company had provided psychiatric rehabilitation services to clients when Benn knew that the services had not actually been performed," the attorney general's office said. The charges carry maximum sentences of 5 to 15 years in prison and fines of $25,000 to $100,000.

Franklin Square hospital to receive award today

ROSSVILLE - Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. is to present an award today to officials at Franklin Square Hospital Center after it was named one of the country's top 100 hospitals by a private health care information firm.

Smith is to make the presentation to Carl J. Schindelar, the hospital president.

The 332-bed facility was selected as one of the nation's top 100 hospitals by Solucient, an independent health care firm. The company also named Franklin Square one of the top 25 teaching hospitals in the country.

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