City/county Digest


February 25, 2005|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

Felon gets 15-year prison sentence for possessing firearm

A Baltimore man found to be carrying a gun after he was knocked unconscious in a car crash was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, the U.S. attorney's office announced.

Prosecutors said 40-year-old James Edward Simms was driving on Gwynns Falls Parkway on March 1, 2003, when his car overturned, and he was knocked unconscious. A paramedic who examined him found a loaded .32-caliber Smith & Wesson long-caliber revolver in the waistband of Simms' pants. Medical personnel at Maryland Shock Trauma Center turned up 16 rounds of ammunition in a pants pockets.

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake found Simms qualified as a career criminal under federal firearms laws, giving him the mandatory 15-year sentence without parole and three years of supervised release after his prison term.

City to get $100,000 grant to reduce vehicle emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of the Environment will provide a $100,000 federal grant to city officials today to help reduce vehicle emissions from Baltimore firetrucks and medic units.

The Sensitive Population Grant to the city's Department of Public Works will help retrofit 37 firetrucks and 26 medic units to reduce diesel soot emissions by as much as 30 percent and eliminate crankcase emissions.

State and city officials say the retrofitting - to begin in May - will be one of the first in the country. The grant will be awarded at 11 a.m. at the Fort Avenue Fire Station, 1001 E. Fort Ave. in Locust Point.

Real estate professionals to talk about homebuying

Homebuyer education classes will be held on three dates next month at the St. Jerome Head Start Center, near M&T Bank Stadium.

The classes are sponsored by Tri-Churches Housing Inc. and provide an opportunity for prospective buyers to ask questions of real estate professionals. The classes will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 10, 17 and 24 in the upper hall of the Head Start Center, 765 W. Hamburg St.

The classes are free and no registration is required. Free counseling is available by appointment. Information: 410-385-1463.

Harbor Point rink to hold `Paradise on Ice'

The Baltimore Ice Rink at Harbor Point will hold "Paradise on Ice" tomorrow evening as part of the final weekend of outdoor skating for the season.

From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., skaters will receive leis and listen to music from the Baltimore Islanders steel drum band. There also will be tropical punch and beach snacks, and children can make beach bracelets.

Admission is $5 per person, and skate rental is $3. The rink will be open through Monday.

In Baltimore County

Condition of boy shot Tuesday upgraded to good

LANSDOWNE - A boy who was wounded in a double shooting Tuesday morning was reported in good condition yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the other victim was released after treatment.

William Branch Alston, 16, who had been in critical condition after being shot twice in the back, was in good condition yesterday, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Alston, of the 2900 block of Lakebrook Circle in Lansdowne, was one of two boys shot as they walked down Fifth Avenue in Lansdowne.

The other boy, 14-year-old Lemar Derrell Williams, also of the 2900 block of Lakebrook Circle, was released late Tuesday after treatment for a hip wound.

Police had not identified a suspect in the shooting, but described the assailant as a black male, 15 to 18 years old, with a gold tooth. He was last seen wearing a black jacket and running in the area of Fourth Avenue in Lansdowne.

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