The Week That Was


News From Around The Baltimore Region

April 03, 2005

Fatal drug overdoses dropping

Baltimore health officials said fatal drug overdoses in the city reached their lowest level in five years in 2004. The city's health commissioner and some substance abuse specialists attribute the decline to two factors: an expansion in drug treatment and the distribution of an anti-overdose medication to administer in emergencies.

State of long commutes

The U.S. Census reported that Marylanders endure some of the longest commutes in the nation. The data revealed that some Baltimore residents undergo "extreme commutes" of 90 minutes or more to work.

Frank Perdue dies at 84

Frank Parsons Perdue, the hardworking Eastern Shore native who gained fame and fortune raising plump chickens for dinner tables up and down the Atlantic Coast, died at his Salisbury home after a brief illness. Perdue, who became nationally known for uttering one of advertising's most memorable lines -- "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken" -- was 84.

Secretary defends juvenile system

After Maryland's Office of the Independent Juvenile Justice Monitor released reports revealing problems at two state detention centers, Kenneth C. Montague Jr., state Juvenile Services secretary, said his agency is making steady progress in reforming the troubled system.

Jump-starting Greektown

In what would be the biggest single residential development in Baltimore in recent memory, banker Edwin F. Hale Sr. plans to build more than 1,000 upscale condos and townhouses in an industrial area of Greektown.

OxyContin lapses bring fines

The University of Maryland Medical System lost track of almost 8,000 doses of the prescription painkiller OxyContin and must pay the government $250,000 in fines, federal prosecutors announced.

Patient records database

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield launched a program to pay doctors as much as $20,000 to install electronic patient records systems, designed to reduce medical errors and allow for more precise tracking of the care patients receive.

Preparing for kindergarten

Only 27 percent of Baltimore children entering kindergarten last year were considered fully school-ready, according to a report issued by a coalition of community leaders and groups. As a result, the Baltimore Leadership in Action Program is launching initiatives to better prepare the city's preschoolers.

Frederick County to fight slots

Frederick County is drawing up a local law to keep out slot machines. Even though legislation remains stuck in the General Assembly over whether to expand legalized gambling, local Frederick officials are worried and drawing up zoning regulations to prohibit video lottery terminals.

Leaders push renaming BWI

Lawmakers and African-American political leaders stepped up the pressure on the state Senate to support renaming Baltimore-Washington International Airport for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Some marketing and aviation experts said a name change could dim the identity of Baltimore and Maryland as places near the nation's capital.

Police evaluations changed

Part of the Baltimore Police Department's evaluation system for its officers was ended after City Council members -- who feared it resembled a quota system -- met with police officials.

Injured man sues police officer

A Baltimore man who said he can no longer walk and has limited use of his arms after being thrown into a wall while handcuffed by a city police officer has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the policeman.

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