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CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

News from around the Baltimore region

April 22, 2005

BALTIMORE

N.Y. company to lead Poppleton revitalization

A New York-based company will lead the effort to redevelop Baltimore's Poppleton neighborhood, city officials announced yesterday.

LaCitM-i Development's plan aims to overhaul a nearly 14-acre tract of homes and vacant lots in the neighborhood just west of the downtown business district and the University of Maryland's $300 million biotech center.

The plan calls for the replacement of hundreds of houses and lots, many of them vacant, with a mix of houses, apartments and retail.

"Baltimore's neighborhoods are coming back," Mayor Martin O'Malley said at yesterday's announcement in the heart of the redevelopment district. "You do not have to be an urban planner to see the possibility here."

The city has acquired many of the more than 500 properties slated for redevelopment. Because about 130 of those properties are occupied homes, some residents will be displaced.

According to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, those people will get the first option on the new housing.

- Jill Rosen

BALTIMORE

Couple charged in killing are being sought by police

City police have obtained warrants charging a couple with first-degree murder in the abduction and shooting of a Baltimore County woman whose body was found dumped in Clifton Park April 14.

John Dandridge, 32, of the 2100 block of E. Federal St., and Crystal Rivera, 37, of the 500 block of S. Collington Ave., who are being sought, are charged in the death of Amber Boothe-Lowe, 26, of the 200 block of Pinewood Ave. in Dundalk, police said.

The victim's husband, Robert Lowe, told police that she was the mother of three children - an 8-year-old boy, and girls ages 3 and 4.

Her fully clothed and bound body was found off Indian Head Road in the park by groundskeepers, police said. A motive for the slaying was not known.

Also being sought is a white 1996 Dodge Ram pickup truck, believed to have tags 12R 049, in which the woman was seen before she was killed, police said.

Anyone with information was urged to call Warrant Apprehension Task Force Detective Vince Stevenson at 410-637-8970.

BALTIMORE

Locust Point implosion to halt Fort Avenue traffic today

The Maryland Port Administration is scheduled today to implode Baltimore's last working grain pier, which is in Locust Point at the site of the $400 million Silo Point luxury housing development that is under construction.

As a safety precaution, city police plan to stop traffic from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Fort Avenue between South Baltimore and Locust Point. Boat traffic near the pier will be prohibited.

About 150 pounds of explosives will be used to implode the pier. The developer, Pulte Homes, also plans to convert a nearby 290-foot-high grain elevator into condominiums.

OWINGS MILLS

Senior housing dedicated; site will grow to 400 units

A 75-unit housing facility for the elderly adjacent to the Jewish Community Center in Owings Mills was formally dedicated yesterday, and officials connected with the project said the site eventually would include up to five buildings and 400 units, all catering to older adults.

The four-story Weinberg Village I building is limited to residents 62 and older who have limited incomes. The project was built with grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Baltimore-based Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and sponsored by The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, which owned the land.

The location, next to the JCC, which houses a preschool and other programs, will allow for new senior programming and programs that bring younger and older generations together, said David Carliner, president of Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc., an agency of The Associated.

"That's what drove us to build this community," he said.

Residents began moving into Weinberg Village I in early February. A second building, Weinberg Village II, is scheduled to open in September.

Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc. has developed and oversees the management of several elderly and assisted-living buildings in the area and has assumed responsibility for Manhattan Park, which is across from the Jewish Community Center's Park Heights location, Carliner said.

- Lisa Goldberg

BALTIMORE

Literacy group reduces staff due to federal funding cuts

Baltimore Reads, an organization that teaches adults to read, announced yesterday that it had cut administrative staff positions in response to deep cuts in federal funding and a drop in donations.

Five of eight administrative positions have been eliminated, but that should not affect adult literacy classes, spokesman Robert L. Mead said yesterday.

In recent years, the nonprofit's annual budget has fallen from $4 million to $2 million, he said.

President to address Navy graduates May 27

ANNAPOLIS

President Bush will deliver the commencement address at the Naval Academy in Annapolis next month, the White House announced yesterday.

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