News from around the Baltimore region

April 30, 2005


Bay Bridge repairs nearing end, officials say

The westbound center lane of the Bay Bridge should be open within a month after being closed since early this year, according to state officials.

"Our goal to get off the Bay Bridge before Memorial Day weekend definitely is in sight," said Robert L. Flanagan, the state's transportation secretary, in a statement.

The westbound lane has been closed since Jan. 3, when workers began pouring more than 7,000 feet of concrete. The repairs were necessary because of widespread cracking, which was the result of shoddy work, officials said.

The repairs on the lane added about $5.6 million to the project, which originally was to cost $60 million.

The concrete still needs to dry and workers will have to remove temporary line striping and clean the area before it is ready for travel, state officials said.

In addition to completing work on the middle lane, Maryland officials hope to improve the holiday traffic flow on the bridge by introducing a traffic report hot line, conducting a campaign encouraging drivers to go to the seashore early and leave late, and increasing the marketing of E-Z Passes.

- Jason Song


School buses crash, injuring at least a dozen children

At least a dozen fourth-graders on a field trip and several adults were treated for minor injuries yesterday morning after a flatbed truck pushed one school bus into another on Rowe Boulevard in Annapolis, city police and Wicomico County school officials said.

The buses were in slow or stopped traffic near the intersection with Calvert Street about 10:30 a.m. when the flatbed truck -- owned by Greenwald Industrial Products and driven by Rodney Lewis Sr., 34, of Washington -- ran into the back of the first Wicomico County school bus, said Officer Hal Dalton of the Annapolis Police Department. That bus struck the one waiting in front of it.

The injured children and adults were transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center, Dalton said. Traffic was congested for several hours while Annapolis police directed vehicles around one of the buses and the truck, which were towed.

The students, from Westside Intermediate School in Hebron, Wicomico County, were headed to the State House and the U.S. Naval Academy for a field trip, said Allen C. Brown, Wicomico County assistant superintendent for student services.

Those who were not injured walked to their first destination. The others joined them after they were evaluated at the hospital, Brown said.

-- Liz F. Kay


Construction work planned on Charles St. and the JFX

City officials are planning construction work along Charles Street and the Jones Falls Expressway today.

Charles Street will be closed between Saratoga Street and Mulberry Street from 4 a.m. until 2 p.m., weather permitting. During the work, northbound Charles Street traffic will be detoured west on Saratoga, north on Park Avenue and east on Mulberry back to Charles.

On the JFX, one lane of traffic will be closed in both directions at the Fayette Street ramps from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., weather permitting.


Police identify driver killed in accident on the Beltway

The driver killed in an accident Thursday night on the outer loop of the Baltimore Beltway near Windsor Mill Road was identified yesterday by police as a 43-year-old Severna Park woman.

Gretchen M. Kess of the 7600 block of Spencer Road was driving a Honda Accord when she lost control of her car, traveled onto the right shoulder and then back onto the Beltway, striking a tractor-trailer, state police said. The car was pinned under the truck, police said.

Kess was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police reports. The truck's driver was not injured.


Man found fatally stabbed on street in Irvington

An unidentified man was fatally stabbed in the chest early yesterday in the Irvington neighborhood of Southwest Baltimore, police said.

Residents in the 400 block of S. Augusta Ave., just south of Frederick Avenue, heard fighting outside and called police about 1:20 a.m., said Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman. Officers arrived and found the man lying on the sidewalk.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, Harris said.

The man's killing was the 77th homicide this year in Baltimore. At the same point last year, there had been 84.

-- Ryan Davis


Cecil County man is arrested in Sunday's fatal shooting

A Cecil County man has been arrested in connection with Sunday's fatal shooting in a Perryville bar, state police said.

The suspect, arrested Thursday evening, is identified as Antoine L. Griffin, 22, of the first block of W. Walnut St. in North East.

Griffin's initial court appearance is set for Monday morning, police said. The victim was identified as Darvell R. Guest, 25, of Aberdeen.

-- Andrew G. Sherwood


Teenager pleads guilty to series of robberies

A Columbia teenager accused of robbing youths at The Mall in Columbia and the Lake Kittamaqundi waterfront pleaded guilty yesterday in Howard County Circuit Court to robbery and other charges.

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