News from around the Baltimore region

June 15, 2005


School board approves a 4% raise for Hairston

The Baltimore County school board voted unanimously last night to give Superintendent Joe A. Hairston a 4 percent raise, amending his contract so that each year he would receive the same percentage raise as the county's teachers, the school board president said.

The raise, which would correspond with a 4 percent increase for county teachers budgeted for next school year, brings Hairston's salary to $239,200.

FOR THE RECORD - Because of inaccurate information supplied by police, a news brief in Wednesday's editions incorrectly described the Park View residential community in Abingdon. Park View is a senior citizen apartment complex.
The Sun regrets the error.

Last year, the board renewed Hairston's contract through 2008 and gave him a $45,000 raise, boosting his salary to $230,000 a year. The contract allowed the school board to give Hairston raises if he receives positive annual evaluations.

Under the amendment to the contract, Hairston would receive a raise only when the county's 8,000 teachers do.

Also last night, the school board approved the calendar for the 2006-2007 school year without including days off for two important Muslim holidays. The Muslim community has lobbied for the past two school years for the board to close school on Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Board members Michael P. Kennedy and Luis E. Borunda and student board member Nicholas P. Camp abstained.

Before the meeting, about a half-dozen Muslims holding U.S. flags and signs stood outside, where they were questioned by a police officer.

"I'm on public property, and I have the right to demonstrate peacefully," said Muhammad Jameel, one of the group's leaders. "I'm not aware of any law that I'm breaking."

The Muslim group has said it wants equal treatment and would be satisfied if schools remained open on the Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The calendar includes a day off for Yom Kippur.

The state school board has previously denied an appeal from the group over the county school board not recognizing Muslim holidays in the 2005-2006 school year calendar.

- Sara Neufeld


Man fatally shot while sitting in front of neighbor's house

A 25-year-old man was fatally shot early yesterday in the 600 block of N. Potomac St. in East Baltimore, city police reported.

About 1:20 a.m., a gunman approached Antoine Williams as he sat on the front steps of a neighbor's house. The man shot Williams several times and fled. Williams ran a short distance before collapsing on the sidewalk, said police spokesman Donny Moses.

Williams was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:51 a.m. Police had no suspects yesterday.

Officers urged anyone with information to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100.

- Ryan Davis


Board picks Fla. educator as new head of City College

The Baltimore school board yesterday appointed Timothy Dawson, a former principal in Florida, to head City College.

The 40-year-old Baltimore native worked as a teacher and administrator in Miami-Dade County for about 13 years, he said. He served as principal at middle and high schools, and most recently served as a student advocate in the district.

Dawson, a married father of two, grew up around 39th Street and Greenmount Avenue, and graduated from Dunbar High School in 1983.

Dawson said he plans to study City College's academics, personnel and facilities, with an eye toward turning the school, which is one of a handful of elite public high schools in the city, into "the premier school in Baltimore."

Michael Hamilton, who served on the search committee, said he hopes Dawson will be a stabilizing force for the school, which has had two interim principals this academic year.

- Laura Loh


Man stabbed Kaufman after knocking on door

The attack that left U.S. Senate candidate A. Robert Kaufman hospitalized started when a man knocked on the door to Kaufman's second-floor Baltimore apartment, according to a police report released yesterday.

"Here's your $200 for rent," the man said, according to the report.

Kaufman, 74, a perennial candidate for public office, turned to grab a receipt book and was hit on the head with a crowbar. He fell, and the attacker stabbed him in the left side of his neck and the left side of his chest, the report says.

The attacker ran, and Kaufman struggled down to the first floor and out to his porch, where he yelled for help from two construction workers. One of the workers called 911.

Kaufman was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where his condition was upgraded yesterday from critical to serious but stable, hospital officials said.

A member of Kaufman's activist group, Ron Solomon, said he spoke briefly yesterday with Kaufman, who had been taken off a ventilator.

"We expect a recovery," Solomon said. "That's the good news."

No arrests have been made. Kaufman told police that he recognized the man but did not know his name, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

Kaufman lives in the 2000 block of N. Hilton St. in West Baltimore and rents some units in a building that he inherited.

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