News from around the Baltimore region

July 26, 2005


Some bus changes coming Oct. 23, Flanagan says

Facing a largely hostile audience at a Baltimore NAACP meeting, Maryland Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan unveiled a timeline last night for phasing in controversial changes to area bus routes.

The least-controversial changes from the state's proposal to restructure Maryland Transit Administration bus routes will take effect Oct. 23., Flanagan said. Bus drivers will start training for the changes Monday.

"We wanted to implement the changes while there's still longer daylight hours and good weather ... so it will be more pedestrian-friendly," he said.

Changes deemed more controversial may begin in the spring after transportation officials consult with affected communities, he said.

The initiative has been billed as the first comprehensive restructuring of Baltimore's bus routes in three decades. But after much public outcry, transportation officials decided last week to eliminate some changes, delay others and go forward with certain proposals.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Baltimore chapter, Flanagan fielded critical questions from about 40 people about the bus initiative and the public transportation system.

"There's nothing you can say to us to convince us you're being straight with us, unless it's in writing," said transit advocate Leo Burroughs Jr.

He and others demanded a list of the Oct. 23 changes. Flanagan promised the changes would be on the MTA Web site by the end of the week.

Disabled and elderly people and workers who depend on buses also spoke against the initiative - some calling the proposed changes racist, bad business decisions and hurtful to the helpless.

-William Wan


Man gets 12-year sentence for admitted child abuse

Citing the defendant's history as a sex offender, an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge yesterday sentenced a Halethorpe man to 15 years in prison, with three years suspended, for his conviction for child abuse.

Robert A. Manger had pleaded guilty in April to the charge. State guidelines called for a sentence of two to five years in prison. "Sir, you are a sexual predator," Judge Paul F. Harris told Manger at the sentencing hearing.

The offense occurred a decade ago, but the victim came forward in February 2004. Manger, who was on probation for molesting a 13-year old Harford County boy, according to court documents, was arrested in March 2004 and accused of molesting two brothers - ages 12 and 14 - in separate incidents while he was house-sitting for the boys' uncle in Severn.

In a deal with prosecutors in April, Manger pleaded guilty to child abuse in the case of the 12-year-old. The other charges were dropped.

Harris sentenced Manger to 15 years but suspended three of them and placed him on three years' probation. He barred Manger from unsupervised contact with anyone under age 16 and ordered him to register as a sex offender.

- Annie Linskey


$81,400 given out in grants to boost commercial areas

Baltimore County government has awarded $81,400 in grants to business organizations for projects in downtown areas in the county, officials announced yesterday.

The grants are for such uses as landscaping, trash pickup, Web site development, banners and holiday lights in commercial areas. One grant is for a mural in Catonsville.

The grants, announced by County Executive James T. Smith Jr., include: $7,500 to the Arbutus Business & Professional Association; $11,517 to the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce; $7,500 to the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation; and $2,150 to the Essex-Middle River-White Marsh Chamber of Commerce.

Also: $7,500 to the Liberty Road Business Association; $2,071 to Overlea Fullerton Business & Professional Association; $2,150 to the Parkville-Carney Business and Professional Association; $14,048 to the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce; $20,820 to the Towson Business Association; and $6,144 to the Security/Woodlawn Village Business Association.


Federal jury deadlocked in officer's obstruction trial

Jurors in federal court remained deadlocked yesterday after trying to decide whether a Baltimore police officer committed a crime when he allegedly gave information on police tactics to the leader of a multimillion-dollar marijuana operation.

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake told the jury to return today for a third day of deliberations in the case against Sgt. Jeremiah Kelly. If jurors do not reach a unanimous verdict, Blake would likely dismiss the jury and declare a mistrial, forcing prosecutors to decide whether to try Kelly again with a new jury.

Federal prosecutors have charged Kelly, 45, with drug conspiracy and obstruction of justice for allegedly advising Tyree Stewart about avoiding surveillance helicopters and global positioning system trackers used by federal law enforcement.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.