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CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

News from around the Baltimore region

August 11, 2005

ANNAPOLIS

Seafood wholesaler to run Market House

An Anne Arundel County seafood wholesaler - not New York specialty grocer Dean & Deluca - will operate the historic Market House in Annapolis when it reopens this fall after renovations, a city official confirmed yesterday.

Annapolis officials had aggressively courted Dean & Deluca to take over the 146-year-old, 5,000-square-foot City Dock site in preparation for a nearly $1 million makeover. Seven merchants were displaced by the city from the building early this year.

But after winning the bid to operate Market House, Dean & Deluca announced that Annapolis Seafood would provide many services and fresh products.

Now Annapolis Seafood has taken over the 20-year lease, though Dean & Deluca will still sell some products there, said Annapolis City Administrator Bob Agee.

"It doesn't take too much of a leap of thought to say, `Well, clearly, if 90 percent of the work is done by Annapolis Seafood, why aren't they the lead entity?'" Agee said.

Representatives of Dean & Deluca and Annapolis Seafood officials did not return calls for comment yesterday.

Dean & Deluca created a Maryland entity to take over the lease, which it then transferred to Annapolis Seafood, Agee said. The city's law office confirmed that Annapolis Seafood is within its rights to operate as long as the company abides by the lease's tenets.

However, during a meeting with the Annapolis City Council's economic development subcommittee, Annapolis Seafood representatives offered to return the lease to the city for rebidding. The subcommittee will meet again Aug. 23 to hear a presentation from the company, Agee said.

- Liz F. Kay

WESTMINSTER

County to use state grant to expand homeless shelter

Carroll County will use a $438,433 Community Development Block Grant from the state to add nearly 2,000 square feet to Safe Haven, its homeless shelter that opened with 35 beds two years ago. The money will also be used to provide life-skills training to the mentally ill men and women who are its longtime residents.

The expansion will provide room for about 30 more beds in the winter, or life skills training classrooms when those beds are not needed. Construction will begin as soon as possible, officials said.

"The addition means there will be a separate place for folks to sleep in their own space, without having to double up with someone coming in from the cold," said Jolene Sullivan, county director of citizen services. "The winter months can be stressful for Safe Haven residents and staff. Now we have a wonderful opportunity to add this space that we can use year round."

-- Mary Gail Hare

BALTIMORE

Boy, 11, struck by hit-and-run driver on Monday dies

An 11-year-old East Baltimore boy who was struck by a hit-and-run vehicle Monday while playing near his home died yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, police said.

Demond Jackson Jr. was struck by a green Ford Crown Victoria or Mercury Grand Marquis about 4:35 p.m. Monday when he ran into the street between two parked cars near his home in the 400 block of N. Luzerne Ave., police said.

The impact caused the boy to strike the car's windshield and roof before he fell to the street, police said.

Anyone with information about the car, its owner or the driver who fled was urged to call police traffic investigators at 410-396-2606.

BALTIMORE

Liquor licensee ordered to respond to complaints

The owner of an East Baltimore liquor business has been ordered to appear before the city Board of Liquor License Commissioners to respond to complaints from neighbors who say he has violated the terms of his liquor license.

Kiff Kim, owner of Washington Liquors, will be asked to appear before the three-member board next month, said Nathan C. Irby Jr., the board's executive secretary. Irby called a meeting yesterday between Kim and angry neighborhood residents, but it ended in an impasse.

Kim has a license to run a tavern at 435 N. Washington St. But neighborhood residents say he is running a package goods store, and patrons gather outside to drink, dance and listen to loud music.

Yesterday, Kim conceded that the bar portion of the business had not been operating. Kim said he will unlock the door to the bar so that patrons can drink there. He also said he would contribute $1,000 a year to help pay for trash cleanup around his business, but neighborhood residents want him to pay twice that amount.

Mark S. Fosler, the liquor board chairman, said recently that he wants to crack down on problem liquor establishments. The city liquor board, a state agency, is under investigation by the state prosecutor after a request by two former board members who were accused of wrongdoing by the board's chief liquor inspector.

BALTIMORE

City backs grant bid to study cable cars above Inner Harbor

Two Baltimore brothers who dream of stringing a cable car system above the Inner Harbor got help yesterday when the city agreed to support their application for a grant to study the plan.

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