Sun News Digest

SUN NEWS DIGEST

August 18, 2005

MARYLAND

Storm-forecast data reviewed

Weather forecasters were relying on limited radar data the day of a fatal water taxi accident last year in Baltimore harbor, undermining their ability to issue timely warnings of an approaching storm, says an internal review by the National Weather Service. Five died when a boat capsized. [Page 1a]

Copeland compensation detailed

Baltimore schools chief executive Bonnie S. Copeland will receive a compensation package of at least $272,700 this school year, an increase of more than $40,000, under terms of her new contract -- and she is eligible for a bonus that would bring the package to above $300,000. [Page 1a]

Arson trial opens in federal court

The man accused of being the ringleader in Maryland's largest residential arson case wanted to impress a gang and get noticed, a federal prosecutor said during opening statements in the suspect's trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The man's defense lawyer told jurors that no forensic evidence can link his client to the Charles County fires last year. [Page 1b]

GOP lawmakers may skip hearings

Republican lawmakers say they will not participate in hearings on Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s personnel practices if the inquiry becomes overly partisan. They are threatening to walk out of the proceedings if majority Democrats don't play fair. [Page 1b]

NATIONAL

Medical treatment gap remains

Despite years of effort to narrow a gap in medical treatment, disparities between white and minority patients persist and in some cases are widening, according to two studies released today. The latest studies indicate limited improvements in some treatments and a growing disparity in others. [Page 1a]

BTK-killer information released

In a series of chilling revelations, investigators described confessed serial killer Dennis Rader yesterday as a bondage-obsessed sadist who started out strangling cats and dogs, and who later exercised his hands with a squeeze ball after realizing how much harder it is to strangle people. [Page 3a]

Antiwar groups hold vigils in U.S.

Antiwar demonstrators -- including many in the Baltimore area -- held candlelight vigils across the country last night energized by the tenacity of Cindy Sheehan, the California mother of a fallen soldier who has camped out almost two weeks near President Bush's Texas ranch, demanding a face-to-face meeting with him. [Page 4a]

WORLD

Israeli troops clear settlements

Israeli soldiers went door to door in Jewish settlements in Gaza to remove settlers -- using force where necessary. In the West Bank, an Israeli settler shot and killed four Palestinians before being overpowered and arrested. [Page 1a]

Car bombs kill at least 43 in Iraq

Car bombers struck a crowded Baghdad bus station yesterday, killing as many as 43 people and wounding dozens more. [Page 13a]

SPORTS

O's sweep A's, reach .500

Emergency starting pitcher Eric DuBose didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, and the Orioles completed a three-game sweep of the Athletics in Oakland, 5-3. The Orioles (60-60) have returned to the .500 mark for the first time since July 29. [Page 1c]

Boulware set to return to Ravens

Peter Boulware's unexpected return to the Ravens will become official today if he passes a physical, the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker said. Boulware, the franchise's all-time sacks leader who was released three months ago for salary cap reasons, is scheduled to sign a one-year contract. [Page 1c]

Royals lose 18th straight

The Kansas City Royals lost their club-record 18th straight game, falling 11-5 to the Seattle Mariners. The Royals moved within three losses of matching the American League record of 21 straight defeats set by the Orioles at the start of the 1988 season. [Page 5c]

BUSINESS

Developer countersues partners

A developer of Baltimore's Ritz-Carlton Residences who has been accused of fraud by his partners filed a lawsuit in return yesterday, saying that they cheated him out of his ownership interest in the $250 million luxury condominium project under construction at the foot of Federal Hill. [Page 1d]

AOL engineer sentenced in scheme

A former America Online software engineer was sentenced yesterday to 15 months in prison for stealing 92 million screen names and e-mail addresses and selling them to spammers who sent out up to 7 billion unsolicited e-mail messages. [Page 1d]

Computer worm gangs strike

An Internet shootout is going on between rival computer worm gangs this week, and major U.S. businesses were riddled in the crossfire, security experts said. One of the worms crippled several large media companies. [Page 1d]

TODAY

Pains taken with B&O station

Sensitive to the history of the B&O Railroad's Mount Royal Station but also to the needs of sculptors-in-training, renovators take pains to entomb most of the glorious original details for future generations to uncover. [Page 1e]

Octavia trying for some pizzazz

Octavia, a fashion outfit on Reisterstown Road beloved by Baltimoreans for years, is hoping to add pizzazz to its inventory to attract new customers while keeping its loyal base of shoppers happy. [Page 1e]

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"You should be ashamed. It's a crime. What the Arabs didn't do you are doing. You are puppets in the hands of this dictator."

Jewish settler Adi Hendel, to Israeli soldiers as they removed Hendel and her family from their home in Gaza Strip (Article, Page 1A)

TODAY ONLINE

GAZA WITHDRAWAL

Sun Mideast correspondent John Murphy answers readers questions about the forced Gaza settlement withdrawal. www.baltimoresun.com/mideast

CHARLES COUNTY ARSON

The man accused of being the leader of one of the largest residential arsons in state history went on trial Wednesday. Get comprehensive coverage of the fires. www.baltimoresun.com/arson

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