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CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

News from around the Baltimore region

August 18, 2005

BALTIMORE

City a finalist for '07-'08 NCAA lacrosse title games

Baltimore has been named a finalist, along with Boston, to host the National Collegiate Athletic Association men's lacrosse championship games in 2007 and 2008, city officials and an NCAA spokesman said yesterday.

The games drew record crowds - 46,923 for the semifinals and 43,898 for the final - to M&T Bank Stadium when Baltimore was home to the event in 2004.

Clarence T. Bishop, Mayor Martin O'Malley's chief of staff, visited NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis this month to make the city's pitch. He said Baltimore is known for its association with the sport and for its growing fan base.

"We just feel that Baltimore is the lacrosse mecca of the world," Bishop said. "We'd like to have the event here permanently, but that's not the way the NCAA process currently works."

An NCAA spokesman, Mark Bedics, said the decision will be announced Sept. 21. Philadelphia will host the games May 27-29, 2006.

- John Fritze

BALTIMORE

Man, 20, is fatally shot; another dies from wounds

A 20-year-old man was fatally shot early yesterday as he attempted to flee a group of people standing on a corner in Northwest Baltimore, city police said. Officers responding to an emergency call at 1:37 a.m. found the man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso near Pall Mall Road and Loyola Southway.

Police said the victim, whose name was not available, was standing with a group of people on the corner, and when he tried to leave someone chased him and shot him, first in the back and then several more times as he lay on the ground.

No one has been arrested in the case, said police Agent Donny Moses.

Police also said yesterday that Dulani Watkins, 31, of the 4100 block of Pen Lucy Road, who was shot July 31 in West Baltimore, died early yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Police had not made arrests in Watkins' slaying.

- Gus G. Sentementes

COLUMBIA

Residents' group meets tonight to discuss government changes

A group of Columbia residents concerned that pending changes to the town's governing system are a threat to local democracy meets tonight.

The Ad Hoc Residents' Collation re Columbia Governance will present a three-person panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. at Slayton House in Wilde Lake Village Center.

Last month, the 10-member Columbia Council - whose members make up the board - voted to disband and act only as the Columbia Association board. That change is contingent on the board approving changes to the association's charter, which will be discussed in September.

- Laura Cadiz

BALTIMORE

Murder-case jurors' note is described as confusing

Jurors who had engaged in shouting matches and deluged a judge with written questions grew calmer yesterday, according to court officials, sending only a single note as they continued deliberations in the Baltimore trial of two men accused of killing three young relatives.

The note, described as confusing, was from the jury forewoman. In it, she seemed to be requesting the judge's help in guiding the jury discussions, which she indicated were not going in the direction she had hoped. Judge Thomas Ward would not make the note's exact wording public.

Ward wrote back that he found her question to be unclear and inquired whether a jury instruction might assist her. He never heard back. Jurors, who sat through five weeks of complicated and graphic testimony, had sent several notes to the judge Tuesday - the first full day of deliberations - indicating discord among them.

Policarpio Espinoza, 23, and Adan Canela, 18, each are facing three counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in Baltimore Circuit Court in the May 27, 2004, slashing deaths of an 8-year-old girl, her 9-year-old brother and their 10-year-old male cousin at the children's Northwest Baltimore apartment.

Espinoza, an uncle of the children, and Canela, a cousin, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of any of the first-degree murder or conspiracy to commit murder charges.

Deliberations are to resume this morning.

- Julie Bykowicz

BALTIMORE

Edward J. Gallagher sworn in as city's director of finance

Edward J. Gallagher was sworn in yesterday as Baltimore's finance director by Mayor Martin O'Malley in a City Hall ceremony honoring the 69-year-old city resident charged with managing taxpayer dollars.

Gallagher has held the job in an acting capacity since February after the retirement of Peggy Watson. In his position, Gallagher will oversee the city's more than $2 billion budget, manage 300 employees and be responsible for agencies that handle the city's investments, debts and tax and revenue collections. "We're very, very delighted that you postponed retirement," O'Malley said. "The City Council had ... an Ed Gallagher testimonial night at his confirmation, which is a high tribute considering this is the man that usually tells the council they can't do this, that or the other thing during the budget season."

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