City/county Digest


Baltimore & Region

September 30, 2005

Candy risk prompts call for tests

The Baltimore City Health Department and the Mayor's Office of Hispanic Affairs yesterday urged blood lead tests for anyone who has ingested Mexican candy suspected of containing dangerous levels of lead.

The announcement came days after the city agencies began a grass-roots campaign to remove the candy from Baltimore store shelves and educate the public on the potential dangers. Many grocers said they had no idea some of their most popular candy might contain unsafe levels of lead.

Particular brands have been found to contain up to three times the legal threshold determined by the Food and Drug Administration and have been banned in other states, officials said. Among them are Lucas Limon, Baby Lucas and Pelon Pelo Rico.

The Health Department offers free blood testing from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and from 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays at 312 N. Charles St., second floor. Additional testing will be offered from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 12 during Binational Health Week at the Eastern Family Health Center, 620 N. Caroline St. In addition, testing will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Healthy Living Fair at St. Patrick's Church Hall, 1728 Bank St.

For more information about such candy or lead testing, call the city Health Department at 443-984-2470 or the Office of Hispanic Affairs at 410-545-6532.

Kelly Brewington


Northeast group sets summit tomorrow

The Northeast Community Organization is holding a summit tomorrow so that residents, community leaders and city officials can talk about issues that affect their neighborhoods and follow up on concerns raised at a summit held in June. The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Parker Conference Center at Good Samaritan Hospital, 5601 Loch Raven Blvd.

Jury convicts man of drug conspiracy

After a three-day trial, a federal jury convicted a 30-year-old Baltimore man yesterday of conspiracy with intent to distribute and possess drugs, and firearms violations in connection with what prosecutors described as a narcotics ring that operated in Baltimore and in Montgomery County. James Dana Sweets faces 20 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 21. Prosecutors said he - and others who have pleaded guilty - sold crack cocaine and heroin from a home in the first block of S. Broadway. Prosecutors said that police raided the home and that Sweets moved his operation to the Homestead Suites Hotel in Germantown, where he was arrested.

City man sentenced for robbing 6 banks

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a 47-year-old Baltimore man to 6 1/2 years in prison yesterday for robbing six banks between September 2004 and March. Prosecutors said Milton Sylvester Coleman Jr. pleaded guilty to the robberies in which he stole $22,305. He robbed the same Wachovia bank in the 1700 block of Rolling Road, near the Security Square Mall, last year on Sept. 3, Nov. 23 and Dec. 16. He held up Provident Bank in the 6200 block of Baltimore National Pike in Catonsville on Feb. 9, a Wachovia Bank in the 800 block of Rolling Road on Feb. 18 and a Wachovia Bank in the first block of St. Paul St. in downtown Baltimore on March 10.

Harford County: Sex offenders

2 turn selves in for not giving addresses

Two sex offenders sought by Harford County police for failing to register their addresses turned themselves in to authorities yesterday, police said. Dwain Andrew Mullen, 49, of Havre de Grace and Michael Sean Keys, 39, of Aberdeen arrived at the Harford County Sheriff's Office yesterday afternoon and were taken into custody. An officer who tracks sex offenders had been unable to locate them. Mullen is one of 82 child sex offenders in the county registry. Keys, who was convicted of first-degree rape, appears on the state's violent sex offender registry.

Justin Fenton

Bel Air

Fund created for kin of man killed in La.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has established a trust fund for the family of a Bel Air utility worker who was killed this week on a Louisiana interstate highway en route to repairing damage caused by Hurricane Rita. Wilson "Skip" Strong, 38, was killed Monday on Interstate 55, near the Mississippi border, after the truck he was riding in lost control, went off the road and hit a tree. Strong, an 18-year worker with BGE and a Bel Air volunteer fire official, was married and had an infant daughter. Contributions may be sent to the Wilson Strong Family Fund, c/o Mercantile Bank & Trust, 2 Hopkins Plaza, Baltimore 21201.

Phillip McGowan

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