City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

Baltimore & Region

October 05, 2005

An item in yesterday's editions about Community Day at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore failed to explain how residents of neighborhoods around the zoo can attend Saturday's event. They must obtain the free tickets in advance from their community associations.

Tax preparer pleads guilty to filing false returns

A 49-year-old Baltimore tax preparer pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to filing false returns that netted refunds of more than $42,000 for his clients. Francis I. Ukadike, the owner of Ukadike & Associates, CPA, an accounting and tax return preparation business, filed at least 32 false returns between 1999 and 2002, most of which falsely claimed the earned income tax credit. Ukadike faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis scheduled sentencing for Jan. 13.

Matthew Dolan

Baltimore: Federal court

Drug dealer gets 11-year sentence

A 30-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced in U.S. District Court yesterday to almost 11 years in prison for dealing drugs. As part of his guilty plea, Earl Arzynell Clayborne admitted selling a total of more than 100 grams of heroin in several transactions with federal drug enforcement agents. While Clayborne was on pretrial release, he violated the conditions of his freedom and fled. Federal agents rearrested him and found a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol, false Pennsylvania identification containing his picture, almost $3,000 in cash and more then 13 grams of crack cocaine.

Matthew Dolan

Man gets 15 years in child porn case

A 42-year-old Cecil County man received a 15-year prison sentence yesterday in Baltimore's federal court for distributing child pornography. In late 2004, Frank Thodos of North East advertised child pornography over the Internet from his home computer, which contained at least 150 images of children under age 12 - some depicted in sadistic or masochistic conduct. Through a file-share program, individuals were able to upload child pornography to Thodos' computer and download child pornography from it, according to prosecutors.

Matthew Dolan

Maryland Zoo

Nearby residents get discount Saturday

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is offering discounted, $1 admission for residents who live in the surrounding neighborhoods of Greater Mondawmin, Hampden, Ashburton, Hanlon Park and Reservoir Hill on Saturday. The community day is designed for zoo officials to build relationships with the zoo's neighbors. Officials expect 5,000 to 8,000 visitors to take advantage of the program, which could become an annual celebration.

Canton

Meeting to discuss disaster preparation

A town hall meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow to discuss the federal government's response to catastrophic events, including natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The meeting - "Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned. Are We Prepared?" - is sponsored by Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin of the 3rd District and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Baltimore. The meeting is set for the Clarence H. Du Burns Arena, 1301 S. Ellwood Ave. in Canton.

Harford County: Pylesville

Water tests clean at middle school

Tests on three more samples of North Harford Middle School's water came back clean, clearing the way for the school to resume using faucets and water fountains a month after traces of bacteria prompted the use of bottled water and hand-washing stations. After a first round of tests came back clean last week, one sample from a mechanical room tested positive for bacteria during a second round. The water was flushed with chlorine and retested. After being notified yesterday of the results, school officials were awaiting permission from the Maryland Department of the Environment to turn the water back on.

Justin Fenton

Baltimore County: Essex

Hearing to focus on school budget

The Northeast Area Education Advisory Council of Baltimore County will hold a public hearing on the county school system's next operating budget at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Eastern Technical High School, 1100 Mace Ave., Essex. Families and community residents can share opinions on items that should be included in the budget, which will be proposed this winter. Advisory councils in the county's four other geographic areas will hold hearings this month.

Cecil County: Perryville

Police chief plans to resign

Perryville's first police chief in more than 25 years has tendered his resignation after less than two years in the job, but a town commissioner said she will try to talk him into staying. Chief Gary Pierce has resigned effective Dec. 1. The town created a new police force in 2003. Commissioner Barbara Brown said the only reason she can find for Pierce's resignation was community sentiment that the force wasn't growing quickly enough to keep up with crime. Pierce did not comment.

Associated Press

Elkton

8 Farr Creek fires are ruled arson

Eight recent home fires in the Elkton neighborhood of Farr Creek have been deemed arson, the latest coming Sunday night. "We're scared," said Helen Diksa, one of several neighbors who called authorities Sunday when she noticed a home engulfed in flames. Some of the arsons have occurred in vacant homes, bought by the county and slated for demolition. Deputy State Fire Marshal Howard Ewing said the arsonist likely lives in the area.

Associated Press

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