Week In Review

October 09, 2005

Anne Arundel

Tanker overturns, spilling gasoline

A tanker hauling 8,200 gallons of gasoline overturned on a Route 2 exit ramp north of Annapolis Sunday, seriously injuring the driver, spilling fuel on the road and backing up traffic near U.S. 50.

The accident occurred about 10:30 a.m. on the ramp from southbound Route 2 to eastbound U.S. 50. State environmental workers were called to clean up 2,400 gallons of spilled fuel. The driver of the tanker was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Maryland section, Monday, Oct. 3

Anne Arundel

Woman indicted in fatal crash

An Annapolis woman was indicted on auto-manslaughter and impaired-driving charges in the deaths of two teenagers whose vehicle was struck at a red light.

Linda Lee Nichols, 47, was not charged immediately after the Aug. 20 accident on Ritchie Highway in Severna Park because police wanted to complete their investigation.

Wednesday, the Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office announced that Nichols had been indicted Friday on 12 counts, including auto manslaughter, negligent homicide and related driving-while-impaired and other charges. After surrendering herself Wednesday morning, she was released after posting $50,000 bond.

Nichols failed a breath test after the accident, police said, but neither they nor Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee have released her blood-alcohol level. Weathersbee said he considers a 20-year sentence possible if Nichols is convicted. He expects the trial to begin in about two weeks.

Maryland section, Thursday, Oct. 6

Anne Arundel

Soldier killed in Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class James J. Stoddard Jr., 29, of Crofton was killed when the Humvee he was riding in rolled into a ditch in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced Monday. After a funeral service Friday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Odenton, Stoddard was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Sergeant Stoddard played baseball and football at Arundel High School. In his senior year, the 1994 graduate helped the school's baseball team to the state championship and the football team to an 8-3 record.

After high school, Sergeant Stoddard attended college at Anne Arundel Community College and on the Eastern Shore. He enlisted eight years ago, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, N.C., as a platoon sergeant. He was in his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Maryland section, Tuesday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 8.

Chesapeake Bay

`Dead zones' cover record area

"Dead zones" in the bay -- areas with so little oxygen that fish can't live -- grew to cover a record portion of the estuary last summer, according to a federally funded monitoring program.

An average of 5 percent of the bay was classified as "anoxic" during the summer months, meaning the water had almost no dissolved oxygen, researchers from the Chesapeake Bay Program reported Monday. The lack of oxygen suffocates oysters and drives fish and crabs in search of water where they can breathe.

The dead zones are the result of farm fertilizer and other pollution, which breed algae and oxygen-devouring bacteria. An August of stultifying heat and little wind aggravated the problem.

The amount of the bay without oxygen was the worst in the 21 years of monitoring, followed by 1993 (4.8 percent) and 1996 (4.3 percent).

Telegraph section, Tuesday, Oct. 4

Annapolis

Life term upheld in carjack-killing

A judicial panel upheld the sentence of life without parole plus 30 years for a teenager convicted in the 2002 carjack-killing of a man unloading packages in front of his home in Annapolis' Historic District.

The decision by three Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judges, filed Thursday, was reached a day after judges heard Terrence Tolbert's request for a shorter sentence in the killing of Straughan Lee Griffin, 51.

Tolbert was 19 at the time of the crime, which terrified the quiet, upscale neighborhood blocks from the State House. He was sentenced in February.

Tolbert received an outpouring of community support after he lost his right arm as a child in an electrical transformer mishap.

Maryland section, Friday, Oct. 7

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