City/county Digest


Baltimore & Region

November 04, 2005

Investigators still searching for cause of Cecil stable fire

State fire investigators continued to examine the site of a barn fire that killed 24 thoroughbred horses, seeking answers about the cause of the Tuesday night blaze near Elkton.

W. Faron Taylor, deputy state fire marshal, said investigators' efforts were delayed by the need to remove the carcasses from the ruins of the stable at the Fair Hill Training Center - a task that took up much of yesterday. He said the process of determining a cause is complicated by the size of the structure. Investigators must examine every part of the ruined barn and rule out every possibility except the cause.

"With fire investigations, you also have to prove what didn't happen," Taylor said.

Steele to lead Israel trade trip

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele will lead a trade mission to Israel later this week, the governor's office announced yesterday.

The state delegation will leave tomorrow and return Nov. 11 on a mission that officials say continues an initiative started by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. when he led a trade mission to Israel in November 2003.

Steele, who is running for the U.S. Senate, is expected to announce new programs.

Associated Press

Baltimore County: Towson

Delay granted in mall murder trial

A Baltimore County judge granted yesterday defense attorneys' requests to postpone the December murder trial of John Edward Kennedy Jr., 18, of Essex, who is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of private school educator William A. Bassett in a parking garage at Towson Town Center in February. Lawyers for Kennedy told Circuit Judge Dana M. Levitz that they needed more time to prepare for the capital case. Levitz set the trial for March. A 19-year-old Middle River man was convicted in September of attempted armed robbery in the incident and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Jennifer McMenamin


Man pleads guilty in sex abuse case

A former bus driver for the Baltimore County public school system pleaded guilty yesterday to multiple counts of sexual child abuse for contact with one female victim over five years in the city. Baltimore Circuit Judge Shirley M. Watts sentenced Darryll McKenzie Purefoy, 35, to 15 years in prison, to be served after a 15-year term he is serving for Baltimore County convictions on similar counts. The offenses occurred between 1995 and 2000, when the girl was between 7 and 12 years old, according to court documents.


Food bank accepting nonperishable items

The Maryland Food Bank is accepting donations today and tomorrow to help Gulf Coast residents affected by recent hurricanes. People can drop off food at post offices in areas with ZIP codes ending in 210, 211, 212 and 214. Items must be nonperishable. The most requested items are ready-to-eat foods, power bars, meal replacement beverages, hygiene products and canned foods.


Lanes to be closed on Wilson Bridge

Motorists traveling from Maryland to Virginia are urged to avoid the Wilson Bridge on Interstate 95 this weekend because of lane closings. Three lanes will be reduced to one while crews hoist steel beams across the roadway. At times, the remaining lane will be closed for 20 to 30 minutes. The closings will be from 9:30 p.m. today to 10 a.m. tomorrow; 8 p.m. tomorrow until 10 a.m. Sunday; and 9:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday until 5 a.m. the next day. Alternate routes include the American Legion Bridge, U.S. 301 through Southern Maryland and Interstate 395 through Washington.

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