Week In Review

November 06, 2005

Purse sale ends in pandemonium

Hundreds of shoppers lined up before dawn for a rare chance to snag deeply discounted high-end handbags at C-Mart in Joppatowne.

Then the fighting began.

The sale was halted and the doors locked for hours after the crowd exploded in anger over the store's attempt to manage the flow of nearly 1,000 customers through the quirky Harford County retailer. The sheriff's office was called in to restore order.

The event had been promoted for months, and shoppers - mostly women - descended from across the region for a chance to save hundreds of dollars on purses from designers such as Prada, Chanel and Gucci.

But when the numbered-ticket system devised to ensure orderly entry of shoppers into the store failed, the mood among shoppers turned from giddy to irate.

Page 1A, Friday

Drivers pull up for flu shots

As 70-year-old Jim Koryto pulled into the parking lot at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, he rolled down his window and rolled up his sleeve as he and his wife, Helen, placed an order for two flu shots to go.

They were among thousands of area residents taking advantage of drive-through clinics this season. It was the first drive-through clinic offered by the county, and more than 600 residents took advantage of the service. Nurses said the trial run went well. They manned tables stocked with gauze, Band-Aids, cotton balls and antiseptic ointment and said the only difference between administering the shots in a doctor's office was the wind.

Page 1B, Friday

Mistrial declared in murder case

In May, Frank Vernon Rainey Jr. drove to a police precinct in Edgewood, his jacket stained with blood, and confessed to killing his ex-girlfriend, whose body was in his car parked outside, Harford police said.

A note written by Rainey two days earlier had been found at his Prince George's County home and described his plan to kill Crystal Marie Busta - if he couldn't have her, the note read, no one could, prosecutors said.

But the trial took an unexpected turn when Judge Stephen M. Waldron declared a mistrial after a police witness testified that Rainey told officers at the southern precinct the night of the shooting that he previously had killed three other people. Testimony about possible prior crimes is inadmissible as evidence because jurors are supposed to evaluate only the case before them.

Page 1B, Thursday

Fire damages liquor store

An electrical fire caused $250,000 in damage to Festival Wine and Spirits at 5 Bel Air South Parkway in the Festival at Bel Air Shopping Center. There were no injuries. Fire damage was contained to the liquor store.

Page 3B, Tuesday

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