City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

November 22, 2005

North Avenue Boys member pleads guilty in federal court

One of the remaining fugitives associated with the violent gang known as the North Avenue Boys pleaded guilty in federal court in Baltimore yesterday.

Corey Grant, 27, of Baltimore pleaded guilty to one count of using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and drug trafficking, according to his attorney, Kenneth W. Ravenell.

The North Avenue Boys distributed and sold large quantities of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine in the blocks on and around the 2000 block of E. North Ave. between 1996 and 2004. Most of its leaders pleaded guilty in April and later received lengthy sentences.

Grant, who was apprehended earlier this year, agreed with prosecutors to a sentence of 20 years in prison to avoid a life term, Ravenell said. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Matthew Dolan

Maryland: Anne Arundel

Killer won't get new prison classification

Benjamin Sifrit, serving 38 years for the 2002 killing of a Fairfax, Va., woman who was dismembered in an Ocean City condo, has lost a demand for corrections officials to redo his prison classification and pay him damages. Sifrit complained last year that the worksheet for his 2003 prisoner classification was improper, but corrections officials - in a decision upheld last week by Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. - denied his claim because it was filed too late. Sifrit and his wife, Erika, were accused of luring a Virginia couple to a condo, then killing and dismembering them. Erika Sifrit is serving life plus 20 years for her role in both killings.

Andrea F. Siegel

Baltimore County: Education

Franklin elected to state PTA post

Maryland PTA members have chosen Baltimore County PTA Council President Michael C. Franklin as the state organization's president-elect, a state PTA leader said. Franklin was confirmed Friday night for the two-year term by a majority of the 147 members present, organization President Mary Jo Neil, who assumed her title Friday, said yesterday. Under the group's bylaws, Franklin will be president for two years after serving as president-elect. Franklin said he would remain president of the Baltimore County PTA Council until his term ends next summer.

Liz F. Kay

Baltimore: Coppin State

NSF awards school $2.5 million grant

The National Science Foundation has awarded Coppin State University a $2.5 million grant to help the West Baltimore school increase the number of minorities entering science and technology programs. U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings announced the grant yesterday in a joint appearance with school administrators, faculty and students.

West side

Carbon monoxide routs nearly 2 dozen

Nearly two dozen residents of a West Baltimore apartment building were taken to hospitals last night because of apparent effects from carbon monoxide, a Fire Department official said.

Firefighters responding to the call about 7:30 p.m. escorted 21 residents from the three-story building in the 700 block of N. Carey St. and took them in at least five ambulances to University of Maryland Medical Center, St. Agnes Hospital and Maryland General Hospital. None of the residents was believed to have been seriously affected by the gas, the official said.

It was not known last night if the source of the gas was found.

Richard Irwin

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