City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

December 20, 2005

Construction to limit parking at Metro lot in Owings Mills

Construction on a parking garage at the planned town center at the Owings Mills Metro station begins Monday, forcing officials to relocate some parking spaces nearest the station.

More than 2,700 of the 3,600 parking spaces at the site will be available during the project, said the MTA. Customers also can park at the Old Court, Milford Mill or Reisterstown Plaza Metro stations. The project is to include housing, office space, stores, restaurants, a public library, a community college building, a hotel and five parking garages.

Baltimore: Courts

Man gets 1 1/2 years for stealing from U.S.

A federal employee who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $250,000 from Social Security and NASA will spend 1 1/2 years in prison, a federal judge in Baltimore ruled yesterday. The prison term for Franklin G. Thomas, 35, of Baltimore will be followed by a year of home detention on electronic monitoring. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett also ordered Thomas to pay $247,284.48 in restitution. Thomas was employed by the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn, where his job was to process payments to legal representatives for claimants. His co-defendant, Andrea D. Harrison, worked in human resources at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. Harrison also pleaded guilty; her sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 13.

Matthew Dolan

Courts

Prosecutors won't seek Thomas' death

Federal prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against a West Baltimore man who local law enforcement officials believe is responsible for at least two murders and 11 attempted murders, the U.S. attorney in Maryland said yesterday. Rod J. Rosenstein said prosecutors filed court papers yesterday indicating that if convicted, Solothal Thomas will not face the death penalty. Thomas' murder-conspiracy trial is scheduled for early next year. Known by his street name of "Itchy Man," Thomas, 29, was charged in U.S. District Court in Baltimore last year along with three other men whom federal prosecutors called violent "enforcers" for a marijuana organization. Police say they shared $10,000 for their suspected roles in killing a Baltimore County man in 2001.

Matthew Dolan

Homeless

Memorial service set for Wednesday

A memorial service for homeless men and women who died in Baltimore this year will be held tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in the park adjacent to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 120 Front St. The event is set to recognize National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day.

Baltimore County: Volunteers

Toys for needy to be collected

The Baltimore County Department of Social Services Volunteer Office is collecting new toys for needy children, from infants to teenagers. Unwrapped, new toys can be dropped off through Friday at Bradford Bank, 11 W. Ridgely Road, Timonium, and 6900 York Road, Towson; FedEx Express, 7066 Golden Ring Road, Rosedale; Beverly Hochstedt Florist, 9502 Harford Road, Carney; Squires Restaurant, 6723 Holabird Ave., Dundalk; or at any branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. Information: 410-853-3024.

Parkton

Repairs close part of Beckleysville Road

A portion of Beckleysville Road within the Prettyboy Reservoir watershed in Parkton has been closed while Baltimore City contractors replace a culvert, according to the Baltimore County Department of Public Works. The road, south of Kidds Schoolhouse Road, was closed Friday, said David F. Fidler, a county public works spokesman. It will reopen next week.

Bay Bridge: Collision

Crash injures 4, blocks traffic

Four people were injured yesterday when two cars collided in the westbound lanes of the Bay Bridge, backing up traffic for nearly two miles to Kent Island and closing the lanes for more than two hours. Three people were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, and a fourth person was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center after a 2003 Chevrolet and a 2000 Mercury collided shortly before 5 p.m., a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police said. Westbound traffic was backed up to Route 8 on Kent Island until westbound lanes were reopened shortly after 7 p.m.

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