City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

December 23, 2005

Officer struck in procession is awake, can communicate

A Maryland Transportation Authority police officer who was struck by a van while working a funeral procession remained in critical condition yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center but was reported to be awake and communicating through notes, the chief of the agency said yesterday.

"His spirits are good, and he has his family with him," said the chief, Gary W. McLhinney, referring to injured officer Robert T. Krauss, 38.

Krauss, an 18-year member of the force, was riding a police motorcycle Wednesday escorting a funeral procession for Deborah Ann Paterakis, 48, who died Sunday. Her husband, William John Paterakis, is an executive with H&S Baking Co.

Police said Krauss was at the rear of the lengthy procession near Gwynns Falls Parkway and Denison Street in Baltimore when he was struck by a van driven by Rodney Darryl Austin, 45, of West Baltimore.

Krauss suffered multiple internal injuries and underwent more than three hours of surgery. Police said the city state's attorney's office would review the case to determine whether charges should be filed.

Baltimore: Federal court

Former club owner accused of tax fraud

The former owner of a Baltimore adult club has been indicted on tax charges, federal prosecutors announced this week. Ronald C. Heidel, 59, of Sanibel, Fla., has been indicted by a grand jury on six charges of making false statements on his personal and corporate tax returns from 1999 through 2001 for Dembo Inc., which controlled the Gentlemen's Gold Club on Pulaski Highway. Heidel also was charged with 20 counts of illegally separating almost $1.5 million in cash deposits to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements. If convicted, Heidel could receive a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

Grants

Science museum awarded $1.3 million

The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore was awarded more than $1.3 million by the National Institutes of Health yesterday to create an exhibit showcasing the latest developments in cell biology and stem cell research. The grant was one of 12 made to increase public understanding of science and spur student interest in research careers. The exhibit, Cellular Universe: The Promise of Stem Cells, is expected to include interactive displays and a laboratory, as well as internship programs, live demonstrations and videoconferencing with scientists.

Hampden

SPCA center extends adoption hours

The Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be having special adoption hours this week, in part because it has taken in more than 50 additional animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The adoption center at 3300 Falls Road will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Information: 410-235-8826.

Maryland: U.S. court

3 attorneys named bankruptcy judges

Three attorneys have been appointed as bankruptcy judges for U.S. District Court in Maryland. The new judges - appointed by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals - are Thomas J. Catliota, a partner in the Washington office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; Wendelin I. Lipp, a principal in the Bethesda firm of Paley, Rothman, Goldstein, Rosenberg, Eig & Cooper; and Mark A. Neal, an assistant U.S. trustee for the District of Maryland in Baltimore. After background investigations, the three will begin 14-year terms. Catliota and Lipp will work in Greenbelt, and Neal will be based in Baltimore.

Harford County: Government

Craig chooses planning chief

C. Peter Gutwald, Harford County's comprehensive planning chief, was named director of planning and zoning Wednesday by Harford County Executive David R. Craig. Gutwald, 39, will oversee the final stages of the county's first comprehensive rezoning process since 1997, a process that gives property owners the chance to apply for zoning changes. In September, the county said it would deny 75 percent of the nearly 330 requests. Gutwald replaces Anthony S. McClune, who held the position in the interim. The County Council will vote on the nomination Jan. 3.

Justin Fenton

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