Foster mother loses bid to delay moving toddler



A foster mother who tried to delay the removal of a toddler from her home by the Baltimore Department of Social Services lost her battle yesterday.

DSS caseworkers arrived at the Randallstown home of Mary C. Coleman about 4:30 p.m. to get 16-month-old Serenity, who had lived with Coleman since she was 4 months old, according to attorney Natalie H. Rees, who represents Coleman.

Coleman disagreed with a decision by DSS officials to place Serenity in her birth father's care weeks before an April 25 court hearing to determine the child's permanent placement. The girl's birth mother is also seeking custody. Coleman has said she would adopt the child if the court finds that neither parent is fit to raise her.

The foster mother said she worried that a sudden move from her house to the father's house would be upsetting to the toddler. She and her attorney also raised concerns about the father's ability to administer asthma medicine to the girl.

Anne Arundel: Annapolis

Fire forces 10 from rowhouses

Ten people were displaced from their homes yesterday morning when a three-alarm fire damaged a cluster of rowhouses near downtown Annapolis. Firefighters responded to 28 Pleasant St. at about 9:15 a.m. and found smoke coming from the unit next door, said Lt. Ed Hadaway of the Annapolis fire marshal's office. Residents of the three homes had evacuated the buildings after they were alerted by smoke detectors. No injuries were reported. Damage estimates are pending, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Nia Henderson

Maryland: Water taxis

Mikulski supports NTSB suggestions

U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski urged the U.S. Coast Guard yesterday to immediately adopt recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board this week in its findings on the capsizing of a water taxi in Baltimore Harbor in March 2004. The Maryland Democrat wrote a letter to the commandant, Adm. Thomas H. Collins, in which she questioned whether the Coast Guard is moving quickly enough to prevent accidents similar to the one that killed five passengers on the Lady D. In a summary of its findings Monday, the NTSB found fault with the Coast Guard's practices for certifying watercraft, as well as the passenger weight assumptions.

Michael Dresser

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