City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

March 22, 2006

Stolen car's driver hurt in a crash on Calvert St.

The driver of a stolen car was seriously injured last night when he lost control of the vehicle on a street in the city's Barclay community and crashed into a tree. The man's name was withheld pending notification of family members, police said. The car was not being pursued by police.

Police said the man was driving a black 2005 Ford Focus, reported stolen March 15. He was northbound in the 2300 block of N. Calvert St. at a high rate of speed about 9:45 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle just north of East 23rd Street, slid sideways and crashed into a tree in front of a rowhouse, said Lt. Elfago Moye of the Northern District police station.

The force of the impact sheared off a large tree limb and removed a section of bark.

Firefighters using a high-speed metal-cutting saw removed the shattered car's roof so they could lift the man from the wreckage and into an ambulance.

He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where his condition was not available. Police were investigating the accident.

Richard Irwin

Harford County: Brush fire

Blaze burns 8 acres near state park

Firefighters spent more than three hours yesterday taming an 8-acre brush fire just north of Rocks State Park in Harford County that is believed to have been ignited by a discarded cigarette, officials said. About 60 crews responded at 10:30 a.m. to the scene, a rocky hillside on Telegraph Road between Madonna and Eden Mill roads where brush and trees burned as winds kicked up, said Stan Gustintis, chief of the Norrisville Volunteer Fire Company.

Justin Fenton

County Council

Countywide voting kept off ballot

The Harford County Council last night voted against a bill that would have asked voters this fall to decide whether council members should be elected by a countywide vote, instead of the in-district format approved in 2000. With one member on active military duty, the bill failed on a 3-3 vote. Council President Robert S. Wagner introduced the bill last month, saying it would hold officials accountable to a wider range of citizens. "There's very little we do that does not affect the whole community," said Veronica L. Chenowith, a Republican from Fallston, who supported the measure. But opponents noted that in 2000 citizens voted by referendum to establish in-district elections, part of a statewide trend toward district elections in growing counties.

Justin Fenton

Baltimore: Education

Hearing set on plans for Southwestern

The Baltimore school board is scheduled to hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. today to discuss proposed changes in a plan to close the Southwestern High School complex this summer and relocate the four small high schools housed there. The hearing will be held in the first-floor boardroom at school system headquarters, 200 E. North Ave. The board is to vote Tuesday on a proposal that includes moving Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy from Southwestern to the Francis M. Wood Alternative High School building. Francis M. Wood would move in alongside the Harbor City West alternative school. The proposal also involves moving the Renaissance Academy to extra space in the Booker T. Washington Middle School building. The relocations are part of a major school reconfiguration aimed at more efficient operations amid declining enrollment and deteriorating buildings.

Sara Neufeld

Rec and parks

Board set to meet at Edgewood center

The board of the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks is to meet at 5:30 p.m. today at Edgewood Recreation Center, 836 Allendale Road. The board typically meets every other month, and its meetings are open to the public. The board makes recommendations to the city's recreation and parks director on facilities.

Carroll County: Hampstead

Man died of alcohol poisoning, test finds

A 20-year-old Carroll County man died of acute alcohol poisoning at a party in Hampstead in the early hours of March 11, according to autopsy results released by Maryland State Police yesterday. Joel C. Nelson, of the 3000 block of Falls Road in Hampstead, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.37, according to a toxicology exam, when he was pronounced dead early that morning. Police are interviewing Nelson's friends and acquaintances.

Laura McCandlish

Sykesville

Groundbreaking set for treatment center

Carroll County is set to break ground this spring on a $3 million, 24-bed, long-term drug treatment center on a 7-acre parcel at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville. The county planning commission gave the project unanimous final approval yesterday. The county has signed a nominal lease with the state for the site near the Central Laundry Facility, a minimum-security prison. The 15,000-square-foot building will house 24 patients, most of them between the ages of 18 and 24, for as long as two years while they undergo rehabilitation.

Mary Gail Hare

Howard County: District Court

Reese confirmed for seat on bench

Lawyer Mary C. Reese has been confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Howard District Court bench for a 10-year term. Reese, 44, has 30 days to take her seat on the five-member bench after the Senate confirmation Friday, said a spokeswoman for the governor. Reese, of Ellicott City, was selected by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to fill the vacancy left by Judge Louis A. Becker III, who was appointed last year to the Howard County Circuit Court.

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