City/county Digest


March 28, 2006

Howard Councilman Rakes says he will resign

A key member of the Howard County Council announced late yesterday that he will resign Friday for "reasons of health."

David A. Rakes, 69, an east Columbia Democrat, revealed his plans to step down in a brief letter distributed to other members of the council.

Rakes' vote recently gave Republicans a 3-2 council majority to kill a bill to ban smoking in all Howard bars and restaurants, and he also made a Republican chairman of the majority-Democratic council.

Reached by phone last night, Rakes offered no further comment. The letter does not elaborate upon the health issues.

Council Chairman Christopher J. Merdon, an Ellicott City Republican who is running for county executive, said he had no warning of Rakes' decision. "I want to thank David for his service on the council, and I look forward to working with a new council member for a smooth transition," Merdon said last night.

Council Democrats Guy Guzzone and Ken Ulman, another executive candidate, have feuded with Rakes over the past few months, but they offered sympathy and warm words last night.

"Dave made a lot of contributions to this county. I wish him well," said Ulman. Guzzone said: "I'm sorry to hear that he's having health issues. I appreciate his years of service and wish him luck."

The county's Democratic State Central Committee until April 25 to name a replacement.

Larry Carson

Carroll County: Westminster

Eight arrested in drug raid

Westminster police arrested seven adults and a juvenile and seized $3,600 worth of heroin and crack cocaine, police said yesterday. The arrests came Friday night at a Westminster apartment in the first block of Pennsylvania Ave. after a five-month investigation, police said. Chelsie L. Seal, 19, Douglas G. Seal, 49, and Joseph B. Salkay, 37, all of the Pennsylvania Avenue address, were charged with five counts each of possession of heroin and crack cocaine, with the intent to distribute those substances, police said. Jemal V. Kimball, 20, Jamie T. Kimball, 20, Christopher A. Kimball, 23, all of Baltimore; and Ashley A. Brown, 20, of Westminster also were charged with five counts each of drug possession, police said. A 17-year-old male also was charged with drug offenses.

Laura McCandlish

Cecil County: Elk River

Body of missing Elkton boy found

The body of a 15-year-old Elkton boy was recovered from the Elk River on Sunday. Ethan R. Embree was reported missing Jan. 26 after failing to return from a canoeing trip on the river, said Sgt. Ken Turner of the State Department of Natural Resources Police. His body was found about 3:15 near Cattail Lane. Authorities have ruled his death an accidental drowning.

Baltimore: Homelessness

City health chief to address meeting

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein will deliver the keynote address this evening at the annual meeting and art show of Health Care for the Homeless. The meeting of the group's board of directors - which is free and open to the public - will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Jim Rouse Center for Visionary Thought of the American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway in South Baltimore. The art show will feature paintings and other works by clients of Heath Care for the Homeless.

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