State Digest

STATE DIGEST

April 11, 2006

Burning ban lifted in city, 7 counties

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources lifted yesterday a ban on open-air burning in eight jurisdictions.

The ban, which prohibits fires in charcoal grills, campfires and the burning of leaves and trash, was lifted at 2 p.m. for Baltimore and for Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

The ban remains in effect in Frederick County, the Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland and other areas.

The ban was imposed March 30 after a record-setting month of dry weather. More than 360 wildfires were reported to the Maryland Forest Service in March.

The fine for a violation is $125.

Nicole Fuller

Worcester County: Extradition

Man held after four relatives were killed awaits hearing

A man who was taken into custody after four relatives were killed will remain in a Maryland jail until an April 21 extradition hearing, authorities said yesterday.

Ronald Lee Shrieves, 32, was arrested Saturday in Worcester County after the bodies of his parents, a niece and a nephew were found Friday in the parents' home in Modest Town, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Accomack County Sheriff Robert D. Crockett said Shrieves has been charged with stealing his father's pickup truck but has not been charged in the deaths.

Shrieves was apprehended Saturday near Girdletree after being chased by police. He is being held on charges that include traffic offenses and possession of stolen property.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Frederick County: Underage drinking

Teen drops lawsuit over injuries she suffered in drunken fall

A Frederick teenager who sneaked into a charity bartender contest to drink has dropped her suit blaming the restaurant for facial injuries she suffered after a drunken fall in the parking lot.

Tyler Catherine Bauer of New Market had sued TGI Friday's for $200,000, accusing the restaurant of negligence for allowing her to drink beer and alcohol even though she was underage. She dropped the suit Friday for personal reasons, her attorney Arthur Crum Jr. said.

Bauer was 17 when she and an 18-year-old companion joined a charity bartenders contest in October. Leaving the restaurant two hours later after drinking heavily, Bauer shattered her teeth and injured her lips and gums when she passed out and fell on her face in the parking lot with a blood alcohol level of 0.238 percent, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent for operating a motor vehicle.

The Frederick County Liquor Board fined the restaurant $1,600 in January for allowing Bauer and her underage friend to drink.

Her attorney said Bauer did not want to discuss her decision to drop the suit.

Baltimore: Federal court

3 sentenced for trafficking in counterfeit novelty weapons

Three Ellicott City men were sentenced yesterday in federal court in Baltimore to more than three years in prison for trafficking in thousands of dollars worth of counterfeit novelty weapons.

Muhammed Aslam, 58, and his sons Farhan Aslam, 32, and Zeeshawn Aslam, 28, were sentenced to 40 months in prison for smuggling switchblade knives and boxed knife sets with counterfeit NASCAR and NASCAR-related trademarks. They also trafficked in knives and swords that violated the copyrights of United Cutlery and Lord of the Rings.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz also ordered the Aslams to forfeit $760,000.

Matthew Dolan

Prince George's: Wilson Bridge

Bald eagle neglecting hatchlings after mate is hurt in fight

George the bald eagle, apparently cowed by a female eagle that seriously injured his mate and the mother of his clutch, is neglecting the nest to take up with the interloper, an environmental official said yesterday.

"We saw him flying around with the other bird. He's starting to bond with the new eagle," said Stephanie Spears, senior environmental specialist for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project on the Capital Beltway.

George's mate, Martha, was injured in a battle with the new female Wednesday, just as eggs in the nest the two had built on the shore in Prince George's County, just south of a bridge abutment, were expected to hatch. George and Martha, who were named by project workers, have hatched 15 eagles while nesting around the construction, according to the project's Web site.

After construction workers saw the midair battle between Martha and the new female, Spears was called to take Martha to Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research in Newark, Del.

At first, George took over the parental duties in Martha's absence, guarding the nest, keeping the hatchlings warm and exhibiting "feeding behavior," Spears said. But the pressure of being a single parent seem to have been too much.

Last week, wildlife officials were considering whether to move the eggs or chicks into a surrogate nest, but Spears said there are apparently no viable eggs or hatchlings to transplant.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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