Cook charged with arson in Westminster restaurant fire

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

August 26, 2006

A Carroll County woman suspected of starting a fire at a Westminster restaurant on Aug. 4 was arrested yesterday, authorities said.

Joan Glover Ecker, 35, of the 100 block of Brookview Court in Westminster was charged with first- and second-degree arson in an early morning fire that caused approximately $10,000 in damage to Harry's Main Street Restaurant, closing the business for four days, police said.

Ecker, the opening breakfast cook at the restaurant, was being held yesterday afternoon at Carroll County Detention Center awaiting a bail review, authorities said.

David P. Greisman

Baltimore: Interstate 95

One ramp reopens, another ramp closes

State transportation officials are planning to reopen the ramp from Keith Avenue to northbound Interstate 95 at 5 a.m. Tuesday, weather permitting. The ramp has been closed so crews can perform concrete work as part of a two-year bridge improvement project along I-95. But the ramp from northbound I-95 to Keith Avenue (Exit 56) will close later that day, about 7 p.m. The closure is expected to last about six weeks. As a detour, motorists will be directed to continue north on I-95 to the Boston Street exit, and they will be then directed back onto southbound I-95 and to the Keith Avenue exit.

Elections

Candidates forum scheduled today

A candidates forum for six Baltimore races is set for today at the offices of the Greater Baltimore Urban League, 512 Orchard St. The forum - sponsored by the Baltimore branch of the NAACP, Associated Black Charities and the Greater Baltimore Urban League - is to begin at 9:30 a.m. with the candidate for register of wills, followed by the 44th District at 10 a.m., Orphans' Court judge at 10:45 a.m., 45th District at 11:15 a.m., sheriff at 1 p.m., and the 46th District at 1:30 p.m. The forum is free and open to the public.

Leakin Park

Nature center offers kids' event

The Carrie Murray Nature Center is inviting children to help create items for its animals today from 10 a.m. to noon at the center, 1901 Ridgetop Road. Cost is $3 per person, and all supplies will be provided. The nature center includes an insect zoo, a rehabilitation center for injured birds of prey and a display of reptiles and amphibians. More information: 410-396-0808.

City council

Hearing to discuss adult literacy

The South Baltimore Learning Center will hold a televised hearing on adult literacy issues for the Baltimore City Council from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. It will be shown on Comcast Channel 21. The SBLC will ask for more services and funding. The hearing is open to the public, and will be rebroadcast at noon Aug. 31.

Zoo

Elvis tribute set for today

A tribute to Elvis Presley will take place at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. today. A "Blue Hawaii" luau, Elvis impersonators, antique cars, hula dancing and an Elvis dress-up booth sponsored by Cafe Hon will be featured. There also will be a Best Overall Elvis contest and prizes of up to $1,000. The cost is $15 for zoo members and $20 for nonmembers in advance. The price includes same-day admission to the zoo. Information: 443-552-5276, Ext. 8062, or www.marylandzoo.org.

Little Italy

Bocce tournament is scheduled today

The 9th Annual Wheelchair/Stand-up Bocce Tournament is set for 10 a.m. today at Little Italy's Bocce Courts. The tournament - sponsored by the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks' Therapeutic Division - is open to the public, and each team must have a minimum of two or more players with disabilities. People can sign up as individual players and be assigned to a team, or sign up as a four-person team. Cost is $12.50 per player, or $50 per team. Cash awards will go to the top five teams, and T-shirts are available to everyone who registers. Rain date is tomorrow. More information: 410-396-7072.

Police

Annual report for '05 is available online

The Baltimore Police Department has published its annual report for 2005, and it is available on the Internet at www.baltimorepolice.org. The report contains crime statistics, community initiatives, budgets and a list of district commanders. The report contains what the department says are its accomplishments for 2005 and its goals for 2006. The report also will be distributed at community meetings.

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