State Digest

STATE DIGEST

September 12, 2006

Seal discovered in Talbot yard released in ocean

A 50-pound hooded seal discovered in a Talbot County backyard has been released into the ocean.

Liz Fischer of Royal Oak noticed the seal in her yard Thursday morning. She called the state Department of Natural Resources, which asked the National Aquarium in Baltimore to retrieve the animal. Aquarium workers hosed down the seal, put it in a dog carrier and drove it to Assateague State Park, where it was released in the Atlantic.

It was the third hooded seal found in Maryland in the past decade, according to Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Program. It was the first to be discovered in Talbot County. The seals usually live in the Arctic, but scientists noticed some swimming south in the 1990s.

Associated Press

Cecil County: Elkton

Man charged in hit-and-run that killed teenage boy

A 37-year-old Elkton man has been charged in a hit-and-run accident that killed a teenage boy as he walked on the shoulder of a road.

Police said that Christopher Donovan Snyder, a high school sophomore, was killed Sept. 3 when he was struck by a Nissan Quest minivan. The van was driven away after the incident, police said.

Shawn Wayne Gibson is charged with manslaughter by automobile, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. He also is charged with reckless endangerment because Snyder was walking with another youth, who was not hit.

Gibson was held in the Cecil County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond.

Associated Press

Allegany County: Cumberland

Delays continue to hold up plans for new hospital

Construction workers might not break ground for a new Cumberland hospital until next year, a spokeswoman for the Western Maryland Health System says.

Groundbreaking had been scheduled for this past spring, but it can't begin until the old Allegany County Health Department building on the site has been demolished and utility lines have been installed, said spokeswoman Kathy Rogers.

Once construction of the 309-bed, $228 million hospital begins, it will be three years before it opens for patients, Rogers said. It will replace both Sacred Heart and Cumberland Memorial hospitals.

Associated Press

Kent County: Rock Hall

Victim of boat accident identified as Pennsylvania man

A boater killed after an outboard motor caught fire on the Chesapeake Bay near Rock Hall Saturday has been identified as a Pennsylvania man.

Authorities said that Patrick Anthony Tocci, 58, of Palmertown and four passengers were traveling on his 42-foot sailboat when it became disabled near the mouth of the Chester River on Saturday afternoon. As Tocci towed the sailboat to shore with an 8-foot dinghy, the dinghy's outboard motor caught fire and Tocci fell into the water. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Passengers on the sailboat and a passing boater pulled Tocci from the water and took him to Rock Hall harbor, where emergency crews were waiting. Tocci was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Natural Resources police.

Associated Press

Calvert County: Chesapeake

Washington police officer charged with gun violation

A Washington police officer was indicted yesterday on federal charges that he had an unregistered and prohibited shotgun and then tried to mislead Maryland authorities investigating the weapon.

Edwin Kennedy, 36, of Calvert County was indicted in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt for allegedly possessing and transporting a 12-gauge shotgun with a sawed-off barrel less than 18 inches long. The gun was not registered to Kennedy in the national database of firearms.

Federal prosecutors also claim Kennedy tried to show the Calvert County sheriff's department a photo of a different shotgun, claiming falsely it was the weapon he owned to throw off the investigation. Kennedy could face a maximum of 10 years in prison for possessing the shotgun and trying to mislead authorities. He also could be sentenced to five years in prison for transporting the weapon.

A spokesman for the Washington Metropolitan Police Department was unaware of Kennedy's status with the police force since he has been indicted.

Associated Press

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