City/county Digest


September 13, 2006

Psychiatric test ordered in animal cruelty case

Donna Lee Bell, the woman accused of hoarding more than 100 dogs in two Harford County homes, entered a plea of not criminally responsible yesterday in Harford District Court and agreed to undergo psychiatric evaluation before further legal proceedings.

Bell, 59, will have an outpatient evaluation within about a month, most likely at Spring Grove, a state-run hospital for the mentally ill in Baltimore County, her attorney said. The examining psychiatrist could forward Bell's case to a panel of experts that would conduct a more in-depth study.

FOR THE RECORD - A headline on a brief article in yesterday's Maryland section incorrectly stated that eight Baltimore residents were fined for failing to drain standing water that served as potential breeding grounds for mosquitos bearing West Nile virus. In fact, the city Health Department issued citations that threatened fines unless the residents removed the hazards. Fines had not been imposed.

Bell "recognizes that she needs psychological help and is getting that now," said her attorney, Leonard H. Shapiro. "This situation has been really traumatic for her."

Judge Lawrence S. Lanahan Jr. postponed further proceedings to allow for the evaluation.

In May, Bell was arrested and charged with 118 counts of animal cruelty after dozens of dogs and several cats were found living amid filth and carcasses in her two Whiteford properties.

Each misdemeanor cruelty count carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The Humane Society of Harford County, which has sheltered the animals, has received nearly $20,000 in donations to help with their care and has found homes for many of them.

mary gail hare

Baltimore: West Nile virus

8 residents fined for not draining water

The Baltimore Health Department has issued citations against eight city residents for failing to rid their properties of potential breeding grounds for mosquitos carrying West Nile virus. The residents, threatened with fines unless they remove the hazards, lived near two elderly residents in Northeast Baltimore who recently became seriously ill with what appears to be West Nile. They had allegedly failed to empty water from vessels such as flower pots. "People, especially on the day after a rain, should be looking out for standing water and getting rid of it," said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, city health commissioner. In recent weeks, three people -- all older than 65 -- were hospitalized. They had tested positive in preliminary tests; all have recovered. No other cases have been reported in Baltimore this year. Severe cases can result in high fever, headache, neck stiffness, coma, tremors, vision loss and paralysis.

Jonathan Bor


Session today focuses on Md.'s 10-year plan

Advocates and service providers for the homeless will hold an informational session on Maryland's 10-year plan to end homelessness from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. today at Our Daily Bread, 411 Cathedral St. The forum, which will examine Maryland's 10-year plan to end homelessness, is called "Countdown Homelessness." It is free and open to the public. Two week ago, state officials and advocates started a 10-year clock to count down the effort to end homelessness in the state.

Anne Arundel: Laurel

Man charged in rape of Kenyan woman

A 19 year-old Laurel man was being held without bond yesterday in connection with the May rape of a Kenyan woman who was visiting her daughter, the county's state's attorney's office said. Cortlandt Harvey Dorsey of the 7900 block of Orion Circle was arrested Monday and charged with first- and second-degree rape, first- and second-degree assault, first- and third-degree burglary, robbery and stalking, according to police charging documents. About noon May 2, a man followed the woman, 56, as she walked from a Wal-Mart in Russett to her daughter's home, police said in charging documents. The man kicked open the front door and carried the woman to the bedroom, where he raped her, police said. The man then demanded money from the woman, but she did not have any to give him, according to the charging documents. DNA evidence recovered from the crime scene matched a sample provided voluntarily by Dorsey, police said.

Annie Linskey

Howard County: Animal cruelty

75 cats were found in house; 2 charged

Two women have been charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty after Howard County authorities seized 75 cats from their Columbia home last month. The three surviving cats are in poor condition, police said. Ayten Icgoren, 78, of the 7300 block of Swan Point Way is charged with 153 counts of animal cruelty, interference with an animal control officer and other offenses. Her daughter, Nese Enetullah Icgoren, 49, of the same address, is charged with 225 counts of animal cruelty and neglect.


Restrictions end after 4 1/2 months

Water restrictions that were imposed 4 1/2 months ago in Howard County have been rescinded. The restrictions were ordered, effective May 1, while a 54-inch water main in Baltimore County was being repaired. That line provides water to Howard County and parts of Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties. The restrictions were also imposed in part because of the increased water demand during the summer.

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