City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

September 15, 2006

Columbia man, daughter drown in Ocean City

A Columbia man and his 15-year-old daughter drowned in rough water off the 78th Street beach yesterday evening, according to Ocean City police.

Douglas Martin, 46, and his three teenage daughters were swimming about 6 p.m. A witness told of the group being drawn quickly into deeper water, said Pfc. Barry Neeb, a police spokesman.

Martin's 17-year-old daughter was able to swim to shore, while another girl, 13, floated on her back and was rescued by an off-duty beach patrol officer, said Neeb, who did not have the names of the two girls.

The father was on his way back to shore when he realized his 15-year-old, Amy, was still out there and turned around, Neeb said. A U.S. Coast Guard vessel pulled them from the water after both lost consciousness, he said.

They were taken to a Coast Guard station and paramedics took them to Atlantic General Hospital, where Douglas Martin was pronounced dead on arrival and Amy, died an hour later, Neeb said.

Associated Press

Baltimore: Traffic

Razing Rochambeau will close streets

Several streets on the edge of Baltimore's downtown district will be closed this weekend as work crews begin to demolish the century-old Rochambeau apartment building at Charles and Franklin streets.

Charles Street between Franklin and Mulberry streets will be closed from 6 a.m. tomorrow until 4 p.m. Sunday. The only exception will be when one lane of Charles is reopened from 6 p.m. tomorrow until 6 a.m. Sunday.

Also, the intersection of Charles and Franklin will be closed from 6 a.m. tomorrow until 4 p.m. Sunday. City officials say that people will be able to shop at Charles Street businesses, but warn of traffic delays.

Northbound Charles traffic will be detoured west onto Saratoga Street, north on Park Avenue, east on Centre Street and back onto Charles. Westbound Orleans Street traffic will be detoured north on Gay Street, west on Madison Street, south on Cathedral Street and back onto Franklin.

Demolition of the building, owned by the Archdiocese of Baltimore, has been scheduled and delayed before as opponents fought in court to prevent the razing. Yesterday, opponents filed a motion for reconsideration with the state Court of Appeals, which had ruled in favor of the archdiocese this week. The petition was denied. The archdiocese wants to build a prayer garden on the site.

Inner Harbor

City is trying out solar trash unit

The city Department of Public Works placed a new solar-powered trash compactor at the Inner Harbor yesterday, hoping that processing refuse on site will reduce collection costs. The department said that if the experiment works, the city plans to buy up to 15 more containers -- called Big Belly -- and place them around the harbor. Each unit is 50 inches high and 2 feet wide, weighs 540 pounds and can hold two 26-gallon trash containers.

Carroll County: Westminster

Injured toddler out of the hospital

A 15-month-old boy who sustained head injuries after being dragged when he fell out of a moving car was released yesterday afternoon from Johns Hopkins Children's Center, according to Westminster police.

The toddler was riding in the back seat of a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina with his 16-year-old mother when the driver, also 16, made a left turn from Main Street onto Railroad Avenue and a rear passenger door opened, police said.

The boy -- who was not in a car seat, as required by law -- fell from the car, police said. Witnesses told police that it appeared the boy's foot had become tangled in a seat belt and he was dragged about 80 feet before the car stopped. Names of the mother and driver were not released.

Gina Davis

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