City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

September 20, 2006

Opening statements due in Smoot case

With jury selection nearing completion, opening statements are expected to begin today in the trial of three former correctional officers in the beating death of an inmate at Central Booking and Intake Center.

Dameon C. Woods, 33, of Rosedale, Nathan D. Colbert, 42, of West Baltimore and James L. Hatcher, 43, of Northeast Baltimore are charged with second-degree murder in the death of Raymond K. Smoot, 51, in his cell in May 2005.

Smoot's death was ruled a homicide, and state corrections officials fired eight officers involved in the melee, including the three who were charged.

Brent Jones

Howard County: Clarksville

Court upholds Route 32 expansion

The Maryland Court of Appeals yesterday upheld a Howard County judge's ruling last year that threw out a challenge to the expansion of Route 32 by growth-control advocates.

The lawsuit, brought by the group 1000 Friends of Maryland and a Clarksville resident, attempted to block state funding for the $200 million expansion that would turn the heavily traveled, nine-mile stretch of the two-lane road between Route 108 and Interstate 70 into a four-lane highway.

State transportation officials argued that widening the roadway is necessary to reduce congestion and improve safety on the busiest two-lane roadway in Maryland.

Tyrone Richardson

Baltimore: Johns Hopkins

Forum to discuss newspapers' future

The Institute for Policy Studies at the Johns Hopkins University and Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild are co-sponsoring a forum on the future of newspapers in a media market that has witnessed wholesale changes. The forum's moderator will be Sheilah Kast, host of WYPR's Maryland Morning. The forum will be held from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Clipper Room of Shriver Hall at Johns Hopkins' Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. Information, 410-516-4186.

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