Week in Review

October 01, 2006

Severna Park

Tornado damages homes; no one hurt

An apparent tornado touched down in Anne Arundel County on Thursday night, damaging 33 homes and downing trees and power lines but causing no injuries, authorities said.

Most of the damage occurred in the lower Magothy Beach area of Severna Park, on North and South drives and Hemingway Lane.

The sight of a funnel cloud in the area brought frightening accounts from several witnesses who described seeing a tornado carrying trash, tree limbs and other debris and traveling east near Ritchie Highway about 7 p.m.

Thirteen of the homes struck by falling trees were deemed uninhabitable, said Pam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the county emergency operations center. She said the Red Cross was assisting affected families with housing and other services.

Maryland section, Friday

Laurel

Schools consider site for elementary

Faced with a development boom in the Laurel area, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education has asked the county to either set aside a piece of a proposed 1,600-home project site for a new school or ask the builder to contribute millions to build a new one.

News of the Aug. 29 letter from the board and Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell to County Executive Janet S. Owens may refocus the discussion onto a separate 78-acre parcel in Russett that's controlled by the board and has been envisioned as the location for an elementary for more than a decade.

Community leaders in the Laurel area have fought to keep that parcel out of the hands of Russett Center Limited Partnership, the developer of Russett, which has wanted to convert a portion of the parcel into housing. Those leaders say that with a looming military job boom at Fort Meade, the board should begin construction of a new elementary school there to meet the population demand.

Anne Arundel section, Friday

Annapolis

Midshipman faces two rape charges

The Naval Academy has charged a former football player with drugging and raping two female midshipmen on separate occasions, including at a party attended by at least four teammates.

Kenny Ray Morrison, 24, is accused of raping one woman in a Georgetown hotel room at a party Feb. 4, and another in Annapolis on April 21, according to charging documents. The senior had been scheduled to stand trial Tuesday at a special court-martial, a midlevel form of military trial, only on charges of indecent assault and indecent acts in the Georgetown incident. If convicted of those charges, he would receive no jail time.

If found guilty in a military court of the new charges of rape, distribution of a controlled substance and assault in both cases, as well as conduct unbecoming an officer in the Feb. 4 incident, he could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison. Such a sentence is unprecedented in recent history, according to military law experts.

Maryland section, Thursday

Severna Park

Mourners remember Private Kavanagh

He loved music and playing the guitar, but military service is where Eric Matthew Kavanagh found his calling, family and friends said.

"Behind that happy, huggy, gentle guitar player, there was grit and determination," said the Rev. W. Terry Schoener of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park. Dr. Schoener recalled how, even before he went to basic training, the young man had started running and working out, readying himself for boot camp.

Friends, family and neighbors mourned the loss of the 20-year-old Army private and Severna Park native who was killed in Baghdad last month. According to the Defense Department, Private Kavanagh died Sept. 20 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his multipurpose vehicle during combat operations. He was the fourth member of the military from Maryland to be killed in Iraq over the past two weeks.

Maryland section, Thursday

West County

Republican Party courts Giannetti

A maverick Anne Arundel County state senator who was defeated in the Democratic primary after breaking ranks with party leaders on several high-profile issues has switched political parties, apparently with an eye to seeking re-election as a Republican in November. Sen. John A. Giannetti Jr., 42, a lawyer elected in 2002 as a Democrat, filed paperwork at the state Board of Elections on Thursday to become a Republican.

"I give the Republican Party all the credit," he said at a Republican fundraising dinner Tuesday in Baltimore. "They are very tenacious. They made several different offers to me, and I turned them down. Finally, they convinced me they would welcome me with open arms." Word of the freshman senator's party-switching coincided with the decision of the Republican primary winner, John Stafford, to bow out in District 21 - a Democratic-leaning enclave that includes northern Prince George's and western Anne Arundel counties.

Maryland section, Wednesday

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