City / County Digest


October 11, 2006

Counseling ends case involving official

Baltimore liquor board Commissioner Edward Smith Jr. has completed counseling as part of a deal with prosecutors that resulted in the dismissal yesterday of charges that he threatened the mother of his teenage daughter with an ax.

Smith requested a jury trial during a June appearance in city Circuit Court, but since then agreed to attend a multiday domestic violence counseling program, said Joseph Sviatko, a spokesman for the city state's attorney's office. As part of the deal, Smith had to complete the counseling before his trial date yesterday.

Smith, a lawyer, had been charged with two counts of second-degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon in connection with the Dec. 10 incident. He allegedly waved an ax at the mother of his daughter and the woman's boyfriend.

Lynn Anderson

Baltimore: Archdiocese

Keeler released from Italian hospital

Cardinal William H. Keeler was released from an Italian hospital yesterday, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore said, after a serious car accident that killed one priest and injured the cardinal and another cleric. Spokesman Sean Caine said Keeler is staying at the Pontifical North American College, an American seminary in Rome. The cardinal is consulting with doctors about his return, Caine said. Keeler, 75, was riding in a car in Terni, about 60 miles from Rome, with Monsignor Thomas H. Smith, 75, and Father Bernard Quinn, 78, both good friends from the Diocese of Harrisburg, when their car was struck in the passenger side, Caine had said. Quinn died; Smith and Keeler were hospitalized with cracked ribs and a broken ankle respectively, the spokesman said.

Liz F. Kay

city hall

Apple Fest set for tomorrow

Baltimore's fifth annual Fall Apple Fest will be held 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at the War Memorial Plaza across from City Hall. The event, sponsored by the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Women's Civic League of Baltimore, will include a silent auction, food, crafts, entertainment and fresh apples. For more information, call the civic league at 410-837-5424 or recreation and parks at 410-396-7900.

Carroll County: Westminster

Man dies after deer strikes his van

A Westminster man died early yesterday when a deer hit his 2005 Ford van after the animal was first struck by another vehicle, the Carroll County sheriff's office said. The accident occurred about 7 a.m. when Michelle Lee Becker, 36, of Sykesville was driving north on Route 97 near Route 32 and her 1996 Volvo sedan struck the deer, authorities said. The deer was propelled into southbound traffic, hitting the van and forcing it into the guardrail. The van, driven by Michael Anthony Croker, 37, was hit so hard by the deer that the windshield shattered and the roof was crushed over the driver's head, authorities said. Paramedics pronounced Croker dead at the scene. Becker was not injured. Route 97 was closed for approximately two hours. The sheriff's office is asking anyone who might have seen the accident to call 410-386-2900.

Ellie Baublitz

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