The Week That Was

October 15, 2006

City firefighter killed

A veteran Baltimore firefighter responding to a rowhouse blaze was killed in a flashover - a phenomenon that occurs when a fire gets so hot that nearby items burst into flame. Allan M. Roberts, 40, a father of four, was the first city firefighter in 11 years to die battling a blaze.

Officer convicted in Smoot case

A former correctional officer was convicted of second-degree murder in a stomping death at the city jail. Jurors deliberated for five days before convicting Dameon C. Woods of killing Raymond K. Smoot, 51, in 2005.

Cardinal hurt in auto accident

Cardinal William H. Keeler broke an ankle in a car accident in Italy that left one of his longtime friends dead and another injured. Keeler and his two friends, fellow priests from his former diocese in Harrisburg, Pa., had been traveling on vacation.

Mercantile to be sold to PNC

Mercantile Bankshares Corp., which owns the venerable Mercantile Bank & Trust and smaller banks in the region, agreed to sell itself to Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in a deal valued at $6 billion. The deal would end the independent existence of a bank that has been a pillar of the Baltimore establishment since the Civil War.

Bush rejects Hopkins report

President Bush angrily rejected findings of a Johns Hopkins University study putting the number of violent Iraqi civilian deaths at more than 600,000 - about 20 times what Bush has estimated. The president called the study's methodology "pretty well discredited."

Housing market slows

Home prices in the Baltimore region rose 1.7 percent in September, the smallest increase in any month in five years. The number of sales plummeted, and houses continued to take longer to sell.

Paper ballots on order

Maryland has ordered 1.6 million paper ballots, about one for every two registered voters, for possible use next month during an Election Day that critics fear could suffer from some of the same problems that snarled the primary.

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