Howard County Digest

HOWARD COUNTY DIGEST

November 22, 2006

8th-grader with knife arrested at school

A 13-year-old eighth-grader at Elkridge Landing Middle School was arrested yesterday morning after school staff members confiscated a pocket knife that he displayed on a bus earlier in the morning.

The boy, whose identity is being withheld because of his age, was charged as a juvenile with possessing a weapon on school property.

Police said the boy showed classmates the 4-inch pocket knife during a bus ride to the Elkridge school. Students later reported him to school staff members. The knife was confiscated without incident.

"Anytime we have a weapon on school property, we are concerned," said Sherry Llewellyn, a spokeswoman for the Howard County Police Department. "We responded immediately and will be charging in this case."

John-John Williams IV

No-bets poker tourney draws $1,000 in fines

A no limit, Texas hold `em poker tournament that drew dozens of players and spectators to the Columbia Ale House in Long Reach Village Center has cost the tavern's owners $1,000 in fines for violating county gaming laws - even though no bets were placed on the games.

The Howard County Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board imposed the fines on licensees James Schoo and David Schroeder Sr., for holding the popular games - one of which took place Aug. 7, with county liquor inspector Detective Martin Johnson in attendance.

Johnson said there is a codicil applying exclusively to Howard County in state criminal law that makes gaming such as casino nights, cards, dice or roulette specifically illegal even if money is not involved.

A letter alerting all license holders to the law went out this year, and Schroeder had called Johnson to inquire about the letter and to decide if he should stop a multiday poker tournament then under way. Schroeder allowed the games to continue, and Martin found 50 players at six tables in the tavern when he visited the bar.

Schroeder told the bar operators he thought the games were legal because they were allowed in other parts of Maryland.

Larry Carson

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