City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

December 20, 2006

Anne Arundel settles lawsuit in 2001 killing of pharmacist

Anne Arundel County has reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed by the family of a Glen Burnie woman who was killed after police dispatchers mishandled a 911 call to help her.

Under the terms of the settlement with pharmacist Yvette A. Beakes' family, the county agreed to hire an independent consultant to review the 911 emergency operations center.

The results of the study -- to be conducted by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International -- will be presented at a public hearing early next year.

Roger W. Yoerges, the family's attorney, said Beakes' relatives were seeking closure and were pleased with the decision.

"It was a hard-fought negotiation, and this is more than we expected," Yoerges said. "The family went into the civil case not looking for money but looking for reform, and that's what this settlement provides."

The settlement does not give the family money.

A federal judge in Baltimore had dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that even if Anne Arundel police dispatchers bungled the emergency call to help Beakes, the county could not be held liable for failing to protect her.

But the ruling was appealed.

Beakes was killed Aug. 8, 2001, after she left Pickles Pub in Baltimore.

Four Baltimoreans were convicted in the case.

The four followed Beakes home, rammed her car and then abducted her.

The woman's family contended that Beakes might have been saved had emergency dispatchers properly handled calls from a bystander, who reported the abduction from a pay telephone.

Nia-Malika Henderson

Baltimore: Homelessness

Forum scheduled for 3 p.m. today

A forum, "Poor, Nasty, Brutish and Short: A Discussion of Homelessness, Health, and Life and Death on the Street" is to be held at 3 p.m. today in the auditorium of the University of Maryland School of Social Work, 525 W. Redwood St.

Participants will include Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, former Baltimore health commissioner; Jeff Singer, president and chief executive officer of Health Care for the Homeless; Dr. Fred Osher, director of health systems and services policy for the Council of State Governments; and Michael Stoops, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Also, a National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day observance is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. tomorrow at War Memorial Plaza in front of City Hall. The event is sponsored by SHARP (Stop Homelessness and Reduce Poverty).

Entertainment

Scrooge, adapted for Baltimore

The drama club at the Institute of Business and Entrepreneurship at the Walbrook high school campus will present an original stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol this week.

The adaptation, written by drama teacher James Michael Brodie, updates the classic story to take place in present-day Baltimore, where Ebenezer Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas after he fires his assistant, a single mother. Students and teachers will be performing alongside one another.

The performances will be held at 7 p.m. today, tomorrow and Friday in the auditorium at Walbrook, 2000 Edgewood St. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students with valid identification.

The drama club is planning to perform A Raisin in the Sun in April.

Sara Neufeld

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