State Digest


December 25, 2006

Garrett County: Grantsville

Fire damages Catholic church

A Roman Catholic church in Grantsville was heavily damaged by a fire two days before Christmas, and federal agents were investigating the cause.

The blaze was reported shortly after 6:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Anne's Church on New Germany Road, the state fire marshal's office said. A passing motorist reported the fire, and firefighters, who were on their way back from an unrelated call, were able to extinguish the blaze in about 15 minutes. No one was injured, but damage was estimated at $150,000.

The structure may be salvageable, fire officials said.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the fire started in an unoccupied portion of the church previously used as the rectory, fire officials said. Along with deputy state fire marshals, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene.

Associated Press

Deep Creek Lake

Judge halts work on shore clubhouse

A Garrett County judge has halted construction of a large clubhouse on a planned golf course along a quiet stretch of the Deep Creek Lake shoreline. Circuit Judge James L. Sherbin said last week that noise from the 11,900-square- foot building would adversely affect the quality of the residential neighborhood around Green Glade Cove.

Nine people had appealed the board's June 1 approval of plans by Thousand Acres Development Inc. to build the clubhouse on a previously approved public golf course. It would have been among the largest restaurants in the county with 88 of its 192 seats outside, a few hundred feet from the water's edge.

Joe Franklin, a member of the development group, said the developers probably will come back with a revised plan.

Associated Press

Washington Co.: Hagerstown

Defendant contests murder statement

A defendant accused of first-degree murder in the April death of a man in Hagerstown wants a Washington County judge to toss his statement to police that he stabbed the victim only seven times, not 32. Marshall Adams, 26, made the comment to Hagerstown Police Department Detective Shane Blankenship on Nov. 29 after learning that prosecutors planned to seek a sentence of life without parole in the killing of Leo Morris, 31, Blankenship testified last week.

Assistant Public Defender Stephen Musselman asked Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. to rule the statement inadmissible because Adams was denied his right to have his attorney present when he was served with the sentencing paperwork.

Associated Press

Wicomico County: Salisbury

Man charged in death of girl, 2

A Salisbury man has been accused of killing a 2-year-old girl who was in the foster care of his girlfriend. Edson Lamont Brown, 44, was charged with abuse and murder in the death last week of Kyla Edwards, who police say was left in Brown's care while her foster mother was out of town. When the foster mother, who was not identified, returned home Tuesday, the toddler was unresponsive.

The girl was pronounced dead about an hour after arriving at a hospital Tuesday evening. Authorities said she died of injuries to the abdomen that caused internal bleeding. Wicomico County State's Attorney Davis Ruark said the foster mother has not been charged with a crime. Brown was being held without bond on charges of second-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death and assault.

Associated Press

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