City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

December 28, 2006

Restaurant fined $750 for slot machine

The owners of an Ellicott City restaurant were fined $750 for having a slot machine on the premises.

Mary Chen, one of three licensees for Panda Buffet in the 8800 block of Baltimore National Pike, told the Howard County Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board that the slot machine was unplugged, wasn't being used and had a "for sale" sign attached to it. She said she had the machine in the restaurant to sell it for a friend.

But Howard County police detective Martin Johnson testified at the Nov. 28 hearing that he told Chen the machine was illegal when he first saw it two years ago and found it still on the premises during an inspection Jan. 22.

Johnson seized the machine and cited Chen for violating state law that makes it illegal "to possess, keep or operate a slot machine" in Maryland. Johnson said he found some coins in the machine and a "very used" instruction manual with the device.

Unlike Baltimore and Baltimore County, Howard County does not license amusement machines.

Larry Carson

Carroll County: Eldersburg

House fire displaces couple

A house fire caused by an overloaded electrical outlet and "extremely cluttered" conditions displaced an Eldersburg couple and killed two of their cats Tuesday evening, authorities said. William and Delores Mullineaux discovered the fire behind a television in the bedroom of their home in the 1700 block of Blue Spruce Drive shortly before 7 p.m. Firefighters confined the blaze to the bedroom, but a building inspector declared the home uninhabitable because of smoke damage. A Maryland state deputy fire marshal determined that an overloaded electrical outlet ignited nearby combustible materials. The house did not have a working smoke alarm, Rehkopf said. Two cats died in the fire, and two other cats are unaccounted for, Rehkopf said.

Ellie Baublitz

Harford County: Aberdeen

Skateboarder, 20, dies in accident

Aberdeen police were investigating a skateboarding accident involving a 20-year-old Abingdon man who died of his injuries yesterday, police said. About 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle in the 300 block of Graceford Drive and found Patrick Michael Butler suffering from serious injuries, said Sgt. Fred Budnick, a spokesman for the Aberdeen Police Department. He was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead about 11:30 yesterday morning, Budnick said. Police said Butler was riding a skateboard while hanging onto the side of a vehicle when the incident occurred, but details about the accident were not known yesterday, Budnick said. "We know that there was not another vehicle involved," he said. Butler, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered head trauma, he said.

Justin Fenton

Baltimore: Recreation

Woodson center closed this week

The Carter G. Woodson Recreation Center is closed for the week to permit the refinishing of floors, according to officials with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. All after-school and evening activities at the center at 2501 Seabury Road will be moved to the Patapsco Recreation Center, 844 Roundview Road, until the Woodson center reopens Tuesday. Information: 410-396-7006.

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