Baltimore County Digest

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

January 04, 2007

Lansdowne man charged with murder

Police have charged a Lansdowne man in Baltimore County's first reported homicide of the year.

Jeffrey Wayne Simon, 49, was charged yesterday with first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing Tuesday night of his ex-girlfriend's fiance, Arthur Griffen Brown Jr.

Brown, 48, was stabbed in the torso as two men argued in the front seat of the woman's pickup truck, police said.

Mary Grubb, 39, of Pennington Avenue in Baltimore, and Brown were driving Simon to his home in the 3900 block of Bero Road in Lansdowne about 11 p.m. when the men began arguing, according to charging documents.

Police allege that Simon stabbed Brown and then fled to a nearby relative's home, where he was captured.

Grubb called police, who found Brown bleeding in the truck. He was taken to St. Agnes Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 1 a.m., police said.

Simon, who was ordered held without bail, was taken to Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson for treatment and observation after banging his head against a wall at the Wilkens precinct station, said police spokesman Bill Toohey. Toohey said Simon was expected to be transferred to the county detention center.

The county recorded 34 homicides last year, six fewer than in 2005 but the second-highest in a decade. There were 29 homicides in the county in 2004.

Gina Davis

Jacksonville

MTBE lawsuit back in state court

A lawsuit on behalf of more than 80 Jacksonville area families affected by a gasoline leak at an Exxon service station has been returned to Baltimore County Circuit Court for litigation.

U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis ruled last week that state courts should handle the lawsuit, which had been shifted last summer to federal court and combined with other lawsuits concerning the toxic gasoline additive MTBE.

"This will expedite the claims," said attorney Stephen L. Snyder, whose firm is representing the Jacksonville residents. "Their cases will be heard by their peers, who are citizens of Baltimore County."

Snyder's lawsuit is one of two filed in Baltimore County Circuit Court last year accusing Exxon Mobil Corp. and the station operators of negligence in connection with a 25,000-gallon gasoline leak that fouled residents' wells. Both suits were shifted to federal court at the urging of the company. A class action lawsuit filed by Peter Angelos' firm remains in federal court.

Snyder said he argued that his clients' complaints differed significantly from other lawsuits seeking damages related to MTBE, which was added to gasoline in the 1990s to improve air quality.

Paula J. Chen, a company spokeswoman, said Exxon Mobil continues to work on cleaning up contamination caused by the spill, but disputes the lawsuit's allegations.

"We are prepared to go forward to defend these cases in state court," she said in an e-mail.

Timothy B. Wheeler

Countywide

Christmas tree recycling to begin

Recycling of Christmas trees from single-family homes and townhouses will begin Jan. 15.

Residents must place their trees at the front curb/street by Jan. 21, to ensure collection. For Christmas trees to be recycled, residents must:

Set out bare trees only.

Trees in plastic bags or wrapped in plastic, with decorations or tree stands will not be collected.

Trees will not be collected from alleys.

The trees will be taken to county facilities to be chipped and later used as mulch. County residents who live in an apartment or a condominium should follow the property manager's instructions for Christmas tree collection.

Residents who want to drop off Christmas trees for recycling may do so at one of the county's three drop-off centers through Jan. 27. The drop-off locations and hours of operation are:

Western Acceptance Facility, off the 4500 block of Hollins Ferry Road in Halethorpe. Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Baltimore County Resource Recovery Facility, on Drop-off Drive, off Warren Road in Cockeysville. Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Eastern Sanitary Landfill Solid Waste Management Facility, off the 11400 block of Pulaski Highway in White Marsh. Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For additional information, including directions to drop-off centers, residents may call the Bureau of Solid Waste Management's customer service line at 410-887-2000 or log onto www.baltimorecountymd.gov/recycling.

White Marsh

BGE Home moving to business park

BGE Home will consolidate its headquarters and warehouse operation in a facility to be built at a new business park in eastern Baltimore County, county officials said yesterday.

The 55,000-square-foot facility is to be completed late this year at the Baltimore Crossroads @ 95 business park. That 1,000-acre business park is off the Route 43 (White Marsh Boulevard) extension that opened in October.

BGE Home, a provider of heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical services, joins Alexander's Mobility, a corporate relocation firm, as tenants of the business park, county officials said.

Overlea

Heap's visit to school to be televised

Baltimore Raven Todd Heap's visit to Elmwood Elementary School will be one of the featured stories on the new episode of a cable news program created by Baltimore County public school students.

The half-hour program, BCPS News, will also spotlight Parkville High School's production of The Nutcracker, distinguished alumni of Pikesville High School and the musician known as Kinderman, who is artist-in-residence at Battle Monument School.

The show premieres Friday and will air three times daily through Jan. 30 on Comcast Cable Channel 73 in Baltimore County.

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to baltco.news@baltsun.com. Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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