State Digest

STATE DIGEST

January 06, 2007

Maryland: Inauguration

O'Malley plans series of events

Gov.-elect Martin O'Malley plans a week of inaugural events, including a parade and a performance by Kool and the Gang, according to a schedule his transition team released yesterday.

Before being sworn in Jan. 17, O'Malley plans a seven-day tour of the state, including stops in suburban Washington, Southern Maryland, Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore. He plans to attend prayer breakfasts, hold town hall meetings and eat lunch with Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer at Chick and Ruth's Deli.

On the day of the inauguration, O'Malley and Lt. Gov.-elect Anthony G. Brown plan to attend a prayer breakfast in Prince George's County. The festivities in Annapolis are set to begin at 9 a.m. with performances outside the State House by choirs from around the state.

The swearing-in is set for the Senate chamber at noon, though that event is limited to elected officials and other invited guests. A public ceremony is scheduled to follow on the main steps of the State House near Lawyers Mall.

After that, a parade will wind around State Circle before O'Malley heads to the governor's mansion for a receiving line.

That night, the scene shifts to the Baltimore Convention Center, where more than 80 restaurants from around the state will provide food. Kool and the Gang (of "Celebration" fame) will perform, along with contemporary swing band Big Bad VooDoo Daddy, the Irish band The Saw Doctors and Latin music star Eddie Palmieri Jr.

Tickets to the black tie-optional event cost $50 and may be purchased online at www.mdinauguration.com or by calling 410-547-8884.

Andrew A. Green

Baltimore: Federal Court

Not-guilty plea in geese case

A well-known Chesapeake Bay charter captain and Eastern Shore entrepreneur pleaded not guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to bagging too many Canada geese.

Last month, Levin F. Harrison III, also known as "Cap'n Buddy," of Tilghman Island was charged with the unlawful taking of Canada geese last January on or over a baited area, and in excess of the daily limit.

The maximum penalty for the misdemeanor is six months in prison and a $15,000 fine. A trial was set for April 19.

MATTHEW DOLAN

Prince George's: Federal Court

Charles Co. arsonist guilty on gun charge

The ringleader behind a 2004 arson that damaged or destroyed dozens of homes in Charles County pleaded guilty yesterday to gun and drug charges in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

Patrick Walsh, 22, is serving a nearly 20-year term in federal prison after he was convicted in 2005 of planning and helping to set fires at the Hunters Brooke development in Indian Head.

Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to possessing firearms while being a drug user and a count of conspiracy to distribute the illegal drug Ecstasy.

According to prosecutors, Walsh bought two handguns from a friend in October 2004, about the same time he was using Ecstasy. The drug use made his gun possession illegal under federal law. He also admitted helping to sell about 750 tablets of Ecstasy during 2004.

Walsh could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years on the gun charge and 20 years for the drug count. However, his attorney, William Purpura, said he expected Walsh to receive a term between four years to five years when U.S. District Judge Roger Titus sentences him March 23. Walsh likely will serve that sentence at the same time as his arson term, Purpura said.

Walsh and four others were either convicted or pleaded guilty to the early morning fires on Dec. 6, 2004. No one was injured and most of the homes were unoccupied, but the arson caused $3.27 million in damage.

Prosecutors noted a variety of motives for the fires, including anger by some of the white perpetrators that most of the new homeowners were black.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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