Baltimore County Digest


January 26, 2007

Ex-PTA Council member seeks restraining-order extension against man

A former member of the PTA Council of Baltimore County is seeking a restraining order against the former president of the organization, accusing him of stalking and threatening her, court records show.

A hearing is scheduled for this morning in District Court in Towson on the request to extend a temporary order against former PTA Council President Michael C. Franklin.

In the temporary order filed Jan. 19, Franklin, 47, of Randallstown, was barred from having contact with Roxanne Umphery-Lucas, who alleges that Franklin slashed her car tires in May, and that he has threatened to burn her house down, court and police documents show.

Also Jan. 19, criminal charges of arson and malicious destruction of property against Franklin were filed in District Court in connection with allegations from Umphery-Lucas, according to court records. Her petition for a restraining order also alleges "mail theft."

When contacted by police after the woman reported in March that she had received harassing phone calls, Franklin denied threatening her, according to a police report. Attempts to reach him yesterday for comment were unsuccessful.

Umphery-Lucas, 43, who lives in Owings Mills, was the county PTA council's legislative chairwoman for about a year and served as a delegate to the state PTA during Franklin's tenure as president. She said she is no longer a PTA council member.

The county PTA council provides training and support for parent groups at most county schools.

Franklin became president-elect of the Maryland PTA in November 2005, but resigned the position in March. His term as president of the county organization ended last summer.

Gina Davis


Police seek 4 men in street robberies

County police are searching for four men believed to have been involved in a series of street robberies last month in the department's Parkville Precinct.

In each of the three robberies, one man approached the victim and was then joined by three others, police said. The victims were robbed of cash and other belongings.

Police gave this description of the robberies:

A 47-year-old man walking in the first block of Fitzgerald Court was robbed of his watch, a bag and cash about 8 p.m. Dec. 12. Another 47-year-old man was getting out of his car in the first block of Pinemont Place about 6:20 p.m. Dec. 13 when he was robbed of his wallet, credit cards and cash. And a 17-year-old boy was walking near Thornewood Drive and Fourth Avenue about 8:45 p.m. Dec. 21 when he was attacked and robbed of his watch, cell phone, credit cards and cash.

The possible suspects were videotaped by a surveillance camera in a High's convenience store in Kingsville.

They are described as: 20 to 28 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a medium build and short blond hair; a 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium build; 20 years old, 6 feet tall, with a medium build; and 20 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a medium build.

Anyone with information about these crimes was asked to call the police at 410-307-2020, or 410-887-5310, or Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7-LOCKUP.

Nick Shields


Raising retirement age proposed

The Baltimore County government has proposed raising the retirement age for county employees as part of negotiations for new union contracts, according to a union official.

The proposed retirement age is 65 for current employees and 67 for future employees, rather than the current retirement age of 60, said Michael Spiller of the state branch of the American Federation of Teachers, which represents government employees and some health workers, but not county teachers.

Also under the proposal, employees would be eligible to retire after 35 years of service, instead of the current standard of 30 years.

Spiller said the union has not taken a stance on the proposed changes.

"Keep in mind this is a proposal," Spiller said. "We're in negotiations."

Donald I. Mohler, a spokesman for County Executive James T. Smith Jr., said the administration does not comment on negotiations.

"We're confident we're going to get to a place where everybody feels good at the end," he said.

New government employee contracts would take effect in July.

Josh Mitchell

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