City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

February 13, 2007

Utility items worth $12,000 are stolen from BGE

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office is investigating the reported theft of more than 200 wooden utility pole cross arms from a BGE substation in the 6000 block of White Rock Road, several miles west of Eldersburg.

Early Saturday, a BGE employee discovered that someone had entered the substation's open yard and removed the cross arms, which support wires on utility pole tops, authorities said. The missing cross arms are worth nearly $12,000, officials said.

The cross arms, in 8-, 10- and 12-foot sections, are marked with the lot number COX, 1106 SYPP.40.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 410-386-2900 or the toll-free anonymous TIPS hot line, 888-399-TIPP (8477).

Ellie Baublitz

Harford County: Abingdon

Kitchen ruled out as fatal fire's source

Investigators who are examining the house in Abingdon where a Jan. 18 fire killed five people in one family said they have not determined the cause of the blaze.

But a spokesman for the state fire marshal's office said evidence has eliminated the kitchen as the origin of the fire.

Officials said the fire that spread rapidly through the two-story frame house began on the first floor. Jerome and Annette Shropshire and three of their grandchildren died of smoke inhalation and burns in the blaze.

"The kitchen is not the area of origin, and that determination eliminates appliances and unattended cooking as the cause," said W. Faron Taylor, spokesman for the state fire marshal's office. "We have to know exactly through evidence where this fire started before we can determine how it started. We know it started on the first floor, but it is so heavily damaged it is difficult to determine the point of origin."

Anyone with information should call the fire marshal at 800-492-7529.

Baltimore: Schools

Hearing on closings set for tomorrow

City school officials have scheduled a second public hearing on plans for school closings at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Frederick Douglass High School, 2301 Gwynns Falls Parkway. The hearing will focus on Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts, Dr. Lillie M. Jackson Alternative Elementary, Lafayette Elementary and Pimlico Middle. A third hearing is set for Thursday at Polytechnic Institute, 1400 W. Cold Spring Lane.

If either hearing is canceled because of the weather, a makeup hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Poly. The board is scheduled to vote on the school closings plan Feb. 27.

Baltimore: City Council

Cole, ex-delegate, seeks Mitchell's seat

William H. Cole IV, a former state delegate and president of the Otterbein Community Association, announced yesterday that he will run for the City Council seat held by Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr.

Cole, 34, served one term in the House of Delegates and was a member of the House Judiciary Committee. He was appointed in 1999 to fill the term vacated by District Judge Timothy D. Murphy, then lost in 2002 after legislative redistricting.

Cole - who is married and has three children, including two in city public schools -was a special assistant to U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. He is associate vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Baltimore and teaches graduate classes on the legislative process at the university.

The 11th District council seat will be open in the fall election because Mitchell is running for mayor.

Reservoir Hill resident Adam Meister has also announced his candidacy for the council seat.

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