Week In Review

March 04, 2007

Linthicum Heights

Jury can't decide in G&M stabbing

After almost a day and a half of deliberations, an Anne Arundel County jury was unable to reach a verdict Friday in a stabbing case that stemmed from a dispute over who was next in line at a popular crab cake restaurant.

Keith Anthony Rantin Jr., 31, of Reisterstown, faced a four-count indictment in the March 28 stabbing of Jeffrey Rites, 39, of Carroll County, at the G&M Restaurant and Lounge in Linthicum Heights.

Prosecutors maintained that Rantin attacked Rites at the carryout counter during the lunch rush. Rantin's lawyer said he acted in self-defense.

Maryland section, yesterday

Pasadena

Officer faces new allegations

A rookie Anne Arundel County police officer charged with photographing himself fondling a teenage girl during a traffic stop demanded that another young driver he pulled over a month earlier also exposed herself to avoid a ticket, the lawyer for the two women said Thursday.

The second woman refused to lift her shirt that December evening but offered Officer Joseph F. Mosmiller, 22, her cell phone number, and he followed up by calling and text messaging her, attorney John T. Hamilton Jr. said. Sources close to the investigation confirmed that police are looking into these allegations, which surfaced after media coverage of Mosmiller's arrest Feb. 19 over the incident in January.

But Lt. David D. Waltemeyer Jr., a county police spokesman, declined to comment on what he said are criminal and internal affairs investigations or on whether other women have accused the officer of sexual misconduct.

Maryland section, Friday

Anne Arundel

Leopold requests more tax increases

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold's two requests for tax increases in a week have County Council members braced for more proposals to raise taxes and fees in the two months leading up to the release of his first county budget.

Leopold called Wednesday for raising the gross receipt tax on commercial bingo from 7.5 percent to 10 percent, which would generate an extra $300,000 a year. On Feb. 21, he asked the General Assembly for authority to levy a tax on rental cars that he said could pull in $3 million to $5 million annually. County lawmakers acknowledged that those revenues would do little to dent a projected shortfall of $200 million annually in operating expenses caused by obligations to fund 10 union contracts, rising retiree health care costs and a 17 percent increase in school spending.

But with a majority of council members -- and Leopold -- opposed to raising the county's income tax, some members said they are willing to consider a variety of revenue options and budget cuts to attain a balanced budget.

"This is not a cure-all solution," Councilman C. Edward Middlebrooks, a Severn Republican, said of Leopold's proposals.

Anne Arundel section, Friday

Anne Arundel

Deal struck for Piney Orchard plant

An Annapolis developer has struck a tentative deal with Constellation Energy to buy the Piney Orchard wastewater treatment plant, gambling that the county will approve his stalled plan to build 1,600 homes near Fort Meade.

If the agreement goes through, John C. Stamato would bring sewage service three miles west along a strip of Route 198 where he intends to build Arundel Gateway, a $500 million mix of homes, offices and a town center on 300 acres abutting the Patuxent Research Refuge.

The service extension could also spur construction of homes, offices and retail along a mostly barren two-mile stretch of the Route 198 corridor as the state prepares for the base realignment and closure process, or BRAC, which will relocate thousands of jobs to Fort Meade by 2011.

Anne Arundel County has the "first right of refusal" to take control of the plant, but County Executive John R. Leopold said Wednesday that it will take a pass on that, saying that the county has enough sewage capacity in that area and that the plant's needed upgrades would be too costly.

Maryland section, Thursday

Anne Arundel

Officials hope to cut spate of shootings

Hoping to quell a spate of shootings that wounded four teenagers in less than a week, Anne Arundel County and Annapolis officials vowed to employ a "full-court press" in one of the city's 10 public housing neighborhoods, but no one representing public housing was involved in the initial talks.

Eric Brown, executive director of the Annapolis Housing Authority, said he was not invited to Monday's meeting of school, police and government leaders, which took place a day after an Annapolis High School senior was shot.

While County Executive John R. Leopold, who organized the meeting with county school leaders, said the omission of Brown was "an oversight," he stressed that the authority would have ample opportunity to participate in the plan to improve Robinwood and put a stop to bloody neighborhood rivalries among youths living at some of the city's public housing complexes.

Authorities say violence at Annapolis High and a fight and shooting in November at Westfield Annapolis mall involved rivalries from the Robinwood and Annapolis Gardens complexes.

Maryland section, Tuesday

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