City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

March 28, 2007

Carroll school board member steps down

Pointing to growing responsibilities at work and at home, Carroll County school board member Thomas Hiltz has stepped down from his post, according to a news release yesterday from the school system.

Hiltz was serving his second term on the board, having been elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. He served as the five-member group's president last year and vice president in 2001 and 2002. His term ends in 2008.

Hiltz said he expects to take on "a new leadership and management role" with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which led him to consider stepping down. "It's something I needed to do for my family and for my career," Hiltz said yesterday. "It's just the right time to make the move."

The governor is responsible for appointing a replacement, and schools Superintendent Charles I. Ecker said he is waiting to hear from Gov. Martin O'Malley. If O'Malley approves, the school board could call for submissions from potential candidates, interview them and send its recommendation to the governor, Ecker said.

Arin Gencer

Carroll County: Finksburg

State police sued in death of man, 38

The family of a Carroll County man who was struck and killed near Finksburg in November by a state trooper in his police cruiser filed a nearly $16 million suit against the state police yesterday, the family's attorney said.

Randy L. Rakes, 38, of Finksburg was running across Route 140 about midnight Nov. 29, when he was hit. He was pronounced dead a short time later. An autopsy revealed that Rakes' blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit for drivers, said David Ellin, the family's attorney.

The driver, Trooper Dale A. Derr was unable to avoid Rakes, state police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

Laura McCandlish

Baltimore: Circuit Court

Ex-officer pleads guilty in scheme

A former Baltimore police officer pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to burn her 2002 Ford Taurus last year with the intent of freeing her from lease payments on the vehicle.

Keosha Buie, 23, of the 400 block of Cedar Run Place was sentenced by city Circuit Judge John M. Glynn to a suspended 18-month prison term, 18 months of probation and 40 hours of community service. Buie was hired in March 2005 by the Police Department. She was fired in July 2006, a department spokeswoman said.

In May, Buie reported her Taurus stolen from in front of her Catonsville home. That same day, court documents say, city officers found the car ablaze in the 100 block of McPhail St. The court documents state that Buie "admitted to detectives that she made a false police report and false insurance claim to get out of payments on the leased vehicle."

Julie Bykowicz

Southeast

Excessive lead levels noted in store citation

Baltimore health officials announced yesterday that they have cited a Southeast Baltimore business for selling children's jewelry containing excessive levels of lead.

The citation - issued to Food-A-Rama, 3801 Eastern Ave. - related to three items of children's jewelry that had a lead level in metal components above 1,200 parts per million. The jewelry had been sold from a vending machine, health officials said.

Maryland: Annapolis

Contract awarded for first ICC segment

An Annapolis Junction consortium has been awarded a $487.7 million contract to build the first segment of the planned Intercounty Connector, linking the Interstate 95 corridor with Interstate 270 in Montgomery County.

Gov. Martin O'Malley announced yesterday that Intercounty Constructors - a joint venture of Granite Construction Co., Corman Construction Inc. and G.A.&F.C. Wagman Inc. - would build the 7 westernmost miles of the ICC between Interstate 370 and Georgia Avenue.

Design work on the segment is expected to begin in the coming weeks, according to the State Highway Administration, with construction to start in the fall. The $2.4 billion, 18.8-mile toll road has been approved by the federal government but faces lawsuits by environmental groups.

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