City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

March 30, 2007

Sewage spill at school in Harford affects Broad Creek

About 50,000 gallons of partially treated sewage spilled from the wastewater treatment plant at North Harford High School, with some running into a tributary of Broad Creek over the weekend, school officials said yesterday.

The overflow occurred from about noon Saturday to early Monday morning, when a plant operator repaired the leak. School officials notified the Maryland Department of the Environment of the malfunction at the plant, which processes sewage from North Harford middle and high schools in Pylesville.

The high school is undergoing a $52 million expansion that includes installation of sewage pipes from the middle school to the treatment plant.

Excessive flow through the water systems of the schools overwhelmed the plant's sand-filter system and caused partially treated sewage to bypass the final process and flow onto the ground, officials said. The spill occurred to the southeast of the high school's athletic fields, and eventually emptied into the stream that feeds Broad Creek. The relatively small amount of effluent should have minimal environmental impact on the creek, officials said.

Crews have cleaned the spill area and spread lime on it. The county Health Department has posted signs in the area with details of the incident and a recommendation to avoid contact with Broad Creek during the next 30 days.

Mary Gail Hare

Baltimore

: Homicides

Suspect charged in second killing

A man arrested Tuesday and charged with the fatal shooting of a man at a nightclub in West Baltimore on March 10 has been charged with another homicide that occurred nearly three weeks earlier, police said.

Lamont Thomas Harrell, 22, of the 2300 block of N. Pulaski St., was meeting with his probation officer at the Lower Park Heights Multi-Purpose Center in the 3900 block of Park Heights Ave. on Tuesday morning when he was arrested by members of the Regional Warrant Apprehension Task Force on a warrant charging him with first-degree murder in the death of Allen Coates, 36, of Woodmoor, on March 10.

Coates was attending a birthday party at Maceo's Lounge in the 1900 block of N. Monroe St. when he objected to a man groping a woman there and was fatally shot.

While Harrell was being questioned at police headquarters about the Coates shooting, police said Harrell gave detectives a statement linking him to the fatal shooting Feb. 20 of Andre S. Jones, 30. Jones was gunned down in a deli in the 1800 block of Clifton Ave. while playing an electronic poker machine.

Physical evidence recovered at the deli linked Harrell to Jones' death, according to charging documents.

Harrell was being held without bail at Central Booking and Intake Center.

Richard Irwin

Inner Harbor

Police identify body found last week

Baltimore police yesterday released the name of the 41-year-old man from Westminster who was found dead in the Inner Harbor last week.

The body of James Lee Butler was found Wednesday by a city public works crew near the USS Constellation at Harborplace, a popular downtown tourist destination, police said. Emergency workers pulled him from the water and pronounced him dead at the scene shortly before noon that day.

Police have said that a preliminary investigation found no signs of trauma or any indications of foul play. Police detectives are awaiting autopsy results.

Until early this month, Butler had been living at the Westminster Rescue Mission, a Christian-based recovery facility for people who have dealt with homelessness or substance abuse.

John Sullivan, the mission's superintendent, said Butler had lived at the mission since September 2005, but he moved this month to another Westminster shelter. Sullivan said Butler had worked as a housekeeper at the mission, and he also held a job at a book publishing facility.

Sullivan described him as a "real giving, loving person" with a troubled past involving drug abuse and depression. "I know for a fact that there were guys here who used to go to him on a regular basis [for money]," Sullivan said.

Gus Sentementes

Pratt library

Fairy Tale Festival starts this weekend

Children are encouraged to dress in royal robes and attend a ball this weekend when the Enoch Pratt Free Library kicks off its monthlong Fairy Tale Festival tomorrow and Sunday .

In the central branch's main hall at 400 Cathedral St., youngsters "will be able to be a prince or princess for day," the library says. Those who attend will be able to decorate a crown, design a family crest, play games, make crafts and explore the houses of the three pigs.

The festival will be open during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Throughout the month, all library branches will have fairy-tale activities. Information: Pick up a copy of the "Fairy Tale Gazette" at the libraries or go to www.prattlibrary.org.

All events are free and open to the public.

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