Court building closed after pipe bursts
A Baltimore Circuit Court building was shut down about 2:30 p.m. yesterday after a sewage pipe burst, disrupting water service to the building. Three civil cases and one murder trial were interrupted by the closure.
The pipe in the Court House East sub-basement ruptured about 11 a.m., and the maintenance crew had to cut off all water to the building while the pipe was repaired, said Judge Marcella A. Holland, the court's administrative judge.
The lack of water meant that bathrooms in the building would not function, prompting her to close the courthouse, Holland said.
Holland said that two civil trials were moved to another courthouse, and one civil trial was settled. Jurors in the criminal case were sent home about 3:30 p.m. The civil clerk's office and the family division, both in the courthouse, were also closed.
Holland said she expects water service to be restored and the courthouse to reopen on time today.
: Cherry Hill
Man dies of injuries after being hit by bus
A Cherry Hill man died yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, a week after he fell under the rear wheels of a Maryland Transit Administration bus he was attempting to board near his home, said an MTA spokeswoman.
Richard Ronald Wilson, 38, of the 2300 block of Terra Firma Road, apparently was running alongside a northbound bus as its driver pulled over at a bus stop at Cherry Hill and Terra Firma roads about 8:30 p.m. April 3 to take on passengers, said spokeswoman Holly Henderson. According to witnesses, she added, Wilson fell under the rear wheels as the bus pulled in.
Henderson said Wilson was taken by ambulance to Shock Trauma, where he remained in critical condition until he died yesterday.
Officer Troy Harris, a city police spokesman, said the accident remains under investigation.
"This was an unfortunate accident and our condolences go out to the family of Mr. Wilson," said MTA Administrator Paul J. Wiedefeld in a news release.
Using a van to kill man draws 36 years
A Baltimore man who used a Plymouth Grand Voyager he had stolen from Baltimore County to run over and kill a man on a bicycle was sentenced yesterday to 36 years in prison. Keon Stokes, 29, of the 1300 block of N. Carey St. in West Baltimore was convicted last month by a city jury of second-degree murder, use of a deadly weapon, car theft and arson.
Prosecutors said that on May 1, 2005, Stokes used a minivan reported stolen a month earlier to kill Kurt Fulp, 20, in the 1500 block of Presstman St. Fulp had been riding his bike in a westbound lane when the minivan came weaving toward him. After running over Fulp, the minivan sped off, witnesses said.
Stokes and Fulp were drug dealers, prosecutors said, and that association was what prompted the killing. Hours after the hit-and-run, five blocks away, police found the minivan in flames.
Board of Estimates
Sewer rate increase hearing set today
Baltimore's Board of Estimates will hold a public hearing on a proposed 30 percent increase in sewer and water bills at 9 a.m. today at City Hall, 100 N. Holliday St. The increases would be phased in so that bills would rise by 9 percent annually for three years. A family of four in Baltimore using about 117,000 gallons of water in a year would notice their bill increase from $731 to $797 in the first year and to $946 in 2009. The increase could also affect suburban residents who use the city's water system.
Car rams into Chili's; three patrons hurt
Three customers were injured yesterday when a car crashed into a Chili's restaurant in Parole, an Anne Arundel County fire official said. The patrons, ages 32, 42 and 67, were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, said Fire Capt. Harry Steiner, a department spokesman. He said their injuries were not life-threatening.
Emergency workers responding just before 12:30 p.m. to the restaurant, 2309 Riva Road, found that the sedan had crashed through the building and into the dining room, hitting several tables. The driver, a woman, 59, was not injured, Steiner said.
Cpl. Sara Schriver, a police spokeswoman, said detectives were investigating and had not made any arrests. "It appears the vehicle spun out of control and went through the restaurant's window," she said.