Digest

September 12, 2007

City enters negotiating pact for new Waxter Center

Formalizing a step they took in July, city officials announced yesterday that they were entering an exclusive negotiating agreement with a Baltimore development team to redevelop an aging Mount Vernon senior center.

Baltimore Development Corp. and the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education are pursuing a contract with MtV2 Development, led by Howard Chambers, to build a new Waxter Center.

The $62 million deal involves a land swap in which Chambers would receive the Waxter Center property at 1000 Cathedral St., on which he wants to build a mixed-use residential and retail tower. In exchange, he would construct an $8 million senior center next door.

The 34-year-old Waxter Center needs millions of dollars' worth of renovations. The Commission on Aging had been raising money for the project for about five years when Chambers made his proposal last year. The developer wants the commission to give him the approximately $2 million it collected to go toward his construction costs.

Chambers' 14-story residential tower would include 600 units of about 400 square feet each, 20,000 square feet of retail space and a parking garage with more than 200 spaces.

The project is expected to create 290 jobs and generate an estimated $1.7 million in property and income taxes, the BDC said.

Jill Rosen

Carroll County

: Taneytown

Car-truck collision kills woman, 36

A collision between a car and a dump truck yesterday afternoon on Route 140 in Taneytown killed a Carroll County woman, state police at the Westminster barracks said.

The dump truck driver suffered minor injuries.

Police said Rene Michelle Shipe, 36, of the 5000 block of Baust Church Road in Union Bridge was driving a 2002 Toyota Sienna north on Route 140 about 4 p.m. when she tried to make a U-turn at Big Pipe Road and was struck on the driver's side by a northbound dump truck driven by Marvin Zimmerman, 45, of Oakland Mills, Pa.

The impact, said police, caused the Toyota to overturn and come to rest in the southbound lane. Police said the dump truck left the road and stopped in a nearby cornfield.

Police said Shipe was pronounced dead at the scene by members of the Taneytown Fire Department. Zimmerman sustained minor injuries and refused medical treatment.

The accident remains under investigation.

Richard Irwin

Baltimore County

: Towson

Ex-gas station site to become public park

Baltimore County officials said yesterday that they are moving forward with plans to turn the former site of a Shell gas station in downtown Towson into a public park.

The county government and Motiva Enterprises LLC, the property owner, had been negotiating on and off for years over the third of an acre at the Towson traffic circle. County officials said the sides had disagreed over the purchase price and the terms of an environmental cleanup of the site.

The county, which had been moving ahead with plans to condemn the site, paid Motiva $500,000 for the land last month. Officials said yesterday that Motiva will spend the next two years removing contaminants from the site.

Josh Mitchell

Bowleys Quarters

Marina replacement backing is urged

A community organizer representing neighbors of a decades-old marina in Bowleys Quarters urged the Baltimore County Council yesterday to support the marina owner's plans to replace the facility with a 36-unit condominium building.

Fred Conrad of the Bowleys Quarters Improvement Association said residents recently voted in favor of landowner Milton Rehbein's plans for the Galloway Creek Marina.

"The marina is badly run down and badly in need of repair," Conrad said after testifying at a council work session in Towson.

Rehbein said he plans to replace the 188-slip marina with condos that would sell for up to $750,000, along with a 36-slip marina. If the council votes in favor of the proposal Monday, the plans would undergo a review by county agencies.

Josh Mitchell

Baltimore

: Guilty plea

Woman admits role in fraud scheme

A third person pleaded guilty yesterday in a scheme that involved making fraudulent credit cards and other documents and using them to buy more than a half-million dollars' worth of merchandise, the Maryland U.S. attorney's office said.

Faye Marie Jones, 52, of Baltimore pleaded guilty to identity theft and unauthorized access to credit cards, bank cards and account numbers, prosecutors said. Two other defendants, Lavon Caldwell and Nedia Hunter, have pleaded guilty to similar charges.

Prosecutors said Hunter bought credit reports that had been stolen from a mortgage company and that she, Caldwell and Jones used the information to open accounts at stores.

Jones could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison at her next hearing, scheduled for Nov. 15. Caldwell and Hunter could each receive a maximum of 30 years when they are sentenced, Caldwell on Nov. 21 and Hunter on Oct. 26.

Sentencing

Woman gets 2 years in fatal hit-and-run

A 26-year-old Owings Mills woman was sentenced yesterday to two years in prison for a hit-and-run accident in East Baltimore in 2004 that killed a 49-year-old woman, city prosecutors said.

Circuit Judge Allen L. Schwait sentenced Keionna Baker to five years, suspending all but two years, the prosecutors said. A jury convicted Baker on July 2 of leaving the scene of the accident that killed Doreen Winters.

Police said Winters and her husband were crossing the 900 block of E. North Ave. on July 30, 2004, when she was struck by a car and killed. The vehicle was found abandoned a short time later several blocks from the accident scene.

Baker was arrested in June 2006.

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