Digest

September 28, 2007

Morgan ranks 14th among black colleges

Morgan State University was ranked 14th today in the first U.S. News & World Report list of America's best historically black colleges.

Morgan was the leader among Maryland schools. Howard University in Washington was ranked second in the nation. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore was ranked 22nd.

Among other historically black colleges and universities in the state, neither Coppin State nor Bowie State universities was ranked. They were both listed alphabetically in a group of second-tier black schools.

"We are always delighted to see Morgan ranked positively as a university by anyone, on any scale," Morgan President Earl S. Richardson said in a statement yesterday. "We believe ourselves to be ranked nearer to the top on the overall landscape of higher education in this country, no matter who we are compared with."

The rankings are based on a number of factors, including surveys of what presidents and admissions officers think of their peers, as well as the graduation and retention rates, selectivity and financial resources of the schools.

The top four schools on the list were Spelman College in Atlanta, Howard University, Hampton University in Virginia and Morehouse College in Atlanta. Many of the top 10 historically black colleges are private.

Liz Bowie

Western Maryland

: Allegany County

Bicycle, locomotive race put off

Safety concerns have forced postponement of a race between bicyclists and a steam locomotive in the Western Maryland mountains.

Organizer Larry Brock of LaVale said the race, tentatively set for Oct. 13, will be held next spring if his bike club and the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad can resolve safety and insurance issues.

Six to eight bicyclists had planned to race the train along a section of the Allegheny Highlands Trail that parallels the railroad tracks for 16 miles from Cumberland to Frostburg.

Allegany County officials said they lack the staff for such an event, and the trail would likely be crowded with users during the midday contest.

Associated Press

Hagerstown

Commercial flights set to end

Commercial passenger flights at Hagerstown Regional Airport will end Monday, barring last-minute developments in Congress, an airport official says.

Air Midwest, the only carrier serving the Western Maryland city of 39,000, said in June that it couldn't afford to operate US Airways Express flights between Hagerstown and Pittsburgh after Sunday, when its $650,000 annual federal subsidy expires.

Maryland's two U.S. senators have introduced legislation that would force Air Midwest to maintain its Hagerstown service through the end of the year or until a replacement is found.

Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, both Democrats. attached their proposal in August to a bill that would extend the Essential Air Service program for five years. The program subsidizes service at airports at least 70 miles from the nearest air transportation system hub by the most commonly used driving route. The nearest hubs to Hagerstown are Washington Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Associated Press

Southern Maryland

: Calvert County

Man charged in fatal stabbing

A Calvert County man has been charged in the county's third homicide of the year.

Authorities in Calvert said Rodney B. "Rudy" Gray, 20, of St. Leonard was stabbed during a fight among several people Tuesday night in St. Leonard, near the Chesapeake Bay.

Investigators said Gray was stabbed in the chest with a foldout knife. He died in a rescue helicopter on the way to the hospital.

Christopher D. Whisman, 21, of Broomes Island was arrested a short time later about 2 1/2 miles away. He is charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and carrying a dangerous weapon.

Associated Press

Frederick County

: Court

Woman get 3 years in carjacking

A North Carolina woman serving 10 years in Virginia for murder conspiracy has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in a Maryland prison for her role in a carjacking that was part of an East Coast crime outbreak.

Tahishei L. Harrison, 29, of Hope Mills, N.C., was sentenced Wednesday in Frederick County Circuit Court, where she was convicted in August of conspiracy to commit carjacking. The charge stemmed from an April 2004 incident in which Harrison and two companions stole a car in a mall parking lot.

Authorities accused the three of coming to Frederick after wounding a North Carolina man during a robbery and killing another North Carolina man in Virginia while driving his car north. From Frederick, they headed south to Florida, where all three were arrested.

The vehicle belonging to murder victim William N. Dennis was left in Frederick.

Michael Philon, 28, of Fayetteville, N.C., was sentenced this month to seven years in Maryland for the carjacking. He is serving a 10-year sentence in Virginia for conspiring to kill Dennis.

The alleged shooter, Mary Ann Webb, 30, of Fayetteville, N.C., is serving two life terms in Virginia.

Associated Press

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