Week In Review

October 14, 2007

Anne Arundel

Convicted rapist wasn't tracked

Eugene Waller is a twice-convicted rapist who after spending nearly 30 years in prison has been charged repeatedly with crimes from indecent exposure to failing to register as a violent sex offender.

But in the months preceding last week's rape at a Linthicum light rail stop, no one was keeping an eye on him. With the responsibility for monitoring Waller's whereabouts unclear, the 49-year-old drifter, whose listed address was a closed Baltimore homeless shelter, went unchecked.

Though he stood in an Anne Arundel County courthouse just last week, there was no warrant out for his arrest for failing to inform police of his location. And he was not listed on the Maryland sex offender registry's public Web site.

A section, Friday

Annapolis

Temporary return for Korean flag

The Naval Academy has agreed to temporarily return a Korean flag captured by Marines in an obscure 1871 battle, in response to requests from a South Korean cultural delegation that visited Annapolis this year.

"It will mean a great deal to Koreans when they see this flag come back," Thomas Duvernay, a professor of English and Korean history at Handong Global University in Pohang, South Korea, said in a telephone interview. "This flag is like Old Glory or the Liberty Bell."

The giant banner is scheduled to reach Seoul Friday, he said, and three days later it will be unveiled at a news conference before being displayed in the city's National Palace Museum.

Naval Academy officials confirmed Wednesday that the flag will be returned for an initial two-year period after representatives from South Korea's Cultural Heritage Administration visit next week to examine it.

Initially, it wasn't clear that the flag could be returned because of U.S. laws ordering that "colors" taken in battle from adversaries be displayed at the Naval Academy, where more than 200 such banners are held from battles dating back centuries. Returning it on a loan is a way to circumvent those rules, officials said.

Metro section, Thursday

Anne Arundel

Infection reports at schools spread

Amid more than two dozen reports of a harmful bacterial skin infection among Anne Arundel County high school students and staff members, school and health officials have urged better hygiene but said there is no reason to be alarmed about an outbreak.

Four high schools - Severna Park, Glen Burnie, Old Mill and Chesapeake - have received reports of 28 staphylococcus infections over the past three weeks.

Many of the cases were reported after an initial batch at Severna Park, which fanned concern among parents who complained about what they called dingy athletic facilities at high schools.

"We received these reports not because these are all new cases but because of heightened awareness of parents hearing about Severna Park and coming into schools and saying, `I think Jimmy had this,'" said Bob Mosier, spokesman for Anne Arundel schools. "Some of these cases are four months old. This is all self-reported, so we have no idea how many of these are actual confirmed cases."

The county Health Department has confirmed one case. The others were reported to school administrators by parents and students.

Metro section, Wednesday

Severna Park

Lower bail rejected in dogfighting case

The attorney representing a Severna Park man accused of holding dogfights at his home said Tuesday that investigators had slapped together a weak case after becoming "emotionally caught up" in the outcry that followed the Michael Vick case.

With gun charges recently dismissed against Kevin Jay Green, 44, lawyer Andrew White argued that the $750,000 bail set after the dogfighting conviction of the Atlanta Falcons quarterback was too high.

Anne Arundel County District Judge William C. Mulford II refused to lower it to $50,000, noting that Green still faces serious charges.

The charges against Green include maintaining a dogfighting operation, cruelty to animals and arranging or conducting dogfights.

Anne Arundel section, Wednesday

Anne Arundel

Schools' finances get mixed review

The Anne Arundel County public schools have generally solid financial practices, but spotty recordkeeping for inventory and inadequate safeguards for employee credit card use make the school system vulnerable to theft or fraud, according to a legislative audit released Tuesday.

The report, completed by the Office of Legislative Audits as part of its state-ordered review of all 24 Maryland school systems, noted Anne Arundel's sound management of federal funds and policies governing payroll. But it also found deficiencies, saying the district had no record of receiving more than $97,000 in textbooks, couldn't account for $170,000 in grounds equipment and had recorded $1,321 in supplies as being worth $111,269.

In written responses to the roughly yearlong audit, Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell said the school system has improved credit card procedures and created committees to study card use and setting limits.

Anne Arundel section, Wednesday

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