City / County Digest


October 16, 2007

Council eyes resolution to back teachers over impasse

A dispute between the Baltimore Teachers Union and the chief of the city school system spilled into the City Council last night with the introduction of a nonbinding resolution supporting the union in the impasse.

Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, a former teacher and the wife of labor leader Glenard Middleton, introduced the resolution, which was sent to the council's labor committee.

Last week the councilwoman and her husband were among more than 150 protesters who protested a proposed change that could affect the way teachers use planning time.

Schools chief Andres Alonso wants principals to have the authority to require teachers to spend one planning period - about 45 minutes a week - collaborating with colleagues. The union says it considers the change a loss of planning time. Protesters at the school board meeting called for Alonso's ouster over the dispute.

Council members Bernard C. "Jack" Young, Kenneth N. Harris Sr. and Robert Curran voiced support for the resolution.

Middleton said she introduced the resolution to nudge negotiations forward. Adopting an argument often used by the teachers union, Middleton said teachers here have less planning time than their counterparts in surrounding jurisdictions.

City teachers have worked without a contract since July 1, after the dispute over planning time became a sticking point in labor negotiations. The resolution was at one point listed on the agenda for an immediate vote by the full council, but was instead referred to a committee for a hearing, slowing its passage.

Brent Jones and John Fritze


: Courts

Man guilty of killing tire thief

A convicted drug dealer from Northwest Baltimore who fatally shot a man trying to steal the tires off of his car in June pleaded guilty yesterday to voluntary manslaughter and handgun charges, according to the state's attorney's office.

Charles E. Brockington Jr., 47, of the 4000 block of Cedardale Road accepted a plea agreement in court yesterday. At his sentencing hearing Dec. 17, he could face up to 10 years in prison, with all but five years suspended, without the possibility of parole, according to a news release.

He is accused of killing Joseph Milton Johnson Jr., 29, of the 3300 block of Courtleigh Drive in Baltimore County's Gwynn Oak community.

About 5:30 a.m. June 29, Brockington saw Johnson stealing the tires off of his Mercedes-Benz sedan, according to news reports. Brockington went outside and confronted Johnson, brandishing a gun and shooting him, police said.

Brockington had been convicted on drug-dealing charges in 1998 and on assault charges six years later. As a convicted felon, Brockington was prohibited from carrying a gun.


: Annapolis

O'Malley to pay visit to Ireland

Gov. Martin O'Malley is scheduled to go to Ireland this week to be the keynote speaker for an event held by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and to attend a lunch and dinner honoring Dr. Robert C. Gallo, O'Malley's office announced.

The governor will give the keynote speech Thursday to the chamber, speaking about his experience as mayor of Baltimore.

On Friday, O'Malley is scheduled to attend a lunch at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. The lunch is being held to honor Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology and Division of Basic Science at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.

Associated Press

Baltimore County

: Reisterstown

Police identify 2 killed in crash

Police have identified the two people killed Friday in an accident on Reisterstown Road.

Nathaniel Benjamin, 24, of the 1100 block of Cooks Lane in West Baltimore was the driver of a FedEx Freight truck who was hit by a car driven by Robert Johns, 81, of the first block of Pomona West in Pikesville, Baltimore County police said yesterday. Both men were killed in the accident, which occurred about noon.

Benjamin had stopped his truck in the far right, southbound lane of Reisterstown Road near Cherry Vale Plaza and was walking toward the sidewalk with a delivery when he was hit by Johns, who was driving a 2007 Saturn Aura, said county police Cpl. Michael Hill.

Kent County

: Betterton

Body of missing woman recovered

Authorities have recovered the body of a Baltimore County woman who disappeared Thursday from her husband's boat on the Sassafras River near the Betterton area of Kent County.

The body of Sharon Andrews, 61, of Monkton was found by a bass fisherman Sunday afternoon near the river shoreline, close to Turner's Creek, according to the Natural Resources Police. The fisherman contacted police, who recovered the body and sent it to the state medical examiner for an autopsy.

John Andrews, 65, told authorities Thursday that his wife had been in the stern of the couple's 26-foot powerboat as it entered the mouth of the Sassafras. After 10 or 15 minutes, he looked back and she was gone.

Associated Press

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