City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

October 19, 2007

Guard troops to leave for Iraq training, deployment

About 130 military police officers of the Maryland Army National Guard are set to leave Thursday for combat training and subsequent deployment to Iraq, officials confirmed yesterday.

The 290th Military Police Company, based at the Parkville Armory, expects to be in Iraq for about nine months after 90 days of pre-deployment training at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The call-up has been long planned and is not part of the Pentagon's plans, reported this week, to alert up to eight National Guard units that they should be ready to go to Iraq or Afghanistan beginning next summer.

Members of the Maryland military police unit previously served at the Pentagon shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and at Fort Stewart, Ga., where they performed law enforcement and force protection duties. Between August 2003 and April 2004, 120 soldiers from the 290th served in Afghanistan.

A sendoff ceremony with an appearance by Gov. Martin O'Malley is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Parkville Armory, officials said.

Matthew Dolan

Carroll

: Manchester

Man, 20, hit by car, critically injured

Manchester Police and the Carroll County Sheriff's Office are investigating a pedestrian accident early yesterday that left a 20-year-old man in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, authorities said.

Manchester Police Chief Gerald Gall said the man came out of an apartment and attempted to cross Main Street near Beaver Street about 6:15 a.m. to catch a ride to work.

"He was either walking very fast or running when he hit the right front fender of a Chevy Blazer," Gall said. "He hit the Blazer and was picked up into the windshield and possibly thrown."

The man, whose name was not released pending notification of his family in Mexico, was flown to the trauma center where he underwent surgery for injuries to his head and upper body, Gall said.

"We can't figure out why he ran," Gall said. "According to his co-workers, they weren't running late, they were actually early."

Gall said the man's cousin was on the scene and is expected to contact the victim's family.

Lt. Phil Kasten of the Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to the scene to help with traffic control. Their reconstruction team also was called to help determine what happened.

Route 30 was closed for about three hours after the accident, Gall said.

Ellie Baublitz

Carroll

: House fires

2-alarm blaze, arson, under investigation

The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating two fires Wednesday night -- one that destroyed a home in Melrose and an arson fire in Westminster that damaged a vacant house, authorities said yesterday.

The first fire, at 4365 Partnership Drive outside Manchester, started around 7 p.m. Wednesday, said Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph Zurolo. The occupants of the home, Joe Lepiscopo and his son, were alerted by a smoke alarm and escaped unharmed.

The two-alarm fire took 60 firefighters an hour and a half to control and destroyed the 6,500-square-foot home. Damage was estimated at $400,000 for the home and $100,000 for the contents, Zurolo said.

The fire marshals determined yesterday afternoon that the fire began in an overloaded electrical outlet in a second-floor bedroom.

The second fire, at 414 Lucabaugh Mill Road, was in a house that had been vacant for about a week after the tenants were evicted, Zurolo said. The fire, discovered by a passer-by shortly before 10:30 p.m., was started in multiple areas and was determined to be arson.

Damage to the two-story house was estimated at $60,000.

Anyone with any information about the Lucabaugh Mill Road fire is asked to call the Fire Marshal's arson hot line at 800-492-7529 or the Westminster office at 410-871-3050.

Ellie Baublitz

Baltimore

: District Court

Convict imprisoned for illegal U.S. entry

A 45-year-old convicted murderer from El Salvador was sentenced in federal court yesterday to four years in prison for re-entering the United States illegally.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Herman Alvardo on the charge. According to his guilty plea, Alvardo was convicted of second-degree murder in Florida on May 15, 1997. As a result of this conviction, Alvardo was deported to his native El Salvador on December 19, 2005.

At some point afterward, Alvardo returned to the United States. He was arrested on September 20, 2006, in Baltimore County.

Matthew Dolan

Baltimore County

: Stevenson

EPA grants $22,000 to Irvine Nature Center

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $22,000 grant to the Irvine Nature Center to help environmental education, according to the office of Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin. The program teaches high school students from "economically and educationally challenged neighborhoods" about the environment, who then help and mentor younger students in partner elementary schools, according to a release from Cardin's office. The center is located along Greenspring Avenue, but is scheduled to move to a new site in Caves Valley next year.

Baltimore

: Citywide

Hours for recycling, trash drop-off move

Baltimore Department of Public Works officials have changed the hours of the debris, bulk trash, recycling and eCycling drop-off locations to accommodate the shorter daylight hours of fall and winter. On Monday through Saturday, the locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The lone exception is the Northwest Transfer Station at 5030 Reisterstown Road, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Baltimore

: Citywide

Waste disposal days planned Oct. 27, 28

Baltimore City is planning to hold its household hazardous waste drop-off days Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute parking lot, at Falls Road and Cold Spring Lane. Items will be collected from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 27, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 28. Residents seeking to drop off materials must provide proof of city residency, such as a driver's license, telephone bill or tax bill. Information: 311.

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