October 22, 2007

Annapolis : State House

Pipkin letter chides O'Malley on travel

State Sen. E.J. Pipkin, an Eastern Shore Republican, sent a letter to Gov. Martin O'Malley last week, questioning his trip to Ireland in the midst of the state's budget crisis and suggesting he check out that country's tax structure.

O'Malley, who has called a special session of the General Assembly for Oct. 29, went on a trip paid for by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. He planned to attend an event at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland with Dr. Robert C. Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology and Division of Basic Science at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.

"The Irish government reduced their corporate tax rates and now Ireland has become the go-to location for European businesses (sort of sounds like Delaware in our region)," Pipkin wrote. "The Irish government also reduced its personal income tax rates, and the economy over there is rockin'."

O'Malley's proposal to close a projected $1.7 billion budget shortfall includes an overhaul of the income tax structure to charge lower- and middle-income Marylanders less but top earners more, and raise the corporate income tax rate.

"This is a silly letter," O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said, "and we still haven't seen any specific proposals from the senator or the Republican leadership on the structural deficit."

Laura Smitherman

Baltimore County

: White Marsh

Motorcyclist in crash identified

Baltimore County police identified yesterday the motorcyclist who died Saturday evening after a collision with a sport utility vehicle in White Marsh.

Police said Eric Michael Neal, 36, of the 9300 block of Hallsboro Circle in Parkville was riding a 2004 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle on Scott Moore Way near Honeygo Boulevard about 6:45 p.m. when he collided with a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe. The SUV was being driven west on the boulevard by Matthew Albert Diiorio, 27, of the 4300 block of Chapel Road in Perry Hall.

The motorcycle struck the SUV on the passenger side, police said. Neal suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Diiorio was not injured, police said, adding that the crash remains under investigation.

As of yesterday, state police at Pikesville said 457 people have died on the state's roadways so far this year, compared with 491 at the same time last year.

Howard County

: Columbia

Pedestrian injured crossing parkway

A 22-year-old man was in critical condition after being struck by a car Saturday while walking across Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, Howard County police said.

Investigators have not released the name of the man, who was struck about 5 p.m. Saturday by a 2006 Honda Civic traveling east on the parkway behind Howard County's central library, police said in a statement.

The man was trying to cross the parkway 75 feet from a marked crosswalk.

The driver, Robert Berkey, 23, of Delaware City, Pa., was not injured, police said. Investigators are reviewing the incident, a police spokesman said.

Tyeesha Dixon


: East side

2 still hospitalized in pit bull attack

A 17-month-old boy and his father remained hospitalized yesterday after the family's pit bull attacked them Saturday in an East Baltimore home, a Fire Department spokesman said.

The boy sustained "pretty serious facial trauma" in the attack, which occurred about 7:50 p.m. in a house in the 1100 block of Newcomb Way in Armistead Gardens, said Fire Department spokesman Kevin Cartwright. In trying to pull his son away from the dog, the father was bitten and suffered puncture wounds and hand lacerations.

Both were taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, Cartwright said.

Representatives for the Bureau of Animal Control quarantined the male dog at a shelter because they could not determine whether it had been licensed or vaccinated for rabies, said agency spokeswoman Olivia Farrow.

Tyeesha Dixon

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