Digest

October 30, 2007

Dixon keeps up brisk pace in campaign fundraising

In the final weeks of a campaign that was hers to lose, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon managed to collect nearly $330,000 in political donations - part of a fundraising effort that officials said will continue through her term.

Dixon, who won the primary election in September with 63 percent of the vote, received nearly 700 donations between the end of August and mid-October, according to campaign finance reports released yesterday.

"They mayor takes very seriously the fact that she does have a challenger in the general election and, of course, she will maintain a very active fundraising schedule through her term as mayor," spokesman Anthony McCarthy said.

Dixon has maintained her campaign Web site, but her campaign manager left shortly after the primary. She faces Republican Elbert Henderson in the general election Nov. 6. Henderson, who received 12 percent of the vote against then-Mayor Martin O'Malley in 2004, does not appear to be actively campaigning.

The campaign finance report, which covers a period from Aug. 27 - before the primary - to Oct. 21, shows that Dixon raised $329,000 during the period. The second-highest vote-getter, City Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., received about $64,000.

Dixon received about $57,000 of her contributions after the primary election.

Campaign finance records also show that the Dixon campaign spent more than $50,000 to pay people to work the polls on Election Day - so-called walk around money, which is legal but which has been controversial in the past.

Reports for several other campaigns - including candidates for City Council president - were not available for review yesterday.

John Fritze

Baltimore

: City Hall

Council approves firehouse naming

A bill in the Baltimore City Council to name a firehouse after a department veteran who died in a blaze last year was approved by a committee yesterday, averting a showdown planned by its sponsor.

The legislation, which calls for naming an East Baltimore fire station after Allan M. Roberts, was approved 4-0 by a council committee with one member choosing not to vote on the issue. It is expected to be heard by the full council next month.

The bill's sponsor, City Councilman Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr., threatened to force the bill out of committee for a full vote on the floor yesterday because it had stalled for months in the committee. Instead, the committee scheduled a new hearing yesterday and the bill was approved.

"It's not for Allan. Frankly, it's for his family and for his children," said Richard G. Schluderberg, the president of the Baltimore Fire Fighters Union. "His death meant something to the people of Baltimore."

John Fritze

OK sought for city to regulate firearms

Baltimore would have permission to regulate firearms within the city if the General Assembly were to heed a nonbinding resolution introduced in the City Council yesterday.

City Councilman James B. Kraft noted that the state has jurisdiction over gun laws, but argued that attempts to strengthen those regulations are often met with opposition from lawmakers in Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

"This is a resolution that I know we're going to have some fight about," Kraft said yesterday. "We should have the ability to address the firearms issue on our own here in Baltimore."

John Fritze

Baltimore County

: Woodlawn High

2 female students charged with assault

Two 14-year-old girls were charged with assault after a fight broke out at Woodlawn High School yesterday morning, prompting a school resource officer to use pepper spray, Baltimore County police said.

The girls were charged as juveniles with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey said.

The officer discovered the girls fighting in a hallway about 10:30. When one of the girls resisted arrest, the officer used pepper spray to subdue her, Toohey said.

Twenty students who were standing around the fight were taken to area hospitals and were treated for exposure to pepper spray, Baltimore County Fire Department spokeswoman Elise Armacost said.

The school was evacuated for about a half-hour to prevent others from being exposed to the chemical, she said.

Julie Scharper

Carroll County

: Marston

Farmer makes progress on cleanup

An inspection yesterday of a Carroll County farm whose owner was found guilty of animal cruelty, selling contaminated meat and littering, revealed progress in complying with a court order to clean up the property, state and county officials said.

Representatives from the Carroll County Health Department and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene were checking whether Carroll L. Schisler Sr., the farm's owner, had complied with a July court order that he remove decomposing animal carcasses and other trash cluttering the land within 90 days, officials said of yesterday's inspection.

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