State Digest

STATE DIGEST

December 05, 2007

Woman, 18, charged in death of son, 2

ROCKVILLE -- The mother of a 2-year-old boy who was killed last week has been arrested in the child's death.

Montgomery County police say Ruth Sendejas, 18, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of her son, Giovanni. Investigators believe the toddler was asphyxiated.

Police say he was unresponsive when officers went to his home in the 3600 block of Bel Pre Road on Nov. 27. He died that day at a hospital.

Officers went to the home after someone called 911, then hung up. Call takers couldn't reach anyone after that.

Investigators say the mother told officers that there had been a home invasion and that two strangers tried to hurt Giovanni. Police now say Sendejas made the story up and that she is responsible for her son's death.

Sendejas is being held without bond.

Associated Press

Prince George's

Electronic tickets to make debut

Police in New Carrollton are the first in Maryland to be certified to issue electronic traffic citations.

So-called "eCitations" can be issued electronically through a software system in police vehicles, reducing time that officers and motorists spend on the side of the road.

Motorists receive a printed copy of the eCitation, and the data is automatically transmitted from the officer's vehicle to the police agency, then uploaded to the district court. Fines can be paid automatically at http:--mdcourts.gov.

Citations that can be paid online include speeding tickets, seat belt violations, failure to display a license on demand, driving without current tags, failure to stop at a stop sign, and unsafe lane changing.

Associated Press

Congress

Ruppersberger to face opponent

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger will face an organizer for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul in the 2nd Congressional District's 2008 election after no else came forward to run before Monday's deadline.

Ruppersberger, a Baltimore County Democrat, and Republican Richard Pryce Matthews of Orchard Beach are unopposed in their respective Feb. 12 primaries.

A two-term incumbent, Ruppersberger, 61, said yesterday he looks forward to getting out and discussing the issues, but will continue to focus on his job, instead of the campaign. "It has always been my philosophy that if you do the job you're supposed to do, you'll be judged on that and not on the political rhetoric that frequently revolves around the campaign season," he said.

Matthews said he "reluctantly" entered the race after no other Republicans stepped forward. "After the primary, I expect I'll have a lot more time, and the networking I have done [for Paul] will help support my run when it comes to the general election," said Matthews, 27.

Capital News Service

Montgomery

ID-theft suspect arrested in N.Y.

The suspected ringleader in the "Wig Lady" identity theft ring has been arrested in New York City. Montgomery County Police say Charles Belim, 56, was arrested last week in midtown Manhattan.

Police say he was using the alias Ronald Lampkin. He's charged with several crimes, including forgery and identity theft. He's expected to be charged federally in connection with a series of theft schemes.

Investigators say Belim led a ring of people who donned wigs to impersonate bank customers and drain their accounts. Members of the ring stole wallets and used the victims' personal information to withdraw money from their bank accounts. Authorities say the group targeted at least 10 people and took in up to $30,000 in the scheme.

Associated Press

Cambridge

Md. wants suggestions for parcel

The state of Maryland is taking suggestions from the public about how to use the 728-acre tract it purchased this year along the Little Blackwater River in Cambridge.

Ideas discussed at recent forums will be included in a draft plan being developed by the Department of Natural Resources. About 70 members of the public attended the two forums. Suggestions include educational uses, a multi-use trail and a canoe and kayak launch.

Associated Press

Cecil County

Billboard brings complaints

PERRYVILLE --A roadside billboard in Cecil County promoting a heritage event in Port Deposit has raised a few eyebrows. The artwork used by the Port Deposit Heritage Corp. to promote the candlelight tour Dec. 1 showed the U.S. and Confederate flags intertwined.

Perryville resident Jim Dennis saw the sign and said he didn't care for it. He told The Cecil Whig he heard mixed opinions from other people, but some agreed that using the rebel flag for the billboard was offensive.

Heritage corporation President Judy Leonard says no offense was intended. And she says the same artwork has been used to promote the annual event for five years. The heritage tour focuses on the Civil War period, with people dressed in period clothing and tours of local homes from the era.

Associated Press

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