City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

December 06, 2007

Two top Dixon aides are given promotions

Christopher Thomaskutty, a top aide in Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration who has overseen the CitiStat management program, was named deputy mayor for administration -- a new position in City Hall's inner circle, the city announced.

Meanwhile, Andrew B. Frank, a former development official who has served Dixon as a deputy mayor since January, was promoted to first deputy mayor yesterday.

Both men were considered rising stars within former Mayor Martin O'Malley's administration, and both had served as key aides to Dixon after O'Malley became governor. An administration spokesman said that neither will receive a pay raise.

In a statement, Dixon said Thomaskutty, 30, will oversee the city's public safety departments as well as the finance and labor departments. Frank, 41, will supervise 13 agencies and offices, including public works and housing.

The promotions follow the resignation in October of Dixon's chief of staff, Otis Rolley III. A spokesman said that the mayor intends to hire a new chief of staff but some of the responsibilities of that position will be given to Frank and Thomaskutty.

John Fritze

Baltimore

: Government

Bill approved for care of stray cats

The City Council and Mayor Sheila Dixon have signed off on a bill to establish a program that allows residents to legally care for stray cats.

Signed into law by Dixon last week, the program will make it legal and easier to trap, vaccinate and neuter feral cats before returning them to the wild while continuing to feed them.

An estimated 185,000 stray cats live in Baltimore, according to estimates from the city's animal control department.

The new program will allow residents to become "feral cat caregivers." The law also amends city law to enable caregivers to continue to feed feral cats after releasing them without being penalized for abandoning an animal.

Feral cats are defined as cats that are unsocialized and have "extreme fear and resistance to contact with humans."

A number of groups exist that help people trap and train cats, and this would allow such groups to work in cooperation with the city's animal shelters.

Government

New City Council takes oath today

City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake and the members of the 70th Baltimore City Council are set to take their oaths of office at 10 a.m. today at the War Memorial Building. The new council is set to hold its first meeting later in the day, at 5 p.m., in the Clarence Du Burns Council Chambers.

Sumathi Reddy

Crime

Church group hosts anti-violence events

The United Methodist Church's Baltimore-Washington Conference will host a service, march and workshop against violence tomorrow.

More than 100 pastors and guests are expected at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 3202 W. North Ave., for an 11 a.m. service for families who have lost relatives to violence in Baltimore this year.

Participants will also hold a workshop where church leaders will present their "Hope for the City" plan that includes violence-reduction initiatives, such as camp scholarships for youths whose relatives have been killed in the city and free pastoral care.

The service will be followed by a three-block walk to the site of a recent homicide, where clergy will pray.

Later in the evening, Bishop John Schol will lead others in an evening vigil at homicide sites throughout the city.

Sumathi Reddy

Circuit Court

Miller takes over criminal division

After five years on the job, Baltimore Circuit Judge John M. Glynn is stepping down as judge in charge of the criminal division, courthouse officials announced yesterday. Judge John Philip Miller will assume that role Jan. 1.

Miller, 59, also will take over as head of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which meets monthly to discuss crime and punishment issues in Baltimore.

Like Glynn, Miller was born in Baltimore. Miller was raised in Carroll County.

For five years, Miller has been the judge in charge of misdemeanor jury trials -- minor cases that move from the District to Circuit Court if the defendant requests a jury. Miller was appointed a District Court judge in 1996 and moved to Circuit Court in 2001.

Beginning next month, Glynn, 61, will hear civil cases. His final Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meeting is Wednesday.

Julie Bykowicz

Anne Arundel

: Edgewater

Marina owner killed in fall through roof

The owner of an Edgewater marina was killed yesterday after he fell through the roof of a workshop while making repairs, fire officials said.

Joseph Mueller, 64, suffered severe head trauma in the 30-foot fall at the Anchor Yacht Basin in the 1000 block of Turkey Point Road, said Battalion Chief Matthew Tobia, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

Paramedics, who were called about 3 p.m., took Mueller to the Anne Arundel Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The investigation has been turned over to Maryland Occupational Safety and Health.

Justin Fenton

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