Water main break closes high school in Arundel

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

December 07, 2007

A water main break in Anne Arundel County yesterday sent 3 million gallons of water spewing into Edgewater, cut or reduced the water supply to 15,000 homes and prompted the closing of Annapolis High School.

County crews, which were notified of the problem about 3:30 a.m., found the cracked 12-inch pipe about 4 1/2 hours later at Lake Shore Drive and Route 2 in front of the Wilelinor community, said Tracie Reynolds, a county spokeswoman.

She blamed the break on wear and tear, not on the cold weather. Repairs were expected to be completed late yesterday.

The corridor from Riva Road just south of Annapolis through Edgewater and past the South River Colony community lost water for hours.

Public works officials are asking customers in the affected area to conserve water until further notice. Customers might see discolored water as pressure returns, they said, but the water is safe for drinking and cooking.

Commercial and industrial establishments in the Broadcreek Service Area were advised to check plumbing fixtures for continuous water flow.

Public works officials said the continuous flow problem in fixtures such as toilets and urinals might result from material being dislodged from water pipes and trapping debris in the flush valve.

After learning of the water main break, school officials closed Annapolis High School and the neighboring county schools central office on Riva Road, schools spokesman Bob Mosier said.

Water pressure was low at the five-school South River complex in Edgewater, but there was enough water pressure to allow classes to be held, Mosier said.

In an unrelated problem, Bates Middle School in Annapolis moved classes next door, to Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, after reports of a strong odor in the building.

A small oil leak had been dripping oil onto a hot boiler burner, Mosier said. Classes at all county schools started at 10 a.m. yesterday because of Wednesday's snow. When students and staff members arrived at Bates Middle, they were sent to the arts school until 11:15 a.m. yesterday.

Baltimore

: Dixon's parade

Several city streets to be closed today

Baltimore transportation officials will close streets and impose parking restrictions for today to accommodate a city employees parade as part of Mayor Sheila Dixon's week of inaugural events.

The parade is to begin at 10:30 a.m. at Holliday and Lexington streets, proceed east on Lexington Street, south on Frederick Street, west on Fayette Street, then disband at Holliday.

Participants are scheduled to assemble about 9:30 a.m. near the Municipal Building on Holliday Street, and the event is expected to last two hours.

From 9 a.m. to noon, officials plan to close Holliday from Pleasant to Lexington streets; Saratoga Street from Lexington to Guilford Avenue; Frederick from Lexington to Fayette; and Lexington from Guilford to Frederick.

From 10:15 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fayette Street from President Street to Guilford; Holliday from Baltimore to Fayette streets; and Gay Street from Baltimore to the Fallsway will be closed.

When the parade ends, officials plan to reopen one lane on both Gay and Fayette.

Parking will be prohibited from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both sides of Holliday from Pleasant to Baltimore, on both sides of Saratoga from Lexington to Guilford, on both sides of Frederick from Lexington to Fayette, on both sides of Gay from Baltimore to Saratoga, and on both sides of Lexington from Guilford to Frederick.

Detours will be marked during the parade, but officials recommend that motorists try to avoid the area.

Death sentence sought in 3 killings

Federal prosecutors said yesterday that they will seek the death penalty against a Baltimore man charged in three killings in 2003.

A federal grand jury indicted Harry Burton in March on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin, conspiracy to possess firearms and firearms possession while engaged in drug trafficking. The 28-year-old, nicknamed Lil' Harry, was also charged with murder as part of drug-trafficking crimes, authorities said.

The eight-count indictment accuses Burton and two others of conspiring to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine, 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than a kilogram of heroin from 1999 until this year.

As part of that conspiracy, Burton was charged in the shooting deaths of Maurice "Smokey" Ireland, 16, on Jan. 27, 2003; Michael "Mike-Mike" Jones, 21, on May 19, 2003; and Valencia Jones on June 20, 2003.

He has also been charged in the attempted killing of Gary Creek on Jan. 27, 2003. The group operated in the Latrobe Homes and East Baltimore, according to the indictment.

Matthew Dolan

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