Digest

December 26, 2007

Baltimore : Zoo

2 elephants added to herd

Two African elephants have joined the herd at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, according to zoo officials.

The elephants - from Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary near Greenbrier, Ark. - are Tuffy, a 23-year-old male, and Lil' Felix, a 24-year-old female. They join Anna and Dolly, the zoo's two female African elephants.

Zoo officials say the elephant exhibit is in the midst of a $1 million renovation, and the four animals are expected to go on public display together in March. The zoo will be closed for January and February, as has been the case in recent years.

"We have a proud tradition of caring for elephants ever since 1926, when the pennies donated by the schoolchildren of Maryland brought `Mary Ann' to the zoo. The addition of these new African elephants creates a breeding group of one male and three females," said Billie Grieb, the zoo's president.

Baltimore

: Recreation

Doll show set at skating center

Baltimore's 67th annual Doll Show is set for noon tomorrow at Dominic "Mimi" DiPietro Family Skating Center, 200 S. Linwood Ave. Children will have the chance to enter their favorite dolls into the competition in a variety of categories, including foreign, most unusual, antique, character, infant, best-dressed, best-stuffed and action figures. Registration - which is free and open to the public - begins at 11:15 a.m., according to the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks. After the contest, children can enjoy time on the ice. Information: 410-396-9392.

Baltimore County

: Sparks

Fire burns home; no one injured

Baltimore County firefighters put out a one-alarm fire at a single-family home in Sparks yesterday morning, officials said.

A person in the house at 14501 Western Road called 911 about 10:40 a.m., and by 11:35 a.m. the blaze was under control, fire officials said. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Gadi Dechter

Montgomery

: Rockville

Man says killing unintentional

Montgomery County police say a man charged in his girlfriend's death told investigators that she was shot as he tried to pull a gun away from her.

It happened about 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the home of 43-year-old LaQuito Watkins in the 4900 block of Cloister Drive in Rockville.

Vincent Castiglione called 911 to report that Watkins was dead. When officers arrived, he was standing outside her home with blood on his hands, the charging documents say.

Castiglione, 49, told detectives that after he threatened to hit Watkins with a bottle during an argument, she pointed the gun at him. He said that the gun discharged when he tried to take it away from Watkins, the charging documents say.

Castiglione is charged with first-degree murder. A District Court judge has ordered that he be held without bond.

Associated Press

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