Digest

January 04, 2008

8-year-old survivor of Ohio crash in serious condition

A girl who survived a head-on highway collision in Ohio that killed her stepmother and four siblings from Parkville remained in serious condition at a Toledo hospital yesterday.

Sydney Griffin, 8, has been at St. Vincent Mercy Children's Hospital since the Sunday night accident.

Her father, Daniel Griffin Jr., 36, was discharged Wednesday from St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, spokeswoman Sarah Bednarski said.

Michael P. Gagnon of Adrian, Mich., a 24-year-old construction worker who is accused of causing the accident, has been charged with five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. He remained in an Ohio jail yesterday in lieu of $1.25 million bail.

Gagnon is charged with driving about four miles in the wrong direction on Interstate 280 before smashing into a minivan carrying the family members, who had spent Christmas with relatives in Michigan.

Bethany Griffin, 36; Vadi Griffin, 2 months; Lacie Burkman, 7; and Haley Burkman, 10, all of Parkville were killed.

Jordan Griffin, 10, who lived with Sydney and their mother in Redford Township, Mich., also died.

Bethany Griffin's son from a prior marriage, Beau Burkman, 8, was treated and released from a hospital Monday. Beau is in third grade at Carney Elementary. His sister Lacie was in second grade, and Haley was in fifth grade there.

Laura Barnhardt

Baltimore

: Federal court

Man gets 11 years in cocaine case

A federal judge in Baltimore sentenced a Baltimore County disc jockey to more than 11 years in prison for cocaine distribution.

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. sentenced Darnell Anthony Young, 30, of Owings Mills to 136 months for conspiracy to sell cocaine.

According to prosecutors, Young, also known as "DJ Nelly Nell," worked at clubs in the region. A federal jury convicted Young on the cocaine-distribution charge Aug. 29.

According to the evidence presented during his two-day trial, Young conspired with others as part of the so-called Rice Organization to distribute cocaine in Northwest Baltimore. Police searching Young's house found 2 kilograms of cocaine on the kitchen counter, 3 kilograms of cocaine in the washing machine and about $17,000 in cash, according to authorities.

Matthew Dolan

Mary Gail Hare

Carroll County

: Sykesville

Valve repair to force water line shut-off

The Carroll County Bureau of Utilities will shut down the water line from 8 a.m. until about 4 p.m. today on MacBeth Way in Sykesville to repair a mainline pressure-reducing valve.

About 40 homes along MacBeth Way will be without water during the repair, which is expected to take six to eight hours.

Once repairs are complete, residents might see cloudiness or dirt in the water. Faucets should be run until the water is clear. Residents are asked to not to do laundry until tomorrow.

Information: 410-386-2164.

Ellie Baublitz

Harford County

: Bel Air

Man, 61, accused of child sex abuse

A Harford County grand jury has indicted a Bel Air businessman on 218 counts of sexual child abuse, investigators said yesterday.

William Leslie Harrison, 61, was indicted Wednesday on charges that included sexual child abuse and third-degree sex offense, the Harford County state's attorney's office said.

Harrison, the former owner of Trenton Properties on Main Street, is accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy who worked for him during the 10 months that began in October 2006.

Harrison, who was arrested last month, was released from the Harford County Detention Center on $1 million bond.

The Harford County Child Advocacy Center is investigating to determine whether there are other victims.

Investigators have said that in the past, Harrison has employed several boys the same age as the teenager.

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