The Week That Was

June 29, 2008

Woman gets 15 years for theft

An Elkton woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for exploiting an elderly man and obtaining property through a theft scheme, authorities said. Tara Timing Spellman, 45, presented herself as the man's granddaughter to obtain a loan, officials said.

Dixon angered by leaks in case

Mayor Sheila Dixon lashed out at prosecutors and reporters in her first comments since acknowledging having a personal relationship with a developer at the same time that she voted on contracts that benefited his company. In a combative news conference, Dixon accused the state prosecutor's office of leaking information to the media.

UB gets $5 million pledge

Baltimore attorney and Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos has pledged a $5 million matching grant for a new law center at the University of Baltimore that could transform the midtown architectural landscape. The gift is the largest in the public campus' history.

Parking an issue for transit riders

Parking is a becoming a problem across Maryland as parking lots that serve bus riders, MARC and light rail passengers fill up with commuters rebeling against $4-a-gallon gasoline. The overflowing park-and-ride lots have led to parking scuffles involving calls to police.

Mealtime prayer again under fire

A national civil liberties group is renewing a push to end mealtime prayer at the U.S. Naval Academy, where a group of midshipmen recently complained to officials that they felt pressured to participate in the longtime practice.

Court backs gun owners

In a historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right for individuals to keep guns in homes for self-defense. It was the first major high court ruling on the Second Amendment. The 5-4 decision came in a closely watched challenge to a 32-year-old Washington law that prohibited residents from keeping weapons without trigger locks in their homes.

Hamm's stepdaughter found slain

Nicole Sesker, 39, the stepdaughter of former Baltimore police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm, was found dead in the 3500 block of Garrison Blvd. Sesker struggled for years with drug addiction. During his time at the head of Baltimore's Police Department, Hamm's relationship with Sesker became a symbol of the personal toll the city's battle with drugs took on thousands of families.

NAACP gets document access

The NAACP can review Maryland State Police documents alleging racial profiling that the organization had been seeking, a judge ruled - a victory for the civil rights organization in a battle that has raged more than a decade. Baltimore County Circuit Judge Timothy J. Martin decided that a panel of three lawyers selected by the civil rights organization's Maryland conference will have 120 days to review the documents and select those they would like copied.

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