The Week That Was

July 27, 2008

Man electrocuted in Severna Park

A contractor died after he fell into a hole in Severna Park and came into contact with a live power line, Anne Arundel County police said. Thomas Kikas Jr., an electrician trainee with Riggs Distler and Co., was restoring electricity to four homes when the accident occurred.

Scientists face bay invaders

Scientists at a new research center in Maryland will test strategies to kill invasive species and prevent them from hurting the Chesapeake Bay, according to an announcement. More than 150 exotic species are now thriving in the bay.

Police spying may prompt hearings

State lawmakers are planning formal hearings on Maryland State Police efforts to spy on peace activists and death penalty protesters, potentially paving the way for a thorny debate in the next General Assembly session over whether to restrict the law enforcement agency's authority.

DJ 'K-Swift' dies in accident at home

Khia Edgerton, a DJ who as "K-Swift" became one of Baltimore's top radio personalties and a major player in the local music scene, died after a pool accident at her home. She was 29. Known as the "Club Queen," she helped reinvigorate and reintroduce the aging genre of Baltimore Club music to a younger generation of listeners.

Minimum wage to go up in state

Thousands of workers in Maryland will benefit from a rise in federal minimum wage to $6.55 an hour - the first federal increase to affect the state in a dozen years. For those working 40 hours a week at the state minimum of $6.15, the extra 40 cents an hour amounts to an additional $832 over the next 12 months.

Major arena sought for Baltimore

State and city leaders unveiled plans to tear down 1st Mariner Arena and replace it with a new venue big enough to attract a professional basketball or hockey team to Baltimore - an idea that drew a skeptical response from the sports world. A new arena would probably cost $300 million or more, paid for largely with public money, and could open as soon as 2012.

Currie got more than $200,000

State Sen. Ulysses Currie, whose work for Shoppers Food Warehouse is being investigated by the FBI's public corruption squad, was paid more than $200,000 by the regional grocery chain over five years, according to documents. Federal authorities are looking at whether the supermarket company hired Currie to use the prestige of his office to secure favorable legislation.

Hiring of illegal immigrants alleged

Anne Arundel County officials, who have threatened to cut ties with contractors that employ illegal immigrants, are looking into the possibility that the company that runs two county-owned golf courses is violating the policy. In a letter to Billy Casper Golf LLC, County Attorney Jonathan A. Hodgson said the county has information that the firm may be employing illegal immigrants.

Domino fined for '07 explosion

Maryland Occupational Safety and Health fined Domino Sugars $4,000 for allowing sugar dust to accumulate in its refinery, which is believed to have caused an explosion last year at the Key Highway plant in South Baltimore, according to a state report. Three employees suffered minor injuries.

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