City / County Digest


August 14, 2008

Public forums on growth set across state

Marylanders will have an opportunity to air their views about future growth and development in a series of "listening sessions" scheduled across the state next month, the Maryland Department of Planning said yesterday.

The six forums are planned to provide public input to a task force appointed by Gov. Martin O'Malley to review Maryland's Smart Growth laws and policies. Officials say the forums are planned as "town hall" meetings, with open discussion among attendees.

FOR THE RECORD - A digest item in yesterday's editions about public forums being held around the state on growth and development contained an incorrect Web address. The address for more information is

The sessions, all of which are to begin at 6:30 p.m., are planned for these dates and locations:

* Sept. 16 - Wicomico County High School, Salisbury;

* Sept. 17 - Queen Anne's County High School, Centreville;

* Sept. 18 - James Blake High School, Silver Spring;

* Sept. 23 - Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Hughesville;

* Sept. 24 - Woodlawn High School, Baltimore County;

* Sept. 25 - Bridge of Life Church, Hagerstown

Information on the forums: ingsessions.html.

Details on the task force: ture_growth.html

Timothy B. Wheeler


Federal court

Woman admits fraud linked to inmates

A Suitland woman has pleaded guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns on behalf of state prison inmates and stealing about $365,000.

Karen Woodard, 43, said yesterday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore that she claimed federal tax refunds for more than 100 inmates who weren't owed money from the IRS. According to her plea agreement, she would mail the fraudulent refunds to Maryland inmates. Her sentencing is scheduled in October for crimes between 2004 and 2007.

Associated Press


Students, U.S. peers are to be compared

The performance of students in Baltimore public schools will be measured for the first time against their peers in other urban school districts across the nation.

The school system announced yesterday that public school students in Baltimore will be tested as part of the 2009 Trial Urban District Assessment. This is an offshoot of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or the Nation's Report Card, which officials described as the "gold standard" of American education assessments. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

Officials said in a statement that the testing is expected to offer "the truest picture yet of student achievement in Baltimore and a true comparison with other comparable districts." Students are measured in core subjects such as reading, mathematics, writing and science.


UPS worker is shot while driving truck

A UPS driver was shot and wounded yesterday morning as he drove his tractor-trailer on Caton Avenue in Southwest Baltimore, a city police spokesman said.

No arrests were made yesterday, and police said detectives knew of no motive in the 4:15 a.m. shooting. They also had no description of the gunman, who they said fired from a black car that was driving alongside the UPS truck in the 1500 block of Caton Ave. near an interchange with Interstate 95.

Officer Troy Harris, the spokesman, said the truck driver, whom police did not identify, was wounded in the left side, just under the shoulder blade, and was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. A UPS spokeswoman, Deanna Cain, said the driver, a 31-year employee of the company, was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. He had just finished a trip from Dallas to Baltimore when the shooting occurred.

"We are very pleased he is doing well," Cain said. "We take safety very seriously. This is a very unusual incident."

Cain said the driver was coming into a UPS distribution center at a nearby industrial park when he was shot.

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