This Week That Was

August 17, 2008

Service paints gentler view of Ivins

About 250 friends, relatives and colleagues filled the pews at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Frederick to pay tribute to Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist who committed suicide. As federal authorities portrayed him as a mentally ill man who was responsible for the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, friends and family remembered him as a talkative man who liked to understand how everything around him worked.

Virgin Festival draws music lovers

Thousands of live music lovers attended the third annual Virgin Mobile Festival at Pimlico Race Course The event was a popularity contest, with some of today's hottest musicians vying for the crowd's attention on two opposing main stages. Sunny skies, temperatures in the 80s and low humidity meant many fewer medical complaints than last year, when temperatures reached almost 100 degrees.

Baltimore-area teens back in game

Children ages 8 to 18 attended the revival of the Junior Open Tennis Tournament, a once-thriving annual event held by the city Recreation and Parks Department about three decades ago. This year, the competition was a family affair for many, with parents and younger siblings often accompanying the athletes to their events, monitoring their progress and, at times, coaching them as they played.

City OKs gun theft reporting

Gun owners in Baltimore whose firearms are stolen would be required to report the theft to police under legislation approved by the City Council - despite questions about whether the proposal is legal. Supporters, including Mayor Sheila Dixon, say the bill will help police track stolen weapons used in crimes, but the city's law department has questioned whether Baltimore can legislate gun control, typically a state issue.

Shares of BGE parent fall

Shares of Constellation Energy Group fell 16 percent - the largest one-day drop in seven years - after one analyst questioned the company's accounting and another raised concerns about the effects of a potential credit downgrade. It was the biggest percentage decrease for the Baltimore company since July 20, 2001, when shares fell 21 percent after Constellation lowered its earnings forecast for that year.

Arundel turf contract passes audit

Anne Arundel County did not err in awarding a $10.8 million artificial turf contract to a politically connected landscaping company with no experience working with turf despite "deficiencies" in the firm's bid, according to an audit. But the report criticized the county for signing contracts with a second company, AmDyne Inc., to oversee the bidding process and supervise the construction, saying that the deals were made outside county guidelines.

Small black bear seen in Arbutus

A small black bear that has made its way from St. Mary's County and through Calvert and Anne Arundel counties in the past few weeks was spotted in the Arbutus area of Baltimore County, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The agency later trapped the bear and sent it packing to Western Maryland.

Agency alerted to child at risk

The head of Baltimore's Division of Social Services said her agency received two calls from people concerned about the welfare of a 15-month-old boy who police said died while in the care of a religious group. But Molly McGrath, the chief operating officer of DSS, said the complaints about how Javon Thompson was treated while with 1 Mind Ministries were not specific enough to thoroughly investigate.

Notice to vacate worries renters

Some of the elderly, disabled and low-income tenants renting about two dozen houses in Essex and Middle River say they fear becoming homeless after their new landlord gave them 30 days to vacate homes some have occupied for decades. The notices stem from a requirement that landlords should ensure properties comply with housing standards.

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