3 more vendors vacate Annapolis' Market House
Three more food vendors have vacated Annapolis' Market House, a second wave of departures that leaves only a few tenants at the troubled city-owned landmark. The owners of Galway Bay, Fresh Stop and Auntie Annie's Pretzels moved out of their stalls in the 19th-century building at City Dock on Sunday night, said Robert O. Schuetz, director of the city's central services administration. The owners could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Galway Bay released a statement saying its departure was the "the result of on-going failures and wrongful conduct" on the behalf of the city and the landlord, Market House Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Site Realty Group. Neil S. Hyman, an attorney representing Market House Ventures - which is suing the city for $6 million alleging breach of contract because of revenue lost during an air-conditioning malfunction that forced some vendors out of business in summer 2006 - said yesterday that he was unsure why the vendors had left. Ray Weaver, a spokesman for the city would not comment, citing the pending litigation. In May, the owner of four Market House stall occupants - American Grill, Gourmet Commissary, Sophisticated Sweets and Waterside Pizza - vacated after being served an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent.
Predatory-towing bill passes City Council
The Baltimore City Council yesterday passed legislation aimed at discouraging predatory towing, which occurs when unlicensed towers remove cars from accident scenes and then charge exorbitant rates. Councilman Robert W. Curran sponsored the legislation, which would allow only towing companies with city-issued medallions to go to accident scenes. Violators could face a $1,000 fine or spend a year in prison.
Bill would create hot line to report schools violence
City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake yesterday introduced legislation that calls on the city school system to create a toll-free tip line for teachers, parents and students to anonymously report gang activity and other violence. The calls would be routed to the schools police. In a news release, Rawlings-Blake said the toll-free line would "remove bureaucratic barriers." The hot line might be integrated with the current 311 system.
Motorcyclist killed in Eastern Ave. crash
A man was killed yesterday when the motorcycle he was driving hit a curb about 1 a.m. on Eastern Avenue near Interstate 695 and he was thrown into a sign pole, Baltimore County police said. A woman passenger was injured and taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, police said. Identities were not released.