Around The Region

AROUND THE REGION

October 03, 2008

Edmondson Village fire's cause 'not fully discernible'

Baltimore fire investigators could not determine the cause of last month's four-alarm fire at the Edmondson Village Shopping Center in West Baltimore because of the amount of damage. The Arson Task Force, made up of the Fire Department's investigation bureau and Baltimore police arson detection squad, has deemed the cause of the fire "not fully discernible," Chief Kevin Cartwright, Baltimore fire spokesman, said yesterday. He said the fire was not considered suspicious. Damage to structures and their contents was assessed at $500,000 each, Cartwright said. The fire broke out about 9 a.m. Sept. 8 on the west side of the historic outdoor strip mall, sending flames and billowing smoke into the sky. It took more than three hours to control and destroyed three stores.

Liz F. Kay

Slots advocates begin TV advertising campaign

Pro-slots television ads will begin airing today on Baltimore stations, marking another escalation in a hotly contested gambling referendum on the ballot this November. Steve Kearney, a spokesman for For Maryland For Our Future, the pro-slots ballot committee, called the purchase of airtime a "significant buy" but declined to provide specifics. Polls have shown solid support for slots in Maryland, and anti-slots activists are bracing for a multimillion-dollar onslaught of pro-slots advertising, funded by gambling interests. Voters will decide next month whether to amend the state constitution to authorize 15,000 slot machines at five locations across the state.

Gadi Dechter

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