Around The Region

October 18, 2008

Underground fire closes section of Greene Street

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An underground conduit fire closed a section of Greene Street yesterday morning between Lombard and Baltimore streets, city officials said. Chief Kevin Cartwright, a city Fire Department spokesman, said the fire started about 9:30 at the southeast corner of Redwood and Greene streets, near the University of Maryland Medical Center. A contractor was working on asbestos abatement underground and struck a power line, sparking the fire, Cartwright said. The hospital did not lose power, and no one was injured, Cartwright said. There was a similar fire in the same area on Wednesday afternoon in which a worker was injured when his jackhammer struck a power line.

Police seek ID of comatose man found a month ago

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A month ago yesterday, Baltimore police found an unconscious man in a Highlandtown alley. Since then, he has been in a coma at a local hospital, and authorities are still trying to find out who he is. The patient is a black man, between 40 and 50 years old, 5-foot-9 and weighs between 125 and 140 pounds, authorities said. His left arm is amputated to the shoulder, and his right arm has a faded tattoo. The city Department of Social Services is handling the case because he is an adult in need of assistance. "We have absolutely no other clues," said Elyn Jones, a spokeswoman for social services. She said officers found him Sept. 17 in an alley off Leverton Avenue and that he had no obvious signs of injury. She asked anyone with information to call 410-361-5000.

Julie Bykowicz

Man sought in abduction of four in Carroll County

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Maryland State Police have issued an arrest warrant for a man they say abducted an adult and three children at gunpoint from the Taylorsville area in Carroll County. Authorities say they were already looking for 26-year-old J.W. Bennett on an outstanding Baltimore County warrant when they received a tip Thursday afternoon that he was holding four people hostage at an address on Hooper Road. By the time police arrived, Bennett and the hostages were gone, but the hostages were later found unharmed. Police then checked addresses in Carroll and Baltimore counties, but did not find Bennett. State police say Bennett is believed armed and extremely dangerous. He is wanted for armed kidnapping in Carroll County and failing to appear in court in Baltimore County.

Associated Press

Hunt Valley roads close for Komen race

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Several roads in the Hunt Valley area will be closed tomorrow morning for the annual Susan G. Komen Maryland Race for the Cure, Baltimore County police said. Southbound York Road will be closed between Phoenix and Ashland roads between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and northbound York Road will be closed between Ashland and Phoenix roads from 7:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. Detours using Paper Mill Road will be posted, police said. Parts of Shawan, McCormick, Gilroy, Beaver Dam and Schilling roads will be closed as early as 6 a.m., according to organizers. The race village will be in the parking lots of the Executive Plaza in Hunt Valley, and participants are expected to begin arriving at 6 a.m. for the 8 a.m. race.

Salisbury bicyclist dies in accident

A Salisbury man died Thursday night after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle, according to Maryland State Police. Arthur Ray Cephas, 57, was riding a bike south on Sixty Foot Road just north of U.S. 50 in Pittsville in Wicomico County about 6:55 p.m. when he was struck by a southbound 1994 Nissan Sentra driven by Edwin J. Crumm, 30, of Seaford, Del., according to a news release. Cephas was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, where he was pronounced dead, according to the release. State police are investigating, but no charges have been filed.

Liz F. Kay

Power grid improvements worth $1.8 billion OK'd

PJM Interconnection LLC, operator of the high-voltage electricity grid that stretches from the U.S. mid-Atlantic region to Illinois, said yesterday it approved $1.8 billion of improvements to meet future demand and avert blackouts. Dozens of projects were approved by PJM's board, most with individual cost below $50 million, according to a statement from the Valley Forge, Pa.-based company. Among projects approved were those owned by Constellation Energy Group Inc., American Electric Power Co., Allegheny Energy Inc., Exelon Corp., FirstEnergy Corp., Pepco Holdings Inc., PPL Corp. and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., PJM said. The last major upgrades to the grid were authorized by the board in February, PJM said. The board has approved $11.6 billion of improvements since the process began in 2000, it said.

Bloomberg News

MDE proposes stormwater rules

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