Around The Region

AROUND THE REGION

November 04, 2008

Police accept contract with 3 percent pay raise

The Baltimore police union voted last week to accept a contract proposal from the city that includes a 3 percent salary increase this year but likely spells the end of a popular patrol schedule. In a memo to members, Fraternal Order of Police President Robert Cherry called the agreement "far from what our members deserve" and said the union was turning its attention to implementing a new patrol work schedule. The city's Northeast District has been piloting a four-day, 10-hour work shift that the union has advocated be spread citywide, though Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III has been lukewarm to the idea. Cherry wrote that expansion of the plan is "all but dead" and that officials will work toward a "cost-neutral" alternative. "The men and women of this Police Department have done their part in answering the police commissioner's call to reduce crime. It is now time for the police commissioner to reward" them, he said.

Justin Fenton

Spokesman for City Hall and city police to resign

One of the most frequently quoted people in Baltimore City government said yesterday that he is leaving his twin jobs as spokesman for the Police Department and the mayor's office to move to San Francisco, grow a beard and live with his wife, an officer in the Coast Guard who was transferred there in June. Sterling Clifford will leave in two weeks. No successors have been announced. "For the last 20 months I got to be part of the start of some pretty amazing things, and it is pretty bittersweet that I'm not going to be able to see them all the way through," Clifford said. "But I am looking forward to living in the same state as my wife." Before working in the city, Clifford worked for Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. He took a job in Mayor Sheila Dixon's communications office in February 2007 and became the Police Department spokesman in July 2007 when Frederick H. Bealefeld III got the top police job. In November 2007, Clifford took on the role as City Hall spokesman, too.

Annie Linskey

Man fatally shot in an alley near Hopkins Hospital

A 25-year-old West Baltimore man died early Sunday at Johns Hopkins Hospital after being shot in an alley near the hospital moments earlier, police said. No arrest had been made. The victim, Anthony Rainey of the 600 block of W. Lafayette Ave. in the Upton community, and a male friend had just left the Iguana Cantina on Market Place about 2 a.m. Sunday and were driving on North Caroline Street when Rainey asked his friend to stop so he could relieve himself in an alley, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman. The friend told police that while he waited for Rainey, he heard three or four shots coming from the alley. Rainey appeared moments later and told his companion he had been shot, police said. Moses said the friend was driving Rainey toward the hospital when he flagged down a police officer. Rainey was taken by ambulance to Hopkins, where he died about five hours later, Moses said. No arrest had been made.

Richard Irwin

Retired naval officer indicted on 7 fraud counts

WASHINGTON: A Navy commander from Anne Arundel County has been indicted on charges that he defrauded a fund that provides money to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The U.S. attorney's office in Washington says now-retired Navy Cmdr. Charles Coughlin of Severna Park was arraigned yesterday. A federal grand jury has indicted him on seven counts, including mail fraud. Coughlin is accused of falsely claiming that he suffered "a partial permanent disability" after being injured when a plane crashed into the Pentagon, where he was stationed. Prosecutors say Coughlin received more than $330,000 from the Victim Compensation Fund after claiming injuries so severe that he could no longer perform simple tasks. His wife, Sabrina Coughlin, faces one count of theft of government property. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Associated Press

CASA of Balto. Co. to hold fundraiser

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Baltimore County will hold a fundraiser, a Harvest of Hope for Children, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday in the Vista Room at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. Tickets are $65 in advance and $70 at the door. Information: 410-828-0515.

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