Around The Region

AROUND THE REGION

November 20, 2008

Teen accused in killing praised by social worker

A 16-year-old from Glen Burnie who is accused of killing a man with a baseball bat has excelled at the Cheltenham Youth Facility, where he has received high grades and awards for good behavior, a social worker testified yesterday at a hearing to determine whether the teenager should be tried as an adult. "His teachers can't say enough about him," Jennifer Beard, a social worker at the Department of Juvenile Services, said of Christian J. Schellenschlager Jr., who is charged as a juvenile with second-degree murder in the death of Brian Michael Myers, 49. Since moving into the facility in June, the teenager has won student-of-the-week awards and has been selected for a GED preparatory program, said Beard, who believes he should be treated in the juvenile system. According to court testimony, Schellenschlager, then a sophomore at Glen Burnie High School, was with friends April 29 when the victim, who was intoxicated and brandishing a bottle, directed a racial slur at one of the boys. Schellenschlager struck Myers once on the head with the bat, police said. The 49-year-old was taken to a hospital and died two weeks later. The hearing is set to continue Dec. 17.

Rona Marech

Harford council authorizes youth commission

Harford County will create a 21-member commission to focus on youth issues as a result of a County Council decision this week. The council voted unanimously Tuesday night to establish a volunteer panel that will include officials, representatives from law enforcement and the courts, and organizations that serve youth. Six teenage appointees, one from each of the county's council districts, will also serve. The commission will advise officials on youth issues, help plan and implement youth activities and promote cooperation among child-oriented groups throughout the county. The panel will seek government and private grants to help fund many of its activities. Councilman Dion Guthrie, whose district includes Edgewood, an area grappling with gang violence, urged the commission to focus on 13- to 16-year-olds. County Executive David R. Craig said the commission "is vital to our success in providing resources and smart choices for today's youth." Harford Sheriff L. Jesse Bane, who will serve on the commission, said members will work to steer youth away from drugs, violence and gangs.

Mary Gail Hare

Belair-Edison house fire under investigation

Police and the city Fire Department are investigating the cause of a fire at a two-story rowhouse in Belair-Edison yesterday evening that caused extensive damage, authorities said. One elderly resident suffered chest pains and was treated at a hospital, said Chief Kevin Cartwright, a Fire Department spokesman. Shortly before 6 p.m., authorities said, a female resident of a house in the 2300 block of Belair Road called 911 and reported that someone had just thrown something into the front of her home and that her house was on fire. Fire officials said the woman, whose name was not released, left the house and was standing in the backyard moments before firefighters arrived. Authorities said there was no evidence of a firebombing, and the blaze was brought under control in about 30 minutes.

Richard Irwin

Park study endorses Tubman national site

The National Park Service has endorsed the creation of a national park in Maryland and New York commemorating the life of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad she helped operate to guide slaves to freedom. A park service study released yesterday concluded that Maryland sites in Dorchester, Caroline and Talbot counties, near where Tubman was born and raised, "meet the national significance, suitability and feasibility" for inclusion in the national park system. The same determination was made for her home in Auburn, N.Y. The study is a critical step toward establishing a park. The park would include about 2,200 acres in Caroline County that make up the Poplar Neck plantation from which Tubman escaped in 1849, as well as 725 acres along the Choptank River in Talbot County, according to Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin, who have sponsored legislation to create the park. Officials said $11 million in federal money could be matched with state, local and private funds for a Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad visitor center in Maryland, to be staffed by up to seven full-time employees. Under the plan endorsed by the park service, land would remain privately owned.

NAACP donates $1,000 to drug recovery program

The Baltimore branch of the NAACP gave $1,000 yesterday to the struggling I Can't We Can drug-addiction recovery program. Last week, Anthony McCarthy, chief administrator of I Can't We Can, began a hunger strike, vowing not to eat until the group received $50,000 in new donations.

Julie Bykowicz

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