Around The Region


March 26, 2009

City faces federal suit over group homes

The U.S. Department of Justice says it will file a civil rights suit against Baltimore in early April, claiming the City Council approval process for starting group homes is discriminatory, according to a letter sent to the city Wednesday. Federal attorneys have, for years, been threatening such a lawsuit. But they were supportive of legislation introduced by Mayor Sheila Dixon that removed provisions allowing the Cty Council to veto those facilities. Late last year, City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake withdrew her support from that measure, saying neighborhoods needed stronger protections. She and others worry that drug treatment facilities would be clustered in neighborhoods with large amounts of inexpensive housing.

Annie Linskey

Sentencing in death of toddler rescheduled

A couple convicted last month of beating and starving their young son will be sentenced April 23 and not this Friday, as had been scheduled. The change was announced Wednesday by the Baltimore County state's attorney's office. John J. Griffin and Susan J. Griffin, both 39, were found guilty Feb. 25 in Baltimore County Circuit Court of second-degree murder and first-degree child abuse in the 2007 death of the 2-year-old boy, Andrew Patrick Griffin. Each of the charges calls for a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Their five surviving children are in foster care.


10th guilty plea in scheme at UMBC

A 10th person involved in a corruption scheme in the construction department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County has pleaded guilty, according to the state attorney general's office. William Frank Woolford, 54, of Pasadena pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court to conspiracy to commit theft, the attorney general's office announced. Woolford, president of TFC Automation Inc. of Baltimore, admitted sending intentionally inflated invoices to UMBC's former director of construction services, George Alinsod, from 2001 to 2002. Alinsod then authorized the university to issue payments, the office said. The extra money was used for purchases for Alinsod and Woolford and to finance a golf trip to Ireland, officials said. UMBC initiated the investigation in partnership with the attorney general's office immediately after discovering discrepancies and problems in its own routine auditing. Woolford is to be sentenced May 19.


Body near UMBC an apparent suicide

The body of a man was found Wednesday morning near the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus in Arbutus, the apparent victim of a self-inflicted gunshot, officials said. Baltimore County and campus police responded to a 911 call at 9:53 a.m. about a body in the woods at Westland Boulevard and Linden Avenue. A firearm was recovered, said UMBC Police Chief Tony Williams, and Baltimore County police said they were investigating the death as a suicide.


Pit bull mauls man, wife, son

A pit bull ran into an Edgewater home Tuesday and mauled a couple and their teenage son before being fatally shot by an officer, Anne Arundel County police said. The dog's owner, Karim Abdalla, was given civil citations, accused of having an animal that poses a threat to public safety and allowing an animal to run free, police said.

Julie Scharper

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