Around The Region

April 10, 2009

Fox rabid; dog's owner sought

A rabid fox was found dead near where a dog was attacked by a fox in a northern Harford County park last weekend, and officials are attempting to find the dog's owner. Harford County Health Department officials said an unidentified man was walking a dog near the boardwalk in Eden Mill Park in Pylesville on Sunday when a fox attacked the dog. Officials later found a dead fox nearby that tested positive for the rabies virus. It was the first recorded case of rabies in a fox in Harford County in a year, according to Bill Wiseman, a Health Department spokesman. "We're urgently looking for the dog's owner because, on the slight chance that the fox's saliva contacted an open wound on the owner or contacted his eyes, nose or mouth within a couple of hours of the attack, he might have contracted the virus," Wiseman said. "And if the rabies virus goes untreated, it is lethal." Officials learned of the attack when the dog's owner mentioned it to a park employee Sunday, but the man did not give his name or describe the dog.

JONATHAN PITTS

UM president keeps commencement prayer

The University of Maryland, College Park will retain its tradition of offering a prayer before its commencement exercises, university President C.D. Mote Jr. said Thursday. His decision to maintain the two-minute prayer and moment of silence runs counter to a recommendation this week from the University Senate, which voted 32-14 to stop it. The Senate is composed of students, faculty and staff, and advises Mote on major issues. Senators had said the prayer was noninclusive and not appropriate for a public institution. But in a statement, Mote said, "For many people, a prayer of gratitude and a moment of reflection are an important part of our commencement tradition." A prayer has been a long-standing part of the university's graduation; a moment of silence was added in 2007.

STEPHEN KIEHL

Two men sought in Edgewood stabbing

Harford County sheriff's deputies said Thursday that they are looking for two men in the stabbing of a 20-year-old man Wednesday night in Edgewood. Brian Johnson was stabbed about 11 p.m. outside his home in the 1800 block of Eastfields Way, police said. He was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was treated for multiple stab wounds to the upper torso and was listed in stable condition, police said. The motive for the stabbing was not known, they said.

JONATHAN PITTS

Man charged, second sought in store holdup

One man was arrested and another was being sought in the armed robbery Wednesday night of a Northwest Baltimore convenience store, a crime that was witnessed by two city officers, a police spokesman said. Shortly after 11 p.m., Officers James Vega and Pablo Diaz, both of the Northwest District, were approaching a 7-Eleven in the 5500 block of Park Heights Ave. in their patrol car when they saw a store clerk standing behind the counter with his hands above his head, said Agent Donny Moses, the spokesman. Seconds later, two men quickly left the store, one carrying an undisclosed quantity of cigarettes and money, the other a handgun. Backup units were dispatched, and during a foot chase an armed man was caught in the nearby 5600 block of Narcissus Ave., Moses said. A handgun believed used in the robbery was not recovered, Moses said. Christopher Kemp, 18, of the 3900 block of Yolando Road, in the city's Ednor Gardens-Lakeside neighborhood, was arrested and charged with armed robbery and related offenses. He was held at Central Booking and Intake Center. A second man was being sought.

Richard Irwin

Man admits stealing child-support checks

A 44-year-old Finksburg man pleaded guilty Thursday to felony theft after stealing child-support checks in Baltimore County for about seven years, according to the Maryland attorney general's office. Keith Hibbs was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Robert Cahill and ordered to pay more than $49,000 in restitution. Prosecutors said Hibbs worked as a specialist with the Baltimore County Child Support Enforcement Administration. From October 1998 to February 2005, Hibbs used department computers to change the names on 112 child-support checks so that the money would be made payable to his wife, according to the plea. Hibbs then signed his wife's name and deposited the checks in his account, prosecutors said.

Brent Jones

2 brothers are indicted on fraud charges

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