In The Region

July 11, 2009

Manhole cover blown after small underground fire

Fire officials say a manhole cover blew off a downtown Baltimore street Friday when a small electrical fire broke out underground. There were no injuries. It happened about 8:25 p.m. at Saratoga and Eutaw streets. Fire Department spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright said fire crews arrived to find one manhole blown off. Light smoke was coming from the manhole. Cartwright said crews from Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. determined that a small fire had occurred, but it went out by itself. The air was being monitored, and the intersection was reopened.

- Associated Press

Trial in deaths of two girls set for November

ROCKVILLE - The murder trial for a mother accused of killing her two adopted daughters and storing their bodies in her freezer has been scheduled for November in Montgomery County. Renee Bowman, 44, was indicted last month on murder and child abuse charges in the deaths of her two daughters and abuse of her surviving daughter. Bowman also faces charges in Calvert County in the abuse of the surviving girl. Prosecutors said Friday that her trial is set to begin Nov. 9 in Montgomery County Circuit Court. State's Attorney John McCarthy and Deputy State's Attorney John Maloney will prosecute the case. Bowman's Calvert County trial is scheduled for Sept. 28. Bowman is accused of killing the two girls in Montgomery before moving to Calvert County.

- Associated Press

Arrest report says Barry's driving was erratic

WASHINGTON - A U.S. Park Police report says former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was driving erratically on the wrong side of the road when he was pulled over on July 4. The report, obtained by WTOP Radio, says the unnamed Park Police officer pulled Barry over. The report says Barry's former girlfriend, Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, was shouting out of her car window to get the officer's attention. According to the report, Watts-Brighthaupt shouted that Barry was harassing her. Barry was arrested on a stalking charge, but charges were dropped this week. Meanwhile, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray says there will be an independent review of a contract between Barry and his ex-girlfriend. Gray said Friday that Robert Bennett, a former federal prosecutor, has been appointed to lead the probe on a pro bono basis. He said Bennett will review whether Barry complied with city laws and council rules in awarding a contract to Watts-Brighthaupt while the two were in a relationship. Barry says he believes the probe will show that he did not violate any laws.

- Associated Press

Warning issued for Lower Magothy Beach swimmers

Anne Arundel County health officials are warning swimmers to stay out of the water at Lower Magothy Beach near Cattail Creek. Officials said high bacteria levels found in water samples pose a threat to swimmers or others who come in contact with the water. Advisory signs have been posted on the beach. Anyone who has come in contact with the water should immediately wash well with soap and warm water and wash their clothing. Tests are conducted every month at Lower Magothy Beach and another test is planned Monday.

- Associated Press

Westminster man shot by Taneytown officer charged

Maryland State Police have charged a Westminster man troopers say tried to run down a Taneytown officer and woman he was helping before the officer shot the man. Police charged 37-year-old Gary Wolfe on Friday with assault at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He is being treated there for a gunshot wound to his arm. Detectives say Wolfe was accelerating at Cpl. Brian Jestes on Wednesday night, who had gotten out of his cruiser to help a woman lying in a roadway. Jestes shot at the man's windshield and the car rolled to a stop. Jestes approached Wolfe's car and saw that he'd been shot, and Wolfe was taken to the hospital. Wolfe is under police guard at the hospital. A court commissioner ordered him held without bond.

- Associated Press

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