Around The Region

AROUND THE REGION

August 10, 2009

Cool, wet summer promotes fungus growth

Maryland agriculture officials say the cool, wet summer is leaving the state's grain crops vulnerable to fungus damage. Agriculture Department spokeswoman Sue DuPont says farmers noticed a problem with the crops about a month ago. The University of Maryland agriculture extension office says the state chemist's office has been distributing test kits to farmers across Maryland. Testing has found increased levels of a fungus known as vomitoxin across the state with the bulk reported in Southern Maryland. State officials say the fungus can hurt the price grain farmers receive for their crops, or in some cases make them useful only for animal feed or as seed for next year's crop.

- Associated Press

Shore pediatrician dies of injuries from car wreck

Family members say Dr. Jose Alvarado, the chief of pediatrics at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, has died of injuries suffered in a car accident last week. State police say Alvarado's sports car slammed into the rear of a disabled tractor-trailer on U.S. 50 near Pittsville on Wednesday afternoon. Alvarado's family issued a statement saying he died Saturday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was taken after the accident. Alvarado had been a doctor in Salisbury since 1988 and has served as a pediatrician for thousands of Lower Shore families. The family says a mass in celebration of Alvarado's life will be held Wednesday at St. Francis de Sales Catholic church.

- Associated Press

Strike a match this week at Hagerstown convention

If you're looking to meet your match, you could get lucky among the international matchbook cover collectors gathering this week for an annual convention in Hagerstown. The Rathkamp Matchcover Society says nearly 300 collectors from the United States, Canada, England and Australia are expected at the event, which runs Monday through Saturday. The society, named for a Rhode Island collector who died in 1940, claims to be the world's oldest and largest organization focusing on matchbook covers. Matchbook collectors are known as phillumenists, which means "lovers of light."

- Associated Press

Dead inmate's family members plan lawsuit

The family of a Sabillasville man who hanged himself in a holding cell at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center plans to sue. Attorney Richard Bricken says notices were sent last week to Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, the Board of County Commissioners and county attorney John Mathias. The notice states Justin Lihvarchik died as a result of the negligence of the "agents, servants and employees of Frederick County." The civil claim will be filed on behalf of Lihvarchik's parents, Nancy Fether and Francis Lihvarchik, and the 26-year-old's son, Christian. Jenkins has previously said two county correctional officers face disciplinary action.

- Associated Press

Md. man faces charges for making fake 911 calls

Frederick police say a Brunswick man is facing charges that he made fake 911 calls. Bryan Paul Blanchard, 20, was charged after officers staked out a pay phone from which several of the calls were made. Police say Blanchard admitted making the calls after his car was pulled over early Thursday after a 911 call was received from the pay phone he was recently seen using.

- Associated Press

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