Around The Region


August 17, 2009

Reward offered in Howard County escape

Authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Devin Champagne, a convicted felon who escaped custody Thursday night as he was being transported from Howard County Circuit Court to the county detention center. Champagne, 20, is accused of the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer for allegedly using his handcuffs to choke a sheriff's deputy during the escape. He had been convicted Thursday of felony theft. He ran into the woods, police said. A 64-year-old sheriff's deputy, a former Baltimore police officer, suffered cuts to his neck and a possible eye injury in the attack, police said.

- Julie Bykowicz

Westminster team places 3rd in environment competition

A team of six students from Westminster High School has placed third in a national environment competition and received $15,000 in scholarship money. Senior Eric Spioch, juniors Eric Kazyak and Leland Baldwin VII, and sophomores Rebecca Baldwin, Reed Portney and Kelly Habicht participated in the 2009 Canon Envirothon competition. The students had to analyze the long-term and short-term impacts of the environment and human activities on genes, animals and ecosystems.

- Sarah Fisher

Boating accident leaves operator in critical condition

A Saturday night boating accident on Cox's Creek in Queen Anne's County left the operator in critical condition and three passengers hospitalized, according to Natural Resources Police. A 30-foot Donzi powerboat ran aground about 10:30 p.m., and police believe alcohol was a factor. Jeff M. Souder of Chester was in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center Sunday night, police said. Two passengers, Traci Lavin, 42, of Stevensville, and Carrie Wilson, 31, of Chester, were taken to Anne Arundel County Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A third passenger, Paul Armin, was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital.

- Julie Bykowicz

OC wants more compliance with CO detector law

Ocean City officials say they're looking to tweak the law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in hotels to better ensure compliance. Three people were hospitalized and many others were sickened after a CO leak last week at the seven-story Americana Hotel. The hotel did not have CO detectors. The 2007 law applies to hotels, condominiums and other multiunit dwellings.

- Associated Press

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