Around The Region


August 21, 2009

Fire that displaced 30 people in Essex caused by candle

A two-alarm fire late Wednesday in the Hartland Village neighborhood of Essex that extensively damaged at least seven apartment-style town houses and displaced 30 residents was caused by a burning candle, according to a Baltimore County fire spokeswoman. No injuries were reported, but several of the 16 affected homes were deemed uninhabitable because of loss of power. A resident in a second-story bedroom lit a candle, which fell from a nightstand and ignited combustible materials, according to county fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost. The fire, reported at 10:22 p.m. in the first block of Spicewood Court near Hartland Road, quickly spread to adjacent town houses, forcing residents to flee. A second alarm was sounded minutes later, bringing firefighters from several area stations. All those who were home at the time of the fire were able to escape the blaze on their own, Armacost said. County emergency management officials and the Red Cross worked to find shelter for the 21 adults and nine children displaced by the fire, she said, adding that only two of the affected families had renter's insurance.

- Liz F. Kay

Seven finalists named for state Teacher of the Year

State schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick announced the seven finalists for the 2010 Maryland Teacher of the Year Award on Thursday. The finalists, who were selected by a panel of judges from education organizations, will be interviewed Sept. 12, and the winner will be announced Oct. 2. The finalists are Nicholas Greer of Polytechnic Institute in Baltimore; Kimberly Feldman of Oakland Mills High in Howard County; Kimberly Schmidt of Havre de Grace High in Harford County; Leonard Mueller of North Dorchester Middle in Dorchester County; Jennifer Rankin of Northern Middle in Garrett County; Heather McHenry of Crisfield Academy in Somerset County; and Alison Giska of Snow Hill High in Worcester County.

Eight injured in crash on Hampstead bypass

Eight people were injured Thursday afternoon in a two-vehicle accident on the newly opened Hampstead bypass in Carroll County, according to Maryland State Police. The accident happened about 3 p.m. on Route 30 just north of the Wolf Hill roundabout. Witnesses told police that a Chevrolet Camaro pulled to the shoulder and made a U-turn into the path of a minivan. Jocelyn Stambaugh, 44, of New Oxford, Pa., the diver of the Camaro, and passenger Glen A. Toney, 43, of Biglerville, Pa., were flown by helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Both were discharged last night. Six people in the minivan were taken to Carroll Hospital Center. Those injured in the 2005 Pontiac minivan were driver Diane A. Wilson, 33, of Hampstead and her two young children, along with Annemarie A. Napier, 37, of Manchester and her two teenage children.

- Brent Jones

Port to get $3.5 million for clean-air devices

The port of Baltimore is getting $3.5 million in federal stimulus money to replace port equipment or install clean-diesel technology such as exhaust controls and idling devices in them, the Environmental Protection Agency said yesterday. The move is expected to cut diesel emissions by up to 90 percent. The money will pay for changes to 142 pieces of equipment, including tugboats, locomotives, trucks and cargo handling equipment.

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