Girl, 13, hospitalized with H1N1 flu, double pneumonia
A 13-year-old Baltimore girl is in intensive care at the University of Maryland Medical Center with the H1N1 virus, according to her aunt. The Baltimore school district issued a statement Thursday that said a student at Montebello Elementary/Middle School in Northeast Baltimore has a confirmed case of the H1N1 flu. Destinee Parker, who is in the eighth grade, became ill in school Monday and was taken by her parents to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with double pneumonia, according to the aunt, Ernestine Parker. She was transferred to UM, where she has been on a ventilator and in critical condition, Parker said. Late Thursday, she said the girl appeared to be getting stronger. Since the beginning of June, the state health department has reported seven deaths and 117 hospitalizations stemming from the virus. "There are children who have been hospitalized across the state - that is to be expected," said David Paulson, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The school system statement said the building will be thoroughly cleaned according to health department procedures. City schools have a previously scheduled day off today.
- Liz Bowie and Kelly Brewington
Obama picks Marylander for Social Security post
President Barack Obama has chosen Carolyn W. Colvin of Maryland to be deputy commissioner of Social Security, the White House announced Thursday. Currently special assistant to Maryland's transportation secretary, Colvin was Montgomery County Health and Human Services director until her dismissal by newly elected county executive Ike Leggett in November 2006. She previously served as a deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration and is a member of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.
- Paul West
Marley area of Glen Burnie to get new fire station
The Marley area of Glen Burnie will get a new fire station, paid for in part by a $1.9 million grant through the federal Department of Homeland Security, Anne Arundel County officials said Thursday. They said the funds, which match the county's share, will help replace the Marley station. That fire station, which was built in 1943 and repeatedly expanded to accommodate needs of the growing area, has heavy termite damage. The new County 18 station will stand on Route 648. Officials expect that will improve response time because trucks will have easier access to main roads than the current site in a residential area. The station's emergency workers respond to 6,800 calls a year.
- Andrea F. Siegel
Bel Air day care center fire caused by faulty light fixture
A faulty ceiling fan light fixture caused the fire that damaged a children's day care center Sept. 3 in Bel Air, according to state fire marshals. The fire started in the bathroom of an unused room at the Celebree Learning Center in the 1200 block of Agora Drive. Staff members evacuated the building, and none of the 55 children inside at the time was injured. The blaze caused an estimated $175,000 in damage to the one-story building and its contents, fire marshals said.
- Liz F. Kay
Professor gets grant to study dementia among seniors
Elizabeth Galik, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, has received a $350,000 grant for research on improving the physical activity and quality of life for seniors with dementia. Galik was one of 15 nursing scholars nationwide to receive a three-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She will study residents of four Maryland assisted-living facilities to see if they are granted enough independence to take care of themselves. Galik believes that patients move too quickly from assisted living to nursing homes in part because they're not given enough responsibility for their own care.
City reviewing development stimulus funds applications
Baltimore development officials are reviewing 19 proposals for development projects that might qualify for some of the more than $30 million in federal stimulus funds allocated to the city. Baltimore Development Corp. President M.J. "Jay" Brodie said Thursday the city received the proposals in response to a request issued last month and that the BDC expects to make recommendations within several months. Brodie said he could not discuss the specific projects. The city is doling out $30.8 million in recovery zone bonds made available through the federal stimulus legislation for new construction, expansion or rehabilitation of commercial projects, some of which may have stalled amid the recession.