Around The Region

November 21, 2009

Siblings get eight years in homebuilding scheme

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Two business partners who misused money intended for building new homes in Baltimore County were sentenced Friday to eight years in prison, with five of those years suspended, the state attorney general's office said. Walter Osborne Ely Jr., 46, and sister Kimberly Zahrey, 44, were also ordered to pay $188,768 to 19 victims after they get out. The state is pursuing a separate civil case against the siblings to try to get more money back. The state said the two, operating as JAE Developers, took payments as large as $50,000 from clients and spent the money on expenses with no connection to the buyers' homes.

- Jamie Smith Hopkins

Advertising.com workers offered buyout by AOL

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Workers at Advertising.com in Baltimore will be eligible to participate in a voluntary buyout program that its parent company, AOL LLC, is planning next month as part of a larger effort to cut one-third of its work force, or 2,500 positions. Advertising.com, which is AOL's online advertising network, employs about 400 people at the Tide Point office complex in South Baltimore. Time Warner Inc. is spinning off AOL, a one-time Internet giant, on Dec. 9, and the company will be accepting volunteers to leave between Dec. 4 and 11. AOL, which is based in New York City, has said that if it does not get enough volunteers, it will resort to involuntary layoffs.

- Gus G. Sentementes

Marijuana seized from family home of city police sergeant

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The 21-year-old son of a Baltimore police sergeant was arrested Thursday night after officers raided the family's rowhouse in the 1000 block of N. Luzerne Ave. and found a half-pound of marijuana, the department's chief spokesman said. The sergeant, who was not identified but is assigned to the Northern District, has been placed on desk duty. Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said an internal investigation is being conducted to determine whether the officer knew about the drugs and whether drugs were being dealt from the house. Guglielmi said the suspect, identified as Jonathan Dixon, lived in the basement and that police found the drugs in a nightstand next to his bed. He said police also seized $500.

- Peter Hermann

Pedestrian killed by car on Ritchie Highway

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A man believed to be in his 40s was struck by a car and killed Friday evening while crossing Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie. The man was hit about 5:45 p.m. near Ritchie Highway and Sixth Avenue, according to Sgt. Michael Haviland of the Anne Arundel County police. The man was taken by ambulance to Baltimore Washington Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Police did not immediately release his identity or that of the driver. The accident was under investigation, police said.

- Frank D. Roylance

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