Around The Region


December 08, 2009

2 shops told to stop selling jewelry with excess lead

The Baltimore City Health Department has ordered two city businesses to stop selling children's jewelry found to have levels of lead in excess of what the city allows. The items include a "Gymnastics bracelet," sold at Beauty Zone, 231 N. Eutaw St., and a "Dora" bracelet and earring set sold at Choice Corner Accessories & Fine Gifts, 400 W. Lexington St. Both items were found to have lead levels in excess of 600 parts per million, higher than the city limit. For more information, consumers can go to

- Kelly Brewington

Howard man dies of injuries suffered in crash on icy ramp

A 47-year-old Howard County man died Monday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore of injuries suffered in a traffic collision over the weekend on an icy ramp in Ellicott City, according to police. The weather conditions also led to a minor collision between a Howard County police car and an ambulance responding to the scene of the accident, which happened about 9:15 p.m. Saturday. Police said Nian Chen, 47, of the 3000 block of W. Springs Drive in Ellicott City was driving west on state Route 100 and merging onto U.S. 29 in a 2008 Honda Civic when he lost control of his car on the ramp, spun and crashed into a guardrail. He was standing outside the car when the driver of a 2003 Ford F-350 pickup truck lost control and struck him, according to police. The Ford then traveled down an embankment adjacent to southbound U.S. 29. The driver of the pickup, Nicholas Pullin, 20, of the 6000 block of Belmont Woods Road in Elkridge, was not injured. A police vehicle arriving on the scene slid into the side of an ambulance that was stopped on the bridge. No one was injured in that collision, police said.

- Baltimore Sun staff

Victim of cooking fire in Parkville identified

Baltimore County fire officials have identified a Parkville man who died in a cooking fire Sunday morning. Lewis Arnold Matthaei, 95, was found dead in the kitchen of his apartment in the 8400 block of Nunley Drive in the Ridge Garden Apartments, according to Baltimore County fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost. Investigators ruled that the fire was accidental and began when Matthaei was cooking. Matthaei lived alone.

- Liz F. Kay

Howard schools to furlough 77 staff for three days

In a decision that he said would protect the classroom, Howard County Public Schools Superintendent Sydney L. Cousin announced Monday that he will furlough 77 non-school-based administrative, management and technical staff for three days this month to save money. Cousin first shared the news with affected staff Monday. The furloughs will take place Dec. 29, 30, and 31. The salary reductions, which will save the school system $120,000, will be distributed evenly across remaining pay periods this fiscal year, according to the school system.

- John-John Williams IV

EPA will review claims of leniency on water polluters

Federal officials said Monday that they plan to review claims by a coalition of Maryland environmental groups that the state is going easy on water polluters. Evelyn MacKnight, chief of water pollution discharge permits in the Environmental Protection Agency's mid-Atlantic regional office in Philadelphia, said agency staff just received the 58-page petition from Waterkeepers Chesapeake of Maryland. The Waterkeepers contend that the state Department of the Environment is not doing enough to limit pollution piped into rivers and the Chesapeake Bay from businesses, farms and sewage plants, and is not inspecting or enforcing tightly enough. An MDE spokeswoman called the groups' allegations of lax enforcement "unfounded and baseless."

- Timothy B. Wheeler

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