Around The Region

AROUND THE REGION

December 24, 2009

Officials urge residents to clear roofs, drains

Public works officials in the region are urging residents to remove snow from flat roofs and make sure storm drains are clear of debris. The warnings were issued in advance of possible heavy rain predicted for later this week. Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold told residents that accumulated snow and heavy rain could cause roofs to collapse. Baltimore Public Works Director David Scott asked residents to clear storm drains in their neighborhoods to prevent flooding in streets and basements.

- Associated Press

Archbishop to say Mass at church damaged by fire

Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien will celebrate the 11:15 a.m. Mass on Sunday at Holy Spirit Church in Joppatowne, where a fire destroyed the parish center last week. Several elderly women were at the parish center for a holiday meal when the fire started shortly before noon Dec. 16, but no injuries were reported. Damages were estimated at $3.5 million. O'Brien and other area clergy visited the scene to offer support. The parish of 570 families was formed in 1963.

- Matthew Hay Brown

Bishop with Baltimore ties suffers stroke in Florida

Bishop John H. Ricard, who served 13 years in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, is alert and resting comfortably after suffering a stroke Tuesday, according to the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. The 69-year-old bishop was upgraded from critical to serious condition at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, where he was admitted with symptoms of a stroke, according to the diocese. A CT scan confirmed the stroke. Ricard was a popular auxilliary bishop in Baltimore from 1984 until 1997, when he was named by Pope John Paul II to head the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese. The Baton Rouge, La., native was ordained a Josephite father in 1968.

- Matthew Hay Brown

2nd Ohio man pleads guilty in Md. sex-trafficking case

Federal prosecutors say a second Ohio man has pleaded guilty in connection with a sex trafficking business operated from a Maryland apartment. Twenty-one-year-old Robert Harris of Chillicothe, Ohio, entered the guilty plea Wednesday. He will be sentenced Feb. 16. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison for sex trafficking by force. According to his plea, Harris and conspirators ran the prostitution business from an apartment in Millersville. Harris transported at least one girl from Ohio to Maryland to engage in prostitution. He advertised the services on social networking sites, including Craigslist. Twenty-two-year-old Richard Johnson, also of Chillicothe, pleaded guilty in the case earlier this month. He will be sentenced Feb. 12

- Associated Press

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