Around The Region

December 29, 2009

Police identify victim of carbon monoxide

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Baltimore County police have identified a Fullerton woman who died Saturday while being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Pandora Spriggs, 44, was one of four people who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning Dec. 18 at the Eagles Crest apartment complex in Fullerton. Spriggs, another woman, a man and an 11-month-old girl were hospitalized after the carbon monoxide leak at 7508 Twincrest Court. Spriggs was later taken to a hyperbaric chamber at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Investigators have not determined the cause of the leak. The Baltimore County Council last week passed a law that requires all rental units heated by fuel-burning equipment to have carbon monoxide detectors. No such detectors were found in the Eagles Crest apartment, a fire spokesman said at the time of the incident.

- Liz F. Kay and the Associated Press

Ex-Calvert delegate Owings appears near run for governor

George W. Owings III, a former state delegate and Calvert County Democrat, appears to be little more than a week away from announcing his run for governor. He said Monday that he'll "make it official" at a morning news conference Jan. 6 on the courthouse steps in Prince Frederick. The former majority whip, who served as secretary of veterans affairs under Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., has been a sharp critic of Gov. Martin O'Malley's fiscal policies. He disagreed with O'Malley's decision to raise the sales tax during a 2007 special session and took issue with the governor's personal lobbying to repeal the death penalty this year. Owings, 64, has been contemplating a primary challenge since at least May, when he told The Baltimore Sun that he sees "a lot of good, solid, working-class Democrats with serious concerns about the direction we are taking."

- Julie Bykowicz

Talks continue between state, Magna over the Preakness

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State officials and Magna Entertainment Corp. are continuing discussions about the future of the Preakness, the Maryland horse-racing event that's the middle leg of the Triple Crown, as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings. Magna is auctioning the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park horse tracks as well as the Preakness, and the state has the right to match any bid for the race to ensure it remains in Maryland. Monday marked a deadline with regard to the state's "right of first refusal," but Gov. Martin O'Malley's spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said officials are not prepared to waive that right and that talks continue to ensure there are "adequate protections" for the Preakness. A hearing is scheduled next week.

- Laura Smitherman

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