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BUSINESS
By Gus G. Sentementes and Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF | July 4, 2001
Union officials helping to organize janitors in Baltimore said yesterday that negotiations with several commercial cleaning companies will begin this month. But they did not rule out more strikes and civil disobedience if agreements aren't reached. Six commercial cleaning companies have agreed to negotiate with the union, which is seeking better wages and health benefits for part-time and full-time workers. While about 100 workers returned to work at the six companies after strikes began 22 days ago, about 25 workers continued striking at two companies that have not agreed to negotiate - Metropolitan Maintenance and Broadway Services, union officials said.
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NEWS
By Neal Thompson and Neal Thompson,SUN STAFF | May 24, 2000
Standing tall above the crowded and growing field of Baltimore-area cleaning contractors, with more janitors cleaning more offices, is the for-profit affiliate of the nonprofit Johns Hopkins empire. As a result, Broadway Services Inc. finds itself the target of students and labor organizers fighting to boost wages for Baltimore's janitors, many of whom are paid minimum wage and are among the city's lowest-paid wage earners. Yesterday, organizers took their plea to the City Council, which is considering a bill that would require more employers with city government contracts to pay their janitors a "living wage."
NEWS
By Neal Thompson and Neal Thompson,SUN STAFF | May 23, 2000
The days of Denzella Chapman's life churn like this: take pre-dawn bus downtown; clean Peabody Institute until 2:30 p.m.; ride bus back home for short break; catch downtown subway an hour later; clean Charles Center until 9 p.m.; take subway back home; collapse. Her reward: about $18,000 a year and bunions, which she had surgically removed this month. "I think it's from being on my feet so much," said Chapman, 56. "I'd rather have one job and not have to work two jobs." Despite economic good times, low unemployment and rising wages in other industries, Chapman and her colleagues linger on the bottom tier of the job market.
NEWS
By Caitlin Francke and Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF | September 25, 1998
Albert Sims, accused of gunning down a neighborhood boy this summer in East Baltimore, entered an insanity plea yesterday during a court hearing in which he alternately shouted and wept.Dressed in camouflage pants, the 77-year-old janitor had to be helped to his feet by his attorney to enter the not-guilty plea before Baltimore Circuit Judge Carol E. Smith. Sims is accused of shooting the boy after someone hurled a rock at his new car.Sims' attorney, Mitchell A. Greenberg, said his client is not competent to stand trial on first-degree murder and handgun charges.
NEWS
July 14, 1998
A group of youths sneaked into Wilde Lake High School on Sunday and set off fire extinguishers before one of the youths pulled a knife on a janitor, police said.Police said the youths entered the school about 5: 30 p.m. through an unlocked door and were confronted by the janitor.One pulled a knife and another threw a bike on the janitor's car before the youths fled, police said.Pub Date: 7/14/98
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Dennis O'Brien and Peter Hermann and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | July 8, 1998
A 77-year-old janitor accused of fatally shooting a teen-ager in a crime that has resparked a debate about children and harassment of the elderly sat silent yesterday as a Baltimore District Court judge ordered him jailed until his trial.The no-bail order came hours after police had reattached the door to the suspect's two-story rowhouse and investigated a broken window on his 1984 Cadillac DeVille -- vandalism that occurred in the wake of his arrest.Albert Sims, wearing a standard prison-issue bright yellow jumpsuit, appeared fatigued during the five-minute hearing, held via a video hook-up between the courtroom and the Central Booking and Intake Center, where he is being held.
NEWS
By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,SUN STAFF | May 22, 1998
When Donzella Curtis accepted her associate's degree in counseling at Merriweather Post Pavilion yesterday, she was the first Howard Community College alumna to graduate without having read a textbook, homework assignment or exam.Diagnosed with dyslexia so severe that she has to ask strangers in stores to read greeting cards to her, Curtis once dismissed her dreams of college and went to work as a janitor. Even then, her inability to read stymied her career.But thanks to a new computer that converts books, mail -- anything written -- into speech, the 33-year-old Columbia resident has accumulated a 3.52 grade point average, without a C, and graduated with honors with 365 fellow graduates.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | May 20, 1998
A custodian at a Baltimore elementary school is accused of shooting at a co-worker during an argument about work while school was in session yesterday, police said.The bullet struck the floor of a "slop room" at Mount Royal Elementary School and did not injure anyone, police said. They said the "slop room" is in a second-floor alcove of the school and is not near classrooms.Police said the custodian charged in the shooting, Anthony J. Hopkins, 41, had been arrested 10 times and convicted twice since he was hired by the Baltimore school system in 1981.
NEWS
By Joan Jacobson and Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF | April 1, 1998
A 45-year-old former janitor at Parkville Middle School pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree rape for his sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, a former student at the school where the two were discovered by police last March in the pre-dawn hours.Richard Gray, who was head custodian at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to the one rape charge after Assistant State's Attorney John Cox agreed to drop 11 other charges of attempted rape, assault and burglary.Gray's arrest last year -- when a police dog found the girl hiding under a blanket in his custodian's office at 3 a.m. -- caused embarrassment and guilt for education officials and teachers at the northeast Baltimore County school.
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