Schmoke backs off on tax rise
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has backed away from his idea of increasing the city's "piggyback" income tax, which he earlier said might be needed for a budget increase sought by the Enoch Pratt Free Library.
The mayor said yesterday it is "unlikely" now that he would propose a higher income tax rate, according to administration spokesman Clinton R. Coleman.
Library Director Anna A. Curry had warned that without a 12 percent increase in its budget next year to assure an acceptable level of service, two branches shut for renovations -- Patterson and Govans -- would have to remain closed. There would be no librarians to staff them.
However, Mr. Coleman said that money provided by the General Assembly proved sufficient and that the library branches would not have to remain closed.
The city has budgeted $32,000 for a Police Department promotions examination, and more than half of the money will be used to bring in out-of-state police officers to interview the candidates.
Robert G. Wendland, deputy personnel director for the Civil Service Commission, said about $17,000 would be spent to pay for transportation, hotel and meal expenses for the out-of-state officers. It will cost the civil service another $15,000 in salary expenses to put together the examination for 110 candidates who are seeking promotions to lieutenant, he added.
The written examination is scheduled for August and the candidates are to be interviewed by the out-of-town officers in October. Mr. Wendland said the interviews will weigh heavily on the candidates' overall test scores.
Consequently, officers from outside the area will be used as interviewers to ensure that the candidates are judged objectively, Mr. Wendland said.
A city grand jury has indicted a Baltimore man charged with raping and kidnapping a medical student last month.
Calvin Mayo III, 28, was indicted yesterday on charges of first-degree rape, kidnapping, robbery with a deadly weapon, extortion and other, lesser charges, said State's Attorney Stuart O. Simms.
Mr. Mayo was arrested several days after the April 10 attack. Johns Hopkins University had offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to Mayo's arrest.
The Cecil County Board of Education is being sued by the parents of an Elkton High School student who was sexually assaulted in a classroom last year by a former teacher.
The parents are asking that court files be sealed to maintain their privacy and that of their 15-year-old child. They also want the board to hand over the former wrestling coach Rian Hileman's personnel records to their attorney Thomas L. Kemp, who declined to comment on the suit.
Hileman pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree sexual offense last May. He also resigned his position and sought psychiatric counseling.
Hileman, a 12-year-school employee, was ordered by District Court Judge Harry Goodrick Sr. to perform 400 hours of community service at the county Detention Center helping inmates earn their high school equivalency diplomas.
He also was required to pay $1,560 for the victim's counseling, pay a $545 fine, complete three years of probation and have a drug, alcohol and psychological evaluation.
A Glen Burnie man with a history of mental illness has pleaded guilty to hiring an undercover state trooper as part of a plot to kill his former girlfriend's boyfriend -- by mercury poisoning.
"He would use mercury under the guise [that the intended victim] would inhale the mercury, and it would eat away his brain," Assistant Public Defender Gary W. Christopher, Joseph Ralph Gadow's lawyer, said yesterday.
Gadow, 36, faces at least five years in prison after pleading guilty yesterday in Circuit Court to solicitation to commit first-degree murder. He was arrested Dec. 18, after a third meeting with a state trooper to plot his victim's death.
Gadow, of the 1300 block of Meadowvale Drive, remains jailed. His sentencing is set for July 6.
Baltimore County will begin curbside collection of mixed paper in Catonsville today and in the Lutherville-Timonium area Thursday.
Collections will continue every other week at about 2,000 homes in south Catonsville and at 1,500 homes in the lower York Road corridor.
A Sykesville woman has filed suit against a Sykesville grocery store for injuries she claims she sustained when she slipped on a puddle of melted frozen yogurt.
Barbara A. Vetters of Bethway Drive said she was shopping in Martin's Grocery Store in the Freedom Village Shopping Center on May 15, 1989, when she noticed that a stocker was eating frozen yogurt while filling the shelves.
As she passed a frozen yogurt machine at the end of the aisle, she slipped on some melted dessert and was "seriously, painfully and permanently injured" in the spine, neck and head, the suit says.
The suit contends she has continued to suffer nearly three years after her fall and that the store was "reckless, careless and negligent" for not cleaning up the mess and warning customers that the area was slippery.
The official ballot count is final in Aberdeen's first election for a mayor, and Ruth Elliott has won by a close margin.
The spirited race between Mrs. Elliott and George J. Englesson, both town board members for many years, drew strong public interest in Tuesday's voting.
Mrs. Elliott received 960 votes, 48 more than Mr. Englesson.
The mayor will act as liaison between the town administrator and the council, and will have authority to hire and fire heads of departments and propose a budget. The council will approve the mayor's personnel decisions and budget proposal.
In the race for two open City Council seats in the non-partisan election, the winners were: Chuck Boutin, a lawyer and a former Harford County school board president, with 782 votes, and G. DeWayne Curry, a Realtor, with 770 votes, according to the Aberdeen Board of Election Supervisors.