Md. gets criminal justice grantThe U.S. Justice...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Md. gets criminal justice grant

The U.S. Justice Department has awarded more than $2.2 million in federal grants to Maryland criminal justice programs, U.S. Attorney Richard D. Bennett announced yesterday.

The largest grant from the Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime was $1.17 million to the Maryland Department of Human Resources for the continuation and improvement of victim services.

Grant money comes from criminal fines, penalties and special assessments levied against convicted defendants in federal cases, Mr. Bennett said.

The second largest grant was a $403,000 award from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to assist juvenile justice programs. State juvenile programs will receive $90,000 of that money and private agencies are eligible for $313,000. The money will be administered by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council of Maryland.

Other grants went to criminal justice programs in Bethesda, Rockville and Chevy Chase.

An autopsy has been ordered for a Crisfield woman whose body was discovered Monday in her cell at the Somerset County Detention Center, state police at Berlin said.

The woman, Lois Adele Hearn, 34, was being held on a charge of disorderly conduct in connection with a disturbance at a Crisfield fraternal club, police said.

Ms. Hearn was arrested at 9 p.m. Sunday and was taken to the detention center, police said. Guards found her body during their rounds at 7 a.m. Monday.

Police said they do not suspect foul play, but an investigation is continuing.

Baltimore City:

A 24-year-old man was fatally shot last night in the 500 block of Winston Ave. by a man sitting in a vehicle.

Steven Johnson of the 700 block of McCabe Ave. was lying in the road near a gas station at 8:25 p.m. He had been shot three times.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Marshawn Dimar Stokes, 19, of the 5100 block of St. Georges Ave. for the slaying.

Mr. Stokes was identified as the suspect after police traced the tag number of a Ford Bronco seen leaving the scene.

Investigators said Mr. Johnson walked up a Bronco and several gunshots were fired from inside. He died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Anne Arundel County:

A 32-year-old man surrendered to police last night after allegedly kidnapping his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter, Anne Arundel County police said.

Paul Anderson Fisher of the 500 block of S. Collins Ave. in Baltimore turned himself in at 4:45 p.m. Mr. Fisher brought his girlfriend, Kelly Hansen, 21, and her daughter, Melissa Sigley, to the police station with him, police said.

The two had been abducted at 10:35 a.m. after Mr. Fisher reportedly threw himself on the roof of their moving car in the Southview Shopping Center parking lot on Route 2, forcing the auto into a telephone pole near Church Street in Brooklyn Park, police said.

He allegedly forced Ms. Hansen out of the car and was seen leading her away by the hand while she carried the child in her arms, police said.

Mr. Fisher was charged with two counts of kidnapping and one count of reckless endangerment. Ms. Hansen and her daughter both suffered minor cuts and bruises.

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A 49-year-old woman was raped and robbed early yesterday morning after she gave a man a ride in her car, Anne Arundel County police said.

Police said the man attacked the woman as she was driving and took the wheel from her. He then drove to the end of Research Drive, near Bestgate Road, and raped her about 1:20 a.m., police said.

The man, who punched the victim in the face during the attack, took an undisclosed amount of cash from her before he left, police said.

The victim drove herself to the Anne Arundel Medical Center and was treated and released.

Baltimore County:

The business districts of Parkville and Pikesville will be renovated and upgraded through projects costing over $3 million.

Groundbreaking was held yesterday at the corner of Harford Road and Taylor Avenue for a $1.6 million project in Parkville. The project includes building left-turn lanes at the intersections of Harford Road at Putty Hill and Taylor avenues and resurfacing and replacing curbs, gutters and sidewalks along sections of Harford Road. The project is scheduled for completion next spring.

A $600,000 project in the Parkville business area will focus on renovations on Harford Road between Taylor and Alden avenues. The work will include brick-paved sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, renovated storefronts and expanded parking. It should be finished in November.

The Pikesville streetscape will benefit from a $957,000 county project scheduled for completion in June. Plans call for a gateway entrance sign at Old Court Road, parking signs, shopping directories and three small parks.

Carroll County:

A man, serving two years in prison for failure to pay child support, was unsuccessful in a sentence modification hearing last week.

George C. Smith III, 33, owed more than $13,000 in payments to his former wife, who lives in Westminster. Before an anonymous tip to the Carroll County Sheriff's Department alerted authorities to his whereabouts, Smith had been elusive for years. Until his extradition from Florida, Smith remained the county's sole representative on the state's "most wanted fathers" list.

In a plea agreement in April, Smith agreed to a two-year sentence and a freezing of the amount owed at $13,000.

Smith later wrote to Judge Luke K. Burns asking for a reduction in sentence and assuring the judge he would "abide by the law in all respects."

"I don't buy that, Mr. Smith," the judge said at the hearing.

Harford County:

Maj. Gen. Ronald V. Hite, who took command of Aberdeen Proving Ground just 14 months ago, has been reassigned to a job at the Pentagon.

General Hite's new assignment came as a surprise to many at the 72,000-acre Army research facility in Harford County, said Gary Holloway, a proving ground spokesman. "We expected he'd be here for at least two years," he said.

Proving ground commanders, who also are in charge of the Army's Test and Evaluation Command, usually hold the post for at least two years.

Mr. Holloway said General Hite, 49, will work in the office of the assistant secretary of the Army for research, development and acquisition.

His replacement is expected to be announced later this week.

A change of command ceremony has been scheduled for Sept. 14.

Howard County:

County police and fire investigators today ruled that a fire yesterday afternoon at Crafty Creations, a flower shop in the 3700 block of Old Columbia Pike in Ellicott City, was deliberately set.

The shop sustained $50,000 damage. The fire was reported shortly after noon.

The Arms Room, a store next to Crafty Creations, had minor smoke damage.

No injuries were reported.

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