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2 firefighters injured in blazeTwo firefighters were...


2 firefighters injured in blaze

Two firefighters were injured during a blaze that severely damaged an eastern Baltimore County house early this morning, fire officials said.

The firefighters were taken to the Francis Scott Key Medical Center for burns to their faces and necks, the fire department said. Officials declined to release the names of firefighters, but said their injuries were minor.

About 40 firefighters were called to the blaze in the 800 block of Eastdale Road, off North Point Boulevard just beyond the city line. The fire, reported at 5:32 a.m., was brought under control at 6:30 a.m.

The American Red Cross has been called to assist six people who lived in the house, officials said.

Four people -- including father-and-son fugitives -- were indicted yesterday in Maryland's largest insurance fraud-money laundering case.

The federal charges come in an investigation by postal inspectors and the FBI into an elaborate insurance scheme that allegedly defrauded doctors of $10 million in malpractice premiums through companies that operated in Columbia and Greenbelt.

A federal grand jury indicted Martin Bramson, 46, for conspiracy to commit fraud, four counts of mail fraud and five counts of money-laundering. His father, Norman Bramson, 69, was accused of conspiracy. The Bramsons, formerly of Columbia, became fugitives in October after federal fraud charges were filed against them.

Also charged with money laundering, conspiracy and mail fraud were Martin Jano, 36, of the Federated States of Micronesia, and William R. Schoo, 44, a former Marylander now believed by federal prosecutors to be living in the British West Indies.

Prosecutors also filed criminal informations against Dennis J. Simon, 46, an Ellicott City lawyer charged with mail fraud; Kent E. Conshafter, a Williamsville, N.Y. lawyer; and Howard A. Unger of Edgewater.


Police said a Northwest Baltimore man was arrested after he was chased and caught by bystanders who saw him rob a man of about $80 in the 2700 block of W. Cold Spring Lane about 5 p.m. Monday.

Richard White, 34, of the 4700 block of Park Heights Ave., was charged with armed robbery, police said.

The victim, a resident of the 3200 block of Rogers Ave., was accosted by a man with a handgun, police said.

Several people who saw the robbery chased the gunman, threw him to the ground, and held him for police, officers said.

Maryland State

Frederick's former director of permits and code management pleaded guilty yesterday in the county Circuit Court to six counts accepting bribes from a contractor doing business with the city.

Balachandra P. K. Menon, 51, admitted to demanding and receiving $5,250 in bribes from William Barrett Shook, president of Shook Excavating and Hauling Inc. of Boonsboro.

Menon pleaded guilty earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to two counts of bribery and one count of extortion.

Arundel County

A bookkeeper at the county's largest nursing home has been arrested for carrying out an embezzlement scheme in which she allegedly stole $2,350 in just over four months.

County police charged Monte Griffin, 34, with felony theft Aug. 11, police said, after owners of Wellspring Nursing Center noticed that the hours on her time card did not coincide with the hours for which she was paid.

From a review of payroll records, Ms. Griffin appeared to have been paid for 250 extra hours, said Michael Francus, owner of the 200-bed home on Furnace Branch Road. He said officials noticed the discrepancy in August.

Baltimore County

County teachers are breathing easier now that county school Superintendent Stuart Berger has agreed to quench their unusually long summer cash drought by issuing their first paychecks a week early.

County teachers got their last paychecks June 16. They say many have fallen back on savings and credit cards while waiting for the first fall paycheck. This school year, their first biweekly paycheck was scheduled to arrive Sept. 11.

Edward W. Veit, a former teacher who is now president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, approached Dr. Berger informally and asked for relief.

Dr. Berger offered to pay teachers on Sept. 4 for their nine days of work from Sept. 1 through 11, then resume the normal two-week pay cycle three weeks later on Sept. 25, and Mr. Veit agreed.

Carroll County

A Westminster man was arrested last week and charged with 17 counts of sexual abuse, child abuse, battery and perversion. He was freed on personal recognizance Friday. His name is being withheld from this article to protect the privacy of his victims, who are his nieces.

Police said that on more than 50 occasions in the last five years, he sexually abused the three girls, who are now between the ages of 8 and 15.

A state police investigation began in May after the man's 10-year-old niece told her parents that he abused her "on many occasions since she was 8," said District Court charging documents.

If he is convicted, the suspect could be sentenced to up to 155 years in state prison.

Harford County

The Nina, a replica of one of the three ships Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain to America, arrives in Havre de Grace Friday for a four-day stop.

The ship, which will dock at Frank J. Hutchins Memorial Park at the foot of Congress Avenue, is touring the East Coast as part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage.

The replica ship, built by hand in 32 months on a commission by the Spanish government, is rigged as a four-master.

While in Havre de Grace, the ship will be open to visitors from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to noon Monday.

Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for senior citizens and students; children ages 5 and younger are free.

The ship's visit to Harford County is being sponsored by the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce and the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum. Information: 939-3303.

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