Couple convicted of taking artifactsFREDERICK -- A...


Couple convicted of taking artifacts

FREDERICK -- A Virginia couple has been convicted of removing relics from the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park in southern Frederick County.

Brian R. Bader, 37, and Christine A. Bader, 42, of Banco, Va., both pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Donald Beachley to one count each of violating the Architectural Resources Protection Act.

The couple has been fined $200, placed on one year of unsupervised probation, ordered to pay $1,400 restitution to the National Park Service and ordered to forfeit several pieces of equipment they used to find artifacts in November 1993.

Ranger Michael Sabatini became suspicious when he noticed pole-like objects in their backpacks.

After searching their backpacks, Mr. Sabatini found two metal detectors, two shovels, several buttons and numerous bullets used during the Civil War, said Kevin FitzGerald, chief of the Branch of Visitor and Resource Protection for the National Park Service.

Further investigation led to the discovery of more than two dozen freshly excavated holes in former Union Army fortifications located on park property, the National Park Service reported.

$5,700 paid for cane made by homeless artist


THURMONT -- A wooden cane, carved by a homeless man who used his talent to pay for food and lodging as he roamed the roads, recently sold for $5,700 at a Thurmont auction.

"I think they were amazed," auctioneer Martha Strawsburg said about the crowd witnessing the sale, which started with a $2,000 bid.

"They all clapped when we were done," the auctioneer with Trout Auctioneers Inc. of Walkersville said Monday. "The [unidentified] man who bought it looked a little nervous."

The ornate walking stick, measuring more than 37 inches, was carved by the late Frank Feathers, who wandered Maryland and Pennsylvania. He did carvings in exchange for lodging or meals, Ms. Strawsburg said.

Sometimes he would sign his work. Other times, he carved the words "charity," "hope," "faith" or "luck" in his wooden pieces. The cane was dated 1929 and included the name of its owner, Billie Lidie.

According to a history written by Shawn D. Meyers, Mr. Feathers once carved the Lord's Prayer on a cane. The history notes that Mr. Feathers, who once worked at the former M. P. Moller pipe organ factory in Hagerstown, died in Montevue County Home in Frederick sometime after 1947.

Life without parole sought in slaying


FREDERICK -- The government is seeking a sentence of life without parole for a man convicted of murder in the fatal stabbing of a fellow drug dealer.

Christopher Andre McBride, 25, is to be sentenced April 23 for first-degree murder, burglary, carrying a deadly weapon and assault with intent to murder.

Defense attorneys Franklin Stillrich and John Chillas argued that McBride acted in self-defense when he killed Carl Mantack Nov. 17, 1993. The defense said that Mr. Mantack's reputation for violence placed McBride in a "kill or be killed" state of mind.

Frederick County Deputy State's Attorney Julie Stevenson said McBride made the choices that require the state to prosecute him for premeditated murder.

"He admitted he knew the victim was unarmed," Ms. Stevenson said. "He went after Mr. Mantack. The victim ran and ran and ran 'til he could run no more. And then McBride cut his throat and stabbed him. And stabbed him."

During the six-day trial, which ended Monday, testimony revealed that McBride was receiving drugs on credit from Mr. Mantack.

He sold drugs in Frederick from August until his arrest three months later. He claimed he was threatened by the victim two days before the stabbing.

Tuberculosis tests given 8 believed exposed


HAGERSTOWN -- Seven Hagerstown police officers and a prisoner exposed over the weekend to a man believed to have an active case of tuberculosis are undergoing TB tests.

The man who is believed to have the respiratory disease is Luscious Jones of Hagerstown. He is in stable condition at Washington County Hospital.

Mr. Jones was arrested Saturday morning after a woman flagged down police and told them that she had been stabbed. The 40-year-old woman had cuts on her hands, but did not seek treatment.

The tests were ordered after authorities learned about the man's condition.

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