TOWSON -- County fire officials sent trucks...


TOWSON -- County fire officials sent trucks to all 26 stations yesterday to collect personnel records in anticipation of requests from the U.S. Justice Department, which has notified the county it plans to investigate allegations of racial discrimination in the Fire Department.

Some firefighters were alarmed enough by the record collections to call their union and department dispatchers, but Michael H. Davis, spokesman for County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, said the actions were not the result of specific federal requests.

"We're trying to get our documents together in anticipation of what they'll need," he said. Department spokesman Battalion Chief Mark Hubbard said, "It's our job to give the Department of Justice everything they've asked for."

State trooper suspended after she is accused of theft


PIKESVILLE -- A state trooper was suspended without pay yesterday after she was charged with theft, the Maryland State Police said.

Lisa A. Stratton, 29, was charged with four counts of misdemeanor theft and one felony count. According to a criminal summons, she was videotaped taking money from a cash register at Macy's in White Marsh in January and February.

Stratton had been a trooper since July 1996 and was on probation, according to the state police. She was assigned to the Glen Burnie barracks. An internal affairs investigation into the incident is being conducted.

Sandy Plains students to take part in arts festival


DUNDALK -- Sandy Plains Elementary School students will participate in the school's second annual arts festival today and tomorrow.

Students will learn about the importance of an art education through hands-on activities and demonstrations in drama, music and visual arts. They will work with Sandy Plains teachers and staff, and art students from Towson University and Patapsco High School.

Man found dead, burning is identified by police


OWINGS MILLS -- County police have identified a man found dead and burning in a wooded area late Tuesday.

The body of Leonard William Virgil Jr., 24, of the 100 block of Willow Bend Drive in Owings Mills was found beside his mother's red Toyota truck that was burning near Wards Chapel and Deer Park roads, said police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Novak.

"There were no signs of foul play, no wounds to the body," Novak said. The cause of death remains under investigation, he said.

Owings Mills woman says fingernail found in food


TOWSON -- An Owings Mills woman has filed a $1 million negligence suit in Baltimore County Circuit Court against KFC alleging that her 2-year-old son choked on a false fingernail embedded in a piece of chicken she purchased at a Randallstown store.

vTC The suit filed Tuesday by Cereta Burnett stems from an alleged incident Aug. 1 at the KFC restaurant in the 8600 block of Liberty Road, said Frank Boston, the plaintiff's attorney.

Boston said Steven Burnett has had difficulty eating and has required treatment at the Kennedy Krieger Institute since he allegedly choked on the 2-inch acrylic fingernail that his mother pulled from his mouth. No trial date has been set.

An 18-year-old man was fatally shot early yesterday outside his girlfriend's East Baltimore rowhouse. Police said they have no suspect and know of no motive.

Melvin Wilson of the 1400 block of Darley Ave. was hit by one of several bullets fired by an unknown assailant about 12: 45 a.m. in the 1500 block of N. Bradford St., said Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a police spokeswoman. She said he stumbled into his girlfriend's house, where he was pronounced dead.

State's top Older Worker to get award from Clinton

Mildred Kelly, program assistant for Southeast Senior Housing Initiative (SESHI) who was named Maryland's Outstanding Older American Worker, was to join 49 other honorees from around the country at an awards dinner today at the White House Visitors Center.

President Clinton was to give the awards.

Kelly, 67, was nominated for the award by the Maryland Office on Aging's Senior Aide Program, in which volunteer caregivers help older adults remain in their homes in Southeast Baltimore. Kelly joined SESHI as a senior aide in 1996 and was named program assistant in November.

Pub Date: 3/12/98

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