In Baltimore County24 tenants flee early morning...


In Baltimore County

24 tenants flee early morning fire in Owings Mills

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore County Fire Department officials are trying to determine the cause of a fire early yesterday morning that severely damaged the apartments of 24 people in Owings Mills. No one was injured in the three-alarm blaze.

The fire at the Richmar apartment complex in the first block of Phlox Circle began about 5 a.m. on the top floor of the garden-style apartments. The 24 residents had fled the 12 apartments by the time firefighters arrived.

About 90 firefighters were needed to bring the blaze under control by 6: 20 a.m.

Libraries total 3,000 books in regional reading drive

TOWSON -- Sixteen Baltimore County libraries collected more than 3,000 books as part of the area's first regional book drive, which ended Wednesday.

Two not-for-profit groups, Baltimore Reads and Literacy Works of Baltimore County, will use the books for reading programs.

The city drive culminates todaywith a Books for Kids day at Western High School and Polytechnic Institute.

Women's health conference at Hunt Valley hotel today

HUNT VALLEY -- A conference on women's health scheduled for today at the Hunt Valley Marriott will feature information on topics including coronary care, alternative medicine and financial fitness.

Speakers will include medical writer Ruth S. Jacobowitz and J.J. Bittenbinder, a safety consultant with ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" show.

Information: 800-873-6154.

In Maryland

Firm's partner to appeal Md. fine in aloe vera case

Neal Deoul, a partner in the Baltimore company accused of duping sick and dying people into buying an untested aloe vera treatment, will appeal a $3.7 million state fine, Deoul's attorney said yesterday.

Attorney David Freishtat said that the state Consumer Protection Division's case against T-UP Inc. was weak and that the company was not allowed to fully respond to the state's charges during hearings last year. In addition to the fine, the state ordered T-UP this week to repay its customers and to stop claiming that its product could treat diseases.

In Harford County

Sheriff's deputies recover body from Edgewood lake

EDGEWOOD -- Harford County sheriff's deputies recovered the body of a man from a lake Thursday night and are trying to determine his identity and how he died, the sheriff's office said yesterday.

A resident in the 1900 block of Edgewater Drive alerted police that a body was floating in Lake Serene. The sheriff's office dive team members pulled out the body about 8 feet from shore. Police believe it had been in the water for several days.

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