In Baltimore City
West Nile spraying stalls till Monday for weather, nightlife
A cold overnight forecast canceled the state's plans to spray for mosquitoes early this morning in downtown Baltimore. Now, weekend nightlife will put off the campaign, at least until Monday.
"That area is a high-traffic area for nightlife, and we want to avoid that," said Department of Agriculture spokesman Don Vandrey. Health officials want to spray a 2-square-mile area centered on Federal Hill, where a crow infected by the West Nile virus was found Sept. 16. "The goal is to prevent the virus from becoming well-established," said Vandrey.
Today's was the second cold-weather postponement. Temperatures of 55 degrees or more are needed for the spray to work.
110 firefighters battle 5-alarm blaze in Oldtown
A five-alarm fire at a warehouse in the Oldtown neighborhood of Baltimore continued to burn early this morning as 110 firefighters fought the blaze in the 800 block of E. Monument St. at Ensor Street.
The fire, which broke out in the two-story brick building about 12:10 a.m., was still burning at 2 a.m. today.
No injuries were reported. Aside from office furniture, it was not known what, if anything was stored in the 35,000-square-foot building, which was for sale. As a precaution, firefighters, who arrived with about 25 pieces of equipment, were hosing down the roof of an adjacent cinderblock building, the Christ Institution Baptist Church.
O'Malley adviser receives Humanitarian Award
Erwin A. Burtnick, a retired Army colonel and a former assistant comptroller for Baltimore, has received a national Humanitarian Award for service to the community and the nation.
Burtnick, an adviser to Mayor Martin O'Malley, received the honor from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains. The group was created to recognize a quartet of World War II chaplains who gave up their life jackets to soldiers and perished at sea.
The award was presented recently to Burtnick, who is also a member of the Maryland Veterans Commission, in Philadelphia at the 105th National Convention of the Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.
Group will celebrate rehabilitation of rowhouse
The nonprofit Tri-Churches Housing Inc. will hold an open house for a newly rehabilitated rowhouse in the Washington Village-Pigtown area of Baltimore next month.
The house at 1319-21 Bayard St. will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 7 and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8.
Officers file lawsuit against Housing Authority
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City has violated federal labor laws by failing to pay its police for roll call and for their half hour lunch breaks, according to a lawsuit brought by 50 housing officers.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, says that housing police must report to roll call 15 minutes before their shift begins and must remain in their patrol area and on-call during lunch. But the officers aren't paid for that time, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit seeks future pay for lunch and roll call as well unpaid wages and overtime compensation dating back three years.
Housing commissioner Patricia C. Payne and housing police Chief Hezekiah Bunch are named as defendants.
In Baltimore County
Opening set this morning for bypass of Pikesville
PIKESVILLE -- DeRisio Lane, a road built to relieve congestion in the commercial district, will formally open at 9:30 this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The road runs parallel to Reisterstown Road for four blocks, between Sherwood Avenue and Church Lane. It was built to create parking and a bypass round the center of Pikesville. The road ispart of a $1.5 million project that included landscaping and lighting.
County Councilman Kevin B. Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Randallstown Democrat, will officiate at Sudbrook and DeRisio lanes.
Essex woman's death blamed on head injury
REISTERSTOWN -- An Essex woman whose decapitated body was discovered in Reisterstown last month died from blunt-force trauma to the head, the state medical examiner's office announced yesterday.
The body of Rosemarie Shew, 38, of the first block of Avenal Road was found Aug. 27 at a construction site. Richard Lee Donnelly, 44, of Rosedale is charged in the killing.
Brothers sentenced in Park Heights deaths
Two Baltimore brothers convicted of murdering three people in Park Heights were sent to prison yesterday for a total of two life sentences, plus 90 years.
Donnell Ratchford, 39, and Tony Ratchford, 37, both of the 3500 block of Derby Manor Drive, were sentenced in Baltimore Circuit Court for the fatal stabbings in Sept. 27, 1997.
Killed were Ophelia Henson, 50; Craig Culley, 38; and Willie Howard, 31, all residents of the house in the 4600 block of Park Heights Ave.