In Baltimore CityCouncil approves condemning building for...


In Baltimore City

Council approves condemning building for cancer center

The Baltimore City Council approved a downtown urban renewal bill last night that calls for the condemnation of a law office building so that Mercy Medical Center can build a cancer treatment center.

Owners of the property at 233 St. Paul Place, which is targeted for demolition, complain the city is abusing its power of eminent domain to benefit a private hospital, Mercy, rather than a public purpose -- such as building parking garages or widening public roads.

The renewal bill, backed by the administration of Mayor Martin O'Malley, includes the condemnation of other properties for parking garages, including one that would be built just east of the planned cancer center, in large part for Mercy employees. The bill now goes to O'Malley for his signature.

High-level staff member resigns council position

Council Services Director Ronald L. Schultz has resigned, the third departure of a high-level City Council staffer since Sheila Dixon took over as council president in December 1999.

Schultz, 53, who worked 27 years with the city, served his last day yesterday. He had been with council services for 17 years, the last 15 as director, and is searching for another job.

Jennifer L. Coates, a legislative analyst with the Office of Council Services, is taking over for Schultz as acting director.

Senate panel to conduct hearing on housing fraud

A U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on property flipping and mortgage fraud in Baltimore is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday at City Hall.

The hearing, in the Curran Room, is a follow-up to a hearing in March 2000 that prompted U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski to demand that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development move to combat flipping -- the purchase of a home and quick resale at a huge price increase -- in Baltimore.

Representatives of HUD, the U.S. attorney's office, the city Department of Housing and Community Development, nonprofit housing advocacy groups and victims of flipping are scheduled to testify, a Mikulski aide said.

Man is fatally shot on West Lanvale Street

Police were investigating the fatal shooting late last night of a man on a West Baltimore street, authorities said.

Police said the victim, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, was in the 2500 block of W. Lanvale St. between Warwick and Whitmore avenues about 10:50 p.m. when an unknown assailant fired at least six shots, hitting the victim more than once before fleeing. Police said the victim was rushed to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he died a short time later.

Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the shooter is urged to call Detectives Corey Alston or Kirk Hastings at 410-396-2100.

In Baltimore County

Grand jury indicts man in death of his girlfriend

TOWSON -- A Baltimore County grand jury indicted an Essex man yesterday in the killing of his girlfriend, who was found strangled in her Eastpoint rowhouse last month.

Richard Joswick, 25, of the first block of Sharondale Way was indicted on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary in the death of Melissa Taylor, said Assistant State's Attorney S. Ann Brobst.

Taylor, 29, was found dead by a relative about 2:45 p.m. April 7 in a second-floor hallway of her home in the 7300 block of Edsworth Road. No trial date has been set.

Police Department to hold annual memorial service

TOWSON -- The Baltimore County Police Department will hold its annual Memorial Day service at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at the County Courthouse Plaza, 401 Bosley Ave.

The public is invited to the service, which honors officers killed in the line of duty and those who died while serving the county.

Towson hospital will offer free skin cancer screenings

TOWSON -- Free skin cancer screenings will be offered by appointment tomorrow at St. Joseph Medical Center.

Screenings will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments: 410-337-1479.

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