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Second set fire in two days destroys...


Second set fire in two days destroys West Street house

An old, vacant Annapolis house was burned yesterday - the second arson at the property in as many days, the city Fire Department said.

Wednesday's early morning fire caused a few thousand dollars in damage, but yesterday's blaze destroyed the house in the 100 block of West St. - a property valued at $175,000, said fire Capt. Leonard A. Clark.

The fire also caused an estimated $5,000 to $8,000 damage to a house next door - part of a vacant row of 19th-century houses built by German settlers that a local group was negotiating to buy from the city. The facades would have been restored and the interiors renovated for office space in front of the city's new garage, which is under construction.

Both yesterday's fire, reported at 4:19 a.m., and Wednesday's fire, reported at 3:30 a.m., remained under investigation. Fire officials said they believed that the boarded properties were being used by homeless people.

New law increases benefits for volunteer firefighters

Volunteer firefighters and members of the Anne Arundel Alarmers Association stood by yesterday as County Executive Janet S. Owens signed legislation increasing their benefits through the Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP).

The legislation extends the program for volunteer firefighters to those providing volunteer services through the Alarmers, an organization that provides snacks and beverages for emergency personnel at the scene of fires and major incidents.

The bill provides a benefit increase for current and prospective participants in the program from $205 to $250 per month for primary participants and from $115 to $150 for surviving spouses.

"The LOSAP positive rewards program recognizes those volunteers that consistently and faithfully serve the citizens of Anne Arundel County for 25 years," said county Fire Chief Roger C. Simonds Sr.

It will affect 224 people receiving the $205 monthly benefit, and 92 who receive the surviving spouse benefit of $115 at a cost to the county of an additional $160,000 a year.

The county estimated that seven members of the Alarmers will qualify immediately for monthly benefit payments. The annual cost of adding them to the Service Awards Program was estimated at $21,000.

State to pay half of cost for fuel tanks at Tipton

Anne Arundel County will receive funding assistance from the state for the purchase and installation of fuel tanks at Tipton Airport, County Executive Janet S. Owens announced yesterday.

The state will provide 50 percent - or up to $88,750 - of the cost of the project, estimated at $177,500.

The executive's office said the grant "illustrates the ongoing partnership and continued commitment between Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland to preserve the county and state's aviation gateways."

Cruiser USS Monterey visiting Naval Academy

In conjunction with Commissioning Week, the Navy's Aegis cruiser USS Monterey is visiting the U.S. Naval Academy and will open to the public tomorrow through Friday.

Named after the Battle of Monterey, the ship, based in Norfolk, Va., is the 16th Aegis cruiser to join the Navy fleet. The Monterey is designed to fight in a multithreat environment and possesses a new, long-range strike capability, the academy said. It has a crew of 409, including 37 officers.

The tour schedule is: tomorrow, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, from noon to 3 p.m.; Monday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.; Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.; and Thursday and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Tour departures and arrivals are at Fleet Landing on the seawall by the academy's Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center. The approximate tour length is two hours, which includes a 30-minute boat ride to and from the ship.

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