In MarylandState will expand free breakfasts to...


In Maryland

State will expand free breakfasts to 93 schools in the fall

Students at 93 schools across Maryland will get off to a good start this fall when their classrooms serve up something extra: free breakfasts.

State education officials are spending $1.9 million to nearly double the number of schools in a pilot program looking at whether children perform better in classes if they don't have empty stomachs. Participating schools have significant numbers of poor children, but the breakfasts are free for all, regardless of family income.

The state started the program at six schools in 1998 and expanded it to 50 this year. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital found that children at 10 schools that served classroom breakfasts posted a 22 percent gain on state tests, compared with a 13 percent rise in a control group.

In Baltimore City

Courthouse, City Hall closed by bomb threats

A bomb threat to Baltimore Circuit Court snarled downtown morning rush-hour traffic yesterday and kept courthouse workers and jurors on the street for two hours.

The anonymous threat, which police said was made about 8:15 a.m. by a female caller who mentioned a chemical explosive, was made minutes after authorities had finished inspecting Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse and Courthouse East, in the 100 block of N. Calvert St., in response to an earlier threat apparently made by the same caller.

City Hall was evacuated for more than an hour yesterday afternoon because of a bomb scare, authorities said.

Police officer is injured as cruiser, car collide

A city police officer en route to aid a colleague was injured last night in a traffic accident in East Baltimore after a civilian ran a red light, officials said.

Officer Ricardo Alston, 45, a patrol officer in the Southeastern District, was driving west in the 3400 block of Eastern Ave. when he was struck at 8:20 p.m. by a car driven by the civilian, whom police did not identify, said Agent Martin Bartness. Alston, a five-year veteran, was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, but officials said his injuries were "not life-threatening."

Bartness said a preliminary investigation found that Alston had his emergency lights and siren on when the other driver, who was southbound on Highland Avenue, ran a red light as he turned east onto Eastern Avenue.

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