In Baltimore CountyMan shoots, kills supermarket worker,...


In Baltimore County

Man shoots, kills supermarket worker, himself, police say

ESSEX- The night manager of an Essex supermarket was shot to death at work early yesterday by a man who took his own life when police arrived at the store, authorities said.

The incident - believed to have been prompted by a dispute between the two men - took place at a Food Lion in the 1400 block of Fuselage Ave., where police were called about 1:30 a.m. to investigate a report of shots fired.

Police said they confronted the suspect, Leon Payton, 39, of the 1500 block of Becklow Ave. in Middle River, and ordered him to drop his gun. Instead, he turned the handgun on himself and fired, said Cpl. Vickie Warehime, a police spokeswoman.

The night manager, Daniel Vitek, 46, of the 3800 block of E. Joppa Road, was found in the store, with gunshot wounds to the upper body. He was declared dead at the scene.

Seven injured in fire at Cockeysville apartments

COCKEYSVILLE - County firefighters used ladder trucks yesterday morning to rescue tenants from upstairs windows of a burning three-story, 14-unit building at the Rossbrooke Apartments.

Seven people were injured, including two reported in serious condition and treated for smoke inhalation at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, as a result of the 8 a.m. blaze in the 1000 block of Misty Lynn Circle. The others, including a firefighter and a police officer, were treated for minor injuries, said Capt. Glenn Blackwell, a county Fire Department spokesman.

"We had to press two police officers and an off-duty firefighter into service because there were so many people hanging out the windows," Blackwell said, adding that two tenants jumped from the third floor and were uninjured.

Fire officials had not determined the cause of the fire but believe it started in a second-floor apartment, he said.

College to present speech by Johns Hopkins' Carson

CATONSVILLE - Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, will be the speaker at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Community College of Baltimore County, 800 S. Rolling Road. He will speak in the Fine and Performing Arts Center Theatre in Q Building.

Carson will speak about setting goals and fulfilling dreams. Student tickets cost $1; guest tickets cost $5.

Information: 410-455-4508.

Job fairs scheduled today, March 7 at hotel in Towson

TOWSON - Baltimore County Office of Employment and Training will hold job fairs today and March 7 at Sheraton Baltimore North.

The fairs will provide information on job opportunities in fields such as information technology, health care, transportation, and accounting and bookkeeping.

The fairs will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the hotel, 903 Dulaney Valley Road.

School counselors to staff booths at malls Saturday

TOWSON - School counselors will staff community information booths at four shopping malls Saturday as part of National School Counseling Week.

The counselors will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Towson Town Center, Owings Mills Mall, White Marsh Mall and The Mall in Columbia.

Information: 410-887-1406.

In Baltimore City

Hospital custodian charged with selling drugs there

A Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center custodian was arrested yesterday by city police on charges of selling illegal drugs at the hospital.

Police said Keith Cook, 42, of the 5000 block of Denview Way distributed heroin and cocaine from the hospital between Jan. 14 and this week. Police said undercover police officers made four purchases of drugs - more than 100 capsules of heroin and several grams of cocaine - from Cook and an accomplice, Palmer Brinkley, 34, of the 2500 block of Jefferson St., who also was arrested.

Police raided the pair's homes, and reported seizing heroin, cocaine, narcotics packaging material and $8,800 in cash.

City man, 26, arrested in Internet sex sting

A day after a Baltimore County man's arrest under similar circumstances, a city resident has been caught in an Internet sex sting - allegedly trying to arrange a rendezvous with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl in a romance chat room, but was really a deputy sheriff working with state police.

Todd K. Thompson, 26, of the 1400 block of Madison Ave. was arrested Tuesday night at an arranged meeting place - a Finksburg restaurant. He was held yesterday at the Carroll County Detention Center on charges of publishing child pornography on computers, attempted second-degree sexual offense, and unauthorized taking and use of the rental car he was driving.

Carroll District Judge Marc G. Rasinsky set bail at $75,000 yesterday for Thompson, as well as Robert Michael Rysak, 41, of the 3800 block of Dunsmuir Circle in eastern Baltimore County, who was arrested Monday at the same Roy Rogers restaurant under similar circumstances.

Rysak asked the judge to lower his bail, saying he has support from his family, including a daughter who does not live with him, and a job at Northrop Grumman Corp.'s California Microwave Systems in Middle River, with a top-secret clearance and work involving the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Course on preventing lead poisoning planned

In an effort to prevent childhood lead poisoning, a Baltimore nonprofit organization is holding a full-day training course for parents, community leaders and others this month at Baltimore City Community College.

The Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning is sponsoring Community Lead Poisoning Prevention Forum 2002 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at the college's Liberty Campus, 2901 Liberty Heights Ave.

The event will teach the basics of lead poisoning and how to make homes safer. A continental breakfast, lunch, child care and transportation will be provided.

Because seating is limited, those interested in attending are asked to register by calling 410- 534-6447 or 800-370-LEAD.

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