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In Baltimore CityFire hits hazardous chemicals at...


In Baltimore City

Fire hits hazardous chemicals at plant for 2nd time since July

Hazardous chemicals at a manufacturing plant caught fire yesterday and caused minor damage - the second time since July that chemicals at the facility have caught fire.

The fire began about 9:40 a.m. at JAG Industries in the 2200 block of Aisquith St. when sodium borohydride caught fire in a hopper in an enclosed room on the second floor of the plant, officials said. The fire was under control about 11:55 a.m.

A blaze July 31 at the plant started after an electrical spark hit the sodium borohydride. Fire officials, concerned about a possible explosion, evacuated nearby residents.

In Maryland

House panel votes to strip school board's authority

ANNAPOLIS - A bill to strip the Prince George's County school board of its powers continued to move quickly through the General Assembly yesterday, winning approval on a 16-6 vote from the House Ways and Means Committee.

The bill - which would create a crisis management panel appointed by the governor, the Prince George's County executive and the state superintendent of schools - likely will be taken up by the full House of Delegates Tuesday.

The panel would review and oversee all major personnel, policy and spending decisions made by the elected board since Feb. 1 - including its 6-3 vote to fire Superintendent Iris T. Metts. A Prince George's judge has temporarily blocked the firing, and the state school board will hear an appeal of the termination from Metts on Monday afternoon.

Free seminar tomorrow on federal student aid

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is holding a free seminar from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow for students, their parents and financial aid professionals to help students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Eleven sites across the region will participate. In Baltimore, Patterson High School and the Poly-Western complex; in Harford County, the H.E.A.T. Center; in Allegany County, Allegany College of Maryland; in Anne Arundel, Old Mill High School; on the Eastern Shore, Easton High School and Wor-Wic Community College; in Montgomery County, Wheaton High School; in Prince George's, Prince George's Community College; and in WashIngton, the University of the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Education.

Students are asked to bring proof of 2001 income and benefits information for themselves or their parents. If students are 24 or older, or financially dependant without the support of a parent or guardian, they may attend alone.

In Carroll County

Springfield escapee found at Westminster residence

WESTMINSTER - An escapee from the state's Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville was in the Carroll County Detention Center yesterday after he was found and arrested Thursday night at an East Baltimore residence, according to Maryland State Police at the Westminster barracks.

Craig William Hann, 24, a Carroll County man with no fixed address, had been sought since his escape Jan. 23 from the hospital for the mentally ill, where he had been sent for an evaluation while awaiting trial on 70 burglary charges, the police said.

Hann and Shavon Monique Moals, 27, whose most recent address was in Westminster, were arrested without incident about 11 p.m. in the 1200 block of Orleans Street. Moals was being held on warrants alleging that she failed to appear in court in Carroll and Howard counties.

In Baltimore County

UMBC office workers vote for union representation

CATONSVILLE - Service and office employees at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County voted yesterday to be represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Of the 370 workers in the new chapter, 175 voted for AFSCME and 95 voted for no representation. The vote leaves the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Towson University as the only state campuses where no elections have been held.

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