In Baltimore City
Board of Estimates more than doubles debt for sewer projects
In a move that anticipates an expensive federally mandated overhaul of the city's sewer system, the Board of Estimates voted yesterday to more than double the borrowing limits for sewer projects.
The unanimous vote, cast without comment, would allow the city to borrow $543 million through revenue bonds to pay for sewer improvement projects - $303 million more than the current limit.
The city would have to raise sewer rates to support any increase in debt, and an increase is expected this year. The board also voted to raise bonding authority by $38 million for water projects, from $295 million to $333 million.
The higher borrowing limits come as Mayor Martin O'Malley is faced with a settlement offer from regulators that would compel an estimated $900 million in sewer improvements to address violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
Panel approves $600,000 to clear way for new store
The Board of Estimates approved yesterday giving up to $600,000 to Home Depot USA Inc. to aid construction of a store in Northwest Baltimore.
The grant will pay to relocate a gas line and city storm water pipe blocking construction at Reisterstown Road Plaza in the 4100 block of Patterson Ave.
Home Depot plans a 100,000-square-foot store at the plaza that would create up to 200 jobs, according to company and city officials.
Jury award cut to $50,000 in lending agency lawsuit
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge reduced yesterday a jury's award to a Southwest Baltimore couple, but ordered the Community Development Financing Corp. and one of its inspectors to pay $50,000 in a case in which the quasi-public lending agency recommended an unlicensed contractor.
Judge John N. Prevas, who ruled last month that the quasi-public CDFC had "a responsibility to monitor the performance of the contractor," reduced by $20,000 the jury award to Tracey A. Bowers and Sharon Y. Bowers.
The Bowerses had sued because of the contractor's shoddy work and structural problems he left behind at their home, in the 300 block of Marydell Road. They had obtained their mortgage with help from the agency's Vacant Home Program.
Columbia man arrested on drug trafficking charges
A man suspected of supplying crack cocaine in Southwest Baltimore was arrested yesterday by city police at his home in Columbia, where a search turned up 3.2 kilograms of the drug, authorities reported.
Detectives tracked Troy Kevin Turnage, 32, to his home in the 4800 block of Circling Hunter Drive and obtained a search warrant for the premises, where police say they found the cocaine - with a street value estimated at more than $1 million. Also seized were packaging material, a 9 mm Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun, $9,000 and a 1994 Mercedes-Benz automobile.
Turnage was held at the city's Central Booking and Intake Facility on charges including possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a handgun for the purpose of drug trafficking. Bail was set at $500,000.
In Baltimore County
Man gets maximum term for acid attack in robbery
TOWSON - A Baltimore man was sentenced to the maximum 25-year sentence in Baltimore County Circuit Court yesterday for throwing acid into the face of a convenience store manager during an attempted robbery on Thanksgiving Day 2000.
Aaron L. Avent, 19, of the 5800 block of Leith Walk was sentenced by Judge Thomas J. Bollinger Sr. for throwing acid at Dennis Alejandro during a robbery at the 7-Eleven in the 6300 block of Sherwood Road.
Alejandro told Bollinger that as a result of the attack, he has had several surgeries, lost half his left ear and has had skin grafts on his face, neck and shoulders. He was hospitalized for a month, lost his job operating the convenience store and had to retire from the Naval Reserve because of vision problems.
Police identify man killed by CSX train in Halethorpe
TOWSON -A man fatally injured when he was struck by a CSX train has been identified as Linwood Earl Lawrence, 42, of no fixed address, Baltimore County police said yesterday.
Lawrence was struck Saturday afternoon in the 4700 block of Hollins Ferry Road, Halethorpe. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he died Sunday.
Lawrence was identified through fingerprints, police said.
Woman injured when car hits room in garage
TOWSON - An elderly woman was slightly injured yesterday when the car she was driving rammed into a sprinkler room in the lower level of the Baltimore County Revenue Authority parking garage in Towson.
The woman, who was not identified, was trapped in the red Hyundai for nearly an hour before county firefighters cut away the top of the car and part of the surrounding concrete wall to remove her, said Fire Department spokesman Glenn Blackwell. The woman, who apparently was going to the Towson library, was taken to Greater Baltimore Medical Center with minor injuries.
Blackwell said the woman apparently stepped on the accelerator after she stopped to take a ticket for the garage. The building's sprinkler system was not damaged.