In Baltimore CityPolice raid store, confiscate BB...


In Baltimore City

Police raid store, confiscate BB guns after recent crimes

City police raided a well-known downtown camping and surplus store yesterday and confiscated BB guns that they allege were being sold illegally.

Selling BB and air guns violates a city ordinance carrying a $10 fine, according to Lt. John Bailey, Central District operations commander. He said officers had approached the owner of H&H; Surplus and Campers' Haven several months ago and apprised him of the law.

Bailey said BB and air guns have been used increasingly in city crimes, most recently last week during a robbery on 21st Street. When the suspects arrested in that case told officers they had bought their BB gun at H&H;, Bailey said, "that just broke the ice. We had to do something."

After an undercover officer bought a BB gun resembling a .45-caliber automatic for $102 yesterday, Bailey said, six officers returned to the store in the 400 block of N. Eutaw St. and confiscated 104 BB and air guns.

Keeler names layperson chancellor of archdiocese

Cardinal William H. Keeler has appointed the first layperson as chancellor in the history of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Raymond P. Kempisty, who since 1997 has served as Keeler's director of communications, will continue in that job as well as taking over as chancellor, an official who handles all inquiries that come into the archdiocese. Kempisty, a 1978 Naval Academy graduate who served on active duty until 1994, was hired as the archdiocese's chief spokesman after earning a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Keeler also named the Rev. Robert J. Jaskot, an associate pastor at St. John the Evangelist parish in Frederick, as his priest-secretary. The posts of chancellor and priest-secretary had been held by the Rev. Lawrence Waudby, who resigned last month.

Preventing lead poisoning is focus of forum tomorrow

Families can learn how to protect themselves from the hidden dangers of household lead tomorrow at a lead-poisoning prevention forum run by the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning.

About one of 20 Maryland children tested in 2000 had significant levels of the poisonous metal, which can cause serious learning disabilities and behavioral problems. In Baltimore, that number jumped to one in eight.

The forum will teach parents how to have their children tested. Tenants will learn about their legal rights, and property owners will learn about renovating safely. The free seminar will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Heights Ave. Information: 800-370-LEAD.

In Baltimore County

Police seek armed robber of five auto parts stores

TOWSON - Baltimore County police are seeking an armed robber who has held up five automobile parts stores in the metropolitan area since October.

The man usually strikes up a lengthy conversation with a store employee and gathers items at the checkout near closing time. He then pulls out a handgun, ties up the employees and takes money.

The robber is described as a well-groomed black male who is 20 to 25 years old, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a small build and a goatee or pencil-thin beard. He has robbed three stores in Baltimore County and one each in Howard and Harford counties, police said.

Anyone with information can call Baltimore County police, 410-887-2198, or Metro Crime Stoppers, 410-276-8888. A cash reward of up to $2,000 is available.

Ruppersberger named 'Man of the Year' by Traffic Club

The Traffic Club of Baltimore has named Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger its "Man of the Year" for his efforts to strengthen the Baltimore regional economy.

The Traffic Club, founded in 1913 by steamship and railroad workers, honored Ruppersberger last night at a black-tie banquet at the Wyndham Hotel at the Inner Harbor.

Previous "Man of the Year" winners include state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and his predecessor in that post, Louis L. Goldstein.

7 area romance novelists to speak at Arbutus Library

ARBUTUS - Seven romance novelists from Maryland will appear for "A Romantic Evening" at 7 p.m. today at the Arbutus Library, 1581 Sulphur Spring Road.

Authors Mary Jo Putney, Catherine Asaro, Ruth Glick, Loree Lough, Linda Morelli, Kathryn Jensen and Chassie West will be available for informal discussions. Refreshments will be served.

Information and free tickets: 410-887-1451.

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