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In Baltimore CountySeven motorists arrested at sobriety...


In Baltimore County

Seven motorists arrested at sobriety checkpoint in Essex

ESSEX -- Maryland State Police said they arrested seven people on charges of driving while intoxicated early yesterday at a sobriety checkpoint on Route 702 in Essex.

It was the first sobriety checkpoint state police have conducted in Baltimore County in recent memory, but because it was so successful it won't be the last, said Cpl. Phil Criddle of the Golden Ring barracks. He said state police plan four more checkpoints in Baltimore County this year.

State police were joined by volunteers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for the 2 1/2 hours of checkpoint stops. Officers stopped 294 vehicles, conducted tests on 17 people and arrested seven of them, including one on charges of marijuana possession and driving while intoxicated.

New murder trial ordered for fatal-shooting suspect

PIKESVILLE -- The Court of Special Appeals has ordered a new murder trial for Adrian Marcellus Muldrow, saying a Baltimore County judge should have suppressed his statements to police and should have held a hearing on his bid for a new trial.

Muldrow was convicted in 2000 of first-degree murder in the killing of Vernon Cornell Ferguson, who was found fatally shot Aug. 17, 1999, in a car parked in front of a Pikesville automotive shop. Muldrow was sentenced to life in prison.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court also said Friday that jurors should not have been allowed to see photos of Muldrow surrounded by money and weapons because they were "trophy photographs" not relevant to the crime.

Holiday trash pickup schedule announced

TOWSON -- Baltimore County residents whose trash would have been collected Thursday should put out their trash Thursday night for collection Friday.

Similarly, recyclables that would have been collected Thursday will instead be picked up July 18.

Refuse and recycling drop-off facilities and all county offices will be closed Thursday. They will reopen Friday. Information: 410-887-2000.

In Baltimore City

One man slightly hurt in fire near Druid Hill Park

A man suffered minor burns during a fire last night in the 2300 block of Ruskin Ave. near Druid Hill Park that destroyed the rear rooms and porches of two rowhouses and damaged three adjoining dwellings. The man refused treatment. Several other people were forced from their homes. The cause of the blaze was being investigated.

Acting Battalion Chief Christopher Diehl said no injuries were reported among the 60 firefighters manning 16 pieces of equipment that responded to the two-alarm fire, which was reported at 8:13 p.m. and brought under control at 9 p.m.

William Winder, 38, who lives in the adjacent 2300 block of Edgemont Ave., said flames rose more than 20 feet in the air as the rear porches of two houses in the 2300 block of Ruskin Ave. were destroyed. A dog trapped on the rear porch of one house was rescued by firefighters and given to Winder for safekeeping.

Woman, 21, gets 15 years in prison in carjacking

A 21-year-old woman was sentenced in Baltimore Circuit Court to 15 years in prison for her involvement in a four-hour carjacking and robbery spree in 1999 that led to the death of a transgendered community activist.

Renyse Jones, who pleaded guilty to murder and carjacking charges last week, was the fourth person sentenced for the crime. The defendants carjacked four cars, robbed several people, and killed Tacy Raino Ranta, 50, as she walked to her home in Belair-Edison. The former city schoolteacher was co-founder of Tranquility, a support group for people interested in changing their gender.

The ringleader of the crime, Matthew Harper, was sentenced to 90 years in prison last month. Two other defendants, Davon Alston and Corey Tutt, received 40- and 30-year sentences respectively.

City community college names interim president

Baltimore City Community College has named Jerome A. Atkins its interim president while it seeks a permanent replacement for James D. Tschechtelin, who retired last week after 12 years in office.

Atkins has been the college's vice president for academic affairs since February. Previously, he taught or managed programs at 10 colleges, including a stint as assistant engineering dean at Morgan State University.

The interim appointment is expected to be short term because the college's board of trustees is nearing the end of its search for a replacement, college officials said.

Upward Bound students to restore vacant city lot

Fifty students as well as faculty and staff from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's Classic Upward Bound Program will be restoring a vacant lot in the 500 block of S. Vincent St. in Baltimore on Wednesday.

The students are rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors from Baltimore County schools who are enrolled in an enrichment program designed to better prepare them for college.

The students will be working from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Baltimore Grows/B&O; Community Garden.

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