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In Baltimore County

2 men steal $187,000 from resident of house at knifepoint

EASTPOINT -- Baltimore County police are searching for two men who stole $187,000 at knifepoint from an Eastpoint resident inside his home Tuesday night.

Police said the resident, Richard Donald Graff, 67, of the 7300 block of German Hill Road, was not injured. A police spokesman said Graff, owner of Clara's Restaurant in the 7400 block of German Hill Road, kept the money in a safe in his house. Graff declined to comment yesterday.

The two men were waiting when Graff arrived home from the restaurant about 8:30 p.m., the spokesman said. Wielding a knife, they approached Graff and forced him inside and robbed him. Graff was alone at the time of the robbery.

Dundalk man, 36, charged in attempted rape of girl

TOWSON -- A 36-year-old Baltimore County man was arrested and charged yesterday with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in Double Rock Park in Parkville this month.

James John Petrucci of the 1800 block of Snyder Ave. in Dundalk was charged with attempted second-degree rape, third-degree sex offense and second-degree assault. He was released on $100,000 bail, said Cpl. Ron Brooks, a county police spokesman.

The victim told police that she was approached by a man about 10:30 p.m. Sept. 3 as she was walking home through the park. She said the man grabbed her, forced her to the ground and attempted to rape her, but she escaped with only bruises. The teen-ager identified Petrucci, whom officers were questioning in connection with another sexual assault, from a photo lineup, police said.

Public opinion sought about river management

TOWSON -- A meeting to discuss and solicit public opinion about managing recreational use and resource protection on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park will be held Monday in Towson.

The session is part of a series of hearings scheduled around the country by the National Park Service to gather public comment as it revises the river management plan for the Grand Canyon park. The meeting will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Burkshire Guest Suites and Conference Center at 10 W. Burke Ave.

In Baltimore City

Firehouse builder explains why work has been delayed

City officials considered canceling a $2.5 million contract yesterday to build a firehouse but postponed action for a week after the contractor hired in April explained why work had not begun and required paperwork had not been submitted. The Board of Estimates had planned to drop Warwick Supply and Equipment Co. and hire the second-lowest bidder, Whiting-Turner Construction Co., for $2.7 million.

City officials had sought to drop Warwick because the company had failed to submit paperwork indicating which subcontractors would be used to build the firehouse at 1001 E. Fort Ave. Last month, Warwick notified the city that it could not perform the work unless it could substitute two subcontractors named in its original bid package.

Warwick officials said yesterday that they could do the job with those subcontractors and that city officials had told them the project would be rebid. They blamed some of the delay on a utility pole that had to be relocated before work could begin.

O'Malley receives award from college's Irish center

Mayor Martin O'Malley traveled to Boston yesterday to receive an award for public service from the Center for Irish Programs at Boston College.

The center chose O'Malley as the first recipient of what will be an annual award in part because he has met with many Irish policy-makers visiting the United States, officials with the center said.

"The mayor has always given generously of his time to talk about effective, innovative government," said Thomas E Hachey, the center's executive director.

"The people of Northern Ireland now need to consolidate the peace process through well-managed government, not touchy-feely, why-can't-we-all-get-along fluff," he said. "O'Malley talks reform, goals and improved services. That is the future that the people of Northern Ireland hoped the peace process would bring."

Baltimore Book Festival requires street closings

Several streets around the Washington Monument are scheduled to be closed to traffic this week during the Baltimore Book Festival, city transportation officials said.

Mount Vernon Place, between St. Paul and Cathedral streets, has been shut down and will reopen at 4 p.m. Monday.

Charles Street, between Centre and Read streets, will be closed from 10 a.m. today until 6 a.m. Monday.

Madison Street, between St. Paul and Cathedral streets, will be shut down at 10 a.m. tomorrow until 4 p.m. Monday.

Traffic on Charles Street will be diverted to Calvert Street, and Madison Street traffic will be detoured to Franklin Street.

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