In Baltimore City

Councilman's bill would raise fines for parking violations

City Councilman Robert W. Curran is expected to introduce a plan at today's council meeting to increase fines for parking violations.

Curran, who represents Northeast Baltimore's 3rd District, has no plans to raise the $50 fines for parking in snow emergency routes. He said increasing other fines would raise $3.6 million. The city receives nearly $8 million in fines each year.

Under Curran's proposal, parking in restricted areas near Camden Yards could increase from $50 to $75. Fire hydrant violations would cost $40, up $10. Meter violations would be raised to $25, from $18.

The council will study the issue for more than 30 days. If it approves the bill, Mayor Martin O'Malley must sign it before the fines become law.

Landmark decision focus of Johns Hopkins lecture

A lecture on the historic 1803 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Marbury v. Madison, will be presented at 8 tonight at 110 Hodson Hall on the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University.

Law Professor Mark Tushnet of Georgetown University Law Center will give the opening address of the two-day academic conference on "Marbury 200," in which constitutional scholars discuss the ways that the 1803 decision - which created judicial review of acts of Congress - continues to shape American law and politics.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Son of hate-crime victim to speak Wednesday evening

The son of James Byrd Jr., the Texas man dragged to his death in 1998, will speak about hate crimes at a West Baltimore church Wednesday.

Ross Byrd, a recording artist and anti-death penalty activist, will talk about the shortcomings of hate-crime legislation at 6:30 p.m. at Unity United Methodist Church, 1443 Edmondson Ave.

Byrd will be joined at the free event by hate-crime author Kay Whitlock and other activists.

In Baltimore County

County Web site offers data on emergency preparedness

TOWSON - Information about emergency preparedness, including the federal government's color-coded homeland security system, is available on the Baltimore County Web site.

The site - www.baltimore - includes a link to the federal government's Guide to Citizen Preparedness, and the county's Emergency Operations Plan.

"We are taking a watchful approach, though we have received no threats against our county," said Richard Muth, administrator of the county Office of Emergency Preparedness.

Motorists advised to use extra caution near schools

TOWSON - The Baltimore County Police Department asks drivers to be especially careful today as public school students return to school for the first time since last week's record-breaking snowstorm.

Because many sidewalks are not shoveled, children will be forced to walk in the street in some neighborhoods. Children and crossing guards might not be able to see crosswalks, and students might have difficulty seeing over 3- and 4-foot snow mounds when crossing the street, police said.

Police advise motorists to watch for children playing in snow or in the street while waiting at bus stops. If possible, police ask that parents supervise their children at bus stops or walk them to school.

Discussion to focus on role of African-American women

CATONSVILLE - Thelma Daley will discuss "The Legacy of Afro-American Women in the Making of Maryland" at the Catonsville Historical Society meeting at 8 p.m. tomorrow.

Admission is free, and the public is invited. The society is at 1824 Frederick Road, across from Five Oaks Swim Club.

Information: 410-744-3034.

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