In Baltimore City

Woman accused of stealing benefits of man slain in 1996

A Baltimore woman suspected of illegally cashing the Social Security and retirement benefits of a Maryland man found slain seven years ago in Virginia was arrested yesterday on federal charges of bank, mail and wire fraud, and theft from a government program.

Nancy Jean Siegel, 55, was accused in a federal criminal complaint of using the identity of Jack F. Watkins to obtain credit lines and to divert his Social Security checks and retirement benefits during a period in which authorities say he was dead but his body was unidentified.

His body, clad in a pajama top, was discovered in May 1996 stuffed inside a footlocker along the Appalachian Trail in Loudoun County, Va. Watkins, 76, was not identified until January, when authorities matched his fingerprints through a military database.

In a sworn affidavit, an investigator with the Social Security Administration said Watkins had lived with Siegel and her family, and that the trunk had belonged to Siegel's daughter. No one has been charged in Watkins' death. Authorities said in a news release yesterday that an investigation continues.

Federal authorities detain stowaways from cargo ship

Federal authorities discovered at least six stowaways on a German cargo ship yesterday after some of them jumped off the vessel as it approached Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore.

Investigators with the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained the six people on the ship and were trying to determine how they boarded the vessel, said agency spokesman Chris Bentley.

Officials also were investigating whether two or three other people on the ship, the CSAV Hamburgo, are illegal stowaways. The detainees were believed to be Colombian nationals.

Construction to close block of Eutaw St. for 3 months

A one-block section of Eutaw Street, between Baltimore and Fayette streets, will be closed to vehicle traffic for a lengthy construction project beginning at 6 a.m. today.

The project - conduit installation and road construction - could keep the block closed for at least three months, city officials said.

Southbound traffic will be detoured west on Fayette, south on Greene Street, east on Baltimore and back onto Eutaw; northbound traffic will be detoured east on Baltimore, north on Howard Street, west on Fayette and back to Eutaw.

Two charged with murder over weekend in killings

Two men charged in warrants with first-degree murder in unrelated slayings were arrested over the weekend by members of the Warrant Apprehension Task Force, city police said yesterday.

About noon Saturday, David Bell, 23, of the 600 block of E. 37th St. was arrested in the 1500 block of Northwick Road. He is charged in the shooting of Lynwood Jones, 36, of the 500 block of W. 37th St. on June 15 in the 600 block of Melville Ave., said Lt. Joseph Conway, a task force commander.

Three hours later, Deandre Whitehead, 19, was arrested at his home in the 1300 block of S. Carey St. He is charged in the Aug. 10 shooting of Russell Peterson, 47, near the victim's home in the 800 block of Carroll St.

Both men were being held without bail at Central Booking and Intake Center.

In Baltimore County

Mosquito spraying to begin after positive tests for virus

BALTIMORE HIGHLANDS - In response to multiple West Nile virus-positive samples of mosquitoes during the past two weeks in the Baltimore Highlands area, the Maryland Department of Agriculture will begin truck-based mosquito spraying of streets in that area today, officials said.

Areas to be treated include all residential streets east of Baltimore-Washington Parkway, west of Southwest Area Park, and north of Interstate 895 to the Baltimore City line, including Viona, Lily, Geranium, Magnolia, English Consul avenues and Marmenco Court. Hoffman Avenue and Manoff Road to the south also will be treated.

Residents can expect Agriculture Department trucks spraying along streets at night and evening twice a week for the next few weeks to reduce adult mosquito population and lower the risk of transmission of the virus to humans.

Irvine center to hold tour of two hawk-watch sites

STEVENSON - Irvine Nature Center will sponsor a tour to two well-established hawk-watch sites next month, both about an hour from the nature center.

Organizers say the trip will give participants the chance to see broad-wing hawks and the possibility of other species, along with neotropical migratory small birds. Both hikes will be on well-used trails, one about 2 miles round-trip on mostly flat ground, the other shorter with a climb.

The trip is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 20. Participants will meet at the Irvine center, 8400 Greenspring Ave., and drive or carpool to the hike site. The fee is $15 for members, $22 for others. Registration deadline is Sept. 17. Information: 410-484-2413.

Diploma program for adults plans information sessions

CATONSVILLE - The External Diploma Program, for adults seeking high school diplomas, will hold information sessions this fall, the first at Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville campus at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15.

The next three sessions will be at 431 Eastern Blvd.: at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 17; at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18; and at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9. The final session will be at the college's Catonsville campus at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13

Information or reservations: 410-918-4284.

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