City/County Digest

In Baltimore County Two men arrested in theft of gauge with radioactive material

HALETHORPE -- Two men have been charged with stealing a moisture-density gauge containing a small amount of radioactive material -- a theft that prompted a public alert last week.


The gauge, which measures moisture and compaction of ground surfaces, was reported stolen Friday from a vehicle near the Halethorpe home of an employee of Hardin-Knight Associates Inc. The company uses it for construction surveys, state environmental officials said.

After receiving a tip Saturday, officers found it at the end of Smallwood Street in Southwest Baltimore, police said. Charged with grand theft were James Albert Brittingham, 43, of the 4000 block of Annapolis Road in Halethorpe and Edward William Propst, 32, of the 600 block of Center Drive in Severna Park.


Dundalk Middle School expected to reopen today

DUNDALK -- Dundalk Middle School is expected to reopen today after being closed yesterday by a heating system failure.

A frozen pipe broke near the school's boiler, leaving the school without heat, said school system spokesman Douglas J. Neilson.

Northpoint woman killed in collision in Edgemere

EDGEMERE -- A 67-year-old North Point woman died Saturday after the car she was driving ran a red light at North Point Boulevard and Morse Lane and hit another car, county police said yesterday.

Dorothy Mae Crounse of the 7800 block of St. Gregory Drive was traveling south on North Point Boulevard in her 1994 Ford Escort about 8:30 a.m. when she ran a light at the intersection, hitting the passenger side of a 1996 Dodge Caravan headed east onto Morse Lane from the Beltway, police said.

The driver of the Dodge was treated for minor injuries, authorities said.

Flu vaccine available today at Drumcastle Center


TOWSON -- The county halth department will make available to the public 350 doses of flu vaccine during a clinic from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today at the Drumcastle Center, 6401 York Road.

Flu shots will be given on a first-come basis for $16. The cost is covered by Medicare Part B. All others must pay by check or in cash.

Vaccinations are recommended for children between 6 and 23 months; adults over the age of 65; anyone over the age of 2 with a chronic illness or weakened immune system, and pregnant women in their second or third trimester. Information: 410-887-2724.

In Baltimore City

Council is closer to asking voters to align elections

The City Council moved one step closer last night to approving a bill that would give voters a chance to fix the 14-month gap between Baltimore's primary and general municipal elections.


Baltimore voters passed a referendum in 1999 to align mayoral and City Council general elections with presidential races beginning this year. But only the General Assembly can set primary election dates.

Because the Assembly did not act, the city's primary was held in September, creating a lame-duck administration until this November's general election. That 14-month gap will continue for city elections unless state lawmakers act this year.

The council voted 12-6, with one abstention, last night to ask voters to negate their 1999 decision by placing a referendum on November's ballot to hold the next primary and general election in 2007. A final vote on the measure was scheduled for the council's meeting Jan. 26.

World Trade Center loses water service

Baltimore's World Trade Center, which was shut down for several weeks in the fall because of flooding from Tropical Storm Isabel, lost water service yesterday after a line broke, the Department of Public Works said.

Crews arrived at the scene of the break on Pratt Street about 3 p.m. and were making repairs along the major downtown traffic artery during rush hour, a DPW spokesman said. The department was "hopeful" the 8-inch water line would be fixed by the time workers return to their offices today, he said.


Numerous water-line breaks have been reported throughout the city-operated system because of a change in temperatures and shifting earth. Since Jan. 1, the department said, 23 large water mains have burst --less than the 46 during the comparable period last year. Among yesterday's problems were breaks in a 16-inch main in the 2500 block of Hammonds Ferry Road and a smaller main in the 500 block of W. Saratoga St.

Firefighter hurts leg falling through floor of apartment

A city firefighter suffered a minor leg injury after falling from the third story to the second when a floor gave way during an apartment building fire yesterday in West Baltimore, authorities said.

The firefighter, whose name was not divulged, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center after falling in the building in the 3300 block of Clifton Ave., said fire department spokesman Kevin Cartwright.

Investigators had not determined the cause of the blaze, reported about 11:40 a.m., he said.

UB president chooses chief academic officer


University of Baltimore President Robert L. Bogomolny announced yesterday his selection of Wim Wiewel, dean of the college of business administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as provost, the chief academic officer.

Previously, Wiewel, a native of the Netherlands, was dean of the Illinois university's college of urban planning and affairs, where he was a professor of urban planning and policy. He received a doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University in 1984 and holds degrees in sociology and urban planning from the University of Amsterdam.