In Baltimore City

Woman sentenced in $205,000 theft at St. Mary's Seminary


A 47-year-old Wicomico County woman was sentenced yesterday in city Circuit Court to eight years in prison for stealing money from St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, where she used to work.

Cynthia J. Downs, 47, pleaded guilty in October to continuing theft in connection to $205,989.22 that was missing from the seminary. Judge Stuart R. Berger sentenced Downs to prison time and five years' probation, and ordered her to pay full restitution.


Prosecutors say Downs stole from the seminary from September 2001 to December 2002 by depositing checks intended for the seminary into her personal account.

Head of advocacy group for black officers suspended

The president of an advocacy group for black and minority city police officers has been suspended by the organization's board of directors, who are concerned about recent public battles with top police commanders, members said.

Officer Jeffrey Redd, who took over as president of the Vanguard Justice Society in mid-2002, declined to comment on his suspension by the board Saturday. Vanguard's board members could not be reached or did not return phone calls.

In recent weeks, Redd held a news conference on the steps of police headquarters and sharply criticized Commissioner Kevin P. Clark's chief of staff for initiating internal investigations of minority officers.

Clark then sent out an e-mail to the entire force defending his aide, police veteran George Mitchell, and called Redd's accusations reckless.

Hearing canceled on permit for Valley Proteins facility

The Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals canceled its hearing yesterday on Valley Proteins' permit application because of inclement weather. No new hearing date has been set.


The Virginia company, whose plant sits at the city-Anne Arundel County line near Curtis Bay, is seeking to rebuild its animal-rendering cooker after a fire.

Charles County developer Stephen McAllister, who wants to develop homes in the Brooklyn Park-Curtis Bay area, is challenging the company's foundation permit. Residents from Anne Arundel and the city say strong animal-rendering odors would threaten to derail neighborhood renewal plans.

In Baltimore County

Board of Education plans budget hearing today

TOWSON -- The Baltimore County Board of Education will hold a budget hearing and a regular board meeting today at the Educational Support Services Building, 6901 Charles St.

The board meeting, postponed from last night because of ice and snow, will begin at 4:45 p.m., when members plan to discuss scheduling matters.


The hearing on Superintendent Joe A. Hairston's proposed $923 million operating budget for 2004-2005 will begin at 7 p.m. The sign-up period for public comment starts an hour earlier.

Missing disabled man found at hospital's ER

PARKVILLE -- The 32-year- old disabled man whom Baltimore County police had been searching for since Sunday was found yesterday morning.

Thomas Paine Holston of the 8000 block of Highpoint Road had been checked into the emergency room at St. Agnes HealthCare. He was in good condition, police said.

County cancels pickups of recyclables this week

TOWSON -- Baltimore County has canceled all scheduled pickups of recyclables -- mixed paper, bottles and cans -- this week because of the weather.


Trash collection will continue as conditions permit. County-operated trash and recycling centers will be open at their normal times.