Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five



In Baltimore City

Man arrested, charged in killing behind Poe House

A West Baltimore man was arrested last night by officers from the city Housing Authority Police on a warrant charging him with first-degree murder in a shooting Wednesday night behind the historic home of poet and horror writer Edgar Allan Poe.

Officers Jeff Brown and Darren Moore stopped a car in the 800 block of W. Lexington St. at 10:15 p.m. and arrested the driver, Ernest B. Jones, 35, of the 900 block of W. Saratoga St., who was named in the warrant, said city police homicide Detective Mark Hughes.

Jones is charged with killing Kelly Dillon, 37, of the 900 block of W. Lexington St. during an argument in an alley behind Poe House and the adjoining Poe Homes public housing complex in the 200 block of N. Amity St. Police said the shooting was drug-related.

Shipment of dirt bikes en route to African nation

Two years after the City Council came up with an unusual plan to ship impounded dirt bikes to Africa, two dozen are finally on their way to Ghana.

"They're in the [shipping] container and, matter of fact, it should be there the first week of February," Bishop Bart Pierce, pastor of Rock City Church of Baltimore, said last week.

The church, which sends humanitarian aid to Ghana and other African countries, shipped the motorcycles at no cost to the city. They will be donated to pastors and teachers in Ghana, Pierce said.

The City Council voted in February 2002 to send the dirt bikes, which are illegal on city streets and often used for drug-running, to African countries where roads are in poor condition. But no one worked out the shipping details.

More than 450 seized dirt bikes sat outdoors at the impound lot, growing rustier and less valuable by the day. Church volunteers had to make repairs to the 24 cycles to get them in working order before they were shipped out Jan. 17. It is not clear how many of the other dirt bikes can be salvaged.

Event grants available to neighborhood groups

Applications are being accepted for the Believe in Your Neighborhood Program, which provides Baltimore City neighborhood organizations with cash grants of up to $1,000 for events such as concerts, fund-raisers, and street fairs.

Eligible organizations have until 5 p.m. Friday to apply for funds for events through June and until 5 p.m. June 4 for events from July through December. The program, originally known as Neighborgood, is managed by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts and funded by Comcast Communications.

Organizations awarded grants are required to send a representative to a workshop on event planning, public relations and logistics. Information: Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, 410-752-8632 or www.

In Baltimore County

School board to examine proposed budget tomorrow

TOWSON - The Baltimore County Board of Education will hold a work session on Superintendent Joe A. Hairston's proposed $923 million operating budget at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

The work session will allow board members to examine Hairston's spending plan, which covers the 2004-2005 fiscal year. The board is expected to approve an operating budget request Feb. 25.

Tomorrow's meeting will be in the Educational Support Services Building, 6901 Charles St. The public is welcome.

Training sessions set on new voting machines

PARKVILLE - Oak Crest Village will offer public training sessions on the state's new touch-screen voting machines from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow.

Representatives of Diebold Election Systems, manufacturer of the AccuVote-TS machines, and the Baltimore County Board of Elections will lead the sessions. The state has purchased more than 11,000 of the machines at a cost of $55 million.

The sessions will be held in the Crestview Conference Hall at Oak Crest, 8800 Walther Blvd.

Police Department announces promotions

TIMONIUM - Baltimore County police officials have announced the promotions of 11 officers.

Sgts. Stephen B. Troutman and Woodland M. Wilson were promoted to lieutenant recently during a ceremony at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Cpls. Brendan G. Gable, Christopher P. Morgan, Marcy L. Schwartz, Randy Williams and Joseph H. Zerhusen Jr. were promoted to sergeant.

Officers Michael J. Hill, Mark F. Horvath, Charles D. Markey and Justin W. Sandridge were promoted to corporal.

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