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City/County Digest


In Baltimore City

Two women shot after men break into west-side rowhouse

Police were seeking two men who broke into a West Baltimore rowhouse early yesterday and shot two women after ransacking several rooms. It was not known what the intruders were seeking.

The men entered the home in the 1600 block of W. Lexington St. about 3:45 a.m., awakened the women - one 35 and the other 43 - and began opening dresser drawers, police said.

One woman was shot in the chest and left arm, and the other in the buttock, police said.

The women - whose names were withheld - were reported in critical but stable condition last night at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the Western District at 410-396-2477.

Police identify man killed outside fast-food restaurant

Police made public yesterday the identity of a man fatally shot early Saturday outside a central Baltimore fast-food restaurant, but said no arrest had been made and that a motive for the slaying remained unknown.

It was the city's 35th homicide this year and the 12th in the past 16 days, police said.

The victim, Raymond Joseph Brown Jr., 33, of the 1000 block of E. Biddle St. was seen walking out of McDonald's in the first block of W. North Ave. about 7:30 a.m. when he was shot in the upper body, said Detective Gina Pugliano.

Brown died about 30 minutes later at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Anyone with information about the gunman's identity was urged to call Pugliano at 410-396-2100.

Hipp Cafe near theater to open Friday, 10 days late

The Hipp Cafe, which had been expected to open along with the Hippodrome Theatre in the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, is scheduled to open for dinner Friday - 10 days later than planned.

Center officials had hoped that the cafe, near Baltimore and Eutaw streets, would open in time for the Feb. 10 unveiling of the $62 million project, but construction delays forced a postponement.

Firefighter, owner injured in fire at auto repair shop

A three-alarm fire destroyed a Northwest Baltimore auto repair shop last night, and sent a firefighter and the owner to area hospitals for treatment of minor injuries.

Reported at 7:07 p.m. at Johnny's Auto Shop in the 4100 block of W. Belvedere Ave., the fire destroyed the interior of the single-story concrete and brick building. The cause remained under investigation.

Flames erupted and rose above the building, and thick smoke drifted over the nearby overhead tracks of the Light Rail System, which remained in operation, said Kevin Cartwright, a Fire Department spokesman. However, CSX trains were rerouted because of fire hoses over the tracks, he said.

The firefighter injured an ankle when she fell and was treated at Mercy Medical Center. The owner, John Powell, 57, was treated at Sinai Hospital for a minor burn, Cartwright said.

In Baltimore County

Police seek woman, 51, missing since November

TOWSON - Police asked for the public's help yesterday in finding a 51-year-old Nigerian woman who has been missing since November.

Although police do not suspect foul play, they said Justina Akubundu Obiakor requires medication for high blood pressure and did not have any with her when she left a relative's house in the 800 block of Northrop Lane in Middle River on Nov. 21. Police said they do not believe she has returned to Nigeria.

Anyone with information about Obiakor is asked to call police at 410-307-2020.

Post-Taliban Afghanistan focus of speech tomorrow

TOWSON - Rangini Hamidi, a native of Kandahar, Afghanistan, will speak on "After the Taliban: Empowering Afghan Women" at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the Kelley Lecture Hall at Goucher College.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Hamidi has been an advocate for Afghans in the United States. She also is director of women's programs at Afghans for Civil Society, a nonprofit group that promotes the rebirth of civil society in Afghanistan.

Hamidi's appearance is sponsored by Goucher's Women's Studies Program, the Department of Political Science and International Relations, and the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center.

Hannah More fund-raiser named leader of chamber

REISTERSTOWN - Donna S. Clare, director of development at Hannah More School, has been named president of the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Chamber of Commerce.

As president, Clare will establish direction for the chamber and provide leadership to the board of directors. She was elected by the board and chamber members. She will assume the post immediately.

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