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Regional Digest


In Maryland

Senate notes deaths as it OKs limits for young drivers

ANNAPOLIS - Members of a Senate committee noted the recent highway deaths of two Perry Hall students when they approved a bill last week that would restrict young drivers from carrying passengers during their first six months on the road.

Sen. James Brochin, a Baltimore County Democrat, changed his vote at the last minute in favor of Senate Bill 233, saying he was convinced the restriction could save lives. "I think the evidence is so compelling, I don't see how you can be against it," he said.

Ashley M. Samuels was driving on Baltimore-Washington Parkway when she and her passenger, Rachel M. Betts, were killed Feb. 16. Both girls were 16.

Oyster season extended by two weeks to April 13

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has extended the commercial oyster season by two weeks to make up for time watermen lost this winter when bad weather iced over much of Chesapeake Bay. Scheduled to end March 31, oyster harvesting will now continue through April 13, excluding weekends.

"The ice had watermen socked in. They had quite a few days off work," said DNR assistant secretary Mike Slattery. Since oyster season began Oct. 1, about 20,000 bushels have been harvested - making this likely to be the worst harvest on record, he said.

Last year, 53,000 bushels were gathered, far below the hundreds of thousands gathered through most of the 1990s.

In Baltimore City

Appraiser gets probation in property flipping scheme

Dale F. Schulz, a Jarrettsville real estate appraiser, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to three years' probation, which includes eight months of home detention, for his role in a property flipping scheme.

Schulz, 56, was also ordered to pay $500,000 restitution to the federal government but was given a payment schedule of $100 a month for the three years of probation, limiting his payments to $3,600.

Schulz had pleaded guilty last year to signing appraisals containing false information, although someone else had performed them. The appraisals were used to obtain mortgages on houses flipped by William Otto Schmidbauer, a former Perry Hall real estate agent now serving a prison term.

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