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Arundel Digest

Clinton woman gets 5 years' probation in fatal traffic accident

A Clinton woman was placed on five years of supervised probation yesterday for killing an Owings woman in a traffic crash the day after Christmas 2002.

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Andrea Wooten, 31, cried as she apologized in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to the family of Dawn Lynn Smallwood, 38. Prosecutors said Wooten was taking Vicodin, a strong, prescription-only painkiller, for injuries from a motorcycle accident. She blacked out before her car crossed the center line on Chesapeake Beach Road in Friendship, at the southern end of the county, striking Smallwood's vehicle head-on.

As part of her punishment, Wooten was ordered to perform 500 hours of community service, speaking to people about the dangers of driving while impaired by drugs, and was told by Judge Ronald A. Silkworth to carry a photograph of the victim with her. She had pleaded guilty earlier this year to homicide while impaired.

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The victim was a single parent with three children. Her mother, Joyce Smallwood, said she is struggling to raise her two bereaved grandsons with help from her surviving three daughters. She said the older boy, 19, was planning to attend college but now cannot afford it and is working two jobs instead.

Police seek two suspects in stabbing at taxi stand

Anne Arundel County police are searching for two men in the stabbing of a man at a taxi stand Monday morning in Brooklyn Park.

The victim, Gary Alkire, 36, told police that two masked men entered the dispatch center for New Harbor Cab moments after he opened the office. The men demanded money, Alkire said, and attacked him with a knife when he did not comply.

Alkire suffered multiple stab wounds to his neck, arm, back and abdomen. He was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was treated and released.

Shortly after responding to the scene of the stabbing, police said they received a call from a security guard at a Rite Aid store on Route 2 and Hammonds Lane saying that two men drove up to the store in a brown Dodge Shadow and hastily switched cars, driving off in a silver car that resembled a Thunderbird. Police said they later discovered the Dodge had been stolen, and that evidence in the car linked the two men to the stabbing.

Students may be excused to pay respects to Reagan

Anne Arundel County school officials will excuse students from school tomorrow and Friday if they wish to pay their respects to former President Ronald Reagan, whose body will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.

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Students must bring in a note from their parents or guardians to verify the reason for the absence, said Deputy Superintendent Kenneth Lawson.

School officials made the decision after receiving numerous phone calls from parents asking whether schools will be closed Friday for the national funeral service, Lawson said. County schools will be open as normal, unless Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. declares a statewide closure, he said.

2 Baltimore teens charged in May carjacking at mall

Two Baltimore teen-agers have been charged in a May 22 armed carjacking in the parking lot of Arundel Mills shopping mall, police said.

An investigation by Anne Arundel County police led to the arrest of Markis Damar Brown, 19, on Friday and Prince Alexander Farrar, 17, Monday night.

The 22-year-old carjack victim told police she was walking to her car shortly after 10 p.m. when two men approached her and demanded her keys, threatening her with a sawed-off shotgun. The victim handed her keys to the men, who ordered her to drive them to Baltimore in her Toyota Camry.

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The woman - who was unharmed - dropped the men off in Baltimore and returned to the shopping mall, where she contacted police. Brown and Farrar also have been charged with theft of an SUV in a carjacking incident earlier that week in Baltimore. Police said that the armed men crashed that vehicle in the parking lot of Arundel Mills mall, damaging three other cars.

Sobriety checkpoint set Friday in Severna Park

The Anne Arundel County Police Department will conduct its 35th DUI Sobriety Checkpoint on Friday in Severna Park between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The checkpoint will be on Ritchie Highway between Route 648 and McKinsey Road and will monitor both northbound and southbound traffic.

The checkpoint operation is conducted in support of "Checkpoint Strike Force," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's impaired driving prevention initiative.


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