In Baltimore City
Board of Estimates OKs contract to redo War Memorial Plaza
The city Board of Estimates awarded a $1.5 million contract yesterday to transform War Memorial Plaza from a crumbling tribute to World War I heroes to a more welcoming city park.
While the plaza will retain its name and connection to veterans, it will get a substantial makeover by Allied Contractors during the next 10 months. The sunken, mostly paved park, built in 1927, will be raised closer to street level and made greener with the addition of trees, grass and flower beds. Plans also call for a new fountain.
City officials hope that the plaza, which sits between City Hall and the War Memorial Building, will serve as attractive green space for downtown apartment-dwellers, as well as a more fitting tribute to veterans.
Ex-police commissioner released from prison
Former Maryland State Police Superintendent Edward T. Norris was released yesterday from a federal prison in Atlanta after serving a six-month sentence.
Norris pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to misuse as much as $30,000 in police funds while serving as Baltimore's police commissioner. He also pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.
Norris now begins six months of detention at the home in Tampa, Fla., he shares with his wife and young son. As part of his sentence, Norris must perform 500 hours of community service in Baltimore. Last week, his attorney asked a judge to allow him to do the community service in Florida.
DNA leads to conviction in 2001 killing of woman
A Baltimore man was convicted yesterday of second-degree murder after a DNA match sparked a cold-case investigation into the death of two women.
Timothy Hawkins, 34, of the 2100 block of Tucker Lane submitted an oral swab of DNA to prison officials after being arrested in 2003 for violating his parole in a 1989 second-degree murder and child abuse conviction. That sample matched DNA found on the bodies of two women who were sexually assaulted and killed in 2001.
Yesterday's conviction stemmed from the fatal stabbing of Durri Emmannuel, 27, of the 3900 block of Chatham Road. Her body was found Sept. 5, 2001, in the parking lot of Windsor Hill Elementary School. Hawkins is scheduled for trial next week on first-degree murder charges in the death of Latonia Shuler, 35, whose body was found in May 2001.
Hawkins had pleaded guilty in 1989 to second-degree murder and child abuse in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old child.
Councilman Harris to hold forum for District 4 leaders
City Councilman Kenneth N. Harris Sr. will hold a forum for community leaders in North Baltimore's new 4th District from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight at Loyola College.
Harris said he needs to get to know many of the leaders because of recent redistricting, which put many council veterans in new territory and reduced the number of members representing each district to one, down from three.
In Baltimore County@SUBHEDMan charged in 1988 rape of 12-year-old Arbutus girl
TOWSON - A 53-year-old man charged in a series of rapes nearly 20 years ago was charged yesterday with another sexual assault - a 1988 attack on a 12-year-old Arbutus girl, county police said.
Officer Shawn Vinson said Thaddeus Sylvester Clemons, of the 700 block of S. Woodington Road, faces rape and handgun charges in connection with the July 14, 1988, rape of the girl in the 900 block of Leeds Ave.
Clemons has been charged in five other rapes in the area of Frederick Road in which he threatened the victims with a knife or handgun, police said. He is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
Suspect in Essex killing faces extradition from Colo.
TOWSON - A 21-year-old man faces extradition from Colorado after being charged in the Dec. 31 fatal shooting of a patron in the Blue Fins Saloon in Essex, county police said yesterday.
Jimmy Holger Silva of the first block of Wagner Lane, Middle River, was arrested by FBI agents on Jan. 14 in Pueblo, Colo., police said in a release. There is no date for Silva's extradition, police said.
He is charged with killing Romanio Antonio Jones, 30, of the first block of Norham Court, Essex, during a New Year's Eve gathering at the saloon in the 8200 block of Eastern Ave.
Delegate wants land used for new school
TOWSON - Del. Richard K. Impallaria, a Baltimore County Republican, sent a letter yesterday to the Baltimore County executive, schools superintendent and school board proposing construction of a high school on 85 acres off U.S. 40 near the Harford County line.
The county-owned land sits on the Days Cove reserve, west of Gunpowder Falls State Park.
Impallaria is one of several officials urging the school board and County Executive James T. Smith Jr. to build a school to ease crowding at Perry Hall High and elsewhere. He said that the letter was a draft and that he plans to present it to the full county delegation.
Spokesmen for Smith and the school district said it was too soon to comment.