Researcher sues Hopkins, claiming discrimination



Alleging that her academic career and her search for a cancer cure have been illegally cut short, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has filed suit accusing the school and four employees of discriminating against her because of her race and gender.

Young Hee Ko, a Korean-born biochemist and assistant professor whose success in curing liver cancer in rats was described in a Sun article Jan. 8, filed her complaint Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Baltimore.


She alleges that school officials denied her laboratory space needed to qualify for grants to support her work and bring her discoveries to clinical trials, and that others at Hopkins sought to exploit her discoveries for their own advancement.

Her objections brought retaliation and defamation, she alleges, leading to non-renewal of her five-year contract. Named as defendants, in addition to the university, are Dr. Chi Van Dang, vice dean for research; Dr. Jean-Francoise Geschwind, associate professor of radiology; Dr. Jonathan Lewin, radiology chairman, and his predecessor, Dr. Robert W. Gayler.

"We feel the case is totally without merit and we fully expect to be vindicated in the courts," Hopkins spokesman Gary M. Stephenson said yesterday. Ko lost her tenure-track appointment in radiology because she stopped collaborating with other researchers, he said, adding that Ko is "free to seek reappointment in a basic science division suitable for her to pursue her research interests."

"Hopkins is committed to fair and equal treatment of all faculty and employees, and believes it has treated Dr. Ko fairly in this instance," he said.

- Frank D. Roylance


Three recent fires were set intentionally, investigators say

Three fires in eastern Carroll County area in the past month have been determined to be arson, said Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Allen R. Gosnell.


The most recent arson May 31 caused an estimated $175,000 damage to the contents and building of the Lady Baltimore flooring company on Route 140 in Finksburg, he said.

Trooper Edward P. Winkler answered a 5 a.m. burglar alarm and saw smoke when he walked to the rear of the business. He then saw flames shooting out a window, and he doused them with a fire extinguisher in his patrol car, Gosnell said.

A reward is being offered by the insurance company for information about this arson, he said.

The other recent early-morning fires occurred at a vacant house in the 2600 block of Emory Road and at a barn on Saint Paul Road near Hampstead.

The cause of a fourth fire at a home on Cedarhurst Road remains under investigation, he said.

Anyone with information may call the fire marshal's regional office anonymously at (410) 552-0154.


-- Sheridan Lyons


Man stabs two women during fight at a bar

Two women were stabbed by a man during a fight at a bar yesterday morning , police said.

The fight started between two other woman at the House of Rock in the 11000 block of Pulaski Highway about 1:30 a.m., said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman. As the fight escalated, the boyfriend of one of those woman pulled out a knife and stabbed Cachet Brown, 26, and Sabrina Gibson, 25, both of Edgewood, Vinson said.

Brown, who was stabbed in the side, was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries and underwent surgery there, Vinson said. Gibson, who was stabbed in the back, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for stitches, according to police.


No arrests had been made yesterday, said Vinson.


Hickey School worker charged with second-degree rape

An employee of the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School was arrested yesterday and charged with raping a relative of another employee near the juvenile facility, police and state officials said.

Lawrence Gaskins, 35, of the 1500 Alconbury Court in Essex, was charged with second-degree rape, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a spokesman for the county police. Gaskins was released after posting a $25,000 bond, Vinson said.

Gaskins, a group leader at the facility, has been placed on administrative leave, said LaWanda Edwards, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Juvenile Services.


He is accused of raping a 22-year-old woman who had been visiting a family member on state property just outside the grounds of the Hickey School on June 1, authorities said.


Police await autopsy results in man's death in holding cell

Baltimore County police are awaiting autopsy results as part of their investigation into the death of a 46-year-old man in a holding cell at the department's Franklin precinct.

Glenn Hawkins, of the 2700 block of Ruscombe Lane in Northwest Baltimore, was found unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing, last Saturday, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman. He was taken to Northwest Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, Vinson said.

Hawkins had been arrested and charged with snatching a woman's purse at the Owings Mills Mall food court May 27, Vinson said. His bail was set at $2,000, and he was awaiting a bail review hearing in the precinct's holding cell.


Off-duty officer helps family of 4 escape fire


A family escaped from its burning house unharmed early yesterday after an off-duty Baltimore County police officer noticed the fire and roused them, fire officials said.

Maj. William Kalista was driving about 6:40 a.m. when he saw heavy smoke coming from a home in the first block of Dellwood Court in Hunt Valley, said fire Capt. James M. Korn.

Driving toward the smoke, Kalista found the home's garage engulfed in flames that were spreading to the house, according to a statement from the Fire Department. He knocked on the door and alerted the four family members, two adults and two children, who fled without injury.

About 90 firefighters responded to the fire, which was contained shortly before 7:30 a.m., the statement said. The cause of the fire was under investigation, and officials had no estimate of damages.


- Sara Neufeld


Undercover officer shoots man driving at him, police say

A man suspected of possessing heroin was shot yesterday by an undercover Aberdeen detective as he drove his car toward the officer, police said.

The Harford County Narcotics Task Force had received a tip that Aaron Singh would be at the Days Inn Hotel in the 2100 block of Emmorton Park Drive in Edgewood with drugs and cash. When Singh, 23, of the 100 block of Long Meadow Court in Abingdon, got into his car in the hotel parking lot, officers blocked him, police said.

Officers ordered Singh out of his car, but he refused and accelerated toward an undercover detective, police said. The officer drew his gun and fired twice, piercing the car's windshield. One bullet struck Singh's wrist, authorities said.


Singh was treated at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and released into police custody last night. Police said investigators found heroin and cash near the passenger seat of Singh's car.

The 35-year-old undercover detective who shot him is a three-year veteran from the Aberdeen Police Department. Police said they would not identify him, and he was placed on paid administrative leave.

-- William Wan


Pennsylvania man is charged with trafficking in child porn

A Pennsylvania man who has been convicted four times of underage sex-related crimes has been arrested again and charged in Baltimore with trafficking in child pornography.


James A. Reigle Jr., 46, of Harrisburg appeared in U.S. District Court in Baltimore yesterday on charges he helped distribute "a huge collection of images of minors," according to court papers.

Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey ordered Reigle held until his trial, which has not been scheduled.

Authorities said they learned of Reigle's collection from a Montana man who they said was holding the photographs while Reigle was serving a 37-month prison sentence.

Thomas Evered, 39, of Lolo, Mont., pleaded guilty in February to a child-pornography charge. Evered could receive 15 to 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors brought the cases in Maryland because the FBI cyber-crime division's Innocent Images program has its headquarters in Calverton.

-- Matthew Dolan



Low-cost rabies vaccinations set today at animal shelter

Baltimore's Municipal Animal Shelter will provide low-cost rabies vaccinations today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the shelter, 301 Stockholm St.

Cost is $6, and dogs, cats and ferrets must be at least 4 months old. Information: 410-396-4688.


Students' artwork on display this week at Museum of Art


The artwork of Baltimore County public school students will be featured at the 17th annual Art is for Everyone exhibition, which runs through tomorrow at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Admission to the museum will be free for Baltimore County residents tomorrow, when a reception will be held from 1 to 4 p.m.

-- Sara Neufeld


Rabbi to discuss exhibit on Jewish life in America

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz will discuss an exhibit on 350 years of Jewish life in America tomorrow at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Jewish Community Center, 5700 Park Heights Ave.


The talk, set for 10:30 a.m., is free.


Lane closures are scheduled on Russell St. starting Monday

Lane closures are scheduled for Monday through Friday along Russell Street for road construction, according to city transportation officials.

The closures are planned for Patapsco Avenue to Hamburg Street, weather permitting. Northbound Russell Street lanes will be affected from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and southbound lane restrictions will be in place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.