Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five




City homicide toll of 137 is ahead of last year's

City police announced three homicides yesterday, pushing this year's toll past where it stood at the same time last year.

Since March, the city had been tallying fewer homicides than last year - when 278 people were killed, the most since 1999.

As of yesterday, there were 137 homicide victims this year. At the same point last year, 134 homicides had occurred, police said.

The latest slaying was reported at 6:40 p.m. yesterday in the 2500 block of Lauretta Ave. in West Baltimore. Police responding to a shooting report found Michael Guy, 20, of the 3900 block of Duvall Ave., who had been shot multiple times in the upper body. He was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. No arrests have been made.

Police also announced yesterday that a man killed in a May 1 hit-and-run crash was a homicide victim and a 74-year-old store owner killed in March was a homicide victim.

On May 1, in the 1500 block of Presstman St., Kurt Fulp was riding his bike east when he was run down by a westbound 1993 Plymouth van, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

The van was burned and destroyed that night, and Fulp, 20, of the 1400 block of Mountmor Court in Gilmor Homes died the next day at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Moses said.

The incident was tied to an April 1 incident in which Fulp intended to shoot one man but hit another, Moses said. No arrests have been made.

In the other case, Jessie Lee Jr. was beaten March 8 in the appliance store that bears his name in the 1900 block of W. Pratt St., Moses said. The two assailants took $800.

Lee died March 21 at Shock Trauma. The pair are being sought.

-Ryan Davis and Richard Irwin


Assisted-living employee gets two-year sentence in abuse

A former assisted-living manager was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to punching an autistic man in the eye, causing him to go blind, the Maryland attorney general's office announced yesterday.

Theresa Jackson, 53, of the 1000 block of Brantley Ave. in Baltimore had been a manager at Myra's Assisted Living facility in the 2600 block of Greenmount Ave. Prosecutors said that in the Jan. 8, 2004, incident, Jackson punched the left eye of a 63-year-old man who was in her care. The facility immediately fired Jackson, and she pleaded guilty Feb. 16 to first-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult.

Baltimore Circuit Judge John M. Glynn sentenced Jackson to 10 years in prison, suspending all but two years, and ordered three years of supervised release. Jackson had failed to appear for her original April 20 sentencing, according to prosecutors, and was arrested June 17 by Maryland State Police and held until yesterday's sentencing.


Historic Towson to hold Empty House Tour tonight

Historic Towson, a preservation group, will hold its first Empty House Tour of the Foote House tonight.

Public tours of the historic East Towson house - an example of Gothic Revival style built without the use of an architect - begin at 7 p.m. The house has been restored by owners Judy and Neil Cohen, said Carol Allen, president of Historic Towson Inc.

The oldest portion of the house dates to 1865. Upper-level rooms were added about 1910 and 1930, Allen said. "The idea of the empty house tour is to give people interested in renovating homes an example they can see," she said.

Admission is free, though small donations are requested. The house is at 305 Lennox Ave.

Information: 410-832-1776.

- Laura Barnhardt


State agrees to sell land to Baltimore County for park

The state Department of Transportation has agreed to sell about a quarter-acre in Perry Hall to Baltimore County for possible use as a community park, the department announced.

The State Highway Administration had purchased the property during expansion of U.S. 1 in the area. The land, at U.S. 1 and Minte Drive, was no longer needed by the state and was included in an inventory of surplus property.

After state legislators urged the Department of Transportation to negotiate with the county to sell the land for use as a park, Secretary Robert L. Flanagan agreed that the land could be sold for $30,000, about half its appraised value, according to the announcement.

The sale must be approved by the County Council and the state Board of Public Works.


Duca assumes command of U.S. Coast Guard Yard

Capt. Stephen Duca of Millersville has assumed command of the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, becoming the 38th leader of the shipbuilding and ship repairing facility that opened 106 years ago.

Duca takes over for Capt. Ronald Rabago, who had commanded the installation since 2003 and departed to become deputy commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Maintenance & Logistics Command Atlantic in Norfolk, Va.

Duca had been industrial manager of the Baltimore yard. He is a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and has a master's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Coast Guard Yard on Hawkins Point Road, on the line between Baltimore and Anne Arundel County, has an annual operating budget of $76 million and is responsible for construction, repair and renovation of vessels and navigation devices.


Request to turn Apex into strip club is denied

The city's Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals unanimously denied a request to turn the Apex adult movie theater on South Broadway into a strip club, board members announced yesterday.

The board, after a hearing Tuesday, sided with community leaders who argued that live entertainment would violate zoning codes and would harm the neighborhood of Washington Hill and Upper Fells Point.

"Obviously we're very happy," said Maureen Sweeney Smith, executive director of the Citizens for Washington Hill. "We think it's the right decision and follows the zoning code. We're definitely thrilled."

Fred Lauer, an attorney for the building's owner, KMI Entertainment, argued during the hearing that KMI's adult entertainment license, obtained through the city liquor board, allowed live entertainment.

The lawyer said he would wait to see the board's written decision before deciding whether to appeal to Circuit Court.

Members of the zoning board noted that the theater is in a "community business district" and all new adult entertainment venues are limited to the city's central business area, including The Block.

Smith said she expected an appeal.

"They want to make a profit," she said of the owners. "We've got a long battle ahead of us."

- Justin Fenton

Annapolis man, 60, drowns on boat trip with grandkids

An Annapolis man drowned in Herring Bay on Tuesday evening during a boat trip with his five grandchildren, Maryland Department of Natural Resources police said yesterday.

Ira L. Thompson, 60, went into the water about 7 p.m. after anchoring his 42-foot powerboat near Deale, according to police.

The grandchildren, ages 4 to 9, were aboard the boat and saw him struggling. Two of the children, ages 4 and 7, leapt into the water to help him, police said.

Thompson lost consciousness and the 7-year-old swam back to the boat to call their grandmother, who called 911.

The 4-year-old stayed in the water with her grandfather. The young girl was wearing a lifejacket and managed to hold him up until the Coast Guard arrived 35 minutes later. Amid high winds, the pair had drifted a half-mile from the anchored boat when the Coast Guard arrived, police said.

Anne Arundel County fire officials said Thompson was in cardiac arrest when he was pulled from the water. Thompson was taken to Calvert Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy showed that he drowned, police said.

The girl was also taken to Calvert Memorial Hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia before being released.

- Annie Linskey

BALTIMORE@SUBHEDMan, 35, gets 55-year term for attempted murder

A 35-year-old man was sentenced yesterday to 55 years in prison for trying to kill a man last year during a robbery in the Perkins Homes public housing complex in Southeast Baltimore, according to the state's attorney's office.

Kevin Gross of the 200 block of S. Herring Court had been found guilty by a jury last month of attempted second-degree murder, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun.

Circuit Judge David Young sentenced Gross to 30 years in prison on the attempted-murder conviction and 25 years on the handgun convictions. Young ordered that the sentences be served consecutively.

Prosecutors said that on July 19, Gross entered a house in the 200 block of Dallas Court and confronted an acquaintance, William Mobley, 39. Gross ordered Mobley to give him money, and the victim complied.

The prosecutors said Gross then demanded more money, hit the victim over the head with a gun, knocking out several teeth, and then shot him in the shoulder.

BALTIMORE COUNTY@SUBHEDCCBC Catonsville president taking a position in Texas

Andrew C. Jones, president of the Community College of Baltimore County's Catonsville campus and the school's extension centers, will leave his post to become vice chancellor of educational affairs at Dallas County Community College in Texas. His new assignment will start in August.

Jones, who has been at CCBC since 1999, will be chief instructional officer for the Dallas system, which consists of seven schools and two centers for telecommunications and work force development. A CCBC news release said that Dallas voters recently approved a $450 million capital improvement bond for Dallas two-year schools.

The Baltimore native said that he is looking forward to the new job.

"I am excited about the prospects of working in a progressive higher education environment that enjoys great community and board support," Jones said.

- Joe Nawrozki

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