Teachers vote to OK new two-year contract
The membership of the Baltimore Teachers Union has voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new two-year contract that will give teachers and aides their first pay raises in three years.
The contract gives teachers and aides an immediate 2 percent raise, followed by a 1 percent increase in January and a 5 percent increase in the 2006-2007 school year. In balloting Thursday, 91 percent of the teachers and 96 percent of the aides voted in favor of the contract.
The union represents 6,700 teachers and 1,500 aides.
- Sara Neufeld
Authorities searching area for man who fled from police
Authorities in Maryland and Pennsylvania spent yesterday searching the South Carroll area for an armed Pennsylvania man who they said fled from police Thursday night.
When Pennsylvania police tried to serve a court order to confiscate firearms from Michael K. Voland Sr., 45, of Hanover, Pa., after a domestic complaint by his wife, Voland fled in his 1987 Chevrolet truck about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.
Voland drove south on Route 97 in Carroll County and Maryland state troopers joined Pennsylvania police in the chase. Voland's truck became disabled in the South Carroll community of Berrett, where he fled on foot with a rifle, police said.
State police helicopters, police dogs and tactical teams searched for Voland Thursday and yesterday. Route 97 in Berrett was closed to traffic for several hours Thursday night and residents in the area were warned to stay inside with their doors locked.
Voland is described as a white male, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a flannel shirt with no sleeves and baseball cap. He faces traffic and criminal charges in both states, police said.
Anyone who might have seen Voland should call the Westminster barracks at 410-386-3000.
-- Ellie Baublitz
Detective seeks public's help in solving killing of teen
A city homicide detective is seeking help from the public in solving the March killing of a former high school quarterback in the Westport neighborhood.
The victim, 19-year-old Darryl Smith Jr., was fatally shot March 2 in the 2300 block of Cedley St. He had played football at Edmondson High School.
"I've interviewed several people concerning the murder but have found nothing so far that will lead me to his killer," said Detective Eric Sharp. "Someone out there knows who did it."
Smith's mother, Erika Ward, also made an appeal in the hope that an arrest in the case would ease the family's distress. "If someone would call police and help solve my son's murder, the family would be eternally grateful," Ward said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Metro Crime Stoppers toll free at 866-7LOCKUP. Phone calls are not recorded, and callers may remain anonymous.
3 motorists charged with DUI while at sobriety checkpoint
Three motorists passing through a sobriety checkpoint last weekend in eastern Baltimore County were charged with driving under the influence, state police said yesterday.
The three were among 258 drivers who passed through the checkpoint, which was in place from about 12:40 a.m. to about 1:45 a.m. Sunday on Route 702 at Old Eastern Avenue, police said. Drivers were pulled to the side of the road for field sobriety testing, police said.
One of the three charged with driving under the influence was also charged with drug possession, according to police.
Back-to-school celebration is scheduled for today
The fifth annual Remington Back-to-School Celebration is being held today outside the Church of the Guardian Angel in the 300 block of W. 27th St.
Free backpacks containing school supplies will be handed out to youths; more than 100 were given away last year.
The event, which goes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., also will have a health fair with free screenings sponsored by Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Baltimore Fire Department.
Youths who participated in summer camp at the Maryland Institute College of Art will display their work. Entry is free, but children who want a free backpack must show proof that they live in the Remington neighborhood. Vouchers for school uniforms also will be distributed to community residents.
B&O; Railroad Museum is tourism award finalist
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum has been chosen as a finalist for a tourism award co-sponsored by Smithsonian magazine.
The Sustainable Tourism Award for Preservation comes with $20,000 and is given to an organization that supports the preservation of historic or cultural subjects and has a clear connection to tourism.
Police issue warrant for suspect in rape
A 35-year-old Cockeysville man has been charged in the rape of a woman Sunday in her Timonium apartment, but the man apparently has fled the state, police said yesterday.
Baltimore County police have an arrest warrant for David Corwin Mollett, 35, of the 300 block of Lake Vista Circle, the department announced. Mollett is charged with first-degree rape, police said.
The 22-year-old rape victim did not know her attacker, said Sgt. Vickie Warehime, a county police spokeswoman. Police had been searching for the suspect, without his name, based upon the woman's description. Yesterday, a Cockeysville precinct officer answering a call for a nonviolent crime realized that the description of the suspect in the crime he was investigating matched the description of the rape suspect, Warehime said.
Police did not divulge the details of yesterday's crime. Warehime said detectives were able to identify Mollett as the rape suspect and then determine that on Thursday night he was in Missouri. Police do not know the direction he is headed, Warehime said, adding that he has relatives and friends across the country.
Mollett is described as 35 years old, 5 feet 11 inches, weighing 190 pounds. He is bald and has a tattoo on his upper left arm of a red heart with the name "ScoopD" written in black. He also has a scar on his right eyebrow and a mole on his cheek.
Police said he left the area in a 2002 gray Ford Explorer with Maryland registration 417M347.
Anyone with information about Mollett is asked to call Baltimore County police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP (1-866-756-2587).
-- Laura Barnhardt
Aquarium's Australia exhibit scheduled to open Dec. 16
The National Aquarium in Baltimore announced this week that its new Australia exhibit will open Dec. 16 -- more than seven months past the target date and about $8.5 million over budget.
Aquarium officials announced the date at a news conference Thursday as they led reporters and television crews through the nearly complete 65,400-square-foot building.
The Australian exhibit will house 120 species, including crocodiles, turtles and birds, for a total of 1,800 animals.
The first inhabitants -- a colony of flying foxes and fruit bats -- are scheduled to move in next month.
"The bats are particularly skittish. They're kind of big, clumsy landers. So we're going to keep our eyes on them," said spokeswoman Molly Foyle. "We want to give them least three weeks to acclimate."
The $74.5 million exhibit will also include a 35-foot-high waterfall and an Australian river canyon carved out of 7,750 tons of concrete.
Entrepreneurial center at college names director
Howard Community College has named Elizabeth M. Noble as director of its new Center for Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence.
The center, which opened July 1, offers consulting, technology support and educational services to local businesses.
Noble is founder of Noble Solutions, an organizational consulting business, and has been an adjunct faculty member at the college since 2002.
This fall, the college will also begin offering two associate's degree programs and a certificate of proficiency program in entrepreneurship, new degree and certificate programs in professional coaching and expanded programs in hospitality management and culinary management.
-- Sandy Alexander
Grant-application deadline is extended to Sept. 6
A health care union is extending a deadline for community-based organizations to apply for grants to help pay for activities and educational programs for at-risk youth in Baltimore and Prince George's County neighborhoods.
Applicants now have until Sept. 6 to apply. The original deadline for the Brighter Future Grant Program had been Aug. 31. The grants range from $500 to $5,000 and can be used by community associations and faith-based groups to fight drug abuse and fund crime-reduction programs.
The grants are being given out by the Maryland and District of Columbia division of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 8,000 health care workers in the area.
Applications can be obtained at the union's Maryland/D.C. offices at 611 Eutaw St. in Baltimore.
Two lanes are set to close temporarily at McHenry tunnel
Two E-ZPass Only lanes are set to be closed during the overnight hours at the northbound Fort McHenry Tunnel next week for construction work, according to state transportation workers.
Lanes 11 and 12 will be closed from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday through Thursday nights. The left lane in the northbound left tunnel, also dedicated for E-ZPass use, also will be closed.
Motorists who use E-ZPass are encouraged to use the right lane in the left tunnel to reach lane 9, which will be designated an E-ZPass only lane.