Authorities are searching for the man who raped a 14-year-old girl Friday in Towson, county police said.
The girl was walking to a friend's house about 11:20 p.m. when a man followed her behind a store in the 7200 block of York Road, county police said. As she walked toward an alley near the 400 block of Chumleigh Road, the man forced the girl to the ground and raped her, police said.
The girl ran to a friend's house, where a woman there took her to St. Joseph Medical Center, county police said. She was then taken to Greater Baltimore Medical Center and later released, police said.
The attacker was described as a black man, 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a medium build and a goatee, police said. He wore a white T-shirt under a blue, plaid, unbuttoned shirt and baggy dark jeans. He might have the nickname "Prez," police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Baltimore County police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7-LOCKUP.
School renovation funding urged
The administration of Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. urged the County Council yesterday to approve an additional $1.87 million in funding for the renovation of Perry Hall Middle School.
The additional funds would cover higher-than-anticipated costs of building materials and labor, an administration official testified at a council work session in Towson.
More than $1.1 million would come from county surplus money, and the rest would be covered by state funds expected for next year. The additional funding would bring the total cost of the renovation to $18.8 million.
A council vote is scheduled for Tuesday.
Smith campaign returns checks
The re-election campaign of County Executive James T. Smith Jr. returned checks this week to two donors who had given more to the campaign than state law allows, a Smith campaign spokesman said yesterday.
A $5,000 check was returned to the National United Food and Commercial Workers, and $3,500 was returned to Century Engineering, Smith campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford said.
Clifford blamed the excessive contributions on oversights that he said can occur in large political campaigns.
"We correct them as quickly as we can," he said.
He said the errors were caught Monday after the watchdog group Common Cause Maryland sent a complaint about Smith's campaign filings to the state prosecutor. The complaint, involving an August filing that showed a total of $35,800 in returned donations, said the Smith campaign failed to list the returned checks individually.
Clifford contended that the checks were listed in the report sent to the state elections board. A state elections official said yesterday it appeared that the Smith campaign had filed the report properly, but that portions of it did not appear on the board's Web site because of a computer coding problem.
Number seeking public help rises
The number of people in Baltimore County seeking food, shelter and other forms of public assistance is on the rise, the county's social services director said yesterday at a conference in Cockeysville.
"There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to us for assistance," Timothy Griffith said after addressing social workers and officials from local charities at an "energy summit" at Oregon Ridge Park.
He attributed the increase to a recent rise in electricity rates and a shortage of affordable housing.
Representatives of the county Social Services Department, local charities and BGE met yesterday to discuss strategies for helping low-income residents cope with higher electricity costs.
Dozens of people, including County Executive James T. Smith Jr., a BGE executive and a director of the local charity Community Assistance Network, attended the summit. It focused partly on understanding the BGE bill passed by the General Assembly this year and awareness of public assistance programs.
Couple wins $250,000 drawing
A Baltimore County couple were the winners of a supermarket chain's $250,000 drawing.
Neil and Diane Cariello of Baldwin were the grand prize winners in a national contest conducted by Safeway, the company said. The Cariellos received their check yesterday at the Safeway store in Jacksonville.
Their entry was chosen from about 50 million tickets given away during the pro football playoffs this year as part of the supermarket chain's 2006 Scratch and Win football game, according to Safeway. Neil Cariello is the owner of a lawn care business, and Diane Cariello is a full-time mother to the couple's four children.
Bereavement group to meet
The Compassionate Friends of Maryland, a self-help support group for parents who have experienced the death of a child, will hold its monthly meeting at 8 p.m. Oct. 4 at Spangler Hall, 1609 Kurtz Ave., Lutherville.
Ann Finkbeiner, a freelance writer and director of the master's program in writing about science at Johns Hopkins writing seminars, will be the guest speaker.
Spangler Hall is adjacent to the parking lot for St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church. Information: 410-321-7053.
Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.