Head of city NAACP branch says he'll resign

Saying he needed to give "a real serious wake-up call" to the leadership and the membership, the president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP said he will step down after more than two years in the post.


Marvin "Doc" Cheatham said yesterday that he would leave the civil rights organization on July 24.

He said that the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been fortunate in that it has received a number of awards for its work, but that exposure has led to more requests for help.


"I'm overwhelmed ... physically and mentally drained at this point," Cheatham said, adding that he enjoyed his volunteer work with the organization.

He said he hopes the membership and the community will respond to his "cry in the wilderness." But the group does not have strong community support, he said.

Cheatham, 56, has served as head of the Baltimore branch since January 2005.

Associated Press


: Lawsuit

Defamation case will go forward

A federal judge in Baltimore has rejected a church's attempt to dismiss a defamation lawsuit that had been filed by the father of a fallen Marine after church members picketed his son's funeral.


U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett ruled against the church's contention that the court would be forced to decide among different religious viewpoints.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., is suing the Rev. Fred Phelps and his Topeka, Kan.-based church after church members demonstrated at the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder in Westminster last year and posted pictures of the protest on a Web site.

The church claims that the death of American servicemen and women in Iraq is God's punishment for the country's tolerance of homosexuality. Attorneys for the church have argued that members have a First Amendment right to express such opinions. Snyder's suit says that such rights do not extend to funerals.

The latest motion to dismiss the case was filed by Rebekah Phelps-Davis and Shirley Phelps-Roper, two daughters of Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church. Phelps had raised similar issues in an earlier unsuccessful attempt to have the case dismissed. The case goes to trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in October.

Associated Press

Harford County


: Bel Air

Town to celebrate Flag Day early

The town of Bel Air will celebrate Flag Day a few days early, with a ceremony at 8 a.m. Saturday in Shamrock Park on Hickory Avenue.

The Bel Air High School band and chorus will participate in the event, which will begin with a presentation by a color guard and end with a bugler's solo.

James Mullaney, a Fallston attorney and Army veteran of World War II and Korea, will offer remarks.

Flag Day is Thursday, June 14.