The Baltimore Sun

O'Malley orders study of bay ferry service

Gov. Martin O'Malley has instructed the state Department of Transportation to study the possibility of a network of ferries linking Maryland's shores, officials confirmed yesterday.

O'Malley wants the state to consider a single-operator ferry system in hopes it would relieve some congestion along U.S. 50, said spokesman Rick Abbruzzese.

"It might be a way of increasing destinations on the Chesapeake Bay, or to prevent drivers from traveling from Baltimore County and Harford through Anne Arundel," Abbruzzese said.

Jack Cahalan, a spokesman for the transportation department, said the first step will be to review previous studies to determine the best way to proceed.

"It would take another study to determine if there's an economically viable option for large-scale commercial use, not just your average family taking a weekend stroll to the Eastern Shore," Cahalan said.

During his campaign for governor last year, O'Malley said he opposed the idea of a new crossing over the Chesapeake Bay - saying it would contribute to sprawl by facilitating more traffic - and wanted to explore a system of fast ferries.

In May, proponents of a high-speed, passengers-only ferry service linking Annapolis, Kent Island and Baltimore held a trial run in hopes of showing the viability of such a project.

Ferry service all but died six decades ago with construction of the Bay Bridge, which carries about 25 milion vehicles a year.

Justin Fenton

Howard County

: Columbia

Man gets eight years in 2006 carjacking

An Annapolis man was sentenced yesterday in Howard County Circuit Court to eight years in prison for carjacking a man by spraying him in the face with WD-40 lubricating oil in the parking lot of a Columbia restaurant.

Joseph Robert Lagana, 36, pleaded guilty to the Oct. 22 carjacking yesterday and was sentenced by Judge Diane O. Leasure.

According to court records, the victim was cleaning out his 2004 Acura TSX at the trash bin of the KFC restaurant on Minstrel Way when Lagana sprayed the lubricant in his face, placed him in a headlock and forced him to the ground.

As they were wrestling, the victim managed to pry the WD-40 from Lagana, who then implied that he had a knife and demanded that the victim place his car keys and wallet on the curb. The victim complied and his assailant drove away.

Nine days later, Frederick city police arrested Lagana in the victim's car. During a search of the car, police found the victim's wallet, which contained his driver's license and several credit cards.

Melissa Harris


30 more days given teen for having gun

A former Hammond High School freshman was sentenced yesterday to 30 more days of home detention for bringing an unloaded gun and ammunition to the school this year, according to the Howard County state's attorney's office.

The juvenile, whose name The Sun is withholding because of his age, had been held at the Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center in Rockville for several weeks until pleading "involved" - the equivalent of guilty - to the gun charge last month in Howard County Juvenile Court.

The former Hammond student had told police that he brought the gun to the school in Columbia to defend himself from a gang.

Melissa Harris


Body identified as missing 19-year-old

Howard County police have identified the person found dead Monday in a wooded area in Columbia as Wasel Ali, 19, of the 8800 block of Warm Granite Drive in Columbia.

Detectives were awaiting the results of an autopsy, police said yesterday.

Ali was reported missing by a family member Aug. 22. Police were investigating it as a missing-person case.

About 5:45 p.m. Monday, a man walking on a path in the woods near the 12200 block of Green Meadow Drive found Ali's body, police said.

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