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The Baltimore Sun

Ex-engineer sentenced for polluting bay

The former chief engineer of a U.S.-flagged car-carrier ship based in Baltimore was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court to six months in prison for allowing illegal discharges of oily waste into the Chesapeake Bay and for lying to the Coast Guard in its investigation, federal prosecutors said.

Mark Humphries, who had been assigned to the Tanabata, was found guilty by a jury in October of using a bypass pipe to discharge the waste without having it go through a pollution-control device required on all oceangoing vessels.

He was convicted of violating four laws regulating the discharge of bilge waste, prosecutors said, including failing to maintain proper records and producing false documents. Prosecutors said he enlisted cadets from maritime academies to help him in his deception.

The ship's other chief engineer, Stephen Karas, pleaded guilty to similar charges in March and is awaiting sentencing. The illegal discharges occurred in 2002 and 2003.


: Federal court

Man gets 22 years for dealing heroin

A 35-year-old man was sentenced yesterday to nearly 22 years in prison for distributing heroin around Baltimore, federal prosecutors said. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. increased the sentence for Bishme Walker because he had been convicted four previous times in state court on gun and drug charges.

Walker was arrested March 14 after undercover law enforcement officers watched him enter a restaurant in the 1300 block of N. Charles St. in the Mid-Town Belvedere neighborhood and meet with several peoples, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the meeting was "an indication to investigators that a drug exchange had occurred." Authorities said they followed the man to South President Street near Inner Harbor East, where they said he met with another man.

"Walker exited the restaurant with the individual and they got into Walker's car," prosecutors said in a statement. "Believing that a drug exchange was occurring, investigators moved toward the car. Walker threw something, and they were ordered from the car."

Prosecutors said police found five plastic bags, each containing 100 grams of heroin.

Eastern Shore

: Queenstown

Parole violation suspect sought

Maryland State Police are searching for an Eastern Shore man accused of parole violation after he eluded authorities trying to arrest him Wednesday at his mother's home in Queenstown.

Todd Kenneth Woody, 38, is on parole for a 2002 conviction of second-degree assault and felony theft after stealing a seafood truck and leading police in a pursuit from Annapolis to Glen Burnie.

On Sunday, police say, Woody sped through Grasonville in a stolen pickup truck and led authorities on another chase that ended in a wooded area near an embankment on the Wye River in Queenstown.

Woody was captured in the river after a foot chase and was charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest, vehicle theft and destruction of property. He was released on his own recognizance by a court commissioner but the charges violated the terms of Woody's parole, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

On Wednesday, police attempted to arrest Woody at his mother's house in the 200 block of Hickory Ridge Drive. After authorities tried to lure Woody out of the house over several hours, they entered the home but found that Woody had fled.

Brent Jones

Anne Arundel

: Arnold

Neighborhood group ruled owner of piers

An Arnold neighborhood association got half a loaf from the state's highest court in a decision released yesterday declaring it the owner of several waterfront piers but not giving it the right to charge fees for their use.

The Court of Appeals' unanimous ruling mostly upholds a 2005 Court of Special Appeals decision on the Pines Community Improvement Association's efforts since 2003 to take control of piers built by property owners.

Residents of the Pines on the Severn community in Anne Arundel County claimed the piers and boathouses they had erected on Chase Creek, a tributary of the Severn River, belonged to them, and the association had argued it had the authority to levy a pier-maintenance fee on homeowners.

While siding with the community association, the justices said they could not find a legal basis for the association's claimed authority to charge fees to homeowners.

Phillip McGowan

Howard County

: Layoffs

8 to lose jobs as TV studio closes

Eight Howard County workers are facing layoffs July 1 because of County Executive Ken Ulman's plans to save $500,000 a year by eliminating the government cable television studio and staff. The station would merge with Howard Community College's cable operation.

"It's never pleasant to close down an area of government that affects people's jobs," Ulman said, but with state budget cuts coming and a sluggish economy, he has been looking for ways to save money.

Larry Carson

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