The Baltimore Sun

Man pleads not guilty in fatal crash

A Michigan man charged in a wrong-way crash in Toledo, Ohio, that killed a Parkville mother and four children last month pleaded not guilty yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Michael P. Gagnon, 24, of Adrian, Mich., pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of aggravated vehicular assault.

He faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Police say he drove drunk and the wrong way on a Toledo interstate Dec. 30 when his pickup truck hit a minivan filled with eight people coming home from a Christmas trip.

Killed in the crash were Bethany L. Griffin, 36; Jordan Griffin, 10; Vadie Griffin, 8 weeks; Haley Burkman, 10; and Lacie Burkman, 7.

Associated Press


Honoring King

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered this morning at a service that will include the presentation of four "Content of Character" awards by the Baltimore County Office of Fair Practices and Community Affairs.

The service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Morning Star Baptist Church, 154 Winters Lane, Catonsville. County Executive James T. Smith Jr., Del. Adrienne Jones and Bishop Dwayne C. Debnam will lead the commemoration.

The winners of the "Content of Character" awards, given to residents who have made significant contributions to their community, will be named.

The Rev. Tim Tooten will show Africa's Maryland, a documentary illustrating his trip to the state's namesake in Africa, and discuss King's visit there in 1957. Smith also will recognize Catonsville High School's Rising Scholars Program, a college prep plan for minority students.

The service will feature the Randallstown High School gospel choir under the direction of Brian Horshaw.

The service is open to the public.

Information: 410-887-2470.


Suspects sought

County police were seeking two men who they believe robbed two county businesses and a third in Carroll County.

On Jan. 3, the AT&T; Wireless Store in the 8500 block of Liberty Road was robbed, according to a police news release yesterday. Police said two men robbed the 7-Eleven in the 500 block of Main St. on Jan. 5. Maryland State Police are also looking for the men in connection with a robbery Jan. 3 of the Auto Sounds Innovation store in the 1800 block of Liberty Road in Eldersburg in Carroll.

In all three cases, the men entered the business, displayed a handgun and threatened the employees, according to police. They were given cash and merchandise and left the store.

The images of the men were captured on a surveillance camera during the robbery of the 7-Eleven. Anyone with information is asked to call Baltimore County police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP.

King Day

Closures listed

County offices, courts, Health Department clinics, libraries and senior centers will be closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

CountyRide vans will not run, but parking meters must be fed.

Trash and recyclables will be collected as scheduled. The Eastern Sanitary Landfill in White Marsh, and other trash and recycling drop-off facilities will be open.


Chamber meeting

The Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce will discuss its program for the year during a meeting at noon Tuesday at the Woman's Club of Catonsville, 10 St. Timothys Lane.

The cost is $20 for members with advance reservations and payment, or $25 at the door; and $35 for nonmembers.

Information: 410-719-9609.

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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