Del. Barve pleads guilty in DUI case
The majority leader of Maryland's House of Delegates pleaded guilty yesterday to driving under the influence of alcohol, promising a judge he would "never do this again."
Del. Kumar P. Barve, 49, a Montgomery County Democrat, apologized and received unsupervised probation as part of a plea agreement.
"I'm here to take full responsibility for my actions," Barve said in Montgomery County District Court.
Judge Mary Reece, a visiting judge from Howard County, said Barve cannot drink alcohol for a year and must attend a meeting sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He also had to pay about $250 in court fees. Barve has completed a 26-week alcohol-awareness class.
Barve was arrested after pulling out of a parking lot in Gaithersburg about 11:40 p.m. Nov. 29. Police also saw him cross a double line. When he was pulled over, police noticed a strong odor of alcohol and that the delegate's eyes were bloodshot and watery.
Barve failed a field sobriety test, unable to maintain his balance. Barve reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.10. Maryland's legal limit is 0.08.
AFSCME backing legalization of slots
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a labor union representing 35,000 workers in Maryland, said yesterday that it plans to support the November referendum to legalize slot machines.
The union joins the state AFL-CIO in endorsing the slots proposal, which would authorize 15,000 slot machines at five locations. The referendum's proponents say the state needs the slots revenue to avoid slashing public services or raising taxes; Patrick Moran, AFSCME MD director, said yesterday that public services are strained after recent budget cuts. Moran said the union decided to support slots after polling its membership. The gambling proposal won by a margin of more than 2-to-1.
Mass transit use urged this weekend
The Maryland Transit Administration is encouraging people to use mass transit when going to Artscape this weekend, suggesting the use of these services:
*Metro: State Center Metro Station, which is open until midnight seven days a week.
*Bus: MTA lines closest to Artscape are 3, 11, 13 and 14 (Sunday only), 19, 21, 27 and 64.
*Light rail: The University of Baltimore/Mount Royal Avenue stop is in the center of Artscape. Cultural Center stop on Howard Street is adjacent to Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
Maps and information are available at www.mtamaryland.com.
At Artscape, the MTA will offer information about services, the Ride, Respect and Relax program for teenagers and a demonstration of how bikes can be mounted on buses.
Three Brockbridge inmates wounded
State correction officials say three inmates at the Brockbridge Correctional Facility in Anne Arundel County were wounded in assaults.
The men's injuries were discovered about 12:30 a.m. yesterday at the minimum-security facility in Jessup that is part of the state's prerelease system.
Mark Vernarelli, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, but two inmates went to University of Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore and a third was taken to a hospital in Laurel.
Vernarelli says the man who appeared to have the most serious injury was released within four hours, but he had no update on the other two.
Detectives are investigating the incident, and Vernarelli says the facility, which houses about 640 inmates, is locked down.
Police investigating shooting of man
Police in Frederick are investigating the shooting of a man who says he doesn't know who fired at him.
Police interviewed the unidentified victim at Frederick Memorial Hospital. They say he told them he was repairing his motorcycle in a parking lot on Willowdale Drive about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when he felt pain in his shoulder.
He told police that he realized there was blood and a small hole near his collarbone. Police say the victim told them he had not had an altercation with anyone before the shooting. The man was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
Man is stabbed over theft of wallet
Frederick police say a man was stabbed in the chest during a fight over the theft of a wallet yesterday.
Police say two men were fighting over the theft of the wallet in the 100 block of W. South St. about 1:30 a.m. when the owner called police. When the other man realized this, police say, he tried to grab the phone and was stabbed in the chest.
The man who was stabbed was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The other man was not injured and was released after questioning.
The incident is under investigation.
Arsonist sentenced to 7-year term
A Washington County judge sentenced an arsonist yesterday to seven years in prison for burning four apartments last year.
Jason Burkett, 26, of Middletown says he set fire to the Washington Gardens Apartments because he had been arguing with an ex-girlfriend, who lived there.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Long also sentenced Burkett to four years of supervised probation. Burkett must also pay $3,500 restitution to the apartment complex.
Burkett also told authorities that he had been drinking and using drugs when he started the fire in October 2007. State prosecutors say the fire trapped several people, including children, in the building and some jumped out of windows.
Baltimore man shot, in critical condition
Police in Hagerstown are investigating an early-morning shooting that left a Baltimore man in critical condition with a wound to the face.
Lt. Mike King said Akeem Alphonso Hudgins, 19, was shot on North Prospect Street shortly before 2:30 a.m. yesterday.
He said Hudgins is at Washington County Hospital.
King says investigators are looking for two men, both of whom are believed to be armed.
Man's body found in Potomac River
Maryland State Police are investigating the death of a man whose body was recovered from the Potomac River.
Authorities say a fisherman found the unidentified man's fully clothed body about 9 a.m. Thursday yesterday north of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
Police are investigating the cause of death, but they said it does not appear to be related to bridge construction work.