One of 2 prison escapees recaptured on Shore
Authorities yesterday captured one of two inmates who walked away from an Eastern Shore correctional facility Wednesday evening. The second escapee was still at large yesterday evening. James Allen Cramer, 52, was arrested about 3 p.m. by the Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Office at an undisclosed location. Authorities said an anonymous tipster aided police in Cramer's apprehension. Police were still searching for Billy Gene Dolly, 41. He was described as a white male, 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds. He is bald with blue eyes and a blond mustache, last seen wearing blue jeans and a yellow shirt. State police were called to the Eastern Pre-Release Unit in Church Hill, Queen Anne's County, after Cramer and Dolly left facility grounds without permission about 7:30 p.m., authorities said. Dolly's last known address was in Sparks, Baltimore County, and police said he was serving time for theft. Cramer was serving time for drugs and robbery with a deadly weapon. Corrections staff members immediately notified residents and businesses of the escapees, officials said. Dolly had a scheduled release date of August 2010 and Cramer's was July 2009, according to correctional officials. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or state police at the Centreville barracks at 410-758-1101.
Hot weather forces closing of city schools
Baltimore public schools - many of which do not have air conditioning - closed early yesterday because of the hot weather. Schools operated on a half-day schedule, and evening classes were canceled, school system officials said. System regulations indicate that schools may be closed early if the temperature outside reaches 85 degrees by 9 a.m., and it was just shy of that at 9 yesterday morning. With high humidity and the mercury continuing to rise, officials decided about 10:30 a.m. to close early, said school system spokesman Michael Sarbanes. Students were served lunch before dismissal, and teachers were expected to stay for the entire day.
Man dies in crash on Liberty Road
A man was killed early yesterday when his car overturned on Liberty Road near the Beltway after striking a traffic island and a light pole and going airborne, Baltimore County police said. The man, identified as Zachary Alan Harrison, 50, of the 6000 block of Prince George St. in Woodlawn, was driving a 2005 Volkswagen east on Liberty Road near Abbie Place when the crash occurred about 2:10 a.m., police said. Harrison, who was alone in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Required tally of flu shots for health workers sought
Baltimore hospitals, doctors' offices and long-term care facilities would have to report the rates of influenza vaccination among their workers under new regulations being proposed by the city Health Department. Low vaccination rates among health care workers can contribute to flu outbreaks, and informal studies of Baltimore hospitals found vaccination rates varied from 35 percent to 71 percent, with none reaching the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation for 80 percent coverage, according to the Health Department. If the regulation is approved, health care facilities would have to report on the percentage of employees who get vaccinated and the reasons that other employees declined to do so. The department will accept public comments on the proposal through Sept. 24. Written comments can be sent to: Dr. Laura Herrera, 210 Guilford Ave., 3rd Floor, Baltimore 21202.
Anti-abortion group sues Harford, Bel Air and police
The Alliance Defense Fund, a group founded 14 years ago with the stated mission of safeguarding Christian beliefs, has filed suit against Harford County, the town of Bel Air and seven local and state police officials in connection with an anti-abortion demonstration in the town last month. The suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, claims that at least 12 police officers handcuffed 18 demonstrators Aug. 1 and would not tell them a reason for their arrests. Three young women were twice subjected to strip searches, the suit alleges, once at the Bel Air police station and again at the Harford County Detention Center. The women, who were not released until the next day, were denied permission to call relatives or contact attorneys, the suit says. The state dropped charges, which included loitering, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order, on Aug. 12. Town and county officials said yesterday that they had not seen the suit and would not comment on pending litigation. State police had no comment.
MARY GAIL HARE
Request withdrawn for new trial of Sifrit
ROCKVILLE: Benjamin Sifrit's attorney withdrew a request yesterday for a new trial for the former Navy SEAL convicted along with his wife of the 2002 killings of a pair of Ocean City tourists. Sifrit was handcuffed and shackled and said nothing during the short hearing in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville. When asked whether Sifrit now feels remorse, attorney Michael Lawlor said his client still feels he was at most an accessory after the fact. Sifrit and his wife, Erika, of Hollidaysburg, Pa., were convicted in separate trials in 2003. Prosecutors said Martha Crutchley and Joshua Ford of Fairfax, Va., were lured to a condo where they were shot. Their dismembered bodies were found days later in a Delaware landfill.