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The Baltimore Sun

Pikesville woman killed by falling tree is identified

A Pikesville woman who was killed Monday when a dead tree fell on her was identified yesterday by Baltimore County police as Vanessa Dale Sandler. Sandler was taking out the trash when an oak tree near the trash bins behind her condominium complex in the first block of Greenwich Place fell on her. Her 55th birthday was Sunday, police said. Firefighters from the Pikesville station arrived a few minutes after the 4:30 p.m. incident and freed the woman from beneath the tree. An ambulance crew pronounced her dead at the scene, authorities said.

Jennifer McMenamin

Fire station at Warfield guard base to be replaced

Warfield Air National Guard Base at Martin State Airport will receive $7.9 million to replace its fire station, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger announced yesterday. The current building, which is more than 40 years old, lacks adequate training and office space, is too small to house firetrucks and has cracked walls, according to a news release from Ruppersberger's office. Firefighters stationed there respond to emergencies at the air base and the airport, as well as surrounding areas, including Interstate 95, the release said. The base is home to the 175th Wing of the Maryland Air National Guard, which has more than 1,500 air guard members.

Liz F. Kay

Delegate Weldon bolts from Republican Party

Declaring that "our political system is broken," Del. Rick Weldon said he switched his voter registration from Republican to unaffiliated because he doesn't want intensifying party politics to interfere with his policy decisions. Weldon, who made the announcement yesterday in Frederick, said he decided to leave the GOP after more than a year of extensive soul-searching. Weldon has said he will not seek re-election in 2010. "The climate in Annapolis is such that accumulating partisan political power has replaced common-sense, thoughtful discussions about the implications of our policy decisions," Weldon said in a statement.

Associated Press

Suspect in girls' deaths had criminal record

A Maryland woman suspected of killing her two daughters and freezing their bodies was convicted of a misdemeanor and had past financial problems but was still able to adopt the girls and collect a $2,400 monthly stipend for their care even after their deaths, officials said. The disturbing case has advocates questioning how the District of Columbia's troubled social services agency evaluates potential adoptive and foster parents. Renee Bowman told investigators the frozen remains police found in her basement freezer over the weekend were those of her two daughters - ages 9 and 11 - both adopted from D.C. Bowman, 43, is suspected of killing them and has been charged with first-degree child abuse in the beating and neglect of a third adopted daughter, who is 7.

Associated Press

Prince George's schools chief to resign in February

Prince George's County schools Superintendent John Deasy has resigned to take a job with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Deasy is leaving Maryland's second-largest school system to become a deputy director for the world's largest charitable foundation. The school system announced yesterday that Deputy Superintendent William Hite will serve as interim superintendent when Deasy leaves in February. Deasy was hired to lead the Prince George's school system in March 2006, less than a year after Superintendent Andre Hornsby resigned while under federal investigation.

Associated Press

Single-car crash kills driver on Arundel road

Anne Arundel County police continue to investigate a single-vehicle accident Sunday morning in Laurel that killed a Silver Spring man. Police said Claudenir DeSouza-Ferreira, 32, of the 2700 block of Evans Drive was driving a 2000 Lincoln Navigator west in the 8400 block of Brock Bridge Road about 5:30 a.m. Sunday when he lost control of the vehicle on a curve, left the roadway and struck an embankment before the vehicle overturned. He was the lone occupant of the vehicle, police said. DeSouza-Ferreira suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by county medical personnel, police said. Police said that speed and the use of alcohol likely contributed to the crash.

Richard Irwin

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