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The Baltimore Sun

Winds force grounding of medevac helicopter

A Maryland State Police medevac helicopter made an emergency landing yesterday in a field near Route 543 in Abingdon, authorities said. One patient aboard the aircraft was taken by another helicopter to a hospital, said state police spokesman Greg Shipley. There were no injuries. Heavy winds forced the helicopter to land about 3:30 p.m., Shipley said, and it remained grounded for about three hours. After technicians performed maintenance work, the helicopter returned to service and was flown to Martin State Airport. Three weeks ago, a state police medevac helicopter transporting accident victims to a hospital crashed in Prince George's County, killing three rescuers and one of the auto accident victims, and seriously injuring another patient. It was the deadliest accident since the force started flying medevac missions 38 years ago.

Brent Jones

City Council to focus on dropout prevention

City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake is pushing a targeted dropout-prevention program for students entering the sixth and ninth grades in hopes of keeping them on solid academic footing during a crucial period in their development. The City Council's Education Committee has scheduled a hearing today on the proposed resolution, which would urge the school system to identify at-risk students in the fifth and eighth grades and provide counseling and other support to them in the summer before their sixth- and ninth-grade years. A recent study by the America's Promise Alliance found that the disparity in high school graduation rates between Baltimore City and Baltimore County is the largest between a city and its suburbs in the United States. "Baltimore City Public Schools continue to make significant progress, but, we need to do more to close the achievement gap between city and county school students," Rawlings-Blake said in a news release.

Police seek three in fraudulent purchases

Police are trying to identify and locate two women and a man suspected of fraudulently establishing a credit account in the name of a Hampstead business and spending nearly $5,000 at Lowe's home improvement stores in Bel Air and White Marsh, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office says. On three occasions in June and July, the three bought items such as power tools and yard equipment, Maj. Phillip Kasten said yesterday. The business owner found out about the fraud when he received a bill in the mail, Kasten said. The sheriff's office has surveillance photos of the three suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call deputies at 410-386-2900 or 888-399-8477.

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