The Baltimore Sun

Information sought in White Hall fire

The state fire marshal's office is asking for the public's help as it investigates a suspected arson that destroyed a farmhouse in White Hall in northern Baltimore County over the weekend. A neighbor on the way to work saw the fire in the 2900 block of Church Lane at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, said Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph G. Zurolo Jr. By the time firefighters arrived, the 100-year-old farmhouse had collapsed. Damage was estimated at $200,000. Zurolo said the house and outbuildings, though vacant for the past two years, were being maintained by the owner. About 18 months ago, a barn on the property also was deliberately burned. Anyone with information is asked to call the fire marshal's office at 410-836-4844.

Ellie Baublitz

Infection-control plan due for expansion

An infection-control strategy that has helped keep patients in intensive care units safe from life-threatening bloodstream infections will be expanded to 20 more states with help from $2 million in gifts to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Hopkins' Quality and Safety Research Group, led by Dr. Peter Pronovost, received the gifts from an anonymous donor and the Jewish Community Endowment Fund's Sandler Foundation, the hospital said yesterday. Using aircraft-type checklists, the program ensures that caregivers take all proper precautions to avoid introducing infections through patients' intravenous central line catheters. Such infections kill an estimated 30,000 to 62,000 people in the U.S. each year. When the checklists were tested in Michigan in 2003, central line infections dropped by up to 66 percent. Pronovost's work earned him a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship "genius grant" last month.

Anime costume party set at Essex library

The Essex library branch will hold a Teen Anime costume party at 7 p.m. tomorrow at 1110 Eastern Blvd. Teens may dress as their favorite anime character or create an original character. The party includes trivia, games, prizes and snacks. Information: 410-887-0295.

Meeting set today on Seminary Ave. bridge

The State Highway Administration will hold an informational meeting today on plans to temporarily close the Route 131 (Seminary Avenue) bridge over the Roland Run tributary for two to four weeks next summer while replacing the structure. The meeting will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m at the Maryland National Guard's Harry G. Ruhl Armory Drill Hall, 1035 York Road, Towson. The small bridge is between School Lane and Greenspring Drive near the light rail. Displays will be available describing the project. Information: 410-545-8322.

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