Midshipman suspected of having meningitis dies

A first-year student at the Naval Academy died last night at University of Maryland Medical Center after he was hospitalized last week for a suspected case of bacterial meningitis, an academy spokeswoman said. The 20-year-old's name is being withheld pending family notification. The midshipman became ill Wednesday at Bancroft Hall and was taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center for initial treatment. As a precaution, 44 midshipmen, staff members and first responders who had close contact with the student have been taking antibiotics and are being monitored by medical staff. Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.


Rona Marech and Brent Jones

Lab test confirms state's first case of flu


It's here: Laboratory tests have detected the state's first seasonal flu virus in a sample taken from a sick child in the Baltimore area, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Arrival of the Type A (H1) flu comes several weeks earlier than last year's first lab-confirmed influenza case. Health Secretary John M. Colmers urged Marylanders who have not done so to get a flu vaccination. Nationally, flu activity remains low, with lab-confirmed cases reported in 21 states and no deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Frank Roylance

State settles lawsuit challenging the ICC

Maryland has settled a lawsuit with an environmental group that challenged construction of the Intercounty Connector. The Environmental Defense Fund says the state has agreed to invest $2 million to help offset air pollution generated by the 18-mile highway through the Washington suburbs. The State Highway Administration will use the money to reduce air pollution from school buses in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Equipment also will be installed to monitor how soot from traffic affects the health of those who live or work near the region's highways. In exchange, the Environmental Defense Fund agreed to withdraw its appeal of a federal court ruling that allowed construction of the highway to proceed.

Associated Press

Balto. Co. to use grant to fight underage drinking

As part of an effort to curb drinking by teenagers, the Baltimore County Council last night voted to accept a $24,000 state grant to pay overtime for five vice squad detectives to increase surveillance of college students and target "problematic" liquor stores that sell alcohol to minors. Council members also agreed to spend $5,600 to buy four hand-held driver's-license identification scanners and a laptop computer with a portable printer that the detectives will use in the field. The council also approved an increase of $239,869 in payments to the Eastside Community Development Corp. and the We Are Family Community Development Corp. for counseling services that they provide to those facing mortgage foreclosures.

Nick Madigan