Coast Guard centralizes maintenance at Curtis Bay
Coast Guard leaders opened the Surface Forces Logistical Center at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay yesterday, centralizing maintenance of the guard's 200 cutters and 1,800 boats nationwide. "This centralizes operations so they're not spread all over the country," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, chairman of the House subcommittee on the Coast Guard. In the past, staff on different coasts would maintain the boats to their own specifications, said Adm. Thad Allen, the Coast Guard commandant. "There was a lot more discretion out in the field," he said. Now, about 2,000 employees will coordinate logistics for these operations at the Curtis Bay yard, as well as in Norfolk, Va., and Oakland, Calif. The yard's warehouse will serve as a "Wal-Mart and FedEx for the Coast Guard," Allen said, adding that the centralization will create a better way to track parts and get them where they are needed. This change is part of the modernization of Coast Guard business practices, Allen said.
Liz F. Kay
Young asks for briefing on police-naming policy
Baltimore City Councilman Bernard "Jack" Young called on the city police commissioner yesterday to brief the City Council on a new department policy to withhold names of officers who shoot citizens. Anthony J. Guglielmi, a spokesman for the city police, said that he believes Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III will participate in the hearing, scheduled for Feb. 12. The department's public affairs office recently announced that it will not disclose the names of officers involved in justified police shootings, although it will say whether an officer has been involved in a previous shooting. "In the instance of unjustified shootings, there will be full disclosure of the officers' names," Guglielmi said. Bealefeld might decide to release officer names in justified shootings on a case-by-case basis "if there is a compelling reason," Guglielmi said. Previously all names were released.
Board will meet to discuss E-ZPass fee increase
The Maryland Transportation Authority board will meet Thursday to discuss and possibly vote on a plan to raise truck tolls and charge a new $18-a-year fee on E-ZPass accounts. The measures are part of a revenue-raising package to help make up for a decrease in toll collections. The authority would also begin charging E-ZPass users $21 for transponders, which were previously free, and end some commuter discounts. Members of the public may address the board. The meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. at authority police headquarters, 4330 Broening Highway, at the northern end of the Key Bridge. Written comments can be sent through today to mdtatoll email@example.com.
Relatives of girl, 4, found at restaurant identify her
The relatives of a young girl who was found unattended Sunday at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Bel Air came forward yesterday to identify the child, the Harford County sheriff's office said. Relatives of 4-year-old Deshawna Tyson told detectives that the girl was among nine children who went to the restaurant in separate vehicles driven by her aunt and aunt's boyfriend, and both left thinking that the other had the girl. All the children went straight to bed when they got home, and the girl's mother came home later from work and went to bed. Police released several photos of the girl in an effort to identify her. The mother and aunt realized the girl was not at home when they saw her picture on the early-morning television news, the sheriff's office said. Detectives will consult with the state's attorney on any potential charges. The family is working with social services on the care and custody of the girl, the sheriff's office said.