The Baltimore Sun

Harford crash victim identified as N.Y. woman

State police have identified the passenger killed Saturday in a single-vehicle accident in Harford County as Lisa C. Francois, 33, of Brooklyn, N.Y. Francois was pronounced dead at the scene after the accident about 2:30 p.m. Saturday in which a 2006 Honda Civic traveling in the left lane of Interstate 95 South near Route 543 crossed two lanes into the right shoulder and overturned several times. The driver, Jocelin Drew, 55, and a front-seat passenger, Amos Headley, 67, both of Roosevelt, N.Y., were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center with injuries that police said were not life-threatening. Drew reportedly said that she fell asleep at the wheel, said Sgt. Michael Tagliaferri of the Maryland State Police's JFK Memorial Highway barracks.

ACLU plans State House rally against police spying

The Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union plans to rally today at the State House in a demonstration against police spying. The civil liberties group is pushing for legislation to ban police spying on peaceful activists. State lawmakers outlined legislation last month to prohibit such surveillance. The legislation would require police to have reasonable suspicion of actual criminal activity before surveillance can be conducted. In October, a state review concluded state police violated federal regulations and intruded on law-abiding residents' rights to express themselves freely by covertly observing their activities. In response, state police say they have worked to prevent such surveillance from happening again, but the ACLU and other groups have pushed for stronger measures.

Bacteria halt the harvest of shellfish on Choptank

CAMBRIDGE : The Maryland Department of the Environment said that shellfish harvesting on the Choptank River above the U.S. 50 bridge is closed starting today because of high bacteria levels. The closure affects the main stem of the Choptank River above the U.S. 50 bridge from Chancellor Point upstream to Jamaica Point. The restriction does not apply to swimming, fishing or crabbing. The department says harvesting can be reopened on the river once bacteria levels improve.

Associated Press

Baltimore County library wins award for Storyville

The Baltimore County Public Library has won the 2009 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award for its marketing campaign for Storyville, an interactive early-literacy learning center that opened at the Rosedale branch a year ago. The award, which includes a $5,000 development grant for the library, recognizes marketing campaigns by libraries in the United States and Canada. Storyville has drawn almost 80,000 visitors, more than triple the library's original attendance projection, officials said.

Franchot urges e-filing of taxes in YouTube video

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is urging "Real Taxpayers of Genius" to e-file their taxes this year in a YouTube spoof of a memorable Bud Light series of commercials. Taxpayers frustrated by filling out the traditional paper tax forms are shown enduring paper cuts and other hassles in the 81-second video. An announcer, meanwhile, salutes them and says they have an alternative. His remarks are backed up by singers repeating his words in falsetto. At the end, the comptroller appears and reminds viewers to be sure to e-file because its the fastest and easiest way to file.

Firefighters rescue teenager stuck in the mud

A teenage boy was rescued from Mill Creek in Arnold yesterday by firefighters after he became stuck in mud, said a spokesman for the county Fire Department. The youth, whose name was not released, was uninjured, said Division Chief Michael Cox. Shortly after 10:30 a.m., firefighters from the Jones Station firehouse received a call that two boys had entered the creek from a pier behind the 200 block of Abbots Lane and that one of them had become stuck up to his knees in the mud about 30 feet from shore. Cox said members of the fire station's special operations unit arrived and used ladders and sections of plywood to reach the boy and free him from the mud. He said the boy was stuck for about 30 minutes, and that other than being cold and muddy, he suffered no injuries.

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