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Dixon expected to sign bill on live entertainment today

Mayor Sheila Dixon is expected to sign today a measure expanding live entertainment at restaurants and taverns in the city, her spokesman, Scott Peterson, said Sunday night.

The live-entertainment bill, which passed the City Council on Oct. 26, had been sought by bar owners across the city who are looking to boost business. But it has also stirred strong resistance among residents of Southeast Baltimore, Federal Hill and Hampden. Live entertainment has been prohibited since 1971 in areas where businesses and residences are close together. The bill changes the city zoning code to allow restaurants and taverns in B2 zones to offer live music with permission from the city's Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals. Restaurants, but not bars, in B1 zones also could offer live entertainment.

Woman's plunge into Inner Harbor is ruled a suicide

Police have ruled the death of a woman who drove her car into the Inner Harbor early Saturday a suicide. Police spokeswoman Detective Nicole Monroe said Latarsha Johnson, 31, of the 4200 block of Sheldon Ave. had attended a high school reunion in the city and returned home early Saturday and taken a nap. Monroe said Johnson left her home a short time later and while driving was texting someone, saying she was tired of a relationship and that "people will be hearing about me in the morning." About 3 a.m., private security officers manning surveillance cameras outside the Hard Rock Cafe on East Pratt Street and Market Place observed a station wagon plunging off Pier 4 and into the water. Monroe said a Fire Department dive team responded and removed the woman from the car. She said Johnson was taken to an area hospital and was pronounced dead.

- Richard Irwin

Fire at Linthicum hotel briefly clears one floor of guests

A two-alarm fire Sunday morning damaged the Extended Stay America Hotel, at 1500 Aero Drive in Linthicum, Anne Arundel County fire officials said. The fire, reported at 3:11 a.m. by a person staying in a third-floor room who said he smelled smoke, led to the temporary relocation of people on that floor to a nearby hotel, said Lt. Stuart Peters. The fire was contained by 3:38 a.m., and hotel guests were allowed to return later in the morning. The fire was determined to be in the wall of the third-floor guest's room and electrical in nature. No one was injured, and a preliminary damage estimate was about $5,000, Peters said.

- Andrea F. Siegel

Police still seeking suspect in fatal Berea shooting

Police continue to seek the person who shot a man moments after he left a house in the Berea community Saturday night. He died a short time later at an area hospital. Police said Tavon M. Fortune, 23, whose address was not available, left a friend's house in the 1200 block of N. Curley St. about 7:20 p.m. and was shot several times by an unknown assailant. Fortune, who was found by Eastern District police who were responding to a report of a shooting, was taken by a city Fire Department ambulance to the emergency room at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:45 p.m., said Detective Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman. Metro Crime Stoppers at 410-276-8888 is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and an indictment.

- Richard Irwin

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