Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five



This week, Watchdog brings you updates on some problems that were still unresolved when first reported.

Update:: A handicapped parking sign at the University of Baltimore that restricted the spaces to side-lift vans has been changed to read "van accessible," a spokesman for the school said.

Robert Brent, a UB student who has a handicapped parking hangtag for his car, wrote to Watchdog after he was reprimanded for parking in spaces on Morton Street, behind the school's academic center, because those spaces were marked for side-lift vans only.

There are other handicapped parking spaces on the streets around campus, but Brent said he cannot use these because his back injury prevents him from stepping up onto a curb from a car. The student argued that state regulations specify "van accessible" signs could only be posted on spaces large enough to accommodate a van with a wheelchair lift, and that drivers with handicapped hangtags could park there when no other spaces were available.

Since then, UB has changed the signs to read "van accessible," based on advice from the state Department of Housing and Community Development and the attorney general's office, according to university spokesman Chris Hart.

Officials are also reaching out to a student and a faculty member for whom the "side-lift only" sign had been created to find parking alternatives for them, Hart said.

Update: : A noisy portable generator that powered a cell phone tower on a Canton rooftop was silenced and has been removed.

Canton resident Richard Przybyszewski said the generator that had been running 24 hours a day, afflicting his neighbors on Clinton Street near Eastern Avenue with noise and fumes, was shut off Nov. 20. But until Tuesday, he said, it was still there, taking up parking spaces.

"Why is it still connected to the building? Everything is still in place," he said.

The generator supplied electricity to a cell tower on the roof of the building after utilities had been shut off, said Sprint spokeswoman Natalie Papaj. The power supply was restored after Watchdog spotlighted the issue, but before city officials gave authorization to re-energize the building, she said.

However, by Tuesday, Sprint was able to secure all the necessary permissions, and contractors were directed to go to the site and tow the equipment away, according to Papaj.

Update: : Clipper Mill Road still has not been reopened between Woodberry and Hampden. A storm drain replacement project, originally delayed because of unexpected complications, is taking longer to finish than the Nov. 20 date reported earlier this month.

The new completion date is Dec. 11, weather permitting, said public works spokesman Kurt Kocher.

- Liz F. Kay

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