Tuesday, October 9, 2007

ATM Safety Tips

Withdrawing cash from an ATM can represent a significant risk of robbery. Certain measures can be taken to reduce your vulnerability when making an ATM transaction. Take a look at some statistics from the USDOJ, Community Oriented Policing Services.

A few studies, although they are becoming dated, have provided some data on common ATM robbery patterns. The general conclusions are as follows:

· Most robberies are committed by a lone offender–using
some type of weapon–against a lone victim.
· Most occur at night, with the highest risk between midnight and 4 a.m.
· Most involve robbing people of cash after they have made a withdrawal.
· Robberies are somewhat more likely to occur at walk-up
ATMs than at drive-through ATMs.
· About 15 percent of victims are injured.
· The average loss is between $100 and $200.

While these statistics are not particularly detailed, some information on risk assessment can be taken from them. First, most people robbed at an ATM are there alone when approached by the robber. Second, most victims are using the ATM at night, with the highest risk between midnight and 4 a.m. This time frame coincides with the closing of restaurants and bars and begs the question; how many of these victims had been drinking before using the ATM? Statistics are not kept on this, but we know alcohol can impair judgment and lessen the perception of danger. Third, fifteen percent of the victims are injured and the average loss is between $100 and $200 dollars. This is certainly not an amount of money to get injured for (if any is). Non-compliance with the robber is usually the cause of injury. This may involve attempts to gain PIN code information by the robber. Daily cash withdrawal limits can be effective in preventing excessive unauthorized withdrawals.

Here are some more ways to stay safe at an ATM.

First and foremost, trust yourself and your feelings. In over 25 years of police work, I can’t tell you how many victims reported to me that they, “felt funny about” a situation or thought someone was “suspicious”, but went ahead anyway. We like to call this hindsight and discount it. People (especially women) have a very accurate sense of danger, but don’t often trust it.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially between dusk and dawn. If you notice anything suspicious–a security light out, someone loitering nearby–consider coming back later or using a supermarket or convenience store ATM.
If using the ATM at night, take someone with you.
Withdraw enough cash for the night before you go out, especially if you think you may be drinking.
Park in a well-lit area as close as possible to the ATM.
At a drive-through ATM, be sure the doors are locked and the passenger windows are rolled up.
If you withdraw cash, put it away promptly; count it later, in private.
Put your ATM card and receipt away promptly; never leave
your receipt at the ATM.
Make sure your transactions have ended. Don’t forget that quite often the ATM will ask. “Do you want another transaction?” before ending access to your account.
Keep your PIN secret–don't write it down, and don't share
it with anyone you don't trust absolutely. Your PIN provides
access to your account.
Shield the keypad when entering your PIN to keep it from
being observed.
Avoid being too regular in your ATM use–don't repeatedly
visit the same machine at the same time, the same day of
the week.

Fall Crime Prevention Tips

The end of the summer brings with it some of the best of Baltimore, the weather, great fall events and lower electric bills. It also brings shorter daylight hours and increased opportunity for criminal activity. Most criminals don’t want to be caught, and darkness provides convenient cover for their illegal activities.

There are things we can do, as individuals and as a community to reduce our risk of becoming victims of crime. Most of these things are common sense precautions, but it never hurts to reacquaint ourselves with the basics of crime prevention.

Never leave anything of value visible in your vehicle. Tell friends visiting the same thing. I am talking about items of ANY value. Remove or conceal satellite radios, gps units, parking meter change, cd’s, gym bags, shopping bags, clothes, shoes and ball caps, etc. Remember, while something may have no value to you, it may have a street value to a criminal.
Cooler weather brings with it the urge to open windows, especially at night. Keep all street level windows closed and locked day and night. Daytime burglaries outnumber nighttime burglaries, but nighttime burglaries usually present more personal risk to the homeowner.
Keep your entry doors locked, even when home and install a wide angle “peep-hole” viewer in the door. Keep the area outside your entry door well lighted and always check the “peep-hole” BEFORE unlocking the door.
Take evening walks with friends. Walking alone after dark places you at increased risk of personal attack. While this is fairly rare in our community, it does happen. A few precautions can help reduce your risk. Contain your walk to well lighted, populated areas. Walk with your dog or offer to walk a neighbor’s dog. Don’t walk wearing headphones or if you must listen to music, wear only one ear bud. Be aware of your environment and heed warning signs.
As a community member, report suspicious people and activities, illegally parked vehicles, unsecured abandoned properties, illegal dumping and trash. Remember, signs of public disorder tell criminals the people on this street don’t care.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Inmate Escapes

Monday, August 06, 2007WBAL Radio and The Associated Press
Maryland correction officials say that a Baltimore inmate has escaped near the downtown courthouse after getting out of his leg restraints.
Spokesman George Gregory says 24-year-old Marvin Jordan was last seen running in the 100 block of South Guilford Avenue.
He says the Baltimore man was serving a four-year sentence for robbery with a deadly weapon.
As Jordan was being escorted back to a prison van, Gregory says he got out of his leg restraints and got away from the officer. He says the officer pursued him but lost sight of Jordan in the downtown area.
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Officer Involved Shooting

Tuesday, August 07, 2007WBAL Radio and The Associated Press
A city police officer is on administrative duty after an early morning shooting following a call to a domestic disturbance.
A woman reported to police she and a 1 year old were assaulted by her boyfriend at a home on Thorndale Avenue.
Police spotted the suspect based on a description.
The officer fired at a suspect on Garrison Avenue. But the circumstances surrounding the shooting are still under investigation, according to Sterling Clifford of the city police department.
Police say an officer shot a man in his 20s in the leg after he ran into an alley.
The shooting victim was taken to a hospital. The injury is said to be non life-threatening.
The officer was not seriously hurt.
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Friday, August 3, 2007

Elderly Woman Raped in SE Baltimore

As police continue their search for the rapist who targeted an 88-year old cancer patient in Southeast Baltimore, many are left wondering who could possible commit such a crime. "I just can't imagine someone doing something like that," said Virgil Harvey, a taxi driver who has served elderly customers in the area for 38 years, “He wouldn’t be playing with a full deck I wouldn’t think.” Psychiatrist Jack Vaeth says like most rapists, the man responsible for Wednesday morning’s attack did not commit the crime for sex. "You have an individual not for sexual desire, but powerless in society and very angry so looking for victim so for once in their life they're in control." Vaeth says each year in this country, about 10,000 people over the age of 65 will become the victims of rape, and in two-thirds of those cases, the rapists elect to rob the victims as an afterthought. The rapist in Southeast Baltimore demanded money from the victim after the assault, and left the house with $6. Vaeth offers a detailed, criminal profile of the rapists capable of targeting one of the most vulnerable segments of our society. "They're individuals who usually commit their crimes a few blocks from their homes. They tend to be unemployed, undereducated, socially inept and sexually incompetant, and many suffer a drug addiction where they grab every nickel and dime they can get ahold of." Vaeth says rapists who target the elderly tend to strike again, but are often easier to catch than other sexual offenders. He says they are compulsive and pay little attention to the evidence they leave behind.
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City's Top Attorney Chides Kraft

BALTIMORE - Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy has a message for Councilman James Kraft.

Grow up.

“Councilman Kraft, please grow up,” Jessamy wrote in a letter dated Tuesday. “Stop being a petulant ‘do nothing’ politician and represent the interest of your constituents. I am willing to work with you, but will not under any circumstances tolerate your attacks.”
Kraft drew Jessamy’s ire with a series of letters demanding she get tougher on violent crime in his Southeast District.
Kraft wrote a July 16 letter to Jessamy that he later released to the media under the title “Councilman Kraft calls on State’s Attorney for full prosecution of violent crimes.”
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National Night Out

by Mary Helen Sprechernewsroom@baltimoreguide.com
If the latest trend in crime prevention is that of that of civilians being proactive (citizens on patrol groups, auxiliary police programs, etc.), then National Night Out must be those civilians’ annual convention.This year’s event, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 7, is described by the National Association of Town Watch as “a unique crime and drug prevention event,” which involves neighbors holding events outdoors, thereby making their area less hospitable to the criminal element.The following local organizations have contacted the Guide in response to a request for information about NNO activities. (Note that unless otherwise specified, events are to be held on National Night Out, Tuesday, Aug. 7).
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Southern District's Officer of the Month

The Southern Police District’s Officer of the Month is Officer Kareem Reed. According to Major Michael McDonald, district commander, Reed has been a member of the Department for less than two years and “has consistently displayed excellent instinct and ability.”Reed is assigned to the Southern District Operations Unit, Flex squad, responsible for enforcement and investigations in areas of the district in response to violent crime.
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Candidate Mitchell's Father Quits Campaign

By John Fritze Sun reporter
August 3, 2007
Dr. Keiffer J. Mitchell, father of Baltimore mayoral candidate Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., spent more than $40,000 of his son's campaign funds for personal expenses over several months and resigned yesterday as his campaign treasurer after the errant spending was discovered, according to a statement from the campaign released to The Sun.In one instance, the elder Mitchell spent more than $14,000 to pay for his wife's stay at a Towson hotel as she recovered from knee surgery, Mitchell campaign sources said.An additional $19,000 in checks were made payable to cash or wound up in unknown hands. Additional money was spent on insurance and house repair work.
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Fatality Becomes City's 190th Murder

By Gus G. Sentementes Sun reporter
8:00 AM EDT, August 3, 2007
Baltimore police reported that a man was fatally shot early this morning in East Baltimore, the city's fourth homicide victim within 24 hours, and another man was seriously wounded in an unrelated shooting.The fatal shooting occurred about 1:30 a.m. in the 3600 block of E. Lombard St., in the Baltimore Highlands neighborhood. Officers found the man suffering from at least one gunshot wound to his head, police said. The man's name and additional details were not immediately available.He was the city's 190th homicide victim this year.
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Witness Murder Suspect

Police investigating the fatal shooting of a Rosedale man who had been a key witness in a Baltimore murder case announced yesterday the arrest of a third suspect -- a man who had previously been charged numerous times with drug-related offenses.Marcus Antwan Pearson, 26, with no known address, is charged with first-degree murder in the July 2 killing of Carl Stanley Lackl.Pearson is accused of calling Lackl about a car that the Rosedale man was selling to lure him outside of his home, according to charging documents. After showing the way to Lackl's house, Pearson and his girlfriend looked on from a shopping center parking lot as Lackl was shot, and they remained there as police and paramedics arrived at the home, the documents state.
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Three Fatally Shot

Three men were fatally shot yesterday in apparently unrelated incidents, bringing to 189 the number of homicides in the city this year, police said.About 7:45 a.m., Keenan McCargo, 28, of the 3700 block of Lyndale Ave. in Belair-Edison, was shot in the upper torso near his home. He died less than 30 minutes later at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.An 18-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was shot in the head about 1:30 a.m. in the 2400 block of Marbourne Ave. in the Lakeland neighborhood. He was pronounced dead less than an hour later at St. Agnes Hospital.
An unidentified man was shot in the back shortly before 11 p.m. last night in the 500 block of E. 23rd St. in the Barclay neighborhood. He died a short time later at Johns Hopkins Hospital, police said.Also yesterday, police released the name of a man fatally shot Wednesday night in the 2400 block of Westwood Ave. in Coppin Heights.
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Monday, July 23, 2007

Former Convicts Initiate Anti-violence Program

By Leonard SparksAFRO Staff Writer
Amid the clamor over Baltimore's alarming increase in homicides and non-fatal shootings, a small band of former convicts is quietly implementing an innovative violence-prevention initiative based on a Chicago program credited with double-digit reductions in violent crime.
Funded by two $382,000 grants from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the city program, named Operation Safe Streets, takes a public health approach to violence and relies on teams of outreach workers to engage perpetrators and potential perpetrators of violence on the streets where they live.
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City Councilwoman Wants to Limit Background Checks

By Leonard SparksAFRO Staff Writer
Touting it as a way to open the door to city jobs for more people, a Baltimore City councilwoman is proposing to shield applicants from having to disclose old arrests that did not result in a conviction and limit background checks to those under serious consideration for city jobs.
The proposal, which would apply to city departments, agencies, boards and commissions, and excludes law enforcement agencies, targets the section on city applications that ask applicants to indicate criminal convictions by checking yes or no.
It mirrors successful "ban-the-box" initiatives in other cities, and is championed by supporters as a way to ease employment discrimination against people with criminal records.
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Hamm's Successor has Work Cut Out for Him

BALTIMORE - Here we were, on the night after Leonard Hamm lost his job as police commissioner of Baltimore City, in the darkness outside the Chinese carry-out at Pennsylvania and Clifton, where maybe a dozen boys in their early teens gathered to kill a little time. The clock was moving toward 11:15 p.m.
At North Avenue and Eutaw that night, there were four teenage girls, and a kid who couldn’t have been older than 10 who was carrying a 2-year-old in her arms, followed by a couple of kids zipping around the corner on bicycles.
The clock moved toward 11:30.
On Fairmount Avenue on the east side 15 minutes later, there were children not yet in their teens racing up the street, oblivious to the homeless man pushing a shopping cart packed with his possessions, while two little girls strolled down the block arm in arm.
Now the clock moved toward midnight.
A slight question: Where were the parents of all these children?
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Former State Senator Guilty in Corruption Case

BALTIMORE - One of Maryland’s largest public corruption cases — and most bitter legal battles — will end Tuesday when former state Sen. Thomas Bromwell plans to plead guilty to racketeering charges in federal court.
Once a powerful Baltimore County Democrat, Bromwell, 58, is expected to face six to eight years in federal prison when he pleads guilty to filing a false tax return and racketeering conspiracy. He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz.
“It was a very difficult decision for him, but taking into account what’s best for him, what’s best for his wife, what’s best for his family, he believes that the best thing to do was to admit that he did make some mistakes and to put this matter to rest so that he and his family can move on with their lives,” Bromwell’s lawyer Barry Pollack said.
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Shootings Continue in City

NorthwesternShooting // A man in his 30s was shot in the upper torso about 10:20 p.m. Thursday in the 2800 block of Quantico Ave. and was taken to Sinai Hospital. His condition and details of the shooting were not available. There was no arrest, and police knew of no motive for the shooting.
NortheasternShooting // Shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday, a male, 18, was in a house in the 1600 block of Ramblewood Road when he was shot in the back by an unknown person. The victim underwent surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and was reported in good condition. No arrest had been made.
SoutheasternShooting // Police were seeking the person who shot a teenage boy in the upper left leg in the first block of S. Caroline St. about 2 a.m. Wednesday. Police said the victim was found outside a 7-Eleven store in the 100 block of S. Broadway and was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment. While being treated, the victim attempted to leave the hospital but was restrained. There was no arrest in the shooting.
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Dixon Proposes Gun Offender Registry

By Annie Linskey sun reporter
July 23, 2007
Baltimore could become the first big city to publicize names, photographs and home addresses of people who are convicted of shootings or other gun-related crimes, the latest twist on a national crime prevention trend of exposing names of certain types of criminals.
Legislation that Mayor Sheila Dixon introduced in the City Council last week would direct the Police Department to create a database for gun offenders that is similar to the existing online statewide sex offender list. She said she would like the names to be public, and offenders would have to register with the department, in person, every six months or face a misdemeanor charge and possible jail time.
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Mitchell Calls for Crime Stats Audit

CBS News) BALTIMORE Waving signs at one of the busiest intersections heading into downtown Baltimore, mayoral candidate Keiffer Mitchell stands in front of city police headquarters, calling on the federal government to audit city crime stats."If the murders are up and the shootings are up, how in the world do you expect the citizens of Baltimore to believe that violent crime is down?" Mitchell said.The murder rate in Baltimore is on pace to top 300 this year, forcing a change in police leadership again. Interim Mayor Sheila Dixon got the resignation of Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm just days after a poll showed crime is the most important issue for two in three voters. Dixon got mixed results when it comes to the way she's handling this citywide issue.
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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Police Spokesman Removed

By Gus G. Sentementes Sun reporter
July 22, 2007
The Baltimore Police Department's director of public affairs -- the public face of the agency -- has been fired, the first significant personnel change made after last week's ouster of Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm.
Matt Jablow, a former local television reporter who has held the top spokesman's post for about four years, was replaced by Sterling Clifford, a top aide at City Hall and former spokesman for Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr.
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Soldier in Shootout with Police

(WJZ) BALTIMORE The chaos began just before 2 a.m. when a uniformed officer working overtime in a garage at the Marketplace downtown came across a group of four men fighting. The officer tried to break up the fight, even using mace on some of the men. That's when police say one of the men, 25-year-old Army Corporal Alexander Eugene Larkin, pulled out a 50 caliber desert eagle handgun and fired, missing the officer. The officer returned fire, killing Larkin."Detectives really want to know what made Alexander Larkin shoot a 50 caliber handgun at a Baltimore police officer who was just doing his job attempting to break up an altercation," said Officer Nicole Monroe.It's the latest in a number of police-involved shootings so far this year. Earlier this summer, two off-duty officers shot and killed a man they say was wielding a gun in the parking lot of a south Baltimore bar. In April, an officer shot a man that apparently tried to run him over during a traffic stop. Another man shot in his Wilmington Avenue home after he allegedly tried to attack officers. In May, police shot a suspect who pulled a gun on them in an alley on Bentalou Street.
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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hairspray Opens In Baltimore

(WJZ/AP) BALTIMORE John Travolta didn't show up for the premiere of "Hairspray" in the city that inspired it. Nor did Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah or Christopher Walken. But as Kai Jackson reports, that did not matter because most of the hundreds of screaming fans crammed behind barricades surrounding the red carpet Wednesday evening weren't waiting for those A-listers, anyway. They were more interested in a new generation of stars: Zac Efron of "High School Musical" and Amanda Bynes of "What I Like About You" and "The Amanda Show." "It's very flattering," Efron said above the earsplitting shrieks. "It feels great to be bringing this movie back to Baltimore."
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Heroin Addiction Drug Tried in Balt.

A new drug is having some success in combatting heroin addiction, but health officials said that Baltimore's unusual program must overcome obstacles to meet its objectives.
The health department released a report on the progress of the Baltimore Buprenorphine Initiative. According to Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, the program has spent nearly $1 million since October to get heroin addicts into a drug treatment program, find health insurance for them and link them with personal physicians.
Sharfstein discussed the program Wednesday at a hearing before the City Council's housing, health and human services subcommittee.
Buprenorphine was approved five years ago by Congress to treat opiate addiction. Patients get prescriptions from their doctors and take the medication at home.
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Interim Chief Takes Over

By Sumathi Reddy and Gus. G. Sentementes Sun reporters
July 19, 2007
Police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm's resignation leaves the Baltimore Police Department without a leader at an especially challenging time -- less than two months before the mayoral primary election, as the city struggles with a surge in homicides and shootings.Mayor Sheila Dixon is expected to name Frederick H. Bealefeld III to temporarily take over the 3,000-officer department, according to sources, and he is a potential contender for the permanent job, which likely won't be filled until after the Sept. 11 primary.
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8th Commish in 8 Years

By Julie Bykowicz Sun reporter
July 19, 2007
When he took the reins of the Baltimore Police Department on Nov. 10, 2004, he did so as the hometown hero - a native who grew up in Cherry Hill, led the City College basketball team and climbed police ranks for two decades to become the first black commander of the high-profile Central District.Leonard D. Hamm's tenure immediately followed those of two commissioners imported from New York who encountered personal scandals during their time here. Local politicians and residents cheered the return of one of their own to the helm.
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ABOUT TIME! Hamm Resigns

By Gus G. Sentementes and John Fritze Sun reporters
July 19, 2007
Baltimore Police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm, hired to stabilize a department in turmoil but recently under fire as the city's homicide count soars, has resigned, sources close to the decision told The Sun yesterday.Mayor Sheila Dixon is expected to make the formal announcement at City Hall today.The administration has been struggling to craft a response to the rise in homicides and shootings that have sapped police morale and become fodder for Dixon's rivals in this year's election.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Southern District Violence

Shooting // Police responding to shots fired in the 1800 block of W. Pratt St. about 2 a.m. Sunday found a man lying in the street bleeding from bullet wounds to the back and the left leg. The unidentified man was being treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and was expected to survive. Police said he was unable to identify his assailant or provide a reason for being shot.

Rape // Police were seeking a man who forcibly entered a woman's house in the 1100 block of Cleveland St. about 2 a.m. Saturday through a first-floor kitchen window and raped her while she slept on a couch. During the assault, the apparently unarmed man struck the woman repeatedly in the face with his fist, causing bruises and cuts. After the man fled, the woman called police and was taken to Mercy Medical Center for treatment and was released. Anyone knowing the man's identity is urged to call district detectives at 410-396-2499.

Gun Crime Registry Proposed

By Annie Linskey
sun reporter
Originally published July 17, 2007
In an effort to fight the city's spike in gun-related crime, Mayor Sheila Dixon yesterday introduced legislation that would let police - and possibly the public - know home addresses of people convicted of gun violations.The bill is part of a larger anti-crime package that Dixon announced in May and is similar to measures have been being considered in cities around the country.
"The truth is we know the small group of people who are committing the bulk of these gun offenses," said Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for the mayor. "Making the information public is just another tool for citizens and advocates to be able to identify violent offenders in their community."
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City Records 175th Homocide

By Gus G. Sentementes
Sun Reporter
Originally published July 17, 2007, 9:04 AM EDT
One man was fatally shot and another was seriously wounded in two separate shootings in Northwest and Northeast Baltimore last night, police said.Just before midnight, police said officers found an 18-year-old man was shot at least once in the chest in Northwest Baltimore's Central Park Heights neighborhood. The shooting occurred in the 3400 block of St. Ambrose Ave., and police said he died at Sinai Hospital at 12:20 a.m.
Police did not release the victim's name or additional details of the incident. He was the city's 175th homicide this year.
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Evidence Gone in Officer's Rape Case

By Julie Bykowicz
Sun reporter
Originally published July 17, 2007
Crucial evidence in the rape case of a city police officer accused of assaulting a teenager last year is missing from the Baltimore Police Department's evidence control unit.
Officer William D. Welch's trial on charges of second-degree rape and misconduct in office is scheduled to begin in three weeks in Baltimore Circuit Court. But for more than two months, police have been unable to locate the confiscated clothing of Welch and the 16-year-old girl he is accused of assaulting inside a police station house, said Welch's defense attorney, Warren A. Brown.
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Monday, July 16, 2007

Couple Killed in County

Monday, July 16, 2007WBAL Radio and The Associated Press
Baltimore County police are investigating the murder of a couple in Arbutus.
Police say the bodies were found last night in the 4800 block of Westland Boulevard.
Corporal Mike Hill says police received a call and found the shooting victims inside an apartment.
Hill said more information would be released after autopsies.
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Residents Worry Over Crime

(WJZ) BALTIMORE Crime is Baltimore's number one problem, according to a new poll released Sunday morning.Mary Bubala has more on what the poll says and what it might mean for the city.The poll was conducted for the Baltimore Sun and overwhelmingly crime tops the list for people's worst complaint about the city.
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Three Hour Stand-off Ends in Suicide

After a three-hour standoff yesterday with a man who threatened to kill himself, police entered a house in the 3100 block of Gibbons Ave. in Northeast Baltimore about 10:15 p.m. and found the man dead from a self-inflicted bullet wound. The man's name was not released. About 7 p.m., the man's wife called police and said her husband was suicidal. She fled the house unhurt. During the standoff, the man fired shots in the house but not at police, who surrounded the dwelling and set up a command post. District detectives were investigating the incident.
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Dixon Holds Lead

By John Fritze
Sun reporter
Originally published July 16, 2007
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon holds a formidable lead over her rivals in this year's Democratic primary campaign, even though nearly half the voters surveyed believe the city is on the wrong track, a new poll for The Sun shows.
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Crime No. 1 Issue in City Election

By Rona Marech and Richard Irwin
Sun Reporters
Originally published July 16, 2007
As another bloody weekend in Baltimore drew to a close, leaving four men dead and at least four others wounded in shootings, councilman and mayoral candidate Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. stood in front of the city's Circuit Courthouse to decry the violence and vow to improve Baltimore's Police Department."There is a crisis strangling our city," he said, a small band of supporters, including police officers, standing behind him. "Enough is enough."
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Five More Killed Over Weekend

By Gus G. Sentementes
Sun Reporter
Originally published July 16, 2007, 8:07 AM EDT
In one of the deadliest weekends of the year, five men were slain in shootings across the city, including two who were ambushed and killed by gunmen using a high-powered assault rifle.The shootings occurred Saturday night and yesterday, and city police released the names of four of the victims this morning. Through early today, the city had recorded 174 homicides this year.
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Friday, July 13, 2007

Mayoral Candidate Mitchell Offers Police Plan

Baltimore’s mayoral rivals traded proposals for beefing up the city’s police force Thursday.
Calling for 250 more police officers and a 15 percent raise across the board for current city officers, mayoral candidate Keiffer Mitchell stood on the corner of Calverton and Baltimore streets, the scene of one of the city’s 167 homicides this year.
‘We’re in a crisis. It’s no longer acceptable for Baltimore to be the image of violence around the country,” said Mitchell, a city councilman.
Mitchell, D. District 11, promised to use the additional police to close out open cases.
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Balt. Accoutant Sentenced to Jail in Obesity Scam

Longtime Baltimore accountant Wilkins McNair Jr. was sentenced Wednesday to just over four years in prison on fraud and money laundering charges.
McNair, the 49-year-old former owner of Wilkins McNair P.C., will spend 51 months in prison. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud, tax fraud and money laundering in November.
Prosecutors charged that he embezzled more than $1.3 million entrusted to him by investors in an obesity treatment clinic. He also avoided paying more than $550,000 in business and personal taxes, both by delaying the filing of tax returns for years and by underreporting the amount of tax owed, prosecutors said.
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Hopkins Curiously Named No. 1 Hospital Again.

By Stephanie Desmon
sun reporter
Originally published July 13, 2007
For the 17th year in a row, Johns Hopkins Hospital is No. 1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of America's best hospitals.
The magazine's annual rankings, released today, put the East Baltimore institution first in four specialties: ear, nose and throat; gynecology; rheumatology and urology.
Hopkins ranked second in geriatrics, neurology and neurosurgery and psychiatry, while Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute ranked second in ophthalmology. Hopkins hospital also earned high marks in specialties such as cancer, digestive diseases, endocrinology, kidney disease, respiratory disorders, and heart and heart surgery.
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Mayor Wants More Police

By Sumathi Reddy
Sun Reporter
Originally published July 13, 2007
Just a week after she indicated that police retention is a more pressing problem than recruitment, Mayor Sheila Dixon yesterday announced a series of steps to enhance police recruitment while mentioning no concrete plans for improving retention rates.Dixon's six-point plan calls for increasing the Police Department's recruitment goal from 240 to 300 new officers a year, providing tutoring and training courses for the required civil service test, expanding the cadet program and establishing a $1 million loan program for college students who commit to becoming police officers.
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Accident Sends Five to Hospital

WJZ) BALTIMORE Five teens are rushed to the hospital after police say their speeding car crashed into a tree.The accident happened early Friday morning on Gray Rock Drive in Ellicott City.Three of the teens were flown to shock Trauma.
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Teen Shot Near High School in County

WJZ) BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. A teenager was found shot on a high school track and now police are searching for the gunman. The incident ended at Milford Mill High School in Baltimore County. Just after 6, a man walking near Florida Road and Rockdale Terrace was shot in the leg. His desperate attempt to get away led to jumping a fence behind the school and a collapse not far from an exercise track packed with people."I see people rushing over there trying to assist him and everybody has a cellphone and thank God everybody uses a cell phone to call 911 and come to some assistance to him," said Sharon Robinson.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Arrests Made in Juvenile Stabbing

By Gus G. Sentementes and Nicole Fuller
Sun Reporters
Originally published July 11, 2007, 8:01 PM EDT
Two teenagers were charged Wednesday in the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl whose body was found by her mother in a bedroom at their family's home in Southwest Baltimore.The victim, Christine Richardson, was discovered early Tuesday morning lying in her mother's bed with stab wounds to her chest and a slit throat, authorities said.
Police identified the suspects as Calvin Puryear, 19, of the 1900 block of Ramsay St., and Lloyd Chase, 17, of the 2100 block of McHenry St. Both suspects, who live in the same neighborhood as the victim, have been charged with first-degree murder and related charges, authorities said.In a city struggling with a surging homicide rate this year, Police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm Wednesday called the case "another example of juvenile violence, another example of good police work and the community coming together and trying to make themselves more safe."Richardson was the city's 165th homicide victim, and the 16th juvenile slain this year.
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Historic Power Plant Development Enhances Downtown

Not every Baltimorean fell immediately in love with the giant electric guitar that hangs on a smokestack over the Inner Harbor's historic Power Plant building.
But 10 years after the guitar upset some historic preservationists and began beckoning tourists to the Hard Rock Cafe below, the redevelopment of the Power Plant has changed the face of the harbor and how tourists see Baltimore.
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Lightning Claims 140 Year Old City Church

By Frank D. Roylance
Sun reporter
Originally published July 11, 2007
Lightning struck the steeple of a 140-year-old West Baltimore church during an unexpectedly violent thunderstorm yesterday, igniting a five-alarm fire that left the sanctuary in ruins.The bolt struck the steeple of the First Mount Olive Free Will Baptist Church about 3 p.m., officials said. The spire soon toppled onto the adjoining roof, setting fire to the building and devastating its 3,000-member congregation.
"The building will be a total loss," said fire Chief William J. Goodwin, as 150 firefighters with 42 pieces of equipment battled the blaze in the 800 block of W. Saratoga St.
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Mayoral Candidate Touts "Roadmap"

By Jill Rosen
Sun Reporter
Originally published July 11, 2007, 10:19 AM EDT
Baltimore City mayoral candidate Andrey Bundley said this morning that he's got a plan "to lead us out of this chaos."Speaking to the media in front of City Hall, Bundley, a school system administrator, said Baltimore desperately needs leadership that he can provide.
"We can't afford to keep electing people with disconnected ideas," he said. "I've got a roadmap to lead us out of this chaos."Bundley, 46, is joined in the race for Baltimore's top elected job by current Mayor Sheila Dixon, City Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., Del. Jill P. Carter, Circuit Court Clerk Frank M. Conaway Sr., socialist A. Robert Kaufman and Philip A. Brown Jr.
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Officer Injured in Accident With Stolen Car

By Gus G. Sentementes
Sun Reporter
Originally published July 11, 2007, 12:09 PM EDT
A Baltimore police officer was injured early this morning after a man driving a stolen car sped through a stop sign and hit the officer's cruiser in West Baltimore, police said.Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman, said the Western District officer was heading north on North Fulton Avenue about 12:30 a.m. He said the driver of a stolen 1992 white Nissan Pathfinder was going east on Clifton Avenue when he drove through the stop sign and hit the cruiser's left rear passenger door.
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Theft Victim Indicted for Shooting

Wednesday, July 11, 2007WBAL Radio and The Associated Press
Baltimore prosecutors say a city man was indicted Tuesday on charges of fatally shooting a man who was stealing his car's rims.
A grand jury indicted Charles Brockington on second-degree murder charges.
Brockington is accused of shooting Joseph Johnson on June 29th in the 4000 block of Cedardale Road. Johnson died at Sinai Hospital.
The state's attorney's office says Brockington shot Johnson after he discovered his Mercedes Benz was missing its tires.
Soon after the incident, Brockington was accused by police of handgun charges because of a reported criminal record.
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Former Duke Lacrosse Player to Attend Loyola

Wednesday, July 11, 2007WBAL Radio and The Associated Press
Former Duke lacrosse player Collin Finnerty, cleared of false rape charges after being sidelined from the sport for more than a year, will transfer to Loyola and play for the Greyhounds in Baltimore next season.
"I am excited to be returning to school and look forward to finishing my college career at Loyola," Finnerty said in a statement provided to The Associated Press by a family spokeswoman Wednesday morning.
"Now that I have made my college decision, my life is my own again. I loved Duke and will miss all my friends there, especially my teammates and coaches. They are an unbelievable group of guys who stood behind me from day one, and I wish them all the best."
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City Violence Claims Teens

Wednesday, July 11, 2007WBAL Radio
Just one day after a city teen was stabbed to death by an unknown assailant in West Baltimore...a 16 year old and another man was gunned down as the two sat on front steps.
It happened overnight on Dulaney Street.
Both victims were taken to hospitals.
Police are looking for suspects and motives.
15 year old Christine Richardson was found slashed to death in her home on Tuesday.
Police said leads are thin in that case too.
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Monday, July 9, 2007

City Looks to Preserve Past

By Jill Rosen
Sun reporter
Originally published July 9, 2007
After a year that dealt Baltimore's preservationists some painful hits, the city is stepping up its effort to protect historic properties - and sites that include a noted African-American church, a South Baltimore park and an old brewery are poised to become "city landmarks."
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Group Home Counselor Shot

(WJZ) RANDALLSTOWN, Md. The counselor's condition is upgraded from critical to poor. He's now expected to recover from a gunshot wound to the abdomen as police step up their search for a lone gunman.An early morning knock at the door in the 3700 block of Randallstown's Offett Road awakened a 46-year-old male counselor."When he went to that door, that was when he was shot. We don't know what the motive is for this. We don't have any suspects in this," said Baltimore County Police Corporal Mike Hill.The house is a state-sponsored group home for troubled boys. The counselor is a staff member who stays there with 3-7 teenagers every night. Investigators aren't ruling out anyone but tell Eyewitness News they aren't looking at any of the current residents as potential suspects.Managers of the group home declined on-camera interviews. As they were taking some of the teenagers away, they wouldn't confirm or deny that the home was being closed down.
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Shootings Continue in City

By a Sun Reporter
Originally published July 9, 2007, 6:35 AM EDT
Baltimore police are investigating two shootings that occurred last night on opposite sides of the city and left two men wounded.The first occurred shortly before 9:30 p.m. in the 700 block of N. Rose St. in East Baltimore. Police had no other details this morning, only saying a male was shot and that his injuries are not considered life threatening.
A little more than a half hour later, about 10:10 p.m., a 23-year-old man told police he was walking with a friend in the 2000 block of Westwood Ave., near West North Avenue and North Monroe Street, when he was shot in the leg.Police said the victim was treated at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and released. No arrests have been made in either case.
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Baltimore Tall Ship is Auctioned

BALTIMORE -- A tall ship in Baltimore that provided catered tours, wedding receptions and corporate outings is going on the auction block.
Clipper City owner John Kircher said in court filings last month that bankruptcy protection wasn't an option. His company, Clipper City Tall Ship, faced a heavy debt load, the ship needs repairs and the Coast Guard had decided against renewing the ship's certification.
The ship was seized by the mortgage holder, Regal Bank and Trust.
The boat is docked at the Light Street Pavilion. The auction is set to begin at 10 a.m. Monday.
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Restaurant Wall is Screen for Little Italy Film Fest

John Pente, in the springtime of his 97th year, climbed the stairs to his third-floor bedroom Friday night, and peered through the window at what he helped to create, and he saw it was good.
Below him in the street, a magnificent crowd was gathering for the opening of the ninth Little Italy film festival.
It was “Moonstruck” on this night, but it was more than that.
It was a gathering of the faithful, those who believe in the life of cities, in the importance of communities, in the joys of mingling under the stars on a summer evening.
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Northern District Officer Faces Additional Accusations

A Northern District police officer, already under scrutiny for allegedly using excessive force, then confiscating witnesses' cell phones June 12, now faces unrelated allegations that he overstepped his bounds in another incident two days earlier.
This time the accusations come from a Washington police officer.
George Mundy, 32, of Dundalk, a patrol officer in the Washington's Metropolitan Police Department's 4th District, said he was off duty, riding his motorcycle June 10, when he was chased, nearly pulled off his bike and ticketed for reckless driving by James Wilder, an officer in Baltimore's Northern District.
The encounter happened two days before an incident at 39th and North Charles streets, in which witnesses claimed that Wilder used excessive force while trying to restore order at the scene of a two-car traffic accident.
The accident escalated into a confrontation among police, onlookers and the family of the driver who was found to be at fault in the accident.
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Early Morning Shooting in County

By a Sun Reporter
Originally published July 9, 2007, 6:54 AM EDT
Baltimore County police are on the scene this morning of a shooting in Randallstown, authorities said.A police official in the dispatch center would not release any other information other than to say the incident occurred shortly before 5 a.m. on Offutt Road between Randallstown Plaza and Randallstown High School.
A condition on the victim was not available.The shooting scene appeared to be a house in the 3700 block of Offutt Road. Yellow crime scene tape blocked off a portion of the home near a parking pad; it was not immediately clear whether the shooting occurred inside or outside.
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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Fierce Competition at Chesapeake Turtle Races

By Chris Emery
Sun reporter
Originally published July 8, 2007
The Andersen family's turtles are cold-blooded competitors.Speedy, a red-nosed slider, won the first heat by a red nose yesterday at the 66th annual Chesapeake Turtle Derby in Patterson Park. The next race went to the Bel Air family's other slider, Claude.
"One of them always wins," Charlie Andersen said of the turtles. "It's almost embarrassing. We've got probably 10 trophies from turtle races at our house." Andersen, who attended the race with his wife, son and daughter, said the family has been competing in turtle derbies since they adopted Claude in 1998.The Patterson Park derby featured three classes: box turtles, tortoises and an open class for all other competitors. A 70-pound African spur thigh tortoise named Darwin was the racer to beat in the heavyweight class.
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Gun Unit Stays Busy

By Julie Bykowicz
Sun reporter
Originally published July 8, 2007
One in an ongoing series of articlesSitting behind her desk in the basement of this city courthouse, prosecutor Jessica Paugh all but disappears among the accordion folders and manila files piled on her office chairs, strewn about her desk and stacked all over the floor.
Paugh usually has about 60 open gun and nonfatal shooting cases. On this day, moments after a judge handed down a 30-year prison sentence to a man she prosecuted for attempted murder, she's about to present two indictments to the grand jury before hustling back to her office to prepare for two interviews with shooting victims and two trials slated to start the next day.
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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Baltimore DOT Highlights Projects

Operation Orange Cone is a city wide effort engineered by the Department of Transportation to highlight and showcase construction projects around the city.
With the support of local, state and federal dollars the city has been able to improve infrastructure and roadways all over Baltimore this construction season.
Projects include alley improvements, bridge rehabilitation, bike stripping, footways, resurfacing, reconstruction, milling and paving.
We have increased the number of lane miles over the last 4 years.
In 2004 we resurfaced 68.57 lane miles, last year we resurfaced 79.82 lane miles, this year the Department is proud to announce that it expected to complete 148.58 lane miles by the end of this construction season.

City Heats Up

BALTIMORE - Health officials across the region are preparing for high temperatures over the next few days. Baltimore City today declared a "code red heat alert" for tomorrow through Tuesday. That means five cooling centers will be opened by the Housing Department for people who may NOT have air conditioning. Also, the National Weather Service this afternoon issued an excessive heat watch in parts of Delaware through Monday afternoon. Temperatures in Delaware could climb into the upper 90s on Monday. Heat index values could make it feel like 100 degrees, the Weather Service warns. Temperatures are also expected to reach the mid- to upper 90s in Washington over the next couple of days. The National Weather Service has advised people to wear light-colored clothing, to stay out of the sun and to check on elderly or sick neighbors.
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Westport Development Approved

A 65-story office building, 2,000 condos, and extensive waterfront retail is a sample of what's being planned for a 54-acre development site in Westport.
The city's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel (UDARP) approved Thursday a preliminary site plan for the $1.4 billion development, just south of where Interstate 95 crosses the Patapsco River. The designs will be further developed and need to be approved again by UDARP, the Department of Planning, and the City Council.
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East Baltimore Woman Slain

Baltimore police reported yesterday the slaying of an East Baltimore woman who was found by her son stabbed in the basement of her home. The victim, Phyllis S. Johnson, 40, was the 11th woman slain this year and the city's 162nd homicide victim, according to police figures.
Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman, said Johnson's son entered the home in the 1700 block of N. Broadway through the basement and found his mother lying in a pool of blood about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday. Paramedics took her to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 10 minutes later.
Police do not have a suspect and know of no motive in the killing.
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Mayor Dixon Seeks Dangerous Felons Release

By Julie Bykowicz and Gus G. Sentementes
Sun reporters
Originally published July 7, 2007
Mayor Sheila Dixon requested that a convicted felon with pending handgun charges be allowed to leave jail to attend his son's funeral yesterday -- offering to have city police officers escort him to it.Charles Murel, 20, has three firearms charges in a case scheduled for trial this month in Baltimore Circuit Court and was convicted in 2005 of carjacking, court records show.
He is being held on a $150,000 bail at Baltimore's Central Booking and Intake Facility.Murel's son, Charles Murel III, 3, was killed June 30 when two cars collided and ricocheted into him and a woman in the 1900 block of W. Lanvale St.Saying Murel was too dangerous, a judge denied Thursday his request to attend the funeral. But Dixon's chief of staff, Otis Rolley III, continued to work for the temporary release.
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Three Shot, One Dead

WJZ) BALTIMORE Shots ring out around 10 Friday night, crackling through the 1900 block of Lafayette Avenue. Officers arrived to reports of multiple people shot."Everyone involved seems to be adult," said Baltimore City Police Officer Troy Harris.The victim shot in the head was pronounced dead at Shock Trauma. Police say the victim is 25-year-old George Johnson, from the 600 block of Surrey Square Lane.The two other victims are expected to survive, but this latest murder just adds to the already inflated homicide rate. The city's murder rate is near its highest level in 10 years.
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Stabbing in County Complex

WJZ) OWINGS MILLS, Md. Baltimore County detectives comb a crime scene at the Richmar Apartment complex around 4:30 Saturday afternoon. Police say an 18-year-old man was stabbed multiple times in the back. The commotion brings out curious neighbors."He got stabbed three times in the back but apparently...I don't think it was too severe because he was able to walk to the ambulance," a neighbor said.The victim was flown to Shock Trauma and police expect him to survive. They are looking for three black males they say robbed and stabbed the victim before running from the area.
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Friday, July 6, 2007

Drug Needles Stored on City Street

ABC2 News A shocking discovery on a city street turns up a scary health hazard. And an ABC2 News Investigation is responsible for getting rid of the problem. Investigator Joce Sterman has more on what she found and how it got there in the first place.For more than a decade, it sat on a lonely corner in East Baltimore. An old post box that most folks in this neighborhood paid little attention. One resident says, "I thought it was a rusty mailbox that nobody used anymore." There were no letters in there, but a closer look showed us something else - something shocking. The box was filled with dirty needles. One woman was alarmed when she peeked inside. She said, "I think it's dangerous, I think it's really stupid. If anyone should stick a hand in there, I think the Health Department should be responsible and pay for all the damages."
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Rats Infest Playground

ABC2 News They're ugly, they're unsanitary and they are unwelcome guests at a playground in Baltimore's Waverly neighborhood. Rats have turned up at the YMCA playground, that's been built on the site of old Memorial Stadium.
It's a popular playground -- owned by the YMCA but open to the community. It will remain closed, until the YMCA can be reasonably sure the rats won’t be back.
“It kind-of bites that we can't be over there,” said 11-year-old Nathanial Small.
Workers at the YMCA spotted at least one rat on the playground Sunday. "There is a problem in the city of Baltimore with rodents,” said Greg Smith from the YMCA. “That playground being in the inner city certainly is not immune from having rodents in the area.”
The YMCA is working to find other activities for the dozens of children who use the playground ever day. On Monday an exterminator hired by the YMCA used an underground powder that's supposed to kill the rats. Since it was applied underground they say it'll be safe for kids.
The playground will be closed at least until Thursday, when the exterminator comes back to see how that treatment is working.
Eventually the YMCA may replace the wood chips covering the ground, with a rubberized material. That might keep the rats away, but some of the kids, aren't convinced. "I think once they clean it I'm not going back there again,” said 10-year-old Daja Mace. “Because it's nasty -- I think they'll probably come back again."

Baltimore's Infamous Record

A teenager pistol-whips and shoots a light rail passenger in Westport. Young men on a drug corner in Barclay spark a gunfight with police. A motorist involved in a fender bender in Ten Hills tries to run over a patrolman, who opens fire in defense.
In one 48-hour stretch last weekend, gunshots echoed in three Baltimore neighborhoods, illustrating a surge in violence that threatens to reverse years of crime reduction credited with fueling the city's development boom.
Today, halfway through 2007, Baltimore has recorded 155 homicides, about a 15 percent increase over the first six months of 2006. That puts Baltimore on pace for the first time this decade to exceed 300 killings in a year - the macabre benchmark associated with a city besieged by crime in the 1990s.
Nonfatal shootings are up even more, rising 32 percent, to 352 so far this year.
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Thousands of Open Warrants in Baltimore

Baltimore has thousands of outstanding open warrants, police revealed Thursday in testimony before the City Council — including hundreds of warrants for rape, assault and robbery.
The testimony came as the council grappled with how to hire more police officers, including a proposal to add more state police to the Warrant Apprehension Task Force, the unit charged with pursuing outstanding warrants. Lt Col. Steve McMahon said the task force would welcome additions to the four state police officers already detailed to his unit.
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City Council Responds to Crime Emergency...by Not Voting.

Originally published Jul 6, 2007
Jean Marbella
Maybe it's semantics. When I hear the word "emergency" I think: urgent. I think: right now. And I think: action.Or maybe that's just me, being a stickler for language.Yesterday, a Baltimore City Council committee met and heard an "emergency plan" proposed by Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to deal with Baltimore's crime problem and its shortage of police officers. Rawlings-Blake wanted to spend $2 million on "an immediate and aggressive campaign" to recruit more cops.Everyone seemed to agree on the emergency part. The council members decried the growing number of homicides. They rued the extra burdens placed on a police force that has, by the most conservative count, 140 unfilled vacancies. They accused county police departments of paying their cops more, and using "signing bonuses" - or are they "relocation expenses" - to lure away city officers.Then they moved on without voting on it.
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More Heads Roll After Training Death

By Annie Linskey
Sun reporter
Originally published July 6, 2007
The Baltimore City Fire Department has dismissed two more commanders for being "negligent" and "incompetent" in their roles at a live-burn training exercise in which instructors violated dozens of safety rules and a 29-year-old recruit died.This brings to three the number of fire officers fired in the wake of the Feb. 9 fatal exercise, a significant development for leaders at fire departments around the country who are monitoring what's happening with training in Baltimore as they decide how -- and even if -- they will conduct live burns.
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Attempted Abduction of Hopkins Student

By Gus G. Sentementes
Sun Reporter
Originally published July 6, 2007, 8:23 AM EDT
A Johns Hopkins University graduate student reported that two men tried to force her into a sport utility vehicle yesterday morning as she walked about one block south of campus.The incident occurred shortly after 9 a.m. when a female graduate student got out of her car in the 100 block of W. 29th St. on the southern edge of Wyman Park.
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Methodist Pastor Changes Sex

By Liz F. Kay
Sun reporter
Originally published July 6, 2007
The pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church wasn't worried about the congregation's reaction to his transition from Ann Gordon to Drew Phoenix.A banner reading "Praising God, Seeking Justice," hangs outside the Charles Village church. Rainbow cloth is draped from poles inside the Sunday room where members worship. And decades ago, the congregation became an early advocate for full participation of people within the church regardless of sexual or gender identity.
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Mayoral Candidate Mitchell Calls For Resignation of Police Commissioner

Jun. 21 - In the last six months, 146 people have been murdered in our city and our citizens have lost faith in the interim-Mayor's ability to address this crisis. As we slip back to the days of 300 murders per year, residents have been waiting to see her offer the leadership needed to stop this wave of violence. Instead, the interim-Mayor has only offered slogans, PR stunts, and failed plans. While the voters will have a chance to hold her accountable in September, we cannot wait that long to address this crisis. So, the time has come for a change of leadership at the police department. Today, I am calling for Police Commissioner Hamm to step down.
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Second Most Violent City in U.S.

(WJZ) BALTIMORE A disturbing new FBI report has given Baltimore City leaders a new reason to take action against the rising trend in violent crimes.Eyewitness News talked to federal investigators about the new report that shows Charm City is among the nation's tops when it comes to violent crime.The new report was based on statistics from the Baltimore City Police Department and it determined Maryland's largest city was the second most violent in the nation.In a deadly year fueled by an alarming number of murders, a breakdown of the crime stats showed Baltimore was six times deadlier than New York City.
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Candidates Vie for City Council

By Sumathi Reddy and John Fritze
Sun reporters
Their meetings can drag on long into the night, they have virtually no power and every four years they must subject themselves to the voters' whims. Still, more than 60 Baltimore residents have tossed themselves into races for coveted seats on the City Council.Though their backgrounds and platforms vary widely, many named crime, especially the city's soaring homicide count, as a chief reason why they are entering the race for one of 14 seats - meaning that the issue is defining down-ballot contests, as well as the mayor's race.
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MD Traffic Among the Nation's Worst

(WJZ) BALTIMORE If you think traffic congestion is bad in Maryland, you're not alone. Kathryn Brown reports new research points to our state being among the worst in the nation.It can drive you to the brink of insanity just thinking about the gridlock on Maryland roads.Now, a national study backs up the frustration. It ranks Maryland congestion the 5th worst in the country.
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Problems Reported at Patterson Park Pool

(July 5, 2007) – Mayor Sheila Dixon announced an action plan to address operational issues at the popular Patterson Park pool. This action plan comes within three days of the Mayor receiving e-mails about the Aquatics Center from concerned citizens of the greater Patterson Park community.
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