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Entries in Maryland (46)

Monday
May272013

Boat Explosion at a Maryland Marina Injures Six Children

iStockphoto(EDGEWATER, Md.) -- Several people were injured, including children, in an explosion Monday afternoon at a Maryland marina.

The 32-foot well-craft vessel with twin engines had just pulled away from the dock at Oak Grove Marina on the South river in Maryland where it had been fueling when the explosion happened.  just before noon.

There were nine passengers on board the vessel, including six children. Two of the children, a boy and a girl both 9 years old, were taken to Bayview Burn Center. Three other children were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center the last one was taken to Johns Hopkins Pediatrics.

The three adults on board refused medical treatment.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the explosion.

“Usually it's an accumulation of fumes, gas fumes in the bilge area of a vessel,” said Sgt. Brian Albert with the Maryland Natural Resources Police. “And, they just refueled so that's what leads me to believe that that's a possibility that this happened at this time.”

Albert said the explosion and damage did not spread beyond the one boat.

“It was contained to the one vessel,” he said. “They were not right at the fueling dock when the explosion took place. They were out and away from the dock.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May152013

Maryland Couple to Retire in 'Tiny House' on Wheels

Image Credit: Kenneth Lam/MCT/Landov(PASADENA, Md.) -- When Greg Cantori and his wife, Renee, are ready to retire, they will not only have to pack up their respective offices, but also downsize their home, in a big way.

The Cantoris of Pasadena, Md., plan to retire in a 238-square-foot house on wheels they purchased two years ago for $19,000.

The couple lives with one of their two grown daughters in a 1,400-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home on the same lot where their future retirement home waits on wheels.

“We don’t know how many years it will be but we’re getting there,” said Cantori, the president of Maryland Nonprofits.

Cantori, 53, became used to living in small spaces as a 19-year-old living aboard a sailboat and then spent his honeymoon with Renee, 51, living aboard a 30-foot sailboat in the Virgin Islands for three weeks.

“We know what it’s like to live small and simple,” Cantori told ABC News.

Once on dry land, the Cantoris raised two daughters, now 19 and 22, and began to follow the “tiny house” movement in which people, like themselves, choose to abandon space for simplicity and give up luxuries to make do with less.

“This is not for everyone,” he said. “Probably 99.9 percent couldn’t conceive of doing this.”

The Cantoris, however, can completely conceive of it and have made it their “goal” to live full-time in the “tiny house” they purchased from a lawyer in Kansas and drove across the country to Maryland attached to a U-Haul.

Their “tiny house,” which consists of a kitchen, bathroom, living space and two bedroom loft, has stayed put on their property since its purchase, but once retirement comes, the Cantoris plan to move on.

“We’re thinking of moving it to Western Maryland or Nova Scotia,” Cantori said. “We may find a place we want to stay for a couple of months or a couple of years and then move from there.”

“The rigidity people have when thinking of their lifestyles, they don’t realize they have many other options,” he said in response to those who wonder how, or why, the couple would choose to downsize in such a drastic way.

“None of this is permanent,” Cantori said.

Cantori also sees adapting to a “tiny house” as a great and easy way to keep the property in the family. Both daughters, according to their father, “love” the house and their parents’ retirement plans.

“Unlike an RV or a house, you can pass it on and it’s not a burden to your children,” Cantori said.  “In this case, you can say, ‘Here it is, take it with you.’”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Maryland Abolishes Death Penalty

David J. Sams/Getty Images(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) -- Maryland became the 18th state to abolish the death penalty on Thursday when Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the measure at a crowded ceremony.

The new law will not apply to the five people currently on death row, but the governor can commute those sentences to life without parole.

“Just as we have a responsibility to do more of the things that work to save lives we have a responsibility to stop doing the things that are wasteful and that are ineffective,” said O’Malley.

NAACP President Ben Jealous echoed O’Malley’s sentiments. “This profound waste of law enforcement dollars will be ended so that dollars can be focused on catching the killers who are still on the street,” he said.

The signing of the law was especially moving for Kirk Bloodsworth, who spent time on death row in Maryland before his conviction on rape and murder charges was overturned. Bloodsworth was the first American sentenced to death row exonerated by DNA evidence.

Bloodsworth’s story was one of the motivations for abolishing capital punishment.

“Man,” Bloodsworth said, “I killed the thing that almost killed me.”

Maryland is the sixth state to abolish the death penalty since 2007. The last execution in Maryland happened in 2005.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar042013

Maryland Second Grader Suspended for Packing Pop-Tart

Hemera/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- A 7-year-old was suspended from his Baltimore school last Thursday after he was reported for biting his Pop-Tart into a shape his teacher thought was a gun.

According to ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV, Josh Welch claimed he was trying to nibble his strawberry snack into a mountain shape, but a teacher at the second grader's Park Elementary School saw things differently.

She got "pretty mad," Welch told KMGH; the boy said he knew he was "in big trouble."

His dad, B.J. Welch, said of the suspension, "I would almost call it insanity.  I mean with all the potential issues that could be dealt with at school -- real threats, bullies, whatever the issue is.  It's a pastry."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan032013

Maryland First-Grader Suspended for Making Gun Gesture with Hand

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(SILVER SPRING, Md.) -- A 6-year-old boy who was suspended from his elementary school for making a gun gesture with his hand and saying "pow" is fighting his suspension through a lawyer.

The Montgomery County School District suspended first-grader Rodney Lynch for pointing his finger at a classmate, which they said constituted a threat of gun violence, according to Robin Ficker, the attorney defending Lynch.

"His record says suspended for 'threatening to shoot a student' and that's a lie," Ficker told ABC News Thursday. "He wasn't threatening a student, he's never been around a gun, he doesn't know what a gun is, he doesn't know what killing anyone is, he had no intent to harm anyone."

Lynch, who was suspended for one school day, told ABC News affiliate WJLA that he was playing when he made the gesture, and that his friend said "pow."

Officials of the school and the school district did not immediately return calls and emails from ABC News.

In a letter to Lynch's parents, the vice principal of Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School said their son had been sent to the principal's office three times on Dec. 20 for pretending his fingers were scissors and then a gun. After the third incident, he was suspended, according to the letter, obtained by WJLA.

"Yet, after meeting with the counselor and assistant principal," the letter says, "Rodney chose to point his finger at a female classmate and say 'Pow.'"

Ficker filed an appeal with the principal of Nix Elementary School seeking to have the suspension scrubbed from Lynch's record.

"We filed an appeal with the principal. They're branding him, throwing him under the bus," Ficker said. "If they don't expunge that record then we're going to court. We'll go all the way. That should not be on this meek little child's record. There was no intent to shoot anyone. He was playing. "

Ficker said that the school district had no rules or punishments outlined for students who make hand gestures at other students.

"There are Montgomery County school district regulations that say if you bring a gun or a knife onto campus, you're suspended. There is no regulation that says if you point your finger or make a motion with your fist that says what gestures result in suspension," he said.

Lynch's parents were outraged that their son would have a suspension on his record for the incident.

"I don't think the punishment fits the crime," mother Jeannie Lynch told WJLA.

"They're saying he threatened to shoot a student," said Rodney Lynch Sr. "He was playing."

Lynch was reinstated to the school on Tuesday, following the winter break. Ficker said he is awaiting a response from the school on his request to expunge Lynch's record. If the request is denied, he will seek to take it to a higher authority, he said.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep062012

GOP Freshman Andy Harris Saved 2-Year-Old’s Life

Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It’s probably among every parent’s worst nightmare: a child stops breathing and time is ticking as first responders are dispatched.

On Aug. 26, Rep. Andy Harris, a freshman Republican from Maryland, was able to assist one of those helpless families, spotting three cars stopped along Route 50 in his home state.  Harris didn’t see anyone replacing a flat tire, and there wasn’t any damage to any of the vehicles.  But something else caught his eye.

“Before I drove on I saw underneath the car that there was a body lying on the pavement.  I saw the flesh -- someone without a shirt on,” Harris told ABC News in a phone call Wednesday afternoon.  “On the ground was a child, looked to be between 2 and 3 years old, completely pale, limp, not breathing, not responsive.”

The other cars had stopped but occupants were not able to immediately help the boy, who appeared to have stopped breathing during a seizure, Harris said.

“What went through my mind is, ‘We’re just going to have to start a resuscitation and … get everything right and hope to God that it works,’” Harris said.  “It’s a high-adrenaline environment experience.  That’s all I can tell you.  You know, you’re there and you know that if you do things right this will, probably, everything will work out.”

Harris, an anesthesiologist by trade who served in the Naval Reserve Medical Corps at Bethesda Navy Medical Center, successfully resuscitated the child, named Nathan Smith, according to reports.

“The first thing I did was try to open the airway to see if I could get him to breathe and sure enough, I pulled his jaw, did what’s called a jaw thrust, and rolled him on his side a little bit, and within a few seconds after that he took one gasp,” Harris said.  “Then, I kept airway open and in another few seconds he took another gasp and over the course of the next few minutes started breathing regularly, and a few minutes after that opened his eyes.”

Harris said that EMTs arrived about 10 minutes after he had pulled over to help the distressed family.

“By then it was pretty clear…that he was resuscitated and was going to be all right,” he said.

The boy’s grandfather praised Harris in a wall post on the congressman’s Facebook page.

“Thank You Andy from the bottom of our hearts for stopping in a storm and helping our family, we thank God that He put you there when they needed help,” Charles Jones wrote in the post, which was first reported by The Hill newspaper.  “My wife and I just want to Thank You for what you did for our family, It had nothing to do with politics, or votes, or taxes, or anything like that, it was just people caring for people in need that didn’t know each other, and that in itself says alot about a person and is just Awesome.”

“I’m glad I saw your family on the side of the road and that I was able to get to your grandson to help,” Harris responded on Facebook.

Harris downplayed any hint of heroism, insisting he was just in the right place at the right time.

“I would hope that anyone, you know someone who may need attention, would do whatever they can,” Harris said.  “I’m just glad I could have played a part in getting the boy well again.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug282012

Alleged Baltimore High School Shooter Charged as an Adult

Hemera/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- Baltimore County police have charged a 15-year-old student as an adult for the shooting at a high school on Monday that left a 17-year-old critically wounded.

Robert Wayne Gladden is being charged with attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault for opening fire in Perry Hall High School's cafeteria on Monday, according to police.  Gladden is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson, Md.

Additional updates are scheduled to be released at a news conference later Tuesday.

Gladden allegedly brought a disassembled shotgun to school on the first day of class, put the weapon together on campus and entered the cafeteria where he's accused of shooting and wounding another student.

A teacher lunged at the student to stop the alleged shooting, but a second round was discharged before the teacher pinned the boy against a wall, police said on Monday.

The school was put on lockdown and then evacuated.

The victim, who has yet to be identified, was flown to Baltimore Regional Hospital Shock Trauma and is listed in critical condition.

Several other students suffered minor, non-shooting injuries during the incident.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug272012

Maryland School Shooter Assembled Shotgun in School Before Attack

Hemera/Thinkstock(WHITE MARSH, Md.) -- A 15-year-old student brought a disassembled shotgun to school on the first day of classes Monday, put the weapon together on campus and entered the cafeteria where he shot and critically wounded another student.

A teacher, who has not been identified, lunged at the student to stop the shooting, and before pinning the boy against a wall a second round was discharged, police said.

The school was put on lockdown and then evacuated.

It was a bloody and traumatic start to the school year at Perry Hall High School in the Baltimore suburb of White Marsh, Md.

Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson did not identify the suspect, but said he was 15.

The victim, who also was not identified, was 17. He was medevacked to Baltimore Regional Hospital Shock Trauma where he is listed in critical condition.

The alleged shotgun was disassembled when it was brought to school and assembled on campus, two sources familiar with the investigation confirmed to ABC News. The weapon had been concealed, Johnson said.

The gunman walked into the school cafeteria at 10:45 a.m.

"We believe that the suspect fired one round and just struck this individual. We do not believe at this time that he was targeted," Johnson said during a news conference.

A police statement later said the 15-year-old in custody was cooperating with police, who were trying to determine whether to charge him as a juvenile or an adult.

Additional police will be assigned to the school Tuesday when classes resume, police said.

Students were held in their classroom for two hours before being evacuated, students told ABC News.

"I was in class in the basement of the school so we didn't hear or see anything," a student, who identified herself as Erisa, told ABC News. "But once the assistant principal, Mr. Arnold, went on the speakers and yelled, 'Lockdown' very loudly I knew it wasn't a joke."

"After we had left the classroom, we saw police and the SWAT team all around the school," student Linzee Hobgood told ABC News. "When we walked outside, there were police cars everywhere. I didn't find out what was going on until my mom called me and told me what had happened. It was shocking that there was a shooting in our school."

Students were evacuated to the Perry Hall Shopping Center where frantic parents went to be reunited with their children there, according to police. Students were also bused home from the middle school across the street, ABC News affiliate WMAR reported.

Several other students suffered minor, non-shooting injuries during the incident.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug272012

Student Rushed to Hospital After Shooting at Maryland High School

ABC News(BALTIMORE) -- A shooting at a Maryland high school Monday morning has left at least one student shot, according to the Baltimore County Police Department.

The shooting took place at Perry Hall High School as students were attending their first day of school. The wounded student, a 17-year-old male, is in Baltimore Shock Trauma in serious condition after being transported via medevac, according to Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson.

Johnson, at an impromptu news conference, also said police have arrested a 15-year-old male suspect. The suspect walked into the school cafeteria at 10:45 a.m. and fired one shot. Students described the weapon as a shotgun. Teachers wrestled the suspect to the ground and held the gun away from him. A school resource officer then helped the instructor subdue the shooter until police arrived.

Several other students suffered minor, non-shooting injuries during the incident.

Police believe the 15-year-old shooter acted alone and did not target the victim. The suspect is a student at Perry Hall High School.

The school is located in White Marsh, Md., northeast of Baltimore. Other students were evacuated to a nearby shopping center so they could be reunited with their parents.

No names have been officially released.

A motive for the shooting is not yet known.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun212012

Family of Baltimore Girl Struck by Bullet Sues Ankle Monitoring Company

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE, Md.) -- The mother of a Baltimore girl who was shot in the head by a juvenile offender wearing an ankle monitor while under house arrest is suing the state supplier of monitoring anklets, claiming the company was aware that its technology had flaws.

Raven Wyatt was 5-years-old when she was struck by a bullet in July 2009 that was a result of a juvenile offender escaping from his home while under GPS surveillance.

The event left Raven with permanent brain damage.

"She's functional, she can sort of talk, she can play," said W. Charles Bailey Jr., the family's lawyer. "But she has speech difficulties. She has problems with the movement of her limbs. She can't walk or play normally."

Bailey estimates it will cost between $6.2 million and $7.1 million to provide care for Raven for the rest of her life.

Now, Raven's mother, Danielle Brooks, is suing iSECUREtrac, the Nebraska-based company that serves as Maryland's supplier of GPS tracking devices, in federal court for failing to "provide accurate and continuous real-time violation alerts of juveniles who had violated the terms and conditions of home detention orders," according to the lawsuit.

The family seeks $10 million for each of the seven claims against the company.

The shooter, Lamont Davis, was under house arrest at the time for robbery and assault charges. According to the lawsuit, Davis was a member of the Crip street gang, and had a long criminal history that began at the age of 10.

He was monitored with a state-issued iSECUREtrac anklet, but there is evidence that he had previously left home while wearing the tracker, according to court documents.

Maryland's Department of Juvenile Services uses the technology as an alternative to detention as part of its treatment for juvenile offenders.

"There appears to be some flaws in the system, and it appears that some folks were aware of this," said Bailey. "Even though they were aware of it, steps weren't taken and warrants weren't made and dangerous juveniles were able to leave the house."

But the crux of the suit is about safety, said Bailey.

"You can't be selling a product that is supposed to be saving people money if a little girl is going to get shot," he said.

In 2010, Davis was found guilty of first degree attempted murder in Raven's shooting, second degree attempted murder, the use of a handgun in committing a crime and possession of a firearm by minor. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The reliability of Davis' GPS records was a point of confusion for prosecutors and defense counsel during his trial. Bailey said both attorneys were thrown off by the tracker software's short range of motion.

"There would be all these monitoring violations once you got past 150 feet," he said.

"This is a big part of the problem. Was he or wasn't he there?" said Bailey. "When you have a juvenile [under GPS monitoring], its one thing if it's Martha Stewart, its holy other if it's a kid with a gun."

Bailey said he had spoken with an expert who informed him that the the iSECUREtrac system gave a large number of false positives across the board, showing that some offenders were in their homes when they were not, and vice versa.

But according to Donald DeVore, secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services in 2009, after an internal review of the iSECURE system, no major faults were found.

"I think that some people unfortunately have the impression that if you put somebody on this system, that it's immediately going to result in an immediate response," he said. "We did develop certain safeguards to put in place to be able to respond at a rate much quicker than most other departments in the U.S.

"It really is not intended to be a program in and of itself," DeVore said of the ankle monitoring system. "It's intended to be part of a level of supervision. It has to be supported with community service, visitation and court appearances."

But DeVore said it was possible for a juvenile to evade the system.

"When a juvenile goes off the grid, so to speak, depending on the level of service you're receiving, it will notify you that the juvenile has stepped outside of their exclusionary zone, he said. But "some systems can be tampered with."

The Department of Juvenile Services has had a contract with iSECUREtrac since August 2008 for GPS equipment and technical assistance, Juvenile Services spokesman Jay Cleary said in a statement. "GPS is a tool the department's community detention officers use for youth the court has ordered live in the community with electronic monitoring," said Cleary.

But Cleary would not comment on the technical aspects of the iSECURE system.

Representatives from the GPS tracking company could not be reached for comment.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court on June 11. The state of Maryland is not a defendant.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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