- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2008



Slots opponent files legal appeal

Opponents of slot machines are taking their battle over the November slots referendum to Maryland’s highest court.

Attorney Irwin Kramer filed a notice of appeal Thursday with the Maryland Court of Appeals. The parties must file briefs by noon Friday, and oral arguments are set for Monday.

On Wednesday, a panel of three Anne Arundel County Circuit judges ruled that ballot language asking voters to legalize slots was misleading. They ordered state elections officials to add a single word to the ballot question to make clear that not all revenue from slots would fund education.

That opinion didn’t go far enough, slots opponents said. They want more substantial revisions.

The referendum would authorize up to 15,000 slot machines at five locations.


Police identify teen in shooting

The Howard County Police Department has identified the teen who was fatally shot Wednesday night at a friend’s home.

Michael Mullinax, 17, of Jessup, was visiting a 22-year-old friend. The two were alone in the basement of the man’s home when a shot was fired from a gun in the room. Mr. Mullinax was hit in the chest and died at the scene.

The circumstances of the shooting remain under investigation, and police aren’t releasing the name of the 22-year-old until the investigation is complete.


Troubled teens schools to close

A privately run school in Allegany County that served troubled youths for nearly three decades is closing.

Three Springs New Dominion Maryland will close its Oldtown campus Sept. 25. The decision was made about three weeks ago, school administrator Melinda Roark said.

The three dozen boys living there have been transferred elsewhere.

Alabama-based Three Springs operates 24 programs in eight states. The company says it has formed an exploratory committee to make decisions for the future of the buildings and grounds.

People living near the alternative school had complained earlier this year about security lapses that allowed walkaways to enter their neighborhoods.


Barricade suspect’s name disclosed

The Baltimore County Police Department has identified a man fatally shot by officers after he barricaded himself in a Dundalk house and threatened to shoot them.

George James Walters, 26, was killed in the incident that began shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday in the 8000 block of Gough Street.

Mr. Walter’s girlfriend called police, saying he was acting erratically and smashing furniture with a baseball bat, a police spokesman said. When officers arrived at the house, Mr. Walters said he had a gun and threatened the officers.

Outside the house, officers could see Mr. Walters repeatedly point what appeared to be a rifle in and out of a window on the second floor of the house, Mr. Toohey said. When Mr. Walters pointed the rifle out of a window at about 5:10 p.m., officers shot him, the spokesman said.


27 sites raided in drug sting

Authorities raided as many as 27 locations in Baltimore as part of a major drug investigation.

Guns and cash were seized as federal warrants were executed overnight into Thursday morning by members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force, which includes local and federal authorities, said a Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman.

A raid in East Baltimore led to a standoff that ended peacefully, the spokesman said. The house had been under surveillance and was part of a long-term investigation, police told the Baltimore Sun.

Money and drugs were seized from the house, police said. Police did not have details Thursday afternoon on arrests or seizures at other raided locations.


Police say robbers targeted Hispanics

Montgomery County police arrested five teenagers and charged them in four robberies last month, all with Hispanic victims.

Officers said the five would drive up to victims and rob them at gunpoint. In three of the robberies, the victims were injured and had to be hospitalized.

Some of the suspects told detectives that they targeted Hispanic males; one suspect said he hated Hispanics.

Charged with multiple offenses are Girard Boulware, 18, of Silver Spring; Victor Gutierrez, 18, of Clarksburg; Talif Ekanem-Mason, 18, of Silver Spring; Noe Guillen, 19, of Silver Spring; and Braxton Cottingham, 17, of Clarksburg, who was charged as an adult.


Authorities crack theft ring

Authorities in Harford County cracked an auto theft and burglary ring that they say is responsible for theft of vehicles and property worth half a million dollars.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police and other law-enforcement agencies in the area executed four search and seizure warrants Tuesday and Wednesday in Edgewood and Baltimore.

Officers recovered 10 motorcycles, two all-terrain vehicles, one scooter and more than $150,000 in stolen property.

Charges are pending against several people.



Confederacy museum sets expansion plan

The Museum of the Confederacy has taken one step forward in its plan to divide its collection among four sites in Virginia.

The Richmond museum and the town of Appomattox are eyeing a 4-acre site near the intersection of Route 24 and U.S. Route 460. The town has secured the right to purchase and finance the future site, which then would be leased to the museum.

The deal is subject to Town Council approval after a public hearing, the Museum of the Confederacy said Thursday.

The Appomattox museum site would open in the spring of 2011, marking the beginning of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Its exhibit will focus on the end of the war and the beginning of reunification.


Montgomery officials sue over rail plans

Montgomery County officials have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the state’s plan to spend $40 million on a new Norfolk Southern rail yard.

The lawsuit has been filed challenging the constitutionality of using state tax money on private industry, a county spokeswoman said Thursday.

The state plans to build a connector highway and assist Norfolk Southern with development of the intermodal yard in Elliston. The yard will handle trailer-sized containers that can be transferred among trains, ships and trucks.

The yard will be part of the Heartland Corridor, a $249 million project to move freight containers between Columbus, Ohio, and the Norfolk port more efficiently.


Lawyer loses license for faking signatures

A former Christiansburg lawyer acknowledged forging signatures of judges and the clerk of the State Corporation Commission, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board said.

The board has posted Gerald Marks‘ consent to revocation of his law license on its Web site.

Mr. Marks faces 21 felony charges in Montgomery County related to forgery of his clients’ legal documents. His case is scheduled for a trial later this month.

A grand jury in April indicted Mr. Marks on 11 counts of forgery of public records and 10 counts of uttering, or passing false legal documents to clients and others from 1999 to 2007.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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