News Wrap: State Approves New Youth Jail; MD Man Dies in Train Crash
State Approves Funding For Youth Jail
The state has approved $30 million to build a jail to house juveniles charged as adults. The U.S. Justice Department has criticized the Baltimore Detention Center for housing youth with the general population. Instead of building a new building, an existing pretrial facility will be renovated. According to the Baltimore Sun the new building will include classrooms, program space, medical and recreation areas.
Juvenile justice advocates are criticizing the decision to fund the facility. Organizations including Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, the Algebra Project, church groups and others successfully rallied in 2013 to prevent construction of a new $70 million, 120-bed youth jail. They cite declining youth crime and the need to redirect dollars to preventative services as reason not to move forward with building the facility.
Maryland Man 8th Death Confirmed In Derailment
The body of an eighth victim was found today in the wreckage of the Amtrak Northeast Regional train that derailed Tuesday night. The Baltimore Sun is reporting the death of 45-year-old Bob Gildersleeve of Elkridge, Md., after he went missing following the crash. Gildersleeve was a vice president at Ecolab, a Towson-based food safety company, and had worked there for 22 years. His family had been in Philadelphia handing out fliers with the hopes he would be found alive. Philadelphia's Fire Commissioner said the body was found this morning by a cadaver dog and was taken to the medical examiner. Mayor Michael Nutter said it's believed all 243 people on board the train have now been accounted for.
Funeral services for another victim with ties to Maryland have been set. Justin Zemser, a 20-year-old U.S. Naval Academy midshipman from Rockaway Beach, Queens was also killed in the crash. Mourners can pay their respects at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Boulevard-Riverside-Hewlett Chapel in Hewlett.
The NTSB said the train was traveling more than 100 miles-per-hour when it derailed.
Baltimore Damage Estimated At $9 Million
According to an estimate from the Small Business Administration, last month's unrest in Baltimore inflicted about $9 million in damage. The SBA reports that 284 businesses and two homes were damaged in the looting and rioting, however, the Sun reports that an estimate from the Baltimore Development Corporation puts the number of affected businesses at 350.
O'Malley To Announce 2016 Decision May 30
Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley could be ready to jump into the 2016 presidential race. Multiple reports say the Democrat will announce a decision May 30 in Baltimore, where he served as mayor from 1999-2007. O'Malley would be the third Democrat to jump into the race, joining former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
FBI Investigation Leads To Landfill Bribery Arrests
A two-year FBI investigation has led to bribery and theft charges against five Baltimore Public Works employees. Supervisor William Nemec, 55, and cashier Tamara Washington, 54, are accused of taking kickbacks for allowing commercial haulers to use city landfills without paying disposal fees. Jarrod Hazelton, Michael Bennett and Charles Bolden are accused of selling scrap metal from the dump.
Two Corrections Officers Suspended After Looting Charges
Two Baltimore corrections officers are suspended without pay after they were charged with related looting in the city during the recent unrest. A spokesman from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services said they acted on a tip in reviewing video footage from a closed 7-11 store on West Baltimore Street, and identified Tamika Cobb and Kendra Richard leaving the store with merchandise. The women are charged with theft and burglary.
Latest Plan For McKeldin Square Unveiled
The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore is ready to put its latest proposal for changes at McKeldin Square in front of city engineers. The plan calls for the demolition of the fountain and skywalk at the corner of Pratt and Light, replacing them with green space and a new memorial fountain. The proposal will be submitted to the city's Urban Design and Architectural Review Panel before the month is out.
Number Of City Electric Vehicle Charging Stations To Grow
Baltimore is moving to expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations in city-owned parking garages. The Sun reports the Board of Estimates voted to allow a Baltimore-based company to install about 20 charging outlets in up to six municipal garages. The city currently has 20 charging stations in ten garages, along with a pair of chargers near City Hall that are free to use by motorists who pay to park in the spaces.
O's Beat Blue Jays 6-1
Rey Navarro hit his first major league home run, leading the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday night. The Orioles took two of three from the Jays in their first series back in Baltimore since last month's unrest.