The Star-Democrat from Easton, Maryland on October 2, 1992 · Page 1
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The Star-Democrat from Easton, Maryland · Page 1

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Easton, Maryland
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Friday, October 2, 1992
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Page 1
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Perot gets back in the race... page 2 A mac October 2, 1992 Eastojn, Maryland PridaySaturday Weekend Edition Thirty-five Cents Oyster season opens By GAIL DEAN . Dorchester Editor ' v ;L Cambridge oyster sea: son opened Thursday without the." usual crowd of boats here on the Choptank River.' Tongers working in other rivers were no more plentiful but had better luck than those working the Choptank. According to a Natural Resources Police spokesman, many tongers on the Chester River caught their limit of 30 bushels of oysters per boat. A ban on shellfish harvesting on what has become" TJuT Chop-1 tank's most productive oyster, bars kept many tongers away Thursday. They are expected here Monday, when the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) will lift the ban all the way up river to Jamaica Point. 1U Uail YVC11L C11CLI iviajr 11 because of high bacteria counts the MDE linked to runoff from rainfalL, When the sun rose over the Choptank Thursday at 7:01 a.m., marking the official start of tong-, ing season, there were 27 work-' boats anchored at Chancellor Point. A few stragglers were trying their luck further down the . river, bringing the total number of boats tonging on the Choptank Monday to 31. Natural Resources Police Cpl. Nick Nazare began his day before ' sunset,. scouting up river to make sure watermen had gotten the word on where they could tong that day. Only a few hadnot gotten the word on the ban. - He was also policing anglers who were out on-the-riverHForHhe opening day of sportfishing for striped bass. wnen nazare reacnea unan-. cellor Point he found tongers grumbling about the lack of oysters and other watermen working over cullingboards .laden with shells and little else. The only good thing that could be said about the spot where they were working was the relative lack of mussels. During the past few years shucking houses have given buyers strict orders to avoid oysters with mussels clinging to their shells. Back at the docks in Cambridge buyers were paying $20 a bushel. Tongers were landing what probably qualified as the lowest opening-day catch on record, only three to four bushels per boat. The picture was much brighter on the Chester River, according to Nancy?vHoward, a spokesman for Natural Resources Police. There were 45 boats working on the Chester, with most tongers taking their limit of 30 bushels of oysters per boat. r : There were 27 boats working Please see OYSTER, p 8A f l: "f 1 1 w r f if , reatc-ins worry asf on residents - Photo by Roxane Doster Watte Charley Marshall, left, and his watchdog Abbey show Robert Willcy a homemade device. for locking the garage door. The stick and nail kept thieves from breaking into the garage recently, Marshall's neighbors haven't been so lucky. - -r By KRISTEN RAWLINGS Staff Writer '' EASTON An epidemic of break-ins an3 burglaries in Easton over the past several months has prompted concern among local residents who say they "feel unsafe in their neighborhoods" and are anxious about protecting their homes and family. "It's scary. I feel like my privacy has been violated," said Mary Baird, whose home at 400 S. Hanson St. was burglarized Aug. 4, just two weeks after the former New Yorker resident moved here-. , ' "I never imagined this type of thing could happen here. I never had any problems in New York City," she said. In addition to Baird's home, Easton Police ' have investigated about 65 break-ins and thefts at Businesses and homes and at least another 20 incidents from cars over the past five months. - The incidents have residents in' the southeast part of town particularly worried be-( cause-most of the recent reports have taken place in their neighborhood along Hanson, Aurora, Harrison and Washington streets. "You just keep hearing about more and more people whose homes have been broken into," said Charlie Marshall, who had an attempted break-in at his home on 307 S. Au-. rora St. Marshall joined Baird, town Councilman Robert Willey and residents, Gene Mechling and Pete Corbin, for a meeting Tuesday with Chief Edward Blessing to talk about the situation and see if there is some way to curtail the criminal activity. - "We want to.see what we can do to work with you and try to counteract this problem," Mechling, president of the South East End Neighborhood Association, said to the chief. But, according to Blessing, the epidemic is difficult to cure. . He estimated that two-thirds of the victims will not have their case resolved because it is "I never imagined this type of thing could happen here. I never had any problems in New York City. " Mary Baird so difficult to find adequate clues leading to suspects. ' "We are not supermen. We are trained to investigate clues left at homes or businesses and try to find suspects from them. That is only successful 30 to 35 percent of the time," he said. The rate of break-ins and thefts in southeast Easton is "something I've never seen in my 29 years of policing," Blessing said. The number of arrests and criminal activity continues to pick up here, but the police force still iperates with only 32 officers, he said. During 1991, Easton Police .investigated the highest number of larceny incidents among county agencies with a total of 475 and handled another 126 breaking and enterings. So far this year, the department has investigated 343 thefts and 138 breaking and enterings. Blessing encouraged area residents to take men uwii (ucvcuuiuvc acuuna, mumi line uie East End Association has 'done, and said the police department would assist residents in starting a" neighborhood watch group. During the meeting, many residents said the pUblic is not. a ware of how bad the problem is because the incidents have not been publicized enough by the local media or police. , - PhiAf Tilncfinff Qccnmit tlna arnun thnf uitti few exceptions, the media is issued a press releasejfor every crime item. r Please see EASTON, p 9A Houston 'mystery wom By DAVE WILLIAMS and KRISTEN RAWLINGS Staff Writers . EASTON Houston's semicomatose "mystery woman," recently identified as a former Easton resident, was apparently walking down the middle of an interstate highway when she was struck in a hit-and-run accident in April. - Nandy Sue McDonald, 32, has been comatose since April 28, when she was found along a roadside in Houston. Four days earlier, she had been arrested for hitchhiking in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. .McDonald's stepmother, Judy McDonald, said the family found out about the incident Monday night. Mrs. McDonald, is the wife of Nancy Sue's father, Dr. Robert M, McDonald, a general practitioner in Easton. "The family is still in shock,".she said.t Her stepmother said Nancy currently requires 24-hour care .at the Houston nursing home she has been at since July. "She has shown some improve ment, but it has been from not recognizing anybody, to showing some signs of recognition," she said. "She is unable to communicate. She doesn't speak or write." She said Nancy Sue's brother, David McDonald of Baltimore, is . thinking of going down to Houston, but other family members have not made plans to visit yet. McDonalti was born in Easton and attended schools here until transferring to Cambridge-South Dorchester High School in her freshman year. She did not graduate. -According to her stepmother, McDonald left home when she was 16 and has had only infrequent contact with her family since then. Det. Sgt Ben Blue of the Easton Police Department described McDonald as "a wander?" er." Court documents from probation officers show her having a number of addresses, including Eastonf Cambridge, Laurel and two in Baltimore. A letter ' addressed to McDonald in Baltimore was .returned marked "unable to forward." McDonald was convicted in Talbot-County, District Court of misdemeanor theft in 1988 and at-, tempting to buy cocaine in 1989. According to court documents, her probation officer told local police she was working as a dancer in a Fort Lauderdale, Fla. nightclub in spring 1988 when she was "severely beaten" by a male companion who went home with her from the nightclub. She was arrested for hitchhiking in Fort Lauderdale lour days before the April 28 accident in Houston. . Dep. T. E. Kaiser of the Harris County Sheriff's Department said the accident happened at about 3:30 a.m. He said an unidentified man witnessed the accident and chased the hit-and-run car. He later called police and gave a de--scription of the car, a male driver and female passenger. Kaiser said the man did not give his name. "We want to get in contact with him, and maybe put him under hypnosis to see if he can remember the license plate," he said. There were reports before the accident of a woman walking in the middle of the three-lane westbound section of Interstate 1-10, Kaiser saidi- Police responded, but found no one in the road. A similar report followed soon afterward, but the accident occurred before police arrived. McDonald carried no identification at the time ofthe accident. She was not identified until after the television show "Unsolved Mysteries" showed pictures of her Sept. 16. A corrections officer at the Talbot County Detention Center reportedly recognized her as a former inmate. ' Judy McDonald said it "wasn't unusual" for McDonald to have no identification. "She didn't drive and didn't have a license. She frequently had no purse or wallet." ft X '""7V I J 1 jy 7 nancy sue Mcdonald ... 1977 yearbook jjhto a v . - - - i" v- - . ; V Easton man found uilty of stealing 800 for 'investing' Photo by GaU Dean Fatal accident Emergency rescue volunteers wait to remove the bodies of a woman and a Maryland State' Police Trooper whose vehicle's apparently collided at the intersection of Rt. 313 and Rt. 392 at Finchville in northern Dorchester County around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Neither accident victim was identified by Maryland State Police at presstime. No other information was available at presstime. The intersection has been the scene of numerous fatal accidents. By SAMANTHA MOORE Staff Writer EASTON After deliberating for an hour Thursday, a Talbot County jury found a 29-year-old '"Easton man guilty on two counts of theft for taking $800 from another Easton man who believed the money was going to be invested. ' Stephen Bowen Fitzpatrick was accused of taking a total of $800 on two separate occasions from Bernard Joseph "Joe" Keenan IM in February 1991. Even though Keenan, 39, testified that Fitzpatrick held scissors to his throat in one instanceto" tain cash, the jury found the de fendant not guilty of. the battery charge. Dressed in a blue blazer and gray pants, Fitzpatrick appeared expressionless as the jury fore- man read the verdict. Fitzpatrick did not testify in the trial. In her opening statement, Tal-, bot County Deputy State's Attor--ney Marie E. Hill defined the legal meaning of theft for the jury. "It doesn't have to be an immediate theft where someone calls the police right away," Hill said. "Theft can be by deception and various schemes. It may come to mind about con artists." The trial comes about 19 months after Fitzpatrick took money from Keenan. Although the relationship between the two appeared somewhat vague, the men met while Keenan was working at the Talbot County Y.M.C.A. and Fitzpatrick lifted weights there. r Keenan testified that Fitzpatrick took $298 from an income 4ax refund check and $600 in cash, which' the victim believed would be invested. "He said he was going to put the money . into annuities and ake $750,000," Keenan said, add ing that Fitzpatrick verbally and . physically threatened him for the money. V After being held up with a pair of scissors, a frightened Keenan went to his bank to withdraw $600 cash, a move that seemed unusual to bank officials. Keenan reported the "incident - to police a month later. The. money, which Fitzpatrick told police he obtained for a mu-' tual fund) Snd a private loan, was never returned. Please" see THEFT, p8A Inside Today Ann landers , ' 50 Astrograph "4Q Calendar , 7A Classifieds y S-I0C Comics 4-50 Editorial Financial ; 4B life on the Shore M Maryland news , -3A Nation & World ' 2A Obituaries ? 6 A Regional ' 5A Religion y ftA Sports- , t3B TV listings ' '40 Weather Maryland Thursday J-cfigit: ill Maryland ThurxJay 4-cligit: 1907 Match-fry 02-2-l-SJ-J9 Delaware Thursday JhSgrt; i)7 Delaware Trturjdoy 4-dlgA: 3)77

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