I have returned from my vacation and I'm slowly catching up on what I missed over the past two weeks. As usual, Baltimore does not disappoint.
There was the tragic killing of former City Councilman Kenneth N. Harris Sr., followed by the State Police helicopter crash, followed by the report of the woman suspected of killing her two daughters and freezing their bodies in her Southern Maryland home.
I want to thank my colleagues for helping fill the crime blog while I was away and for readers who e-mailed me wondering what happened to the column. It's nice to be missed!
Chris Abdulghani from the Washington Village/Pigtown Neighborhood Planning Council wrote me about an emergency crime summit that was held yesterday about a new drug group called the Gang of 8 operating in the neighborhood.
And Michael Brand wrote to update me on the case involving the attack last month on his mother-in-law outside the Spotlighter's Theatre on St. Paul Street. The suspect, Dajuan Daugherty, was indicted on robbery charges and therefore didn't have to have a preliminary hearing in District Court. Of course, Michael Brand and his wife didn't learn that information until they showed up for the hearing on North Avenue and endured what they described as "Third World hell that is Baltimore District Court." The suspect's next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Baltimore Circuit Court.
And, on a lighter note, Jean Tyson wrote to complain about my photograph that is published in the print edition column. I'm dressed in blue jeans and a T-shirt. "May I offer a respectful suggestion? Get another photo of yourself dressed in a sportshirt and nice slacks. You kids don't dress up for anything. Maybe you really are unconcerned with how you look, but I'm surprised your wife or girlfriend hasn't suggested that to you."
First off, it's nice to be called a 'kid.' If anything, at least the photo makes me appear younger! Second, I'm dressed the way my bosses wanted me to dress -- to reflect the gritty nature of street crime reporting in Baltimore. Photos of columnists -- especially the full body shots -- have been one of the most talked about issues of the redesign. My good colleague Kevin Cowherd wrote about this recently and I'll refer you to that column.
Anyway, it's great to be back!