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Capital, The (Newspaper) - July 8, 1995, Annapolis, Maryland Mfr astronaut happy to be home A3 TREASURES 'Happy clutter' fills this Deale Beach home Dl O's swing deal for Twins pttcher SEE SPORTS Cl Rfl Capital SUNNY PAGE A9 SATURDAY JULY 8. 1995. MD NEWSSTAND. Supply of toll-free numbers shrinks By THERESA WINSLOW Staff Writer They're peppered through the tele- phone book like bits of 800 numbers that beckon you to call toll- free. But come or even there'll be a nationwide switch to a new because all the 'BOO numbers will have been used up. The change will only affect new businesses because the existing ones will keep the numbers already assigned to them. The new prefix will serve the same purpose and still be but unless there's an awful lot of publicity about the it could be a death knell for Rescued manatee returns ASSOCIATED PRESS BALTIMORE A manatee that grabbed the hearts of people around the Chesapeake Bay last fall before being plucked from its cooling waters and flown home to Florida must have liked the attention. He's researchers said yester- day. rally MM Patti a biotoitot with the Save the Manatee a nonprofit Florida .group that paid to the from the bay last year. I think we're funding his summer vaca- The nicknamed .by his was first spotted in the last summer. In when it became clear the sea mammal didn't plan to head south before the water became too cold for officials .decided to capture him and send him home. But eluded researchers for more than a week before he was finally plucked from the bay. After his the manatee spent a few days at the National Aquarium in Baltimore before he was flown home to Florida fitted with an electronic tag so his movements could be tracked by satellite. very first thing he did was join a mating herd and lose his said Jim a biologist with U.S. Fish and Wildlife in Fla. Mr. Valade led the rescue effort and fol- lowed the manatee's movements once he was returned home. Chessie was re-tagged in January and behaved normally until Page Businesses worry new 888 prefix won't catch on new businesses. Customers might not recognize 888 as said man- agers of local companies. people think they have to pay for they won't said Colleen general manager of the Anna- polis Marriott Waterfront Hotel. couldn't survive without our 800 num- Janet a designer at The Gateway Florist in which also has an 800 thought it might be fairer if all businesses had to get a new toll-free number. think everyone should have one she said. Industry experts said that isn't possi- ble because no prefix has unlimited possibilities. They've known for a while that the well of 800 numbers was drying but the crunch really came earlier this month when were assigned within a week. It left the available supply at about and would have run put this month if the Federal Communications Commission hadn't imposed a cap. The total of usable 800 numbers is about 7 said Karen a spokesman for headquarters in Basking NJ. The FFC now allows new 800 numbers to be assigned per week and it is currently working with the phone industry to find ways to acceler- ate the timetable for the switch to 888 The date previously established for the change was April 1996. Ms. Way said 800 numbers have been used for more than 25 but it wasn't until the advent of port- able telephones and beepers that the supply began to dwindle. This was most evident in the last two when the total of 800 numbers in use more than doubled. One May there were 3.09 million in existence. By May 1 of this the total jumped to 6.54. Ms. Way said. understands .concern about 888 intend to educate consumers about 888. 800 is deeply ingrained in people's Jim vice president of net- work services for Telecommunication Systems of which helps other businesses set up telephone sys- didn't think it would take too long for people to catch on to the switch if the proper marketing is done. people will see the 888 number like the 800 he said Penny executive director of the Greater Annapolis Chamber of bad a similar view. that's people tend to Page STAYING COOL JackUkwwof AfHMpoHt tMflt the heat Thursday by playing In the Naval Ac adeniy pool with hte daughter Andrea. Yetterdaytne reached 82 In Today will be mostly wlUi m uM mWrSOeend west around 10 according to the Weather Servtoe at Baltimore- International Airport. hi the mid- to upper 60s and Nghtwhida. By J. Henson The CaptW vi. Teen-ager gets 5 years in jail in Cape assault By BRIAN WHEELER Staff Writer A Rolling Knolls teen-ager who in- sisted he was the fall guy for several friends who pommeled a Cape St. Claire youth nearly to 'death was sen- tenced yesterday to five yean in pris- on. Verrnon T. Ragsdale also will have to pay more than to cover the medical bills of Jason Christopher who fell into a coma for days after a severe beating that shocked community residents. Mr. suffered a fractured several fractures of his eye socket and can't remember that night's events. But who turned 19 last month in maintained yesterday that he is the victim of a of in which witnesses have re- fused to help police or defense investi- gators. He had pleaded guilty to assault with intent to maim in exchange for the prosecution's decision to drop more serious charges. Although as many as four people may have beaten the prone Mr. Ford next to the community's volunteer fire no one other than Ragsdale has been charged for the assault. That frustrated everyone who ap- peared at yesterday's from prosecutors to Ragsdale's attorney to the victim's father. crazy thing I can give you a blow-by-blow description of the said father Dexter who has talked with his son's friends. none of that can come out in of 614 Wayward admitted only that he chased Mr. Ford across a shopping center parking lot and threw a punch that appeared to knock him unconscious. But he main- tained that he ran from the scene as two others continued to hit Mr. Ford. that scenario was enough to convince a Circuit Court judge to place a repentant Ragsdale in prison for five years the maximum length allowed under a plea agreement between prose- cutors and the defense. seem like a gentleman. You seem like a nice person. But you made a terrible said Judge Eugene M Lerner. Ragsdale's Pamela said she will ask the judge to recon- sider the length of the prison She had asked the judge to place her client in the county detention center or in a state prison boot camp. The Nov. 25 assault stemmed from an argument between Tony a Cape St. Claire and Mr. Ford outside the Cape St. Claire shopping center. Mr. Trott and Mr. Ford started to and Ragsdale said he inter- vened. Police said Mr. Ford was chased by others as far as the nearby fire station before he was cornered. Why who didn't know Mr. Ford before that would even throw a punch in the first place remained unexplained yes- terday. Page Boat dealers say sales holding firm INSIDE South county crowd council slate. U j Becker upsets Agassi at At South River Yacht Jeff Dowling said selling boats is fun again. After the lean years of the early sales are strong for the second year in a Mr. Dowling said yesterday. I would say is it's exciting once he said. Generally boat dealers in Maryland report sales are on a par with or better than last when the industry rebounded from a period of slow sales brought pn by the recession and a luxury tax on big boats. think everybody continues to be pretty upbeat about the way the sea- son's said Beth director of the Maryland Marine Trades Asso- ciation. boat dealers are reporting pretty steady and certainly an increase over a couple of years she said. The boating industry was hit hard by the with sales nationally falling five years in a row from 1989 through said David general manager of Riverside Marine in Baltimore County. Mr. Baumgartner said Riverside Marine only two down and turned the business around in 1991 with aggressive campaigns. running about 18 to 20 per- cent at a minimum over last year. We've put a lot of new boats on the Mr. Baumgartner said. Riverside sells Bayliner power boats from 14 feet to 32 feet. Sales of fishing boats from 17 to 25 feet have been especially he said. Mr. Baumgartner believes the return of rockfishing in the Chesapeake Bay important roujin an upsurge in sales of fishing boats. Sue co-owner with her hus- band of Performance Cruising in Anne Arundel said sales of her company's 34-foot catamaran held up through the recession and remain good. Performance is one of the few compa- nies .that builds boats in Maryland. It has only one but win soon come out with another Ms. Smith said. found this year has been but it hasn't been she said. The company got off to a great start in January at a Miami boat but orders have slowed a bit as the national economy turned she said. Simina Cole of the Department of Natural Resources said she does not Page ._ 1 _ it's been a soggy summer for state so far. M Transplant organ shortage blamed on relatives. Al Bumessman confesses to smuggling plutonium. A2 Washington lawyer heart God's call. M A4 64 A9 A9 ArundelReport.... Bl Lottefy..... Calendar............. AS Movies............. Cap. Cam............CIS Obituaries....... Classified......C6. 06 Beat..... Comics................ A6 Religion Croswwrt.........015 Sports...............Cl-5 Death Notices......015 Stocks..............B2-4 B5 Edrtorlatt............. AS Television. Homes...............01-5 Tides. A9 Portions of The are printed each day on recycled paper. The newspaper also is recyclable. .................268-7000 ClrautjMoa..................2684800 FremfUnt 327-1583 AN departments.. 268-5000 Giving oysters a hand Waterfront homeowners take part in effort to reclaim the bay By MARK DAVENPORT StaffWrlter A half-dozen tiny grass shrimp squirmed helplessly on her pier and Lisa Galloso anxiously poured water over washing them back into the Magothy River. Hundreds of the crustaceans were teeming around the Arnold woman's oyster bed a week after she had Installed it. She had seen a few small and was awaiting larger fish and the birds that will eat them. kind of exciting to think that you're putting this stuff be- cause right now it's a dead she that's not how it's supposed to Her and that of 800 other citizen fish fanners this are doing little to directly improve the health of the bay. But she's increasing public understand- ing of the bay's problems. In its fourth the effort to empower homeowners in the fight to restore the bay's health is growing In rapport. The Chesapeake Bay Trust is providing much of the funding. Waterfront are aet_ ting an education about the rattan- ttoo orfrtftr Michelle By M. OdtK Thi Capital la growing under her pier M Magothy Rfver In AfMML ttie'e oneofWMwateffrMitheNieemien Powell-Cummins said. of the goal at this project U to raise awareness of the Importance Of said Mr who owns the P. Cum- mins Oyster Co. of Pasadena. Ms. Powell-Cummins had dreams of growing oysters for but has instead begun providing or baby for hundreds of citizen-managed oyster reefe. She sells about 200 spat and a cage to protect them from predators such as crabs. Homeowners hang the cages from piers for several months until the oysters a too large for crabs to eat. The homeowners then place the oy- sters on hard trays on the bottom that allow them to grow without being covered by mud. In the the citizen oyster fannen learn how essential the oy- ster is to bay ecology. Oysters provide a crucial link in the food chain and filter out algae and phytoplankton that block sun- light from useful underwater plants. Without the water darkens and underwater grasses taking with them the habitats for other The bay oyster population been decjjnated by the der- I 1
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