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Annapolis Sunday Capital (Newspaper) - May 16, 2010, Annapolis, Maryland ' ^ „ I ..... ri -'v, IT ; I I Lookin At Lucky dashes é V Triple Crown hopes SPORTS / B1 SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2010 WWW.HOIVIETOWNANNAPOUS.COM — Annapolis, MD $1.50 Police arrested wrong man in stabbing /fif Detectives said video proved teen was involved; prosecutors said it proved his innocence By SCOTT DAUGHERTY Staff Writer When Rashon Gordon was arrested earlier this year in connection with a stabbing outside a New Year's Eve party, he begged detectives to take another look at their evidence. They had the wrong guy, he swore. And ONLINE EXTRA • See parts of the surveillance video at HometownAnnapolis.com. he knew surveillance video from the Aloft Hotel in Hanover could prove his innocence. "I told them, 'You don't have to believe me. Just look at the video,' " Gordon, 19, of Severn, told The Capital on Thursday at his attorney's office in Annapolis. But no one listened, he said, until his defense attorney personally watched the video April 29 with a county prosecutor. It took less than 24 hours for Assistant State's Attorney Anne Leitess to drop aU charges. Gordon — who served almost four months in the Jennifer Road Detention Center before the case was dismissed — his defense attorney, and two experts on police procedures are now questioning how the county Police Department investigated the Jan. 1 stabbing of Matthew Scott Baxter, 18, (See VIDEO, Page A13) CAN YOU SEE YOUR FEET? Photos by Paul W. Gillespie — The Capital ABOVE: The annual West/Rhode River wade-in held during yesterday's open house at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater yielded good news — the clearest water yet for the get-your-feet-wet water quality test. Those braving the chilly, but clear, waters of the Rhode River were, from left. Southern High School student Michele Burns, former state senator and inventor of the wade-In Bernie Fowler, West/Rhode Rlverkeeper Chris Trumbauer, SERC Advisory Board Chairman IVIIdgett Parker, SERC Director Tuck Nines, state Sen. John Astle and Department of Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin. LEFT: Octogenarian Fowler first set foot in the water for a water quality wade-in off his native Broomes Island in 1988. He was all smiles in his overalls and white sneakers before walking yesterday with others into the Rhode River where water clarity was measured at a record 30.5 inches. • For more coverage from the event, go to Page CI. • For a slideshow of photos, go to HometownAnnapolls.com. Í Jr, ■V ■ '.'I'j 'Flush fee' grants on hold State transferring septic system upgrade program to counties By PAMELA WOOD Staff Writer The state has suspended its program of giving "flush fee" money to homeowners to help pay for expensive, upgraded septic systems. Maryland is preparing to hand over the reins of the program to county governments when the new fiscal year begins on July 1. In the meantime, tiie state has stopped issuing grants, leaving an untold number of homeowners in a lurch — they are required to install the expensive systems but have no help to pay for them. Jeffrey Strain is in just such a pickle. He's selling his family's home in Edgewater's Southdown Shores neighborhood and building a new home in Calvert County. He found a buyer and signed a contract — only to find out during the home inspection that the septic system was failing. Because the home is located a few blocks from Beards Creek, about 900 (See SEPTIC, Page AS) By Pamela Wood — The Capital Jeffrey Strain and his family are packing up their Edgewater home, but they can't yet remove the "for sale" sign. A contract to sell the house hangs in the balance as the Strains try to obtain a state "flush fee" grant to help pay for replacing a falling septic system with an upgraded nitrogen-reducing system. County's grant funding cut again 'Poor, disenfranchised asked to bear a disproportionate cut' By ERIN COX Staff Writer Nonprofit organizations are aching under cuts that eliminate a third of the county's grant money, the fourth consecutive year that aid to the county's neediest has been reduced. The grant program has lost 76 percent of its funding since County Executive John R. Leopold took office four years ago, and now groups are cutting hours, services and plans while they beg not to be further sacrificed as politicians continue to scrub his proposed $1.18 billion fiscal 2011 budget. "We're frankly stunned and don't understand how that amount of cut can be asked to come out of (this) agency," Brian Angus, CEO of Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency, said last week as he explained that 39 percent of all cuts to the grant program hit his group. "There's just something that's unfair about this, and I think once again, the poor and the disenfranchised in this county are being asked to bear a disproportionate cut." (See GRANTS, Page A5) New evaluation process worries state's teachers Starting in 2012, they will be judged on students' performance By ELISABETH HULETTE Staff Writer At the last county school where she worked, English teacher Diana Peckham saw angry students yeU at their teachers: "I'm going to fail this test, and then you'll lose your job!" That, Peckham said, is just one example of why basing teacher evaluations — and possibly pay — on student performance is a bad idea. Yet the state is moving forward with a plan to do just that starting in 2012, in an effort to net a quarter of a billion dollars in education funding through the federal Race to the Top competition. Teachers such as Peckham, now at Northeast High School, worry they will be evaluated on factors outside their control and land at the mercy of their students. Meanwhile, advocates say changing the evaluations will make teachers accountable and identify those who need help in the classroom. "Our goal is to help (See TEACHE] m fv,. t - îî WEATHER 72 55 HIGH LOW SOME SUN: Rain tomorrow. C2 TO READERS Offices at The Cap//a/will be closed tomorrow for a furlough day. The Capital will be published. The Circulation Department can be reached at 410-268-4800. OFÏHE T FREE Slice of key lime pie from Punk's Backyard Grill 0ÓUP0N/C7 REAL ESTATE GUIDE REAL ESTATE SPRING 2010 Get the I latest on this year's 'trends. riNSIDE TODAY'S irAPER fNDEX Four sections, 40 pages Business......C4 Puzzles........CI Crossword ... D5 Editorial.....A1 MyTime......AID Lottery.........A Obituaries ... C2 Television .... Bi Classified ............410-268-7001 Circulation..........410-268-4801 From Kent Island .. 800-327-158:
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