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tv   ABC2 News at 6PM  ABC  September 23, 2009 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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which starts now. maryland has reached outbreak status with the h1n1 pandemic. with the vaccine still weeks away health leaders face a new threat. i'm marybeth marsden. the state's schools and hospitals and clinics have experienced a surge in swine flu cases. as jeff hager reports they are bracing for double duty. >> reporter: from the first closure of some schools in the spring to the return of students and of the h1n1 virus to college campuses just a few weeks ago, the so-called swine flu has infected hundreds if not thousands of marylanders including howard county health officer dr. peter bielensen and his daughter. >> we had almost assuredly h1n1, typical flu-like symptoms, 101 temperature, body aches, cough, lasted for five or six days. >> reporter: at its peak the university of maryland college park had almost 100 students report flu-like symptoms in a
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single day. but now that number is down to less than a dozen per day. and they are also recovering in a matter of days. >> it clearly is quite widespread but it's nowhere near as severe as people had feared. >> reporter: still on this day the state's deputy health secretary frances phillips is cautioning the public not to let its guard down. >> now certainly like the doctor and many others able to recover very promptly that is great. but you can't tell who it is that is going to have serious consequences. we know that pregnant women, we know that children, people, adults with serious medical conditions, these are people who very easily can run into serious trouble with this virus. >> reporter: adding to the state's woes for weeks health leaders have been calling on those waiting for the h1n1 vaccine to become available in mid-october to go ahead and get their regular flu shot. maryland is now bracing itself to deal with two strains at the same time. >> we now have confirmation of the first case in maryland of
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regular influenza. that is the seasonal influenza we get every year. >> reporter: on average the traditional flu claims as many as a thousand lives here in maryland each year. jeff hager, abc2 news. >> health leaders are urging people to plan for absences from school or work to get their seasonal flu shot as you just heard. and to continue to wash their hands and sneezing into their sleeves to contain both the spread of both viruses. meantime, u.s. health officials have ordered a lot more swine flu vaccine. the total now reached 251 million doses. health officials say while people 10 and older are protected by one dose of swine flu vaccine children 9 and younger almost certainly will need two. for a look at how the swine flu affected maryland so far you can log on to and click on health "health." you can also find tips on how to help guard against the virus. 27 positions were eliminated in baltimore city
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today and the rest of city employees learn they will have to take five unpaid days. cheryl conner has more on the plan to save baltimore $60 million. >> i want to see why - >> reporter: union chiefs representing city employees are at odds with the apliewfl to cut back on spending. the chief of the city's biggest union june says departments are spending without counting the cost. >> in the city there's a lot of contracts still doing work. the mayor has said for the last two months she would look into it. >> reporter: the mayor says the city doesn't have the equipment to accomplish the work contractors k. the president of the city's fire department union is hoping current employees can pick up the slack after five positions were eliminated today. >> one of the people was a grant writer so she actually brought money into the fire department. >> reporter: in all, 27 employees were laid off and a furlough plan was approved. everyone will take at least five unpaid days, those making
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over $100,000 will take 10 days. we found at least one employee who agrees with the plan. >> there are people looking at this, trying to be as fair as they can. [sirens] >> reporter: negotiateses continue with the city's fire and police departments. the city hopes they will give back some vacation days as a way to save money. >> do i want to compromise safety? no. are we going to compromise safety? no. does it mean we have to put 110% in everything we do? yes. >> reporter: doing more with less in a city trying to save more than $60 million. cheryl conner, abc2 news. >> the board of estimates will meet october 21st to hammer out the final plans. patricia jessamy sent a statement this afternoon. it reads in part "our office will honor the furlough days designated by the mayor. i want to assure the public our operations will not be affected."
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here's something that could help generate money for the state, a slots panel voted unanimously to approve the state's first slots parlor at ocean downs racetrack on the eastern shore. the track owner will be able to proceed with his proposal for 800 machines at the track. he says they could be operational by memorial day of next year. states are severing ties with the community group acorn and so is the irs. this all comes after a hidden camera scandal that started in baltimore the videos show acorn workers advising a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp how to lie to get government help. the irs says it will no longer include acorn in its volunteer tax assistance program. acorn now has filed a lawsuit against the makers of that hidden camera video. the group says the audio portion of the video was obtained illegally because maryland requires two-party consent. millions of dollars for our ports, fire stations and
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transit security headed to maryland. the homeland security secretary janet napolitano was in baltimore today to explain how the money will be used. abc2 news kelly swoope joins us now with details. >> reporter: maryland received more than $380 million in grants from the stimulus package. the largest sum, $150 million, will go towards port security. secretary napolitano was joined by governor martin o'malley and congressman dutch ruppersberger. the port will receive money for vehicle screenings, emergency operations center improvements and closed-circuit television. >> these grants will go to port security initiatives and fire station construction. at the same time, they will help create jobs through new construction projects and help stimulate local economies such as the one right here in baltimore. >> reporter: 166 million will go toward fire station construction grants and another $712 million will go -- $72 million will go towards transit security.
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the secretary says it will help fill in the gaps in the security shield. and while we don't want people to live in a constant state of alarm we cannot afford to become complacent. kelly swoope, abc2 news. baltimore city police shot a man who officers say appeared to be holding a weapon which turned out to be a spatula. it happened this morning in the 2400 block of bridge hampton drive in northeast baltimore. authorities say they got a call around 6:00 a.m. from a person asking how he could kill himself. when officers arrived on the scene they say the man raised an object over his head and started approaching police officers. >> the officers asked the suspect to stop and retreat. multiple times. that suspect did not so they opened fire. >> he was rushed to sinai hospital in critical condition. we're told the two officers involved will be placed on you routine administrative leave. around 4:00 this morning in towson a man reportedly tried to steal a car. sources tell us the suspect got scared when he saw police and
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he ended up driving that car right on to the wall on york road. in the front of towson university he was not hurt and he was arrested. a frightening ordeal for an anne arundel county mother. someone walked off with her 4-year-old yesterday afternoon on clark road in jessup. authorities say the woman was waiting in her car as her young son was playing outside nearby waiting for the school bus. that's when a woman grabbed the boy and walked off. not long after she let the boy go. authorities say 50-year-old leslie offit was arrested and charged with kidnapping and second degree assault. we're in the first days of fall in maryland and starting to feel a lot more like summer around here. sounds strange but that's the reality. we were well in the mird 80s in many spots today. some parts of maryland, upper 80s. out west toward winchester and hagerstown things got really warm today. bwi marshall topped out about 83. that doesn't really tell the
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story because there's so much moisture in the air. feels like near 90 with all the humidity. summerlike humidity. they are going to continue another day. maryland's most powerful doppler radar not picking up much rain across the state. a few showers in far western maryland out toward friendsville and the river. tonight, partly cloudy, muggy, and another steamy day tomorrow, it will feel more like summer than fall but that does begin to change towards the weekend. we'll talk about when things cool off and then when they warm up again, coming up in a few. voter confusion and some anger in annapolis. a former white house aide says she's dropping out of the race for mayor of annapolis, again. zina pierre made the announcement this afternoon at a news conference in annapolis. she did not take questions from reporters but said she did not want questions about her finances to be a distraction. >> did i make some mistakes as a young fledgling small business owner?
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starting my business with more than a dream, with a little bit of money? yes, i did. have i since tried to correct those mistakes? that many of you have seen in the report? that many of those are outdated mistakes that were not updated? yes. i made those mistakes. >> pierre narrowly won her democratic primary by 127 votes last week but questions arose about her personal finances and her residency. it was reported she decided to drop out of the race but then a day later she said it was a mistake and was running after all but tonight it is final. zina pierre is out. we're told the democratic party will choose a new nominee after a meeting on friday night. we'll let you know. it's not just the deluge in dundalk. looks like we're seeing more watermain breaks everywhere. who is paying for it? and changes may be in store for maryland boaters. what is being proposed to make
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the waterways safer? a good day to be on the water this afternoon. we had sunshine, warm muggy weather. you almost want to get out on the water. as a result of that sunshine today, no two-degree winner. sad to say. we warmed up to 84 degrees. we had forecast closer to 80. our six-day streak ends. we'll work on a new streak and your forecast temperatures for tomorrow, they are warm. those are coming up after this.
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life is slowly getting back to normal in dualk ter friday's massive watermain break flooded e ar. today the loganville shopping ceerreopened and business op owrs and customers
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couldn't be happier as for the massive hole workers are working 10-hour days to get it fixed and this project along with so many others could have you digging deeper into your pockets. >> we get about 5,000 watermain breaks over a four-year period. it seems like they are accelerating so we can't lose sights of the fact that most of i mean, is dramatic in termthel but it's that money that has to come from a rate-payer, everyone who is a customer of our water system. >> no word yet on when repairs in dundalk will be completessed but originally they predicted at least a couple of weeks. boating deaths in maryland reached a seven-year high and maryland officials are taking action to help save lives. they plan to ask lawmakers to make tougher boating laws. 15 people died on maryland waterways this year despite stepped-up enforcement and high-visibility safety
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campaigns by the natural resources police. as you said before, do it safely but it would be a good day to be on the water today or in a pool if there are any still open. >> a lot of them closed labor day. you could have been poolside today. you had the ac on briefly? >> i did. >> you almost have to, when the humidity gets this high. the amazing part of this time of year, you have the ac on again tomorrow probably and maybe you'll have the heat on like saturday. >> i wait -- everybody freezes in my house. >> is that right? >> pinching pennies. >> no heat until november 1. outside now, you know what? check out this -- we have a pretty good breeze going on in the inner harbor now. not a lot of wind at the airport though. bwi marshall reporting a south/southeast wind at 6, that south wind the last couple of days which brought up all the humidity, steamy air out there that has made marybellwether and many others across the city turn on the ac across the city but remember, there will be no
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heat. 83 for a high today, that was the official number from bwi marshall but we have plenty of spots hotter. reference point, in 1970, 98 degrees. and the normal this time of year, 76 or so. much warmer than that today. especially out of western maryland. i mean hagerstown, winchester, both up to near 90. so didn't matter, high country, virginia, western maryland, warm mid-80s. wh you throw in t you in in early fall, talking about the index,seto keep it innd. etwo hotter. cooled ofme but stghy ts81 busv and looking at 79 in elkt. e ste. ongaround ear cl southern marylandclou bef
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t of thnorth buother an a y ow two should stay dry most of the rest of the evening. acsoohio a a.erthe rmion me er air building across wedet in s s touphe, ug coai ie atouwn i. t,t's in telandteel summertime. evthough it'snot. weekend, iday, a bit cooler, here saturday into sunday and much cooler, briefly, on saturday into the upr 60s. >> thank you. the ravens are back on the practice field getting ready cleveland browns. against the
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ralewis had the big hit last weekto save the game against the san diego chargers. however, the talk among the media this week, the fact that the ravens for the first time in the regular season are number one in the power rankings. most of the players seem to feel that while that ranking is nice the only thing that really hearts is how -- matters is how they finish upe sei . do lot at this point in the season. you still have to play games, win games and, if we can say that later in the season, maybe 12th or 13th game, that means we're in the playoffs. then it will mean something but right now doesn't mean a whole lot. >> i couldn't believe it. normally they don't do this to us. i think we were pretty far behind before this week. it doesn't mean anything unless you're there at the end of the season. that's what we're shooting for. >> we're getting ready to deal with cleveland this week. to be the best we can be. whatever the power rankings are, let them be whatever they are.
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>> stay focused. the ravens take on the browns sunday at 1:00 at m & t bank stadium. no word on jamal lewis, if he'll play in sunday's game. he suffered a neck injury last week in the team's season opening loss to minnesota. another live look outside now. or maybe let's just watch cleveland play a little longer. oh, there's the inner harbor. pretty nice evening. humid. wyatt has another quick look at the forecast. 
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hunger is a growing problem especially during these tough economic sometimes. shop rite partners in caring is doing something about it. the program is celebrating its 10th anniversary and to help mark the occasion the harford county executive david craig served as honorary grocery bagger at the store in bel air. throughout the day cashiers at all registers to accept donations to help fill the shelves of local food bank. >> for the last 10 years the cooperative and its members donated more than $20 million to local food banks in the communities it serves. >> we're told the shop rite part -- partners in caring program serves more than 40 charitable agency the. stocks ended lower despite the fed's latest assessment of
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the improved economy. don't know for sure yet in it's going to happen. but buying a wii system may soon become cheaper. tech blog and gadget says the popular gaming console which cost $250 since its 2006 launch could be selling for $200 beginning sunday. and gadget posted what it says is a leaked memo from best buy talking about the price drop. there is no word yet from nintendo. stay tuned on that one. and working to help you in these tough economic times. on our web site today, the 10 habits today of successful tight wads. plus, successful ways a frugal family's home might be different from yours. advice if you already dug yourself in a financial hole and taking steps to get out. log on to and click on the "financial survival guide." here's what we're working on for abc2 news at 11:00.
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could it be the real last call for a popular but troubled baltimore night spot? the latest on the push by neighbors to shut it down. and you're about to see a lot more of one of the pros on "dancing with the stars." she's baring all to make a social statement. >> great show. these hot temperatures, they last another day or so. then we'll cool off, warm up again, then cool off again. warm, cool, warm, cool. thursday, 83. cooling off friday into saturday, warming up again sunday into monday. cool off towards the middle of next week. it's september, it's how it is. >> a roller coaster ride. that's all for us on abc2 news at 6:00. i'm marybeth marsden, thank you for joining us. back tonight at 11:00. hope to see you then. have a great evening. we all have confidence
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and we all have doubt. but when the moment comes... what's going to win? here's to confidence. gillette helps you look, feel, be your best. gillette. the best a man can get.
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