The Week That Was
Thursday, February 10, 2005; Page HO05
A Baltimore man was convicted in Howard County Circuit Court in a brazen, late-morning armed robbery that ended with the shooting death of a Jessup deli owner and the theft of $125,000. Jurors took less than two hours to find Walter J. Blannon, 39, guilty of felony murder and related charges in the 2003 slaying of Kwang Jun Kim, one of six people killed in the county that year.
Federal prosecutors charged W.R. Grace & Co. with exposing mine workers and residents in a small mountain community in Montana to deadly asbestos and covering up the danger. The Columbia-based chemical manufacturer stands accused of breaking environmental laws and obstructing justice by misleading government officials probing the widespread contamination. Grace allegedly buried a paper trail dating back to 1976 that traced how asbestos dust from its mine had permeated the lungs of workers, their family members and even residents who jogged on the high school running track in Libby, Mont.
Gary L. Kaufman announced his decision to resign from the Howard County Planning Board on March 1. County Executive James N. Robey has nominated Jennifer R. Terrasa, a lawyer who lives in Columbia, to Kaufman's seat. Kaufman has missed at least a third of the board's meetings during the past three years, when the county has been dealing with major issues affecting growth and development.