The "healing" meeting had been billed as an effort to bring a community together after a black teenager from Pasadena was killed in a brawl between his African American friends and a number of white youths.
But when somewhere near 60 people poured into the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on Monday night, event moderator Carl O. Snowden said, he saw only one white person in the crowd -- not counting the media.
"They didn't have a good turnout from the white community," Snowden, a longtime civil rights activist and special assistant to County Executive Janet S. Owens, said the next day. He said the local NAACP, which had called the meeting, would mount "a real effort to bring together the white and black community of Pasadena and see whether some reconciliation can be done."
Jamahl Jones, 17, was killed in a brawl outside a party July 24. The racial passions inflamed by Jones's death were further aggravated by events that followed: Four white men were initially charged with murder but were soon released, and later a cross that was part of a roadside memorial to Jones was burned.
Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee and the FBI are investigating Jones's death.
Slaying Case to Be Tried
More than two years after the fatal carjacking of local sailor and businessman Straughan Lee Griffin, the nation's highest court has cleared the way for an Annapolis man -- one of two initially charged in the crime -- to be tried for murder.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Terrence Tolbert's bid to exclude statements he made to police after the slaying in the city's historic district on Sept. 19, 2002.
"It was the kind of decision we like," said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee. He added: "It's good. We can proceed to trial."
Tolbert's attorneys had argued that their client never properly waived his Miranda rights. They acknowledged that Tolbert, 21, waived his rights once, when he was not in custody, but they argued that the action was not legally meaningful and that he should have been given a Miranda warning after he was in custody.
"We're out of options in terms of appellate steps," said Assistant Public Defender William Nolan, one of Tolbert's attorneys. The trial is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2005.
Authorities have said Griffin, 51, was unloading groceries outside his home when two men approached and shot him in the head. As the assailants fled in Griffin's Jeep Cherokee, they drove over his body. No one had been slain in the historic district since the 1960s.
A co-defendant in the case, Leeander J. Blake, was released in June after the state's highest court excluded his alleged statements to police. The court found that Blake was improperly interrogated after he asserted his right to an attorney. Prosecutors have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.
Flu Shot Clinics Canceled
As the nation faces a severe vaccine shortage, Anne Arundel County officials announced Tuesday that they are canceling all scheduled flu clinics. The country's supply of the vaccine was cut in half as Britain closed down a major supplier because of manufacturing problems.
The county's health department "is awaiting federal and state direction on managing the vaccine shortage and will soon issue revised plans," the county said in a statement.
Updates are available on the department's Web site, www.aahealth.org, or by calling the county's Flu Hotline at 410-222-7343.
Nationwide, healthy adults are being asked to delay or skip getting a flu shot this year so there will be enough vaccine for those who need it most: young children and the elderly.
"We will need the help of the public, the public health community and the medical community to make sure that the vaccine goes to those who truly need it most," the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.