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US seeks dismissal of Fort Detrick pollution suit

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The federal government is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging groundwater pollution from Fort Detrick reduced the value of private land next door.

The Justice Department said in a filing Thursday that it was publicly known when Frederick developer Waverley View Investors LLC acquired the land in 2012 that the groundwater was considered potentially unsafe.

The government says the developer therefore cannot claim that the government's actions diminished the value of its investment.

The government also contends that both the chemical dumping that caused the pollution and the cleanup effort decades later were discretionary government functions exempt from liability claims.

Waverley View filed the lawsuit in May in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. It seeks $37 million in damages.


NAACP says Baltimore convention not a done deal

BALTIMORE (AP) - The NAACP says the site of its 2016 national convention, reported to be Baltimore, has not yet been selected.

The civil rights groups said in a statement Thursday that its convention planning committee recently heard presentations from Baltimore; Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, and St. Louis. It said the ongoing selection process will include visiting the proposed sites, and recommendations will be made to the board of directors in October.

Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore NAACP branch, said in an email on July 23 that the national board had selected Baltimore to host the 2016 convention.

Hill-Aston said Thursday that she could not immediately comment on the national group's statement or why she reported that Baltimore had been selected.


3 hurt when SUV crashes through building in Md.

TOWSON, Md. (AP) - Baltimore County Police say three people were injured when an SUV drove into a Towson building that houses county offices.

It happened about 8:40 a.m. Thursday at the Drumcastle Government Center. Officers say 48-year-old Hiwot Arbi of Middle River was speeding through the building's parking lot when she hit a parked car.

Police say Arbi's SUV hit a curb, became airborne and crashed through a wall of the building.

Authorities say the building was evacuated. People were allowed to return after engineers found damage to be superficial.

Police a woman in the building was taken to a local hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening. Officers say Arbi and a passenger were hurt but refused treatment.

Arbi was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.


Ravens' Rice: His actions 'totally inexcusable'

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice says his actions against his then-fiancee were "totally inexcusable" and insisted he had never been a part of any domestic violence incidents before.

Rice was arrested on assault charges following a Feb. 15 altercation in New Jersey in which he allegedly struck Janay Palmer. Rice has been accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being dropped.

He received a two-game suspension from the NFL and a fine in excess of $500,000. He said he never intended to appeal the punishment.

Speaking publicly for the first time Thursday at the Ravens training camp, Rice said his actions are "something I have to live with for the rest of my life."

Rice did not describe in detail what happened that night.


Sky's Delle Donne returns to lineup vs New York

NEW YORK (AP) - Elena Delle Donne will return to the Chicago sky lineup against the New York Liberty on Thursday night after missing 17 of the last 18 games because of a recurrence of Lyme disease.

Delle Donne says she is not feeling 100 percent, but is good enough to be back on the court.

The reigning rookie of the year will come off the bench and plans to play about 20 minutes. The 6-foot-5 forward was averaging 21.2 points this season.

The Sky announced June 27 that Delle Donne would be sidelined indefinitely because of the disease. Since then, the team has gone 4-8 without its star to fall into last place in the Eastern Conference.


PPL proposes 725-mile power line network in Pa.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - PPL Corp. wants to spend billions of dollars to build a 725-mile system of electric transmission lines that will bring energy from the booming Marcellus Shale natural gas fields to customers on the heavily populated eastern seaboard.

The Allentown-based utility said Thursday the 500-kilovolt line would span Pennsylvania and reach New York, New Jersey and Maryland.

The company says the cost would exceed $4 billion and it'll probably take a decade to build.

The proposal requires regulatory approval and the precise route hasn't been determined.

A rough map produced by the company shows a line running from Pittsburgh through Pennsylvania's rural northern tier and into New York.

A second branches south through the Susquehanna River corridor into Maryland. A third spur runs through the Lehigh Valley and into New Jersey.


Sex abuse settlement drained by victim's family

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware judge says much of the settlement money for a man who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest has been spent by family members on cars, jewelry and other property.

The man was one of more than 150 abuse victims who reached settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington in 2011.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports $347,901 that was put in a trust dwindled to barely $3,000 in five months. Court records show two relatives denied cheating their relative. They contend purchases were made with his consent and often for his benefit.

But Vice Chancellor Donald Parsons disagreed. He has removed them as trustees, and ruled the victim was entitled to recover $158,400 that the two spent on cars and house renovations.


Delaware woman gets prison time for embezzlement

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware woman has been sentenced to a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 from Discover Financial Services in New Castle.

Forty-seven-year-old Kimberly Drummond of Middletown also was ordered to pay full restitution at her sentencing Wednesday.

Defense attorneys had argued for a sentence of probation, while prosecutors asked for more than two years behind bars.

Authorities say Drummond worked for Discover for almost 20 years in a check processing role and began falsifying entries in Discover's books and records in 2008, resulting in duplicate checks that she deposited into her personal bank accounts.


Man charged after guns found during traffic stop

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New Castle County Police have arrested a man on weapons offenses after officers say they found two handguns and ammunition after a traffic stop in Wilmington.

It happened Wednesday in the Penn Rose neighborhood. Police say they stopped a car with heavily tinted windows and learned that the driver was on probation.

Officers say a search of the vehicle yielded two handguns and ammunition.

Twenty-five-year-old Alphonso Williams of Wilmington was charged with possession of a firearm/ammunition by a person prohibited.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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