State Cites Violations in City Circuit CourthousesThe Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Occupational Safety and Health has sent a citation and notification of penalty to the judicial branch of the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts, citing three “serious” and five “other” types of violation it found during summer inspections of the Baltimore City Circuit Court’s courthouses. The three serious violations were a lack of emergency exit lighting, a live, ungrounded 100-foot extension cord in the Mitchell Courthouse basement, and a missing outlet cover plate on an air conditioner power supply upstairs in Room 200. Among other violations were “unguarded floor holes,” one of them 27 inches by 17 inches and 15 inches deep and another one 42 inches by 10 inches and 20 inches deep. Also cited were an oxygen cylinder stored near an acetylene cylinder in a Mitchell basement hallway, and four instances of Mitchell building stairways without handrails. The inspections were conducted in response to a formal complaint lodged in June by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3674 and its Council 92, one of two unions representing circuit court employees. The union also filed notices through counsel with the city’s Office of Environmental Health Coordination, the fire marshal, and the city departments of health and public works. The state inspectors’ findings recorded fewer hazards than alleged and enumerated in a report the union disseminated to state and local officials earlier this year.
Bones Identify Missing Child of Murdered Family Bones found by a hunter in a remote area of Arkansas have been identified as those of an 8-year-old girl who vanished more than two years ago when her family was murdered. The bones of Felicia Elliott were discovered Friday in an unspecified area near the Missouri state line. The deaths of the child and her family are unsolved. The child’s whereabouts had been a mystery since July 30, 1998, when police discovered the bodies of Lisa Elliott, 27, and her 7-year-old son Gregory at the family’s home in Dalton. Both had been bludgeoned to death. Two days later the body of Carl Elliott, 30, was found in a nearby river. An autopsy found he also had been murdered, shot at least once in the head. “The whole time, we’ve wondered where Felicia was, and tragically now we know the answer to that,” Arkansas State Police Sgt. Stan Witt said. State police did not release further details, including how the girl died and where the bones were found.
Merrill Lynch Releases Marcos Funds to Court Merrill Lynch Asset Management LP reportedly has agreed to turn over more than $35.3 million sought by Filipinos who won a human rights lawsuit against the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The assets were from Arelma Corp., a Panamanian company the plaintiffs claim was set up to conceal Marcos’ millions. The plaintiffs sued for the money Sept. 6 in federal court in Hawaii, where Marcos fled with his wife Imelda when he was deposed in 1986. He died in Hawaii in 1989. After meeting Monday in the chambers of U.S. District Judge <bManuel L. Real, Merrill Lynch agreed to let the judge decide who is entitled to the money, according to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Robert A. Swift. In 1995, a federal court jury in Honolulu awarded victims nearly $2 billion for human rights violations during the Marcos regime. The verdict was upheld but the 9,500 victims had trouble collecting. The Marcos family and Philippine government later agreed to pay $150 million to settle, but the plaintiffs haven’t seen any money.