tv ABC2 News at 5PM ABC June 27, 2012 5:00pm-5:29pm EDT
this afternoon a baltimore county grand jury handed down a two count indictment. one count of manslaughter. one count of involuntary manslaughter. they are lesser degrees of murder in the state of maryland. prosecutors say it was the result of gross negligence and a lesser charge of first or second-degree murder murder but the appropriate charge to present to the grand jury. >> we want to collect the evidence, apply the facts to the law here in maryland and come to a decision about charges. this was then that we decided to take the case to the grand jury, which consists of citizens who live in baltimore county who made a determination that the charges that we sought were appropriate. >> reporter: now the mother of christopher brown did not think so at all. in a news conference, chris brown continued to call for an
independent investigation. she believes officer james laboard should at least be charged with second-degree murder and not doing so proves the officer is getting special treatment. >> let plea know you're working for me? you're working on my behalf? this shows no signs of that at all. i'm dissatisfied. >> reporter: office hovers had his -- officer james laboard had his bail review and was released on his own recognizance. >> thanks a lot, brian. another big story, the cost of your water and sewer service is going up in baltimore and many customers are not happy about it. the board of estimates approved 9% increase today. jeff hager joins us with more. >> reporter: starting tomorrow the average family of four will be paying $97 more per year for
water and sewer service as the system tries to update the system. for 65 years steve wayne wright has paveed the price for living here in baltimore, but now he's had enough. >> a lot of people are on fixed incomes,. probably 15% to 20% of the city are senior citizens. >> reporter: over that same 65 years, baltimore's underground system of water mains have deteriorated with over 400 breaks this year alone. add in mandatory upgrades to the massive sewage system that treats 250 million gallons each day and $200 million more to fix water systems and billing systems -- >> it's our responsibility to step up to the plate and address those things before they fail
catastrophically. then we won't have enough money or resources to handle those in a timely manner, which is going to cause great disruptions to our customers. >> reporter: the board of estimates passed a 9% increase after leery customers called for an audit. their pleas would be in vein. it appears more hikes may follow the in the years to come. >> do we need more rate increases in perhaps, but we're asking for a 9% this year just because we believe with the 9%, we are comfortable. >> reporter: seniors on fixed incomes can seek assistance. jeff hager, abc2 news. continuing our team coverage, the news of the rate hikes isn't welcome news. roosevelt leftwich picks up the
team coverage. >> reporter: what will your water bill look like after this increase. for most folks they say they feel they're another victim of both taxes and fees. right now it's an awfully big hole in the ground. when they're finished, it will handle millions and millions of gallons of wart-- water. it's also costing millions to get it done. try telling a man with three young daughters and a family of seven that his water bill will go up about $100 more a year. >> that $100 is a hell of a lot. you do a lot of things with $100. grocery shopping, school tuition, car insurance. there's a lot of things you clan do. so that's going to hurt. i don't know where we're going to get it from but i guess we have to get it from somewhere.
>> reporter: the city tried to explain. it water rates have increased yearly and more increases are on the way. folks say the burden is falling on families the hardest. >> a burden that most of the revenue raising is placed on the individuals who live in the city as opposed to the people and the corporations in the city who have the wealth and who use the services more when -- >> reporter: most folks say they understand that. what they don't understand is why dump so much on taxpayers right now. it costs more to buy a bottle of soda. overall taxes are high. most folks say they could use some relief and not another 9%. >> i don't know how we're going to make it. the telephone bill goes up. gas and electric goes up.
>> reporter: what gal last lot of people -- gals a lot of people is there was a public hearing and they felt they had no power at all. roosevelt leftwich, abc2 news. >> if you're over the sticker shock, get ready for another jolt. investigators crunched the numbers comparing the water bills of the past compared to what you can expect in the future. >> you're not going to be happy about the future. we picked the year 2004. why? that's when the annual water and sewer bill for a household was less than $520 per year. now in that year of 2004 the board of estimates approved a 27% increase over the next three years. starting in 2007 you started paying a 9% increase each and every year except for 2008 when rates increased by 4%.
that $520 bill in 2004 is now $1,080. next year you'll pay $1,177. the chief auditor robert mccarty predicted the city will have to raise rates in 2014 and 2015 and then 2016 and 2017. you'll be paying more than $2,000 in water. it's important to point out the board of estimates approved the increase in 2013. jamie costello, abc2 news. >> given that news, there are some ways that you can cut back on -- back on your water usage and hopefully save a few bucks
on your water bill. first, install water saving shower heads. there we go. put plastic bottles in your toilet tank. that could save 10 gallons a day. take shorter showers. finally, don't use your toilet as an ashtray or waste basket. every time you flush, five to seven gallons of water are wasted. >> good tips. we'll need to drink the wart as temperatures continue to ratchet up. 99 in the harbor. here's what we have in effect for friday, excessive heat watch. clear skies the rest of the
evening. again, humidity about to ratchet up. we have much more coming up. this friday it will be one month since those 12 tornadoes tore through parts of maryland. fallston is looking at a million dollars in property damage. the forest hill man that was hit badly is finally out of the hospital. he said he is blessed to be alive. how is he doing? >> reporter: keith talked to us propped at a hospital bed that was donated to him by the local lions club. he has been forced to slow down and now he has team to talk about the tornado that landed him in recovery. he isn't time at shock trauma dealing with a broken leg this
required surgery and a huge rod to hold it all together. it sent the concrete wall there tumbling down on top of him. >> when i looked down, the sky behind the tweft are was straight black. before i could let go of my window -- my window thing, my roof was gone. my garage door was gone. i was picked up, slammed against the ground and slammed against the wall. >> reporter: matthew is recovering. he had a huge setback last week. he developed a blood clot and had to be hospitalized. now he is on the right track. we'll have more coming up on website whoib news -- abc2 news at 6. >> he can't work.
he doesn't have medical insurance. as you can imagine, the bills are piling up. friends are holding a fund-raiser right now in bel air at waffle house on con know win go road. >> the consumer product safety commission announce new safety standards for portable cribs and the play yards. a 16-month-old died napping when a folding one collapsed on top of him. >> after we buried our son my husband learned that 1 own 5 million were solded had been recall ised -- recalled and yet most remained unaccounted for.
as of today, the official count from these play yards stands at 19 dead babies. >> they also call them pack and play. the u.s. has the strongest crib standards in the world. >> new twists in the george zimmerman case. newly released audio shed light on why police arrested him. things took a rapid change in colorado where several wildfires are burning thousands of efforts. >> plus, most of us plan to head down to the ocean at some point this summer but where do maryland beaches rank on the list of the most clean? [ male announcer ] millions of dollars for new schools and teachers...
thousands of new good paying jobs... all without raising taxes. that's what a world-class resort casino at national harbor would mean for maryland. but it won't be built unless lawmakers give us the right to vote on it this november. call 1-800-492-7122 and tell your delegate and state senator to vote "yes" on national harbor... one of the biggest new job projects in the country.
the twef -- 2012 hurricane season has been the busiest so far. this year's debby, though it never officially became a hurricane, did its share of florida, especially in northern florida where the winds left nearly 30 inches of rain. >> reporter: debby is now a driesting depression. behind her in florida floridas -- families were forced to commute through water. one of the major highways still shut down it flooded st. pete for the fourth day in a row. you can see rows of homes under water, cars swallowed.
almost 26 inches of rain fell many more than 20,000 ordered to evacuate. about 35,000 customers without power. so much water that the soil here is shifting, forcing roads and backyards to hemorrhage. some boats were stranded. in other place boats were used for rescue. while debby was never a hurricane, today, she remains a headache. reporting from lake city, florida. >> something else is coming our way, i understand. >> we'll be dealing with not so much the heavy rain but beyond florida like heat, i would say florida like heat but i have a feeling baltimore, d.c., philly, we'll be hot are than florida. a quick check on the road it's hot. 88 right now. bwi at 24%.
warmer than it's been but still not excessive heat. we still have the breeze blowing and relatively low humidity. baltimore today blue sky, frederick blue sky, gorgeous view with a few fair weather clouds at times. the same view of the key bridge. each day we get the setup. the heat continues to build. although tomorrow we'll be in the 90s, we think the excessive heat watch criteria will be met on friday. baltimore, south and west no d.c. and also up into the philadelphia region. some extreme heat on the way. not here yet. mid to upper 80s for the moment. a warm weather scenario to be shower but not that excessively hot. winds northwest 15. across the area you can see the humidity levels are very pleasant still. it will be one more comfortable evening with humidity around
23%, 28%, unusual, seasonable. that changes as we go into the weekend. just a few clouds dipping out of the south. no rain with those, maybe a couple of showers north and west into the pittsburgh area but nothing. east coast it's quiet. see the big empty section, not exactly a good thing this time of the year. typically what it means is exactly what it is, a heat ridge building across the central part of the u.s. it will mean hot are and hotter conditions as the heat bubble continues to build up. the old ring of fire scenario when you get the high reg. it continues to heat up. you can see to the west on the west side of the reg -- actually, the east side of the ridge. already in the upper 90s. any chances for showers or storms. it looks very, very slim, maybe a little disturbance will give us a brief shower but looks like
minimal chances for rain. from what is now left of debby in florida, that is pulling out to sexting looks like it may redevelop into a tropical storm. it will be so far out into the atlantic that it wouldn't make much difference. tonight 62, partly cloudy. tomorrow 93 and tomorrow down to 74. we could see a heat driven thunderstorm tomorrow evening into tomorrow night. here's the outlook into the weekend. hot are conditions in the upper 90s. slight chance for storms each day into the weekend. there you g kelly? >> speaking of the heat, if you're heading to the beach, you'll want to expect major traffic delays. two military convoys will be on the bay bridge friday afternoon. some of the traffic delays. for more information on the traffic delays and a live look at our traffic cameras, check out our website at abc2news.com.
go to the traffic tab. it will be easy to find. zoo forget, you can -- don't forget, you can like lauren on the facebook page. the natural resources defense council reveals that last year u.s. beaches had the third highest number of closings and swimming advisories. over two thirds were due to unhealthy levels of bacteria. storm runoff is one of the biggest sources of pollutants. illnesses can include an upset stopple marks skin rashes, pink eye, respiratory infections, meningitis and hepatitis. children are more likely to get sick because they tend to swallow this when swimming in the water and put their heads under water. maryland beaches ranked 11th in beach water quality. that's not too bad, but not great. getting that morning jolt
like almonds. sipping your daily cup of coffee could been fit your heart. drinking two eight ounce cups have coffee a day gives you about an 11% loris being of a heart risk. coffee lord the risk for diabetes, which lowers the risk for heart failures, but researchers say drinking four cup has day seem to weaken the protection and five cups or more could harm you. the study didn't show whether the drinkers could fully caffeinated coffee. wildfire season is doubling in colorado, and that extreme heat and droip conditions are making it difficult for firefighters. coming up, we're live with the latest on the efforts to contain that fire. >> the bus monitor bullied by students caught on tape last
we're getting you up to the minute on today's top stories. a water increases raises the bill for a of four by about $97 a year. among the reasons, repairs are needed for the water main. >> the consumer product safety commission announced some new safety standards for portable cribs or play yards. the changes are i