News from the March 1988 editions of the Baltimore Guide
The March 3, 1988, Baltimore Guide reported that a train wreck destroyed a railroad bridge over Eastern Ave. near Bayview. According to the report, an 18-car CSX train headed for Sparrows Point derailed, and two loaded flatcars fell off the bridge and onto Eastern Ave. It took crews two days to clear the wrecked bridge, flatcars, and tons of drywall that had been loaded on them off Eastern Ave.
The week of March 3, 1988, was eventful. In local news, city workers removed park benches from the Conkling Plaza (Conkling St. and Eastern Ave.) because business owners were complaining of vagrants sleeping there. The Guide reported that during a January cold snap earlier that year, a homeless man was found dead on a bench on the northeast corner of Conkling and Eastern. The benches were moved to Greektown.
In Canton, some young thieves attempted to burglarize the boats docked at the Anchorage Marina on the 2500 block of Boston St. Foot traffic to the marina was blocked by fencing and gates, so the youths approached the marina by raft. Some boat owners, however, saw what they were up to and alerted the police, who surrounded the thieves on the shore and in police boats.
The thieves threw much of the stolen property overboard and, abandoning raft, attempted to swim to shore. One of the five made it, but was soon found by a police dog; the other four were pulled from the water. The burglars were taken to a hospital and treated for hypothermia.
The following week was less eventful, though the March 10, 1988 Guide did report that the city’s Board of School Commissioners voted to ban the use and possession of paging devices (beepers), due to the connection between them and drug dealing.
“The beepers are most often used by students who are dealing drugs or want to give the world the impression of having ties to the drug underworld,” the Guide reported.
Penalties for possession of a beeper included a three-day suspension or expulsion.
The March 17, 1988, Baltimore Guide reported an explosion inside a rowhouse on the 300 block of S. Durham St. According to the Guide, the culprit was a motorcycle that was being stored inside the kitchen. Gas fumes escaped from the tank, and then either the pilot light to the water heater or the ignition of a gas stove ignited the explosion.
Two residents of the house were treated for burns; the Fire Department brought the blaze under control in 20 minutes.
On March 24, 1988, the Baltimore Guide reported a major fire to a McDonald’s Restaurant on Eastern Ave., which started on Thursday, March 18.
According to reports, a deep-fryer had been left on after the restaurant closed, and it “erupted in flames.” The hot oil then fueled the fire, which burned up on through the upper floors of the building. The structure required partial demolition to prevent it from falling into the street.
Damage to the recently-renovated McDonald’s was estimated at $600,000; the business on either side of the restaurant were also closed following the blaze.