1988 started off on a lucky note. According to the Jan. 7 edition of the Baltimore Guide, “a patron of a Highlandtown liquor store has won a Maryland Lotto jackpot worth $1.3 million over the next 20 years.” The winning ticket was sold at Barney’s Cut Rate Liquors in the 3200 block of Pulaski Highway.
It was unlucky for dumb criminals, though. On Jan. 5, a McElderry St. resident held up a woman with a toy gun. Unfortunately, that woman was Roberta Parker, an FBI agent. Parker pulled her service revolver out of her purse and held the man until police arrived. The article doesn’t say whether Parker recognized the man’s gun as a fake or if she was just extraordinarily brave.
Just before 1987 became 1988, Jerry Turner, a well-known news anchor and correspondent for WJZ-TV, died of cancer at Johns Hopkins at 58.
On Saturday, Jan. 9, things seemed lucky again—a winning lottery ticket valued at approximately $1.2 million was sold at the Angle Inn on O’Donnell St. Unfortunately, nobody came forward to collect the prize.
A Colombian ship was seized in Locust Point after federal drug enforcement authorities found a shipping container filled with marijuana. The street value was estimated to be over $10 million—in 1988. The container, which was supposed to be carrying 10 tons of saltine crackers, was instead filled with 296 65-pound boxes of marijuana. No arrests were made, as authorities believed that neither the ship’s crew nor the freight handlers knew about the illegal shipment.
In early January, it was reported that bakery magnate George Paterakis, a majority partner in the Harbor East development, was in talks with Gilbane Construction about a partnership on the project. A partnership formed indeed, and today the 15-acre site is home to upscale restaurants, hotels, retail shops, and business.
It was a bad month for parents of kids who missed excessive school. Two separate mothers of 15-year-olds—one attending Canton Middle School, the other Hampstead Hill Academy—were sentenced to 10 days in jail each because their kids missed so much school. One of the kids missed 169 of 230 days; the other missed 200 days. According to then-attendance supervisor Stuart Tabb, more than 2,000 Baltimore students missed over 100 days per year back then.
Work halted on an incinerator for burning infectious waste after neighbors alerted state officials that a smokestack was erected without a permit. The waste incinerator was being built at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
And some things never change. In late January, a 29-year-old woman was arrested for burglarizing elderly East Baltimore residents while posing as a nurse. The woman would ask to come into the homes of her victims, strike up a conversation, and then ask for a cup of coffee. When the homeowner left the room, she would allegedly grab whatever she could and flee.