Llama rescued from heavy floodwaters in Maryland

A stranded llama was rescued from heavy floodwaters west of Baltimore, officials said Sunday. The Howard County Department of Fire and Emergency Rescue Services tweeted Sunday afternoon: “After crews spent hours last night assisting car drivers out of the water, @HCDFRS assisted the owner of this llama with bringing him to safety after his pasture … Continue reading “Llama rescued from heavy floodwaters in Maryland”

A stranded llama was rescued from heavy floodwaters west of Baltimore, officials said Sunday.

The Howard County Department of Fire and Emergency Rescue Services tweeted Sunday afternoon: “After crews spent hours last night assisting car drivers out of the water, @HCDFRS assisted the owner of this llama with bringing him to safety after his pasture was flooded overnight by the Patuxent River in Mink Hollow #SpecialOps”

Authorities said the rescuers put a rope around the llama’s harness and walked it to dry land from the high waters.

“The whole pasture had filled up with water from the flooding overnight,” the department’s spokeswoman Denise Weist told The Baltimore Sun. “It was deep enough that there was no way it was going to cross.”

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Fox 5 DC reported that the llama was returned to its owner.

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Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.

Hillary Clinton writes letter consoling girl, 8, who ran for class president against boy — and lost

Hillary Clinton surprised an 8-year-old girl with a letter earlier this month after the elementary school student lost an election for class president to a boy by a single vote.

Martha Kennedy Morales, a third-grader at a private Quaker school in College Park, Md., decided to run for the top office as part of a lesson on government in which elections for class president and Congress were held, the Washington Post reported. Morales told the paper she lost to a “popular” fourth-grade boy and was affirmed as vice president.

“As I know too well, it’s not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that’s only been sought by boys,” Clinton wrote in a consoling letter obtained by the Post.

“As I know too well, it’s not easy when you stand up and put yourself in contention for a role that’s only been sought by boys.”

— Hillary Clinton

Clinton went on to praise the student by relating her own experience losing to now-President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. The Democratic nominee won the popular vote by a few million but lost in the Electoral College.

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“The most important thing is that you fought for what you believed in, and that is always worth it,” Clinton wrote.

Morales is now working on writing the former secretary of state a thank-you note, according to the Post.

Maryland girl ordered to steal package from porch, investigators say

Detectives said “there are no words” to describe the latest porch pirate who was caught on camera in Belair, Maryland.

A girl, who police believe is, no older than eight, is seen on a home surveillance camera running onto the front porch, and running away with a freshly delivered box containing a pair of boots.

“A parent or older person is directing them to commit the theft which is pretty disturbing,” said Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler.

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Detectives are asking anyone who can help identify the girl to contact Harford County Police.

Click for more from Fox 45 Baltimore.

Maryland woman ‘felt moved’ to give panhandler money before she was stabbed to death, husband says

A Maryland woman who “felt moved” to give money to a panhandler early Saturday morning was killed when a man lurking nearby plunged a knife into her chest and fled with her valuables, the woman's husband said.

Keith Smith told the Baltimore Sun his wife, Jacquelyn Smith, wanted to help the woman — who appeared to be holding a baby — early Saturday morning in east Baltimore because she “felt moved to give her some money.” The couple had been dancing hours before the attack and celebrating Keith Smith’s 28-year-old daughter’s birthday.

“Something needs to be done, because now you don’t know whether or not you’re going to give and this person’s going to take your life or they’re going to say 'thank you,'” Smith said. “There are some desperate people. They don’t need help; they’re trying to hurt you.”

Jacquelyn Smith was sitting in the front passenger seat when she spotted a woman holding a sign that read, “Please help me feed my baby” around 12:30 a.m. Saturday. She rolled down her window, despite her husband’s reluctance, and handed the woman money.

An unidentified man then approached the vehicle, Jacquelyn believed to thank her for her kindness, but instead stabbed her in the chest, police said. The man and the woman fled the scene with Smith’s pocketbook and necklace, according to her husband.

“This girl actually said, ‘God bless you [as she left],’” Keith Smith told the newspaper.

MARYLAND WOMAN STABBED TO DEATH AFTER ROLLING DOWN CAR WINDOW TO GIVE WOMAN MONEY, POLICE SAY

He rushed his wife to the hospital, but she was pronounced dead two hours later.

Police are still looking for the assailant — described as being in his 30s and about 6-feet tall with a goatee — and the woman he was with, who appeared to be in her 20s, was about 5-foot-4 and was last seen wearing a brown jacket.

“They’re using this ruse as panhandlers to get the attention of their would-be victims,” Baltimore interim police commissioner Gary Tuggle said. “We also want to caution the public about engaging with panhandlers and recognizing that not all of them have honest intent. Not all of them have real need.”

Jacquelyn, 52, was an electrical engineer at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

“She was a very strong lady, very strong personality,” Miriam Tatuem, the pastor of a church Smith attended, told the Baltimore Sun. “If she believed in something, she believed in it — she was one of those kind of people who was 'ride-or-die.'”

Tateum added: “She was always a good helper. Whatever her little hands found to do, she would do it. She was a very giving person.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Baltimore police at 410-396-2221 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Maryland woman killed after giving money to woman she thought was struggling mom: report

A Maryland woman was fatally stabbed early Sunday after she gave money to a young woman who was carrying a sign that read: “Please Help me feed my Baby,” The Baltimore Sun reported.

Jacquelyn Smith, 52, was in Baltimore when she saw the woman with the sign. Smith was sitting in a passenger's seat inside a car at the time and rolled down the window to give the woman money, the report said. An unidentified man walked up to the window during the interaction and attempted to take Smith’s wallet, the report said.

Police said a man approached the vehicle to thank Smith for giving money but then tried to steal Smith's wallet. He pulled out the knife and stabbed Smith in the chest, the report said. She died at a nearby hospital.  Smith was returning from a family gathering. The man and the panhandler fled the scene.

“This was a good Samaritan who saw an individual holding a sign, who appeared to be down on her luck,” Jeremy Silbert, with the Baltimore Police Department, told Fox Baltimore. “So, they stopped the car and gave her money.”

Authorities are searching for the two suspects.

Edmund DeMarche is a news editor for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.

Maryland woman stabbed to death after rolling down car window to give woman money, police say

A Maryland woman was stabbed to death Saturday after she rolled down her car window to give money to a woman who was holding a sign that read, “Please help me feed my baby,” police said.

Jacquelyn Smith, 52, was killed around 12:30 a.m. Saturday while she was in her automobile with two other relatives in Baltimore after attending a family gathering, FOX Baltimore reported. Smith was in the front passenger seat when she spotted a woman who appeared to be holding a baby and a cardboard sign asking for help.

“This was a good Samaritan who saw an individual holding a sign, who appeared to be down on her luck,” said Jeremy Silbert, Baltimore police’s public information officer. “So, they stopped the car and gave her money.”

After Smith rolled down her window, an unidentified man approached their vehicle to thank her for her kindness, police said. The man then allegedly tried to steal Smith’s wallet, leading to a struggle before he plunged a knife into her chest.

The man and woman fled the scene and Smith’s family rushed the 52-year-old to the hospital, where she later died.

The attacker was described as a man in his 30s, about 6 feet tall with a goatee. The woman, who appeared to be in her 20s, was about 5 feet, 4 inches tall and was last seen wearing a brown jacket.

Anyone with information is urged to call Baltimore police at 410-396-2221 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Maryland’s top court to hear arguments in ‘Serial’ case

BALTIMORE — Maryland's highest court on Thursday will hear arguments in the high-profile case of a man whose murder conviction was chronicled in the hit "Serial" podcast that attracted millions of armchair detectives.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is set to hear oral arguments in Adnan Syed's long-running case. He was convicted in 2000 of strangling his high school sweetheart and burying her body in Baltimore's Leakin Park. He's been serving a life sentence ever since.

But a Baltimore judge vacated his conviction two years ago and a court ordered a new trial after concluding that his trial lawyer was ineffective. The state appealed. Earlier this year, the special appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling. The state appealed that decision, too.

Now, Maryland's top court is reviewing a decision that could reinstate Syed's conviction for the slaying of 18-year-old Hae Min Lee.

The court has granted the state the opportunity to make its arguments that Syed's trial lawyer, the late Cristina Gutierrez, was not ineffective and Syed's constitutional right to counsel was never violated. It granted Syed's legal team the chance to make its case touching on key cellphone evidence.

University of Baltimore law professor David Jaros said the fact that a court had found that there was "ineffective assistance of counsel" was itself remarkable since it happens so rarely. That alone makes Syed's case something of an outlier, he said.

"Ineffective assistance of counsel claims are exceedingly hard to bring. And the bar for what is an effective assistance of counsel is remarkably and shockingly low, with courts actually holding that defendants had effective representation even though their lawyer fell asleep at the trial," Jaros said in a phone interview.

But what also makes Syed's case notable is the huge amount of attention it has received. Syed became a sort of cause celebre due to the hugely popular "Serial" podcast, which debuted in 2014 with the entirety of its first season dedicated to the case.

The show shattered podcast-streaming and downloading records. "Serial" revealed little-known evidence, raising new questions about the case and whether Syed was indeed guilty.

More adenovirus cases revealed by University of Maryland following freshman’s death

Three more students at the University of Maryland have become sickened by the Adenovirus — less than a week after the school announced one student's death from a deadly strain of the virus.

The university health center's director, David McBride, said none of the new cases required hospitalization, according to Fox 45.

"Please remember that Adenoviruses are common causes of colds and are normally found in significant numbers of people at this time of year," he said. "There are strains that can cause more serious illness, but not every individual with an Adenovirus infection will follow a complicated course."

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND STUDENT DIES FROM ADENOVIRUS, 5 OTHERS SICK, SCHOOL SAYS

Olivia Paregol, an 18-year-old freshman at the school, died on Nov. 18 after suffering from the type 7 strain of the adenovirus. From Howard County, Maryland, Paregol died less than three weeks after the school learned she had the illness.

As the school's health center announced her death last Tuesday, officials revealed an additional five students had been diagnosed with the virus, too, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed one of the specimens they sent to their lab was type 7 of the illness.

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Students at the school are increasingly concerned that mold problems in campus dorms might be linked to the virus. Paregol's roommate, Jessica Thompson, told CBS News that the two discovered mold on their clothes and shoes in their dorm room in August, and believes the fungus made them sick.

“You can’t sleep at night because the pillow is right next to mold and you’re up all night coughing,” Thompson said. “We got to go home on the weekends and we would be totally fine at home, and we would come back and would be sniffling and coughing and then have headaches.”

After the roommates repeatedly alerted university officials, the pair — along with about 500 other students — were moved to temporary housing while the school worked to clean the dorms, Thompson said.

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The same strain of the Adenovirus was found to be at the center of a viral outbreak at a rehabilitation center in Wanaque, New Jersey, that has killed 11 children.

The Adenovirus, of which there are more than 50 strains, is a common virus that poses little risk for healthy people but can cause different types of illnesses, depending on the strain. It can cause a mild cold or flu symptoms, and some strains also cause diarrhea and pinkeye.

Type 7, along with types 3 and 4, according to the CDC, is among the most potent types. It sometimes causes more serious respiratory illnesses, especially among those with weak immune systems.

Over the past decade, severe illness and death from type 7 adenovirus have been reported in the United States, according to the CDC, but it's unclear how many have died from it.

Fox News’ Liam Quinn contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

Maryland HS football players face life in prison for alleged locker-room attack

Four Maryland 15-year-olds are out on bail but face life in prison after being charged as adults with first-degree rape in a locker room attack.

Prosecutors say the Damascus High School students assaulted four 14-year-olds before junior varsity football practice on Halloween. They say the teens restrained the victims, pulled down their pants and raped or attempted to rape them with a broomstick.

One freshman tried to escape the room but was allegedly blocked, the report said. An alleged victim told police that two players "threw him on the floor" and held his feet down, authorities said. He reportedly said he and was "poked in his buttocks with the wooden broom." Police said the three others were attacked in a similar way, Fox 5 DC reported.

"Victim C said after they finished with him, they proceeded to Victim A where they pulled Victim A's sweatshirt over the top of his head, punched him in the face, knocked him on his back and stomped on him," investigators said in an arrest document.

Police reportedly said in court papers that one victim asked an attacker to stop but was told it was "tradition."

The alleged assaults came to light after a father found his son sobbing in his room later that night, the Fox 5 DC report said.

Fox 5 DC reported Jean Claude Abedi, Kristian Jamal Lee, Will Smith and Caleb Thorpe were released on Monday. A fifth teen is facing lesser second-degree rape charges as a juvenile.

Defense attorney Daniel Wright called it "a hazing incident that went to an extreme."

Prosecutor John McCarthy rejected that, saying "these are crimes."

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Edmund DeMarche is a news editor for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.

Walter Reed ‘active shooter’ report was ‘false alarm,’ officials say

Reports of an active shooter at Walter Reed military hospital in Bethesda, Maryland on Tuesday were a "false alarm," officials tweeted.

Naval Support Activity of Bethesda tweeted that after investigating the origin of the active shooter report that caused the hospital to go on lockdown, officials "determined that this was a false alarm and not part of a scheduled drill as has been reported."

Army Lt. Col. Audricia Harris, a Pentagon spokesperson, previously told Fox News that the incident was part of a drill.

The U.S. Navy tweeted that upon further investigation, the incident was sparked due to "improper use of a mass notification system by a tenant command aboard the installation."

"While preparing for an upcoming drill, the notification system was inadvertently enacted … without containing the words 'EXERCISE' or 'DRILL," the Navy wrote. "Individuals who saw the mass notification statement immediately notified NSA Bethesda security, where they responded accordingly and instituted an installation-wide active shooter response."

The "improper use of the system" was to blame, officials said.

After the ordeal, employees at the hospital, which is the "world's largest military medical center," tweeted confirmation there was no active shooting incident, and their Code White alarm, used to tell those within the hospital to shelter in place, was lifted.

Earlier Tuesday, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., tweeted that he was "safe in a conference room w/ approx 40 others" at the hospital, "where we've been told there is an active shooter."

The congressman, whose Twitter account indicated at one point that he "does not believe this to be a drill," tweeted after the all clear that "at no point was there any indication that this was a drill."

The medical center had confirmed the building was on lockdown and that an alert was sent out about an active shooter. Naval Support Activity of Bethesda tweeted that security "has cleared the basement of Bldg. 19," which officials previously said was locked down.

"No indication so far of an active shooter," NSA Bethesda wrote.

Montgomery County police tweeted that they were called to Walter Reed at 2:23 p.m. "to assist with the report of a possible active shooter." The U.S. Navy also tweeted that officials were aware of the reports.

Tuesday's incident follows a string of false alarm claims of active shooters at numerous U.S. military bases across the country.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson, Jennifer Griffin and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.