Archive for News

CDC investigating norovirus outbreak on Royal Caribbean cruise ship


A cruise that departed Baltimore on March 28 had a “viral outbreak” caused by norovirus that affected over 100 passengers on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. The current voyage of that same ship has had almost 100 passengers get sick with similar symptoms. The ship left April 5 for the Bahamas and is returning to Baltimore Saturday.

More details from The Baltimore Sun:

Neither cruise was cut short because of the outbreak. The Grandeur of the Seas is expected to return to Baltimore as scheduled Saturday morning.

Upon its return to Baltimore, the ship is expected to be thoroughly sanitized. In addition, “two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist will board the ship,” as part of the ongoing investigation, according to disease control officials.

The CDC also is collecting specimens to determine the cause of the outbreak during the second cruise. Cruise ships are required to report illnesses affecting more than 3 percent of passengers or crew members during any cruise of three days or more.

The ship, which has a approximate capacity of 2,000 passengers and 800 crew,  is due to leave Baltimore again on another cruise Saturday evening.

More on the ship itself from The Sun:

The Royal Caribbean ship returned to Baltimore last spring after undergoing a $48 million renovation. Since then it has faced some challenges, including a damaging fire last May that put the ship in dry dock for six weeks for repairs.

Havre de Grace named to list of Top Small Towns to Visit


Smithsonian Magazine released a list of the Top 20 Small Towns to Visit. Havre de Grace ranked 12th.

WTOP has more:

Havre de Grace, at the head of the Chesapeake Bay and incorporated in 1785, gets its name from comparisons Revolutionary War General Marquis de Lafayette made between the seaport [sic] a French town with a similar name. In addition to its maritime history and scenic location, the town boasts great local shopping.

Smithsonian recommends visiting:

  • The Concord Point Lighthouse, the oldest in Maryland
  • The Maritime Museum, with permanent exhibits of precolonial American life, and the Decoy Museum
  • Java by the Bay for locally blended coffee
  • The North Park trail along the Susquehanna River
  • The Susquehanna Lockhouse Museum, for an annual War of 1812 reenactment

Click here for more information on Havre de Grace.

Williamsburg, Virginia ranked 3rd and Beaufort, South Carolina ranked 7th.

R.I.P. Mickey Rooney – dead at the age of 93


Mickey Rooney, born Joseph Yule, Jr., has died at the age of 93. The above photo is one I took of Mr. Rooney at the 2008 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington.

Rooney served in World War II:

In 1944, Rooney entered military service. He served more than 21 months, until shortly after the end of World War II. During and after the war he helped entertain the troops in America and Europe, and spent part of the time as a radio personality on the American Forces Network and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones. In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Rooney also received the Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal for his military service.

Possible ebola case in Canada



A man returning to Canada from Liberia is seriously ill in hospital after experiencing symptoms consistent with the Ebola virus that has killed dozens in Guinea, health officials have said.

The man has been placed in solitary confinement pending the expected results on Tuesday of tests on his condition. His family are in quarantine in Saskatchewan province, the local health ministry said in a statement.

“A diagnosis has not yet been confirmed. Measures have been taken to isolate the patient to ensure the illness is not transmitted,” the ministry said.

Public health officials earlier sought to contain people’s concerns, saying the risk to the public was low and noting that an investigation into the case’s circumstances was under way.


The casualty had been in Liberia but developed the symptoms after landing in Canada and would not have been contagious when in transit.

If you haven’t read it already, The Hot Zone is a good book to read on the subject.

2,142 cases of cognac stolen from Baltimore County business


The Baltimore Sun reports:

A burglar stole a truck and used it to take 2,142 cases of cognac last Sunday from a business in Dundalk, Baltimore County Police said.

At around 5 a.m. March 16, someone entered a fenced-in lot in the 7000 block of Quad Avenue through an unlocked employee entrance and took the truck, according to a police report. The person then hooked up the truck to a chassis that was carrying a cargo container, which was filled with the cases of cognac.

The burglar fled the scene westbound on Quad Avenue.

Looking at a map, that is the location of Winner Distributing. Winner, which was just bought out earlier this year, is the local Anheuser-Busch distributor. F.P. Winner, Ltd. is an associated company that distributes other brands of alcoholic beverages.

Note: the graphic above is just a representation of a cognac bottle. The specific brand or brands stolen was not identified in news reports.