News in brief

News in brief

January 20, 1991


Maj. Jesse Bane, who was second-in-command at the county Sheriff's Department under former Sheriff Dominick J. Mele, has been assigned new duties.

Bane, who also served as public information officer under Mele, will be investigating child support cases.

Dfc. DeWayne Curry, spokesman for the department, said the new position will require Bane to work as a liaison with the state's attorney's office on the cases.

Bane served as Mele's campaign manager in his unsuccessful re-election bid during last September's primary election.


County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann has named Emory A. Plitt Jr. as acting county attorney.

If the appointment is approved by the County Council, Plitt, 47, would replace Victor Butanis, who was asked by Rehrmann to resign effective Jan. 3.

Plitt, a Bel Air resident who received his law degree from the University of Baltimore, has worked in the state attorneygeneral's office for 19 years.

He serves as general counsel for the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. As general counsel he supervised a staff of 11 lawyers and support personnel. In addition, Plitt has had the responsibility of providing legal advice to all 24 Maryland sheriffs, and county and municipal governments.


The County Council, sitting as the Board of Zoning Appeals, has rejected Columbia Gas Transmission Corp.'s request to build a natural gas compressor station near Jarrettsville.

E. Kelly Merritt, a spokesman for the Charleston, W.Va.-based company, said Columbia Gas Transmission would appeal the council's decision in Harford Circuit Court.

Following a public hearingThursday night at C. Milton Wright High School, council members voted 4-0 to uphold a hearing examiner's decision that denied Columbia Gas' request for a special zoning exemption to build the compressor station.

Three of the seven council members abstained from the vote, stating they had conflicts of interest.

Hearing Examiner William F. Casey ruled in December that the $3.4 million, 6,000-square-foot compressor station was incompatible with the surrounding residential and agricultural areas south of Jarrettsville.

Council President Jeffrey D. Wilson; Susan B. Heselton, R-District A; Joanne S. Parrott, R-District B; and Philip J. Barker, D-District F, voted to reject Columbia Gas's appeal arguments.

Robert S. Wagner, R-District E, abstained because he is negotiating an easement sale with BG & E.

"I am abstaining because the negotiations are directly related to the outcome of this case," Wagner said.

Council members Theresa M. Pierno, D-District C, and Barry T. Glassman, R-District D, also abstained, saying they had attended meetings of citizens' groups opposing the compressor station and had signed a petition opposing the compressor station.


An undetermined amount of a kerosene and wax mixture spilled into a small stream at Riverside IndustrialPark on Thursday, county government spokesman George Harrison said.

"It wasn't a major amount flowing into the stream," Harrison said."But it was enough to be noticed."

The stream, near Brass Mill Road, flows into the Bush River.

Harrison said the source of the spill is under investigation, but emergency crews believe the mixture might have come from a leaking underground storage tank at the Mercedes-Benz of North America automobile preparation facility.

Firefighters from Abingdon and Susquehanna Hose Co. in Havre de Grace, the county Hazardous Materials teams and state environmental officials were called to the scene.

Emergency crews were at the site from 2:30 to 6:45 p.m. until the spill was contained, county emergency communication officials said.


Harford County employees called to active duty in the U.S. Armed Services duringthe Persian Gulf crisis will still have their jobs when they return,County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann said.

Rehrmann said employeeswill continue to receive accrued benefits and health services for their families while they are involved in Operation Desert Storm.

George Harrison, Rehrmann's spokesman, said one county employee so far has been deployed to the Persian Gulf, while another is on the way toCalifornia for training and a third has been put on notice that he might be called for service.

All three men are in reserve units, Harrison said. The county has 38 employees who are in either the reserves or National Guard.


The county Deputy Sheriff's Union Local 838 recently gave Sheriff Robert E. Comes a $500 check to support the department's Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.

The DARE program, which started in the county last October, is designed to teach school students the dangers of drug use.

The program also instructs students on how they can say no to drugs.

DARE targets sixth-grade students in the county's public schools.

In addition to the Sheriff's Department, police officers from the Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace departments participate in the program.

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