PROFESSOR GETS A GRANT
WESTMINSTER -- An assistant professor of chemistry at Western Maryland College has been awarded $35,000 to conduct cancer research.
During the next two summers, Carol A. Rouzer and two undergraduate researchers will use the Cottrell College Science award, presented by the Research Corp.of Tucson, Ariz., for a project on anti-cancer compounds.
The award is dedicated to the work of Frederick Gardner Cottrell,a scientist, philanthropist and teacher at the University of California at Berkeley. Some $2.5 million has been distributed by the corporation this year.
WATER BAN IS VOLUNTARY
WESTMINSTER -- A mandatory water ban imposed last summer because of a drought has been rescinded by the City Council.
The council voted Monday night to make water conservation voluntary, a move opposed by Mayor W. Benjamin Brown.
Public Works Director William Mowell said the city's reservoir is 56 percent full, up 16.3 percentage points from last summer.
"The reservoir is starting to recharge, and this is the time of year when the demand for water decreases," Mowell said. "A voluntary banwould suffice to show that the city is meeting its water requirements."
But the mayor argued the public works report was incomplete.
"In August, when the reservoir was at 39.7 percent, you said we would maintain a water ban until the reservoir was at 75 percent," Brownsaid. "But we have only seen 16 percent of the water replaced.
"In November, we were still in absolute drought conditions, and December is the first month that we'll meet our monthly (rainfall) average for the year. I don't think we can deduce from that that the drought has passed."
Officials urged residents to continue to conserve water.
CHARTER ELECTION IS LIKELY
The Citizens for an Elected Charter Board filed a petition containing about 2,600 signatures of Carroll voters with the county commissioners office Thursday, triggering the process for a charter board election.
If approximately 1,650 signatures -- 3 percent of the county's registered voters -- are verified by the Carroll Board of Elections, a charter board will be elected during the March 3 state primary election. The commissioners must send the petition to the elections office.
The Citizens for an Elected Charter Board supports a slate of nine Republican candidates, described by the committee as a panel of "conservative leaders."
The nine would challenge the existing nine-member Charter Review Commission appointed by the commissioners in November. The appointed board, which has started work on writing a charter that would serve as Carroll government's constitution, consists of five Democrats and four Republicans.
As of Friday morning, Citizens for an Elected Charter Board members John P. Buchheister Jr. of Hampstead, J. Norman Graham of Linwood, a former county commissioner, and Donald C. Frazier of Manchesterhad filed to run in the election. The proposed slate candidates mustfile with the Board of Elections by Dec. 31 to be eligible for the primary, said elections official Gail Carter. The appointed board members also must file for the race, but they have an extended time period, she said.
An independent committee launched a drive about two years ago for charter government, which would allow county elected leaders to pass local laws without the approval of the General Assembly.A charter would outline the structure, powers, duties, procedures and limitations of the government.
The appointed charter board has set the following work sessions, which are open to the public, from 7 to 9 p.m.: Jan. 7 in the Westminster Library conference room; Jan. 14in the Taneytown Library conference room; Jan. 21 in the Eldersburg Library conference room; and Jan. 28 in the Agricultural Center conference room on Smith Avenue.
The following public hearings are scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m.: Feb. 4 at the Westminster High School auditorium; Feb. 11 at the Liberty High School auditorium; and Feb. 18 at the North Carroll High School auditorium.
A fourth hearing will be scheduled.
WORKER GETS PAID FOR IDEA
BALTIMORE -- The Christmas spirit arrived early for a State Highway Administration employee who received a cash award from Secretary of Transportation O. James Lighthizer and SHA Administrator Hal Kassoff for a money-saving suggestion.
Glenn Vaughn of Hampstead, a bridge design engineer, received his check Dec. 20 under the state's Incentive Awards Program.
He developed a computer program to link two computer systems, enabling them to "talk" and thereby streamlining a process that normally takes about a week. With the program, the process takes only 15 minutes. When one document is updated, the new link automatically keeps other documents updated.
The estimated savings for the state is about $85,000 over three years.
COUPLE HITS THE BIG ONE
MOUNT AIRY -- A misplaced lottery ticket became the last-but-best Christmas gift for a Carroll County couple who came forward Friday to collect their share of a $7 million Lotto jackpot.