Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

WEST COUNTY --

February 22, 1993

Army delays decision on airfield

The Army has put off until next month deciding whether to declare Fort Meade's Tipton Army Airfield surplus and sell it, or to keep it.

The Army had included the 400-acre airport for small planes in its base closing and realignment plan, which already has resulted in 8,100 acres at Fort Meade being declared surplus and turned over to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

But officials at the super-secret National Security Agency nearby have asked officials to reconsider the plans for the airfield, fearing that civilian operations could encroach on the NSA.

The Federal Aviation Administration has suggested using Tipton as a general aviation airport to alleviate congestion at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and Anne Arundel County has been studying the possibility of running a small airport.

Maj. Rick Thomas, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said the NSA's concerns are being studied but that no decision has been made.

"We are still planning to close the airport," he said. "But before we do that, we will address NSA's concerns. But right now, we are still going through the process of closing Tipton."

If the Army changes its mind about the airport, its recommendation will be forwarded to the Base Closure and Realignment Committee, which is scheduled to start meeting March 15. A series of public hearings would then be held before a final decision was made.

If the Army decides to stick to its original plans, no new public hearings will be needed.

Severn drug raid results in arrest

County police raided a home in Severn Friday night and confiscated a small amount of crack cocaine.

Police said members of the Western District Tactical Narcotics Team and the Special Operations Section executed a search and seizure warrant about 11 p.m. Officers said they also found assorted packaging materials.

Shelly Jackson, 38, of the 1700 block of Richfield Drive, was charged with possession of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Two boys who were in the home were charged as juveniles with drug possession.

Spalding ballplayer headed for Towson

Jeff Paxson, a senior at Archbishop Spalding High School, has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball for Towson State University.

A starter on the high school baseball team since his freshman year, he has 73 career hits and 56 RBIs.

The student has been approached by several local and national colleges, including the Naval Academy, Princeton University and Wake Forest University.

Another Spalding senior, Shelly Puhak, has been awarded a full tuition scholarship to the College of Notre Dame.

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