Temple Isaiah congregation looking to buy landColumbia's...

Howard Noteworthy

August 20, 1998|By Dana Hedgpeth Smith heirs counter-sue over 300-acre farm

Temple Isaiah congregation looking to buy land

Columbia's Temple Isaiah congregation is moving one step closer to building a new synagogue.

Leaders of the group said last week they are pursuing the purchase of a 24-acre farm on Guilford Road near Route 108. The group put a refundable $15,000 deposit on the land and is waiting to negotiate with the sellers, according to a letter sent to its 1,100-member congregation. Leaders say they hope to have architectural plans started by the end of the month.

Last year, about 450 congregants pledged $1.7 million over five years to construct a building. For more than 20 years, the congregation has worshiped at the Meeting House interfaith center in the Oakland Mills village, but the group and other congregations have outgrown the shared space.

Two of the heirs to the $16.5 million personal estate of Elizabeth C. "Nancy" Smith filed a counter lawsuit last week against an Ohio man, claiming he used their deceased cousin's name for his personal fame and fortune.

According to the suit in Howard County Circuit Court, Byron C. Hall of Centerville, Ohio, "misused and abused" Smith's "good name, good will and reputation" by establishing a nonprofit foundation to solicit funds to preserve the 300-acre farm in the middle of Columbia. In June, Hall sued the two heirs to try to halt the sale of the land. Howard County bought the land last week for $10.7 million.

The plaintiffs in the suit, Jane P. Nes and Ruth B. McClees, both of Baltimore, are seeking $100,000. The two were named heirs of Smith's personal assets when Smith died in February 1997. The county has just completed purchase of the farm from other heirs.

Dana Hedgpeth

Wilde Lake graduate wins $4,000 Padgett scholarship

John Gu, a 1998 graduate of Wilde Lake High School, has won a $4,000 scholarship from International Padgett Business Services, the local Padgett financial reporting and tax consulting service. Padgett awards the annual scholarships to students whose parents are independent business owners. John is the son of Jiao Z. Gu, who owns Far East Industries in Columbia. He will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston this fall.

Erika D. Peterman

Pub Date: 8/20/98

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