Howard Week

April 08, 2001

`Average year' for snow removal costs $817,000

Snow was scarce but expensive to move in Central Maryland last winter. The National Weather Service measured 7.7 inches of snow at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, a forecaster said. But each inch that fell in Howard County cost taxpayers about $100,000 to clear.

"Over the last 15 years, we've spent from $60,000 to $1.5 million [a year]" for snow removal, said Howard County highways chief Andrew Daneker. Howard used 15,900 tons of salt, 1,400 tons of cinders for especially slippery spots and 2,200 gallons of magnesium chloride, a liquid coating that boosts salt's effectiveness on very cold days.

"This was an average [$817,000] year," said James M. Irvin, Howard's public works director.

Planning funds budgeted for 12th high school

Months of campaigning for a 12th high school in Howard County paid off Monday when County Executive James N. Robey included money to begin planning for the school as part of his proposed $152.4 million capital budget.

But with less surplus cash than last year, he put off a series of small projects, including $660,000 worth of renovations at the county's animal shelter, $1.1 million in road resurfacing and $75,000 in repairs at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre. He cut other items, such as $500,000 to buy land for low- and moderate-income housing.

Trull gets life sentence for killing Columbia men

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Jonathan Trull, the 30-year-old Florida man convicted of killing two Maryland college students in April 1998, will spend the rest of his life behind bars, a judge ruled.

Going along with a jury's recommendation last week, Circuit Judge Shawn L. Briese sentenced Trull to two consecutive life terms in prison for the deaths of Matthew Wichita, 21, and Kevans Hall II, 23, both of Columbia. Trull is not eligible for parole.

Trull's sentence won't become final until he is sentenced April 24 for the attack on Seth Qubeck of Columbia.

Truck driver charged with manslaughter

The driver of a truck whose trailer swung into oncoming traffic, sparking a crash that killed two Clarksville women, was charged Wednesday with manslaughter.

Howard County police also accused Harold Dewayne Kitchens, 27, of Hot Springs, Ark., of failing to properly secure the load on a flatbed trailer - two large pieces of construction equipment, one of which came loose and toppled onto Clarksville Pike (Route 108) during the evening rush hour Tuesday.

A Toyota Corolla driven by 67-year-old Sue Marie Miller crashed into a trencher that landed in the road, and a Dodge Grand Caravan driven by 49-year-old Jacqueline Cormier Jenkins slammed into the trailer, police said. Miller and Jenkins were taken to area hospitals, where they later died.

Site near Route 100 chosen for new elementary

Howard County school officials have selected a site for the new northeast elementary school after nearly a year of looking for a suitable locations.

Officials had planned to announce selection of the site - about 21 acres near Route 100 - at Thursday's school board meeting, but removed it from the agenda at the last minute because they want to negotiate for more land there.

Though the announcement was removed from the agenda, information about it was left in a packet that is distributed to board members and the media. The elementary school - the county's 38th - is scheduled to open in 2003.

Lottery winners' mansion sold at auction

In two minutes, it was over. A 23-room Ellicott City mansion - built by a couple who won a multimillion-dollar Powerball lottery game in 1994 - was sold at auction to a Maryland man Thursday night for $2.58 million, several hundred thousand less than its assessed value.

The winning bid was $2.4 million, but $180,000 was added to satisfy the auctioneer's buyer's premium of 7.5 percent. The sellers, Alonza J. and Shirley A. Richardson, accepted the bid Thursday night by signing the sale contract.

8 high school students arrested in beating

Six Mount Hebron High School students were arrested at school Thursday and accused of participating in a beating that sent a former student to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Howard County police said.

The arrest of the six teen-age boys from Ellicott City brings to eight the number of youths arrested after the Wednesday attack on 18-year-old Sean Heidari of Ellicott City. Police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said police do not expect to make more arrests.

Heidari, who was briefly hospitalized with cuts and bruises and a small puncture wound in the back of his head, has been discharged from the hospital, according to a spokeswoman.

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