School board, CASE union reach tentative agreement...

CARROLL COUNTY DIGEST

August 29, 2002

School board, CASE union reach tentative agreement

Nearly seven months after beginning negotiations, the Carroll school board reached a tentative agreement yesterday afternoon with the last of the five unions still seeking a contract.

Board negotiators and representatives of the Carroll Association of School Employees signed a proposal that would give the system's 500 nurses, secretaries and instructional assistants a 4 percent raise over the next two years while requiring employees to pay a greater share of health insurance premiums.

The agreement reflects the salary increases tentatively granted to the teachers union, whose members are considering the contract offer. They must cast ratification ballots by Sept. 9.

But CASE leaders chose to have the raises distributed differently. If union members ratify the tentative contract, they will receive a 2 percent raise in January followed by a 2 percent raise July 1.

The final 1 percent of the money set aside for raises would be used to restructure the salary scale and boost pay at the higher end of the scale, where Carroll employees' salaries trail compared with their counterparts in other school districts.

Union and school officials said they hope the tentative agreement will be ratified by employees in time for the school board to sign it at its meeting Sept. 25.

Teen accused in sex abuse of 2 brothers, ages 4 and 6

A 13-year-old Hampstead-area boy has been charged as a juvenile in the sexual abuse of two boys, ages 4 and 6, brothers whose parents were friends of his family, according to investigators of the county Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit.

The youth has been charged with multiple counts of second-degree assault and second-, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses, involving touching and oral sex with both boys on three occasions while their family was visiting his home this month, said state police Sgt. James T. DeWees, the unit supervisor.

Investigators received the report of suspected child abuse last weekend, he said. The eighth-grader was taken from North Carroll Middle School on Tuesday afternoon to the state police barracks at Westminster. Yesterday, he was placed on home detention with his parents, on the condition that he stay away from children.

Investment adviser to shut operation, repay $160,000

A Carroll County investment adviser has agreed to a court order barring him and his company from the business, and is to repay $160,000 to investors, the Maryland attorney general's office announced yesterday.

Thomas Flowers and Flowers Financial Group Inc., of which he is president, and other entities owned or controlled by him, have been barred from the investment-advisory and securities business under a permanent injunction signed by Carroll Circuit Judge Michael M. Galloway, according to the announcement.

Flowers consented to the order in a complaint by the office's Securities Division without admitting any of the alleged violations, according to the announcement. The allegations included offering and selling unregistered securities and providing investment advice by use of a fraudulent scheme, forming several funds and soliciting money from investors with "grossly inflated, unsubstantiated performance figures," the attorney general's office said.

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. said in the announcement that the division had an independent accounting of the remaining investment funds and was able to "preserve the assets for investors, and distribute an average of more than 75 percent of principal to investors." Would-be investors can call the Securities Division at 410-576-6360 to ask whether an adviser, broker or security is registered and whether complaints have been filed.

Troopers, local officers plan sobriety checkpoint

State troopers from the Westminster barracks will conduct a sobriety checkpoint from 10 p.m. tomorrow until 2 a.m. Saturday as part of increased traffic enforcement during the Labor Day weekend, police said.

The location, to be announced later, will be manned by troopers and Carroll County sheriff's deputies and town police officers, according to the announcement.

The action is part of the Checkpoint Strike Force, a campaign with the State Highway Administration and police officers in five states to combat drunken and drugged drivers, police said. The troopers also will be participating in Operation Care, targeting aggressive drivers, in a campaign to reduce collisions from Maine to Florida.

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