Howard Week

October 06, 2002

African-Americans plan to preserve Tubman school

African-American leaders in Howard County soon will begin raising funds to develop a museum and community center in the former Harriet Tubman Junior-Senior High School.

Coalition members incorporated as the nonprofit Harriet Tubman Foundation on Sept. 16. They announced the formation Sept. 28 at the reunion of the high school's Class of 1951 at Martin's Champagne Room in Baltimore.

The building, which was the first high school built for black students in Howard County, now houses the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center and Head Start classes. If an alternative space can be found or built for the tenants, the coalition said, the building should be preserved to honor the memory of the school.

Expected surplus grows for Columbia Association

The Columbia Association's earnings for the first quarter, which ended July 31, indicate the homeowners association appears on track to end the 2003 fiscal year next spring with a $4.4 million surplus.

That surplus would be about $1.4 million larger than budgeted - partly because of increased income and partly because of operating savings, association President Maggie J. Brown told the association's board of directors Sept. 26.

School redistricting choices apparently are narrowing

As the work of the Howard County boundary line advisory committee nears its end, it looks increasingly like elementary school Plan One, which would move a protesting Glenmont neighborhood from Thunder Hill into Phelps Luck, will be favored.

At a committee meeting Tuesday night, it apparently sank in for members of the group that even though they have spent months of late nights considering where the county's elementary and middle school pupils should attend school next year, it is still the school system's office of Geographic Systems that has the last word in deciding what to recommend Oct. 24 to the Board of Education.

Though no redistricting proposals were officially scrapped, it became increasingly clear that northeast region Plans Two and Six are on the chopping block - not necessarily because committee members did not like them, but because the Geographic Systems office headed by David C. Drown did not develop them.

Family from India is one of 9 to win housing lottery

Nearly blind from diabetes and with only one good arm, Bharat Pandya, 51, his wife, Nita, and their two children came to Howard County from India knowing the odds against having a better life were long - but Wednesday night those odds changed.

The Pandya family was one of nine winners out of 121 entrants in a moderate-income housing lottery that will enable them to buy a new, luxury townhouse in the Cherrytree Park development for less than half the $240,000 market price.

Friends and neighbors are puzzled by killing

Friends and co-workers of Edwin Rudolph Aytes are puzzling over why anyone would want to kill the 49-year-old man, who was fatally shot Sept. 27 about 7:30 p.m. in the stairwell of his apartment building at the Shadow Oaks Condominium complex in the 9600 block of White Acre Road, Oakland Mills. Howard police said they had no firm leads.

About 50 people gathered Thursday night in Oakland Mills to voice their concerns over the unsolved case and to listen to police discuss the killing and the investigation.

County honors three for volunteer service

Howard County officials have singled out three volunteers for their service to Howard County General Hospital, and one resident will represent the county in a statewide awards ceremony next month in Annapolis.

The Volunteer of the Year, 79-year-old Siegfried Rowe of Columbia, will be honored Nov. 13 with people from around the state as part of the nonprofit Maryland You Are Beautiful program. Rowe, chaplaincy associate at the hospital, was among 34 others recognized at a reception Wednesday night in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building.

James Smith, 59, of Columbia, who estimated he has donated more than 600 Teddy bears to pediatric patients, received the Spirit of Volunteerism Award. Allyson Claire Happel of Glenwood, 13, an eighth-grader at Glenwood Middle School, was named Student Volunteer of the Year for creating a video library in the hospital's pediatric department.

Columbia man convicted of drug, gun charges

Tavon Donya Sands, a Columbia man accused in a string of crimes, including the high-profile death of a computer student this year, was convicted Thursday of drug and gun charges stemming from the first of the cases filed against him.

A Howard County jury took about three hours to return guilty verdicts against Sands, 21, for cocaine possession and two separate handgun charges related to a traffic stop May 2001 - an incident that precipitated his arrest in a pending attempted-murder case and was followed, a few months later, by arrests in gun possession and armed robbery cases.

Sands, who had repeatedly been released on bond, has been in jail since late January, when he was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old DeShawn Anthony Wallace during a botched robbery in Columbia's Oakland Mills village.

Panel recommends closing golf course for repairs

The Hobbit's Glen/Fairway Hills Golf Committee has recommended to Columbia Association staff that the troubled Hobbit's Glen Golf Club be shut down for a year to rebuild all the greens.

The 14-member committee met Wednesday and voted that the course should be closed preferably from August through midspring.

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