Harford Week

February 16, 2003

Harford house sales slip 6.5% in January from a year ago

Two hundred houses were sold in Harford County last month, down 6.54 percent from the 214 sold in January last year, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems reported last week.

The total value of residential real estate sales in the county for the month was $34,238,866, up $235,520, or 0.69 percent, from $34,003,346 a year ago. The average price was $171,194, up 7.74 percent from $158,894 a year ago.

New listings in Harford for last month numbered 349, and 269 properties were placed under contract for sale.

In Cecil County, 74 houses were sold in January, up 8.82 percent from 68 last January.

The total value of real estate sales in Cecil for last month was $14,839,106, up 14.69 percent from $12,938,413 last year, MRIS reported. The average price in Cecil was $200,528, up 5.39 percent from $190,271 last year.

Sales in the Baltimore metropolitan region were up 9.89 percent in January from a year earlier. The average value of houses sold in January was $194,993 for the metro area, up 16.98 percent from $166,682 last year.


County recognized for stream buffer work

At the recent seventh annual Tributary Team meeting held in Baltimore, Bill Lee, an engineering associate with the Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation, accepted the Stream ReLeaf Volunteer Recognition award in the government category on behalf of the county.

The award recognizes efforts to achieve the goal of creating 2,010 miles of riparian forest buffers by 2010, a goal spelled out in the Chesapeake Bay Agreement. These buffers aid water quality and wildlife habitat. Since 1996, 873 miles have been planted.

Awards are given in five categories: business, government, education, landowner and organization.

Effort to reconstruct Little Stone House grows

A pile of stones from the recently razed 18th-century Little Stone House lingers at Shucks Road near Creswell, and so does the fascination surrounding the landmark.

Since the old house was demolished Jan. 28, the county has received phone calls from people who want to buy the stones or reconstruct the Little Stone House. Chad Shrodes, Harford County preservation planner, said last week that the Hays House, a historical preservation organization, would like to reconstruct the building, and other people want to use the stones for their homes.

Among those seeking to save the landmark is state Del. Richard K. Impallaria, a 7th District Republican. Within the next few weeks, Impallaria said, he hopes to have the rubble moved to Stepping Stone museum or Jerusalem Mills. He believes the house could be reassembled by the end of summer. "If I have to go out on weekends and lay stones, I will," he said.

Woman found in field died of hypothermia

The state medical examiner ruled that a Harford woman who was found Feb. 9 in a field in Edgewood died of hypothermia, a Harford sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Residents found the woman, 66, in the 1200 block of Hall St. about 7 p.m., said sheriff's spokeswoman Ginger Rigney, who declined to release the woman's name.

Investigators initially suspected foul play because she was found naked in the field, Rigney said. But, after talking with relatives, deputies ruled out suspicious circumstances because of the woman's psychiatric history, Rigney said.

National Guard, Reserve deploying to Aberdeen

More than 300 members of two Maryland National Guard units and 40 members of an Army Reserve unit will soon deploy to Aberdeen Proving Ground, military officials said.

The 115th Military Police Battalion, Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Salisbury and the 1229th Transportation Company in Crisfield, Somerset County, are being mobilized for one year, Maj. Charles S. Kohler, public affairs officer for the Maryland National Guard, said last week.

More than 40 soldiers from the 220th Military Police Brigade, an Army Reserve unit based in Gaithersburg, will also be reporting to Aberdeen Proving Ground.

About 3,000 of Maryland's 8,000 citizen-soldiers have been called up since Sept. 11, 2001, Kohler said.

4 juveniles arrested, accused in burglary ring

State police seized four juveniles in the Bel Air area and charged them with multiple counts of burglary and felony theft.

Additional arrests were expected in the burglary ring, police said. Several thousand dollars worth of property was recovered during the arrests.

State police investigators were assisted by the Harford County sheriff's deputies.

Cecil County

Rare Jefferson letter to be sold at auction

The owners of a rare Thomas Jefferson letter discovered nearly a year ago in a historic Cecil County house announced yesterday that the 19th-century thank-you note, with an appraised value of $700,000, will be sold at auction.

Michael L. Dixon, president of the Historic Elk Landing Foundation, said the sale would grant the 3-year-old group a remarkable opportunity to move ahead with plans to restore the Hollingsworth House and surrounding buildings into a living history park at the head of the Chesapeake Bay.

"This is certainly going to go a long way in helping us," Dixon said at a news conference.

Dixon turned the letter over to Chris Coover, senior specialist in manuscripts at Christie's auction house in New York. Coover said he has no doubt private collectors, as well as institutions, will have keen interest in the letter, which is to be auctioned in four months.

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