Carroll County Digest

CARROLL COUNTY DIGEST

March 28, 2003

4 more merchants to move into mall in Westminster

A week before the newest anchor store is scheduled to open in Town Mall of Westminster, four more merchants are opening stores there and two longtime tenants will reopen in expanded spaces, mall management announced yesterday.

Communication Links, Christopher & Banks, Doctor's Vision Works and N.Y. Sweets & Cafe have leased spaces, mall management said. Communication Links features wireless services and accessories. Christopher & Banks, a women's clothing retailer, will open its third location in Maryland this summer in the 15-year-old mall at Routes 140 and 27 in the county seat.

The optical shop will include an in-store lab, frames and optometry service. The cafe will serve lunch and baked goods in the food court.

Retail consultants had said that the Boscov's chain's decision to locate in Westminster would draw other stores. Boscov's is to open April 6 in a two-story store that is one-third of the mall's size.

Fashion Bug, one of the mall's oldest tenants, is to open its newly remodeled store next month. Nail Space has doubled its size and relocated to the space across from RecordTown.

Originally known as Cranberry Mall, the 525,000-square- foot center lost major tenants such as Montgomery Ward, Caldor and CVS Pharmacy within the past five years. It lost more than $20 million in value when Cranberry Properties MM Corp. purchased the mall in April 2000 from Shopco Regional Malls for $33.5 million. Shopco had bought the mall in 1988 for $53.8 million.

Ehrlich ally gives group messages from Annapolis

The director of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s transition team gave Carroll's business leaders a message of support yesterday and asked for their help getting slots legislation through the Assembly.

"Carroll County has had difficult times with the previous governor, but we are welcoming you back into the state now," James T. Brady, who also was the head of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development under Gov. Parris N. Glendening, said in a meeting with Carroll's Economic Development Commission. "Governor Ehrlich recognizes full well the extra support from this county."

The previous county commissioners squabbled frequently with Glendening, particularly over land-use issues. Carroll County gave Ehrlich 77 percent of its vote in November and elected three commissioners who promised sweeping reforms. Ehrlich's budget is predicated on his ability to get slot machines legalized at Maryland racetracks, and Brady called on the group to lobby their legislators for the gambling bill. Faye Pappalardo, president of Carroll Community College and EDC vice chairwoman, said the college could lose up to $800,000 in state funding if the governor's bill fails.

Robert Rosen, EDC member, said the county should develop a contingency budget plan for the possibility that slots fail.

State police request help to find missing girl, 14

Police are asking for the public's help to find a 14-year-old Finksburg girl who they say apparently ran away from home March 21.

Jacqueline Susan Frost, a Westminster High School student, left her home in the 2500 block of Cornstalk Drive about 9 p.m. and was reported seen as recently as Wednesday night in the Hampstead area, said state police Sgt. David A. Warner. State police in Westminster issued a bulletin yesterday listing her as "critically missing."

The girl had no history of running away, and apparently took no clothes or belongings with her, Warner said, adding that authorities are concerned because the girl apparently has not contacted her parents.

She is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall, 115 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair and a medium complexion. Anyone with information is asked to call the barracks at 410-386-3000.

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