Between The Lines

BETWEEN THE LINES

October 20, 2003

Put it in writing

For all those following the romance playing out on the marquee in front of the Recher Theatre in Towson over the past few weeks: Angela said yes.

The message, "Angela, I love you. Will you marry me? - Bobby" was an actual proposal, not a really long band name.

Bobby Corno, a 25-year-old bartender at the York Road hot spot, proposed to his girlfriend, Angela Borozzi, 21, in front of the sign this month. A September 2005 wedding date has been set.

The message sparked considerable interest. "A lot of people have been asking about it," Recher waitress Amy Niner said.

Corno said the owners have been joking about posting the results.

- Laura Barnhardt

It's no Smithsonian

A city funeral home has a curious artifact on display that it is inviting the public to view free. A replica of the coffin that carried the body of Abraham Lincoln to its final resting place can be seen through Oct. 30 at the Loudon Park Funeral Home, 3620 Wilkens Ave.

In a news release, the funeral home refers to a Baltimore connection. There have been stories that a plot was hatched here to assassinate Lincoln before he took office. If true, the attempt was obviously unsuccessful.

The release deadpans, "He was not so fortunate the second time around."

Folks at the funeral home must be anticipating that the coffin will be a popular attraction because the news release encourages groups of 10 or more to schedule an appointment. Information: 410-644-1900.

Litigation nation

Lots of people get fed up with city crime, and they react in lots of ways. Some put bars on their windows. Some move to the 'burbs. And then there's Walker Gladden III, who filed a lawsuit.

In a case filed last month in District Court, Gladden is suing Mayor Martin O'Malley over the city's homicide rate.

The suit complains that O'Malley has failed to live up to his 1999 campaign promise to hold the number of homicides to 175 a year. The city had 253 homicides last year, and it's on track to have about that many this year.

Gladden is seeking to draw attention to the problem - plus $1 in damages.

A youth counselor at the Rose Street Community Center, Gladden wants the mayor to abandon his zero-tolerance policing strategy and focus on providing services to ex-felons so they can lead productive lives.

"He has to change something because the numbers are not dropping," Gladden said.

- Laura Vozzella

Take one for the team

During her 33 years in the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, Stephanie Parham Brown has seen directors come and go. Yet she survived them all - until now.

Brown, 53, lost her job last week as division chief in charge of budget and payroll in a departmental reorganization by Kimberley Amprey Flowers, who became the parks director last month. Brown said she has thoroughly enjoyed her three decades at the parks department and that she bears no animosity for being let go.

"I learned a whole lot," said Brown, who started as a clerk. "[Flowers] wanted to have her own team. She can make the changes as she sees fit."

-Doug Donovan

Pre-test jitters

The State Highway Administration has been promoting a new high-tech system that it says will alert motorists to lane closures and help reduce gridlock around road construction.

Called the Dynamic Late Lane Merge System, the new technology is supposed to discourage late lane changes that result in traffic tie-ups during lane closures. It uses four portable message signs set several hundred feet apart and equipped with sensors to detect the volume of traffic at the approach to a closure. The signs are supposed to help motorists merge gradually.

The system was scheduled to be tested Tuesday along southbound Interstate 83, between Mount Carmel Road and the Cold Bottom Road overpass. But the test was canceled.

It seems the high-tech sensors malfunctioned. No retest date has been set.

- Linda Linley

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