City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

November 18, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore County

Tractor-trailer crash kills driver, snarls evening I-95 commute

ARBUTUS - The driver of a tractor-trailer was crushed to death yesterday when his rig jack-knifed, struck a car and tipped over into a ditch, turning the evening rush hour into a nightmare for motorists caught in the ensuing traffic jam as police shut down portions of Interstate 95 near Arbutus.

The driver of the car, John T. Clendenin, 40, of Bowie, said last night he heard a loud boom and saw the tractor-trailer coming toward his Honda Accord in the southbound lanes below the juncture at Interstate 195. "I knew we were going to collide," he said.

Clendenin - a Lockheed Martin employee who was released after a checkup at Maryland Shock Trauma Center - said he blacked out at the impact and did not know then what had happened. The name of the trucker, who was hauling paper products, was withheld as police attempted to notify relatives.

The 3:40 p.m. accident backed up traffic on the interstates and forced the closing of the southbound lanes and some of the northbound lanes - with traffic flow not returning to normal until 9 p.m., police said. The accident's cause remained under investigation, police said.

Smith dedicates fort after $200,000 renovation

PIKESVILLE - Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. dedicated Fort Garrison yesterday morning, marking the completion of more than $200,000 in renovations to one of the oldest surviving forts in the nation.

The fort is on Garrison Farms Court, a residential street in Pikesville, and Smith said his administration will focus on providing more open space and small parks within neighborhoods, rather than developing large regional parks, as the county has done for the past several years.

"Our regional parks are a great asset to our county, but we also need small parks to bring beauty and identity to our neighborhoods," Smith said. "Every community deserves open spaces. They deserve a park to call their own."

Garrison Forest School to hold play this weekend

OWINGS MILLS - Garrison Forest School will present Arlene Hutton's new play, As It Is in Heaven, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Garland Theater on campus, 300 Garrison Forest Road.

The drama, which takes place in an 1838 Shaker commune in Kentucky, explores the nature and meaning of community.

Information: 410-559-3490.

In Baltimore City

Free lead-testing kits offered to pregnant women

The city Health Department announced yesterday that it will offer do-it-yourself lead-dust testing kits to pregnant women for free.

The Health Department is distributing 10,000 kits to any city or Baltimore County obstetrician willing to give them to patients.

The kits, which detect the presence of lead dust in homes and apartments, include testing components, an instruction guide and a postage-paid envelope to send samples to a lab, which will test the samples for free. Families can then get a follow-up consultation with the city's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

The program is funded by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Cities United for Science Progress and DuPont.

BGE offers assistance for paying heating bills

With the weather turning colder, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has issued a reminder for customers on limited incomes that assistance is available for those struggling to manage winter heating costs.

BGE also suggested that customers take cost-saving measures that include changing filters monthly, installing programmable thermostats, closing heating registers in unused rooms, and covering windows with shutters or drapes to slow the loss of heat through glass.

The utility offers budget billing, which sets monthly payments based on anticipated annual use. BGE also offers its Customer Assistance Maintenance Program for limited-income customers through the state's office of home energy programs. It also has a program for those seeking to make their homes more energy-efficient.

Information on financial aid: 800-352-1446.

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