King commission recognizes Howard Community College

January 14, 2004

The Martin Luther King Jr. Howard County Holiday Commission recognized Howard Community College this week for its efforts to improve human relationships in the county. In a ceremony Sunday, the commission gave the school its annual Community Service Award.

The award committee was impressed with the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center, which is starting its third year as a department of HCC. The center offers trained mediators to help people resolve disagreements.

"We think [the center] is very, very helpful to the county because it solves a lot of problems and keeps problems from escalating," said Tom Baity, a community worker for the county Office of Human Rights.

The human rights office supports the 18-member commission, which is appointed by the county executive to coordinate activities honoring King.

Receiving the honor "was a really nice and special way to start the new year," said Mary Ellen Duncan, president of HCC. "This might be another way to get the word out so people do start using [the mediation center] more."

Each year, the commission requests applications from businesses, groups and individuals that believe they promote King's ideals and philosophies.

The group also gave its Middle School Award to Tina Meng, a sixth-grader at Clarksville Middle School for her essay on why the King holiday is important to her. Sarah Brodine, an 11th-grader at Hammond High School, received the High School Award for her essay on strategies people are using to gain civil rights today.

- Sandy Alexander

Interfaith service to honor legacy of King, Heschel

Beth Shalom Congregation of Columbia will celebrate its annual Martin Luther King/Abraham Joshua Heschel interfaith service at 8 p.m. Friday with neighbor Locust United Methodist Church.

The service is to begin at 8 p.m. and will be held at Beth Shalom, 8070 Harriet Tubman Lane.

Choirs from Beth Shalom and Locust United will lead members from both congregations in song. Locust United Methodist Church's pastor, the Rev. Victor Sawyer, will be the keynote speaker.

Sawyer spent part of last summer in South Africa. He will reflect on how reconciliation between blacks and whites in South Africa could serve as a model for peace for others.

Information: 410-531-5115.

Computer classes slated at Bain senior center

Computer Seniors of America, a volunteer based, nonprofit organization which teaches computer skills at senior centers in Howard County, will offer these classes at Florence Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keaton Way in Columbia:

Introduction to Word Processing, using Microsoft Word, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday and Jan. 21. Registration required. The fee is $20. Prerequisite: Introduction to Personal Computers, or permission of the instructor.

Computer Chatter: Buying a Computer, Hints and Tips, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 22. Registration is required. The fee is $5. Group discussion for anyone who has a question or wants to share a solution. The class does not include computer lab time.

Internet II and Advanced E-mail from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Jan 26-27. Registration is required. The fee is $20. Prerequisite: Internet I, or permission of the instructor.

Information: 410-313-7213.

Wilde Lake High seeking input on stadium lighting

As part of an effort to obtain lighting for its stadium, Wilde Lake High School seeks comments from the community for and against the project.

Letters should include the writer's name, address and telephone number and be addressed to Mike Harrison, athletic director, Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Lane, Columbia 21044, or send e-mail to

A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the school cafeteria. To testify: 410-313- 6973, and leave a message with name and telephone number.


Aidan Charles: To Duncan and Jennifer Stearns of Columbia on Dec. 1.

Around Town

Playgroups: Town Center Community Association is accepting registration for its winter session of Parents and Tots playgroups. A session for children ages 6 months to 2 years is scheduled today; for children ages 6 months to 4 years old, tomorrow. The 10-week sessions are held from 10 a.m. to noon and meet at Historic Oakland, 5430 Vantage Point Road. Juice will be provided. The cost is $25 for Columbia residents; $27.50 for nonresidents. 410-730-4744.

Pleasant therapy: Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will present "Laughter - The Best Medicine," for those ages 55 and older, from 11 a.m. to noon today and Jan. 21. The program will focus on strengthening the immune system, lowering blood pressure and promoting emotional healing through laughing. 410-313-7279.

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