Harford Week

May 02, 2004

Chesapeake Spice building Belcamp headquarters

Chesapeake Spice Co., a manufacturer and importer of spices, will build a $6 million, 100,000-square-foot headquarters at the Riverside Business Park in Belcamp, state officials announced last week. The facility is expected to employ 110 people.

The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and the Harford County Department of Economic Development supported the move. Maryland offered an Economic Development Assistance Fund loan for the project and training grants for new and current employees. Harford County agreed to lend the company up to $50,000 for relocation costs.

"The Riverside Business Park building will allow our company to grow to meet the needs of our customers," said Larry Lessans, president of Chesapeake Spice. "In addition to the company's current employee base, Chesapeake Spice will bring more than 50 new manufacturing jobs to Harford County."

The structure, being built by Kinsley Construction Co., was designed for Chesapeake Spice's manufacturing needs and is scheduled for completion late this year. Chesapeake Spice has purchased additional land in Riverside Business Park for future expansion.

Board approves change in sex education

The Harford County Board of Education voted Monday to change the seventh-grade science curriculum to include sex-education topics that previously were not discussed until ninth grade, but ones that school officials and many parents said are important for children to hear at an earlier age.

In a voice vote, the board approved discussions about abstinence and the consequences of not remaining abstinent, including teen pregnancy and contracting sexually transmitted diseases. The changes are the first to the curriculum in more than two decades, school officials said.

In February last year, the board brought its middle schools in line with most others in the state by approving a revised sex education curriculum that was slated to be taught in eighth-grade physical education classes, starting in September. But at a meeting in October last year, a committee recommended to the school board that the three-week classes focusing on abstinence be moved into the seventh-grade health or science curriculum, which includes lessons on family life.

Schools spokesman Donald R. Morrison said parents who have concerns about the curriculum may choose to exempt their children from the lessons.

Information: 410-588-5203.

Washington to speak at HCC commencement

Craig S. Washington, president of Olive-Harvey College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, will deliver the commencement address at Harford Community College's commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. May 15.

Washington has more than 27 years of experience in higher education. Before being named president of Olive-Harvey College, he was executive director for the National Wellness Institute Inc. in Stevens Point, Wis., which provides health and wellness professionals with resources and services that promote growth professionally and personally. Washington is vice president and board director for the National Wellness Institute.

Washington has held a variety of positions at colleges and universities across the nation. He was executive administrator to the chancellor of the Pima County Community College District and president of West Campus at Pima County Community College District, both in Tucson, Ariz.; vice president of instruction at Eastfield College in the Dallas County Community College District, in Dallas; and division chair of several academic and technical divisions at Northern Virginia Community College, in Alexandria.

Washington has more than 25 years of adjunct teaching experience at institutions including Northern Virginia Community College, the Johns Hopkins University, Howard University, George Mason University and American University.

Execution date set for Steven Oken

A Maryland judge set a June execution date for convicted murderer Steven Oken on Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his appeal.

Judge John Turnbull II signed a warrant that sets an execution date for a five-day period beginning June 14.

Barring a trial or appellate court's intervention, that means Oken would be the first person executed in Maryland since Tyrone Gilliam in 1998, said Stephen Bailey, a deputy state's attorney in Baltimore County, where the warrant was signed.

"Our office believes that any claim that had any merit at all would have been raised before now," Bailey said.

This is the third warrant of execution that has been signed for Oken. Two others were stayed in 2002 and last year, Bailey said.

Oken was convicted of the 1987 slaying of a 20-year-old newlywed, Dawn Marie Garvin, a Joppatowne High School graduate. Garvin was living in a White Marsh apartment and taking classes at Harford Community College at the time of her death.

Fumes cause activation of backup emergency center

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