Harford Week

July 04, 2004

Class action lawsuits filed in MTBE contamination

With traces of a potentially carcinogenic gasoline additive now detected in wells serving 84 homes in Fallston, a second lawsuit has been filed - this one by Baltimore attorney and Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos.

It was the second class action lawsuit related to the MTBE contamination to be filed in Harford County Circuit Court in as many days last week. Both name Exxon Mobil Corp. and John R. Hicks, who rents the gas station at Routes 152 and 165, as defendants. MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) is an additive used to make gasoline burn cleaner.

Angelos' lawsuit, filed Thursday on behalf of more than 20 families, seeks millions of dollars, the closure of the station and to have Exxon pay to connect residents to a new water source and pay for a cleanup.

Richard McIntire, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment, said 161 homes have been tested, and MTBE contamination was in 84.

At nine homes, the level of contamination was above the 20 parts per billion that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends as safe.

"We will, basically, let the lawyers handle the lawsuits," said Exxon Mobil spokeswoman Betsy Eaton. "Our focus is primarily on the health and safety of the residents of the community."

Marine from Bel Air is killed in Baghdad

Lance Cpl. Patrick Adle, 21, of Bel Air was killed Tuesday when a land mine exploded under his Humvee in Baghdad, Iraq.

Adle had served in the Marine Reserve for three years as a heavy equipment operator. He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Adle's mother, Pamela Adle-Watts, and stepfather, Michael Watts, live in Bel Air. He is also survived by a brother, Michael Adle Jr., and his father, Michael Adle, both of Bel Air.

Adle was a 2001 graduate of Fallston High School.

Michael Watts said a funeral service would be held at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Bel Air. The date has not been set. He said that Adle will be buried in a military service at Arlington National Cemetery.

Two other Marines were also killed in the blast. They are Sgt. Alan D. Sherman, 36, of the Wanamassa section of Ocean Township, N.J., and Cpl. John Todd III, 25, of Bridgeport, Pa.

All were members of Bridge Company B of the 6th Engineer Support Battalion, a unit based in Folsom, Pa.

Harkins nominates 5 for county boards

The Harford County Council will consider five executive appointments at its meeting Tuesday.

Upon council confirmation, Ernest L. Hepler Jr. of Forest Hill will serve a five-year term expiring June 30, 2009, on the Public Library Board of Trustees.

Hoping to gain a seat on the same board is Louise A. LeTendre of Belcamp. With council approval, LeTendre will serve a five-year term expiring on June 30, 2009.

Board of Trustees student representative nominee Derek Wolff of Churchville is an honor student at C. Milton Wright High School. Upon council confirmation, he will serve a one-year term expiring June 30, 2005.

Council members also will consider two appointments to the Environmental Advisory Board: Elliot D. Kleinman of Belcamp as the citizen at large representative and Daniel T. Magness of White Hall representing the agriculture community. The appointments are coterminous with the County Executive James M. Harkins' term, expiring Dec. 4, 2006.

Jarrettsville company's drivers win competition

Dave "Zeke" Wyatt of White Hall and Steve Price of New Park, Pa., took first and second place, respectively, in the dump truck division of the state truck-driving championship held at Timonium State Fairgrounds on June 12.

The two drivers represented Jerry Preston Hauling Inc. of Jarrettsville.

Arnold Shackelford of Long Green, who also works for Jerry Preston Hauling, placed in the top 10 drivers in the same category.

Intersection closes for reconstruction

The intersection of Old Joppa Road and Franklinville Road East in Joppa has been closed for reconstruction.

The project will continue for about five weeks, county officials said.

Havre de Grace graduate gets Masonic scholarships

Karol Marie Bloch, a recent graduate of Havre de Grace High School, has received a $1,000 scholarship from the Masonic Charities of Maryland Inc. She also received a matching grant of $1,000 from Susquehanna Lodge 130 AF&AM of Havre de Grace.

Bloch plans to attend Delaware State University in Dover.

Abingdon library to close during power outage

Because of a scheduled BGE power outage, the Abingdon branch of Harford County Public Library will be closed Tuesday.

The branch will reopen at 1 p.m. Wednesday, library officials said.

For more information, call 410-638-3151 or visit the library's Web site at www.hcplonline.info.

Cecil County

Perryville shooting under investigation

PERRYVILLE - State police are investigating the shooting of a Port Deposit man a week ago in Perryville.

George Griffin was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore in serious condition for emergency surgery, police said.

About 3 a.m., Griffin showed up at the door of a mobile home near U.S. 40 and Millcreek Lane, police said. He was bleeding from a wound in his upper body.

It was not clear where the shooting took place or why Griffin was a target, police said.

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