Harford Week

August 01, 2004

County man charged in dragging incident in shopping center lot

A Harford County man is accused of dragging an off-duty Maryland state trooper who tried to stop him from driving recklessly among pedestrians in a parking lot last Sunday morning, police said.

Brian Delen, 28, of Bel Air is charged with attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault and traffic offenses, state police said.

Trooper Nayim Sadik, 24, was wearing plain clothes and talking with friends in a shopping center parking lot at 3 a.m. Sunday when he saw a reckless driver, police said.

Sadik held up his badge and approached the car, announced that he was a state trooper and asked the driver to stop, police said.

Police said the car veered toward the trooper, causing Sadik to grab the driver's door. He was dragged through the parking lot by the swerving car, police said.

The driver sprayed the trooper with pepper spray, causing Sadik to fall, police said. Sadik was treated and released at a hospital for scrapes and bruises.

EAI gets contract for Edgewood work

Abingdon-based EAI Corp. has been awarded a five-year, $500 million contract to support the Homeland Defense Business unit of Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center.

Under the contract, EAI will support Edgewood with the development and delivery of "all hazards" incident response training and exercises, perform tests and conduct assessments. It will also develop strategic plans and provide data analysis and information technology, administrative, logistics and technical support.

Former manager at golf shop sentenced

The former manager of Aberdeen Proving Ground's Ruggles Golf Course and Pro Shop was sentenced in federal court in Baltimore on Wednesday to 21 months in prison and three years of supervised release for stealing more than $200,000 from the facility.

Steward Hinch, 41, of Aberdeen managed the government-owned pro shop from April 1998 to April 2002, according to the U.S. attorney's office. During that time, he falsified records to hide that he was skimming money from payments made to Ruggles, prosecutors said.

The sentence from U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett also requires Hinch to pay $20,000 in restitution to the Army base.

Possible vapor leaks found at fuel station

As many as 17 potential fuel vapor leaks have been found at an Exxon service station that state officials say is a prime suspect in contaminating at least 127 Fallston-area wells with a gasoline additive.

Spokespeople for the Maryland Department of the Environment and Exxon Mobil Corp. sparred Wednesday over the significance of the leaks detected by a contractor for the oil company.

MDE spokesman Jeffrey Welsh said preliminary testing of the Upper Crossroads Exxon at Routes 152 and 165 in Harford County identified leaks in the station's gasoline storage tanks, piping and equipment.

Betsy Eaton, Exxon Mobil's spokeswoman, characterized the leaks as minor ones that could not have contaminated the ground water with methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE.

But Welsh said state regulators believe it's possible that one or more of those leaks may have contributed to the widespread ground water contamination

MTBE is added to gasoline to help it burn more cleanly, but it dissolves easily in water and, through leaking fuel tanks, has contaminated hundreds of wells in Maryland. Its health effects in drinking water are largely unknown, but it can be tasted or smelled at low levels, making the water unpalatable.

Reopening nears for Md. Route 136

The Maryland State Highway Administration's roadblock on Route 136, Priestford Road, is scheduled to end in about four weeks.

Until then, the road will remain closed to through traffic between U.S. 1 and Route 22, Churchville Road, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. Detours are marked.

The roadblock is part of the SHA's $1.1 million project to improve 2.6 miles of Priestford Road, between the Deer Creek Bridge and Conowingo Road. The project includes draining and resurfacing the roadways, improving safety and installing underground traffic detectors at the intersection of Priestford Road and U.S. 1.

The SHA expects Priestford Road to open before Harford County public schools begin Aug. 30. The entire project should be completed by late fall, SHA officials said.

Old Post Road closing for work

Old Post Road will be closed between Mullins Road and Apache Drive in Aberdeen on Friday for about 90 days

During this time, a crew will install a replacement water main below the bridge deck of the Maryland State Highway span on Old Post. Motorists are asked to exercise patience, caution and cooperation as they follow detour signs around the work site.

"Replacement of the water main will help ensure a reliable water source from Harford County to the city of Aberdeen," said project manager David Peplinski. "Like the existing water main, the replacement will be suspended below the bridge deck and connected on both sides."

HCC graduate Fleckenstein publishes poetry

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