Harford Week

February 13, 2005

Rural Legacy grants announced for Harford, Cecil

ANNAPOLIS - Maryland announced the signing of Rural Legacy grants Tuesday.

Grants for Harford and Cecil counties include: Lower Deer Creek, Harford County, $350,000; Manor (shared with Baltimore County), the Manor Conservancy, $100,000; Fair Hill, Cecil Land Trust, $450,000; Agricultural Security Corridor (shared by Cecil and four other counties), Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, $850,000.

The Rural Legacy Program designates Rural Legacy Areas and awards local governments and private land trusts with grant money to conserve land in these areas.

Abingdon fire company to get $283,478 from U.S.

The Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company has been awarded a $283,478 grant from the Department of Homeland Security under its Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, announced last week.

The department will use the funds to purchase a new rescue vehicle and outfit it with rescue tools.

This is the fourth federal grant to Harford County fire departments in this award cycle. The awards total $462,509.

Target donating $4,000 to library reading program

The Harford County Public Library has announced it is a recipient of a $4,000 grant from Target Stores. The grant will be used to support the library's summer reading program.

"This grant will enable Harford County Public Library to expand its literacy-based summer reading program to county children and teens," said Mary Hastler, public service administrator for the library system.

"We thank Target Stores, along with parent company Target Corporations, for the grant award of $4,000 to support our very popular summer reading program," said Audra L. Caplan, director of the library system.

The summer reading program is an integral part of the library's services to the community, and last summer more than 17,500 children and teens participated by reading and attending programs in all 10 library branch locations and the Rolling Reader.

"Numerous studies show the impact that public library use has on academic achievement, and the importance of summer reading programs in the retention of children's reading skills. We appreciate the Target Stores' commitment to the library," Caplan said.

Deputy hurt in crash while responding to call for help

A Harford County sheriff's car responding to an emergency call swerved to avoid a head-on collision and rolled two times onto a field early Monday, injuring a deputy sheriff.

Deputy 1st Class Edward Kimpel, 53, was flown by helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was later released. Although bumped and bruised, he did not suffer serious injuries, according to Edward Hopkins, the Harford sheriff's spokesman. He is expected to be off work about two weeks while he recuperates.

Kimpel was driving south about 7 a.m. on Route 543 with his lights and siren on when he moved to the opposite lane to avoid cars that had pulled over. But a car heading toward Kimpel apparently did not see the deputy, who swerved on a patch of ice and lost control of his car near Prospect Road, Hopkins said.

Kimpel was responding to a call about a man who had fatally shot himself in his Street home.

The stretch of Route 543 between Route 440 and Prospect Road was closed for about four hours while police investigated the crash.

Fire destroys townhouse, displacing Edgewood family

A fire ripped through an Edgewood townhouse early Monday, leaving a family homeless.

Fire investigators determined that a three-alarm blaze began when a resident inadvertently ignited bedding with a disposable lighter.

The 1 a.m. blaze destroyed the frame home in the 1000 block of Lake Front Drive and damaged two other homes at a total cost of $225,000. Five residents and three firefighters were treated at an area hospital.

The fire was brought under control within an hour by 80 firefighters from seven departments, the fire marshal said.

There were no sprinklers in the home.

Sheriff's Office warns against nonprofit gambling

The Harford County Sheriff's Office released a statement last week saying that casino nights, used by nonprofit groups to raise money, are illegal in Harford County.

This warning came on the heels of an influx of nonprofit groups seeking to hold these events, advertised as Texas hold 'em, poker, roulette, craps and blackjack.

"Maryland's gambling laws are quite specific," said Capt. Douglas Verzi, commander of the sheriff's Administrative Services Division, "allowing us to only issue licenses for bingo, instant bingo, paddle wheels and raffles. However, raffles with a 50/50 prize, casino nights and Texas hold 'em tournaments are not permitted, even if the games are not being played with real money."

Verzi said it is the responsibility of the Sheriff's Office to issue gambling licenses and record the proceeds nonprofits derive from their events.

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