News from around the Baltimore region

April 07, 2005


School system official finalist for Wash. job

Christine M. Johns, the Baltimore County school system's deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction, is a finalist for the superintendency of Evergreen public schools in Vancouver, Wash., Evergreen school officials said yesterday.

Johns confirmed that she is interviewing for the job.

Now 39, Johns was one of the youngest deputy superintendents in Baltimore County history when she followed her mentor, Superintendent Joe A. Hairston, to the 108,000-student system five years ago. In education circles, she has been widely referred to as a rising star.

"You can tell in talking to her and looking at her application, she has a real passion for kids," said Evergreen school board president Joan Skelton.

Johns and three other finalists will appear at public forums next week, Skelton said. The Evergreen board is expected to make its decision by early next month.

With 25,000 students, about 40 percent of whom live in poverty, the growing district is the fifth-largest in Washington. It is across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore.

After Johns recently completed her doctorate from Harvard University, Baltimore County school board President James R. Sasiadek said it was only a matter of time before another system would offer her the top job.

"It would be sad to see her go, but we certainly understand that she has grown and is ready for a superintendency," Sasiadek said yesterday.

Johns said the search firm for Evergreen, where the sitting superintendent is to retire this summer, sought her out. She said she has been selective in where she has applied because "I love Baltimore County."

Two years ago, Johns was a finalist for the superintendency in Seminole County, Fla.

- Sara Neufeld


Motorcyclist, 51, killed in crash with stopped truck

A motorcyclist died yesterday when he struck the back of a stopped truck yesterday on Mountain Road in Lake Shore, Anne Arundel County police said.

Steven James Rackey, 51, of Pasadena died of multiple injuries after his 2005 Harley-Davidson Road King struck a 2000 Chevrolet driven by Leon Dwight Wethington, 31, of Glen Burnie, police said. Wethington was not injured.

Police said the truck stopped eastbound on Mountain Road near Maryland Avenue to make a left turn, but that Rackey failed to notice. Police said Rackey failed to control his speed to avoid a collision. Alcohol was not a factor, police said.

It was at least the third motorcycle-related death in the county this year. Anne Arundel had 12 motorcycle fatalities in 2004 - the most in any jurisdiction in Maryland, the State Highway Administration said.

- Phillip McGowan


Vehicle involved in fatal hit-and-run found, police say

State police have found the vehicle that they believe was involved in a fatal hit-and-run Tuesday on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, police said yesterday.

The crash occurred on the shoulder of northbound Route 295 near the Patapsco River. Two men were standing next to their disabled Goodwill Industries truck when they were struck by what was described as a white or light-colored cement mixer-type truck, police said.

Acting on tips, state police say they found the truck believed to have been involved in the accident at the plant of LaFarge North America, a construction materials company and cement supplier, in Jessup late Tuesday night. The vehicle was impounded, and the investigation is continuing, police said.

Sgt. Thornnie Rouse, a state police spokesman, said that the person who drove the vehicle Tuesday has not yet been identified and that there are no suspects in custody.


Southbound I-95 to be closed tonight for resurfacing work

Southbound Interstate 95 will be closed temporarily to traffic tonight near Interstate 895 for construction work, according to state transportation workers.

The work - expected to last from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. tomorrow - will affect the area around mile marker 61. Weather permitting, crews will be milling and resurfacing a 15-foot section of the interstate.

During the work, motorists will be directed from southbound I-95 onto southbound I-895, enabling them to rejoin I-95 south of the city in Howard County. A detour for local traffic will involve having motorists take Moravia Road, or Exit 14, off I-895, and then be directed back onto southbound I-95.


Mayoral, council candidates to debate at 7 p.m. today

Candidates for Westminster City Council and mayor will have the opportunity to debate municipal issues at 7 p.m. today in the cafeteria at Winters Mill High School, 560 Gorsuch Road, Westminster.

The Carroll County Landlord Association will sponsor the candidate forum, which Cable Channel 19 will tape for airings before the May 9 election.

Information: 410-848-0939.


`Work to rule' pondered in teachers union issue

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