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CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

News from around the Baltimore region

July 13, 2005

BALTIMORE COUNTY

School board elects Grzymski as president

The Baltimore County school board elected Thomas G. Grzymski as its president and Warren C. Hayman as vice president last night.

"I think they're going to do very well," said Michael C. Franklin, president of the Baltimore County PTA Council, describing Grzymski as "very well-respected."

Grzymski, appointed to the board in 2001, served as vice president during the last school year. A Baltimore County native and graduate of Kenwood High School who holds a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University, he has worked for the Social Security Administration since 1978 - currently as deputy associate commissioner in the Office of Systems.

The main challenges that the board must work on during his one-year term, Grzymski said, are academic improvement, repairing older schools and finding land to build new ones, and recruiting and retaining teachers.

"I want to continue in the direction the school system is going," he said. "We're doing well in so many areas, but there are still many challenges."

Hayman, who was appointed to the board in 1997, had a 42-year career in education. He was formerly dean of education at Morgan State University and works as an educational consultant and motivational speaker.

James R. Sasiadek, who had headed the board since 2003, did not seek re-election as president because his five-year term on the board expired July 1. He said last night that he has asked to be reappointed.

- Anica Butler

BALTIMORE

Police officer gets probation in insurance fraud case

A Baltimore police officer was sentenced to three years of probation and a one-year suspended jail sentence yesterday for insurance fraud in connection with a false auto accident claim, the Maryland attorney general's office announced yesterday.

Tamira Thompson, 27, of the 5300 block of Deale Churchton Road in Anne Arundel County pleaded guilty last month to charges related to presenting false information to Progressive Insurance Co. on a claim seeking $3,014 for an accident involving a 1991 Acura Legend.

The company also alleged that during a 2003 interview, Thompson lied about her employment with the city Police Department, with which she had been a sworn officer since 2001, according to prosecutors.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Kathleen G. Cox also ordered Thompson to perform 75 hours of community service. Thompson has been suspended without pay from the Police Department since being indicted in October, according to prosecutors.

BALTIMORE

School board OKs contracts for 3 more charter campuses

The Baltimore school board approved contracts last night with three charter schools that will open this fall.

The board approved contracts with Crossroads, City Neighbors and Midtown Academy charter schools. They are among 12 charter schools scheduled to open this fall. Five of those schools do not have contracts; the board had previously approved contracts with four others after a dispute over how much funding city schools are required to provide. The city schools will pay the charter schools $5,379 in cash per pupil and provide $4,000 worth of services.

In other action, the board elected Brian Morris as its new chair and Jerrelle Francois as its vice chair.

HAMPSTEAD

County to sell about 6 acres along bypass route to state

Carroll County officials have agreed to sell the State Highway Administration nearly 6 acres along the route of the planned Hampstead bypass.

The county commissioners accepted the state's offer of $60,250 yesterday for the parcel, most of which is wetlands along Brodbeck Road.

Construction of the $76 million Hampstead bypass, a 4 1/2 -mile road that has been nearly 40 years in the planning, could begin early next year and take about three years to complete. The total construction will involve 7.2 miles because of work on intersecting roadways, particularly Wolf Hill Drive, Brodbeck and Houcksville roads and Route 482.

The project will include three roundabouts - the only accesses to the bypass - and six bridges over wetlands, streams and existing roads. The state spent $6 million to engineer the project and $20 million to acquire property along the route.

- Mary Gail Hare

BALTIMORE

Eastern Ave. ramps onto I-95 scheduled to reopen today

State transportation officials are planning to reopen today the ramps from westbound Eastern Avenue onto Interstate 95.

Weather permitting, the ramps onto northbound and southbound I-95, as well as the right lane of westbound Eastern Avenue, are set to reopen today.

However, the center lane of westbound Eastern Avenue will be closed to traffic. While the right and left lanes of Eastern will continue beyond Kane Street, motorists seeking to enter onto I-95 must stay in the right lane.

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