Week In Review

October 09, 2005


Funeral held for soldier killed in Iraq

In a brief, somber funeral Monday, family and friends gathered to remember Staff Sgt. William A. Allers III, a soldier who grew up in Fallston and was killed in Iraq last month when his Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb.

Family members wept as they watched images chronicling Allers' life flash on a screen above his flag-draped casket at Mountain Christian Church in Fallston.

Allers, 28, was a month away from returning from Iraq, where he was serving as a member of the Kentucky National Guard and had taken part in more than two dozen battles with insurgents, according to Guard officials. He was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant.

A family liaison said Allers' wife is pregnant. He also had an 8-year-old son from a previous marriage.

"He was dedicated to what he put his mind to," said the Rev. Scott Schlotfelt, the only person who spoke at the ceremony. "And, on his last day on this earth, he was dedicated to serving his country."

Allers was remembered as a rambunctious child who was "always getting into something," recalled Joe Gibbons, a close friend of Allers' father, after the service. He enjoyed climbing trees, fishing and playing with the neighborhood children, Gibbons said.

Allers had always had an interest in the Army and enlisted before graduating from Fallston High School in 1995.

On Sept. 20, Allers was on a mission near Al Khalis, about 40 miles north of Baghdad, when his Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb. The driver and the gunner in the vehicle survived and were taken to Germany for treatment.

Maryland section, Page 3B, Tuesday


Water sample shows coliform

North Harford Middle School's use of bottled water was extended Monday for at least 24 hours after bacterial contamination was detected again in the water supply.

The sample from the Pylesville school's mechanical room tested positive for total coliform, but not fecal coliform, the reason the water was shut off in August.

Pupils and members of the faculty and staff have been using bottled water and temporary hand-washing stations since the school year began.

A note to parents on North Harford's Web site said it is not uncommon for a faucet to become contaminated with bacteria between tests. Three additional samples were taken yesterday after the faucet was flushed with chlorine.

Contractors broke a pipe during construction, and health and school officials think that caused the school's water to test positive for fecal coliform.

A note posted in the school and sent home with children warned of E. coli poisoning and instructed parents to boil their water, causing an uproar in the rural community that has drawn the attention of local politicians and brought other issues at the school to the forefront.

Health officials say the children were never exposed to the contaminated water. The school has spent about $1,100 a week to provide the school with 60 five-gallon jugs of water each day.

The school system is trying to obtain permits to use a backup well if needed. The well has been dormant.

Maryland section, Page 3B, Tuesday


Retested water free of bacteria

Tests on three more samples of North Harford Middle School's water came back clean, clearing the way for the school to resume using faucets and water fountains a month after traces of bacteria prompted the use of bottled water and hand-washing stations.

After a first round of tests came back clean last week, one sample from a mechanical room tested positive for bacteria during a second round. The water was flushed with chlorine and retested. After being notified Tuesday of the results, school officials were awaiting permission from the Maryland Department of the Environment to turn the water back on.

Maryland section, Page 3B, Wednesday

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