Week in Review

October 16, 2005

Edgewood

Developer sued over bias complaint

Bob Ward Cos., an Edgewood-based homebuilder, is the target of a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a former employee who was fired by the company last year.

The EEOC alleges in a news release issued yesterday that the man, the only black construction superintendent with the company at the time, was subjected to different terms and conditions of employment, faced racially derogatory language and jokes from subcontractors, and was fired because of his race.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of back pay and damages, and implementation of policies to eliminate racial discrimination at the company.

Phone calls to Bob Ward seeking comment yesterday were not returned.

Maryland section, Page 4B, Wednesday

Joppatowne

C-Mart shopping takes giant step

Shopping at C-Mart, the local discounter known for designer deals on the cheap, is famously hit-or-miss.

An hour's rummage may turn up a fabulously high-end handbag, slightly irregular, or a beautiful couture dress with the labels removed. And that's considered a good day.

But starting tomorrow, and rolling out over the next several weeks until Thanksgiving, C-Mart promises to be no misses and all hits - and not really all that cheap.

"We bought [inventory from] one of the most well-known, highly regarded, high-end department stores in the country," says C-Mart vice president Keith Silberg, the discount store's buyer. "We bought current goods, so what we're putting out today is the same things as what this very famous, high-end department store has on its floor right now. The difference is that it's half off."

Today section, Page 1C, Thrusday

Fallston

ExxonMobil told to expand cleanup

State environmental officials said yesterday that ExxonMobil is responsible for a larger area of cleanup surrounding a now-demolished service station in Fallston thought to have been the source of one of the largest incidents of well contamination in Maryland history.

In response to a March report submitted by ExxonMobil in which the company denied responsibility for about half the area around the site, the Maryland Department of the Environment directed ExxonMobil to broaden its remediation area to include the area north of the station in addition to the southern area, for which the company has already conceded responsibility.

Maryland section, Page 7B, Thursday

Rising Sun

Man, 21, charged in bomb incident

A 21-year-old Cecil County man has been arrested and charged with constructing a "soda bottle bomb," the contents of which were ingested by a 17-month-old child who was hospitalized in critical condition.

State fire marshals said two explosive devices were constructed from soda bottles and detonated in Rising Sun. One was left in a field near the victim's home.

Four days later, on Oct. 4, Breckin Lawrence Allgood was playing outdoors under the supervision of a relative when he found the remains of the device and ingested them. He was in critical but stable condition at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.

Paul Matthew James Jr. was charged Tuesday with two counts of constructing a destructive device. He could be sentenced to as much as 25 years in prison and fined up to $250,000.

Maryland section, Page 3B, Thursday

Harford Democrats have loyalty test

Things have gone so badly for Harford County Democrats in recent years that some of their candidates have jumped to the GOP soon after being elected.

So the New Harford Democratic Club has added a requirement for candidates seeking its endorsement: a pledge to remain Democratic or to repay money spent by the club or its members on their behalf if they switch parties.

"If you're a Democrat, you're a Democrat, and if we help you get elected, you're not going to pull some game and switch things up," said John F. Haggerty, the club's president.

The perceived need for such measures illustrates the continuing demographic changes in booming Harford County, where Republicans have surged to virtual parity after a long period of Democratic dominance.

A-section, Page 1A, Friday

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