Week In Review

November 06, 2005

School for the Blind is recipient of inn

A Carroll County innkeeper has donated his $4 million business to the Maryland School for the Blind, the largest gift in the 152-year history of the private school for visually impaired and disabled students in Baltimore County.

Mark Gross, who has operated the Westminster Inn in the county seat for nearly 20 years, and the school settled on the property Wednesday. "Now we have an inn," said Laurie Farrell, spokeswoman for the school, which serves about 180 students on its Parkville campus and 500 more in communities throughout the state.

"One day, it will be a training site in the hospitality industry and will help our students find gainful employment," she said.

The school initially plans to build its endowment with profits from the business on Center Street downtown and will eventually provide students with vocational training opportunities.

"This is a new frontier for us," said Elaine Sveen, president of the school founded in 1853. "We are looking forward to it as a wonderful adventure."

Gross, who owns Bowling Brook Inn in Middleburg, renovated the two-story brick building in Westminster into two restaurants, a pub and several guest suites.

A friendship with a blind businessman and the work ethic of several disabled employees impressed Gross, his attorney, Charles E. Stoner, said last week.

Maryland section, Friday, Nov. 4, 2005

Discount drug program launched

A discount prescription card program that will save consumers as much as 20 percent on the cost of commonly prescribed drugs was launched last week by the Carroll County commissioners. Sponsored by the National Association of Counties and administered by Caremark, the cards will be accepted at 31 pharmacies in the county and at a network of 57,000 nationwide. The county has made 30,000 cards available at libraries, senior centers and public buildings, for all residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage. Information: 877-321- 2652.

Maryland section, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005

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