Baltimore County Digest

Baltimore County Digest

March 15, 2006

Measure aims to limit use of campaign signs

A Baltimore County councilman plans to introduce a bill that would prohibit the posting of campaign signs on private property until 30 days before an election.

The measure would also set limits on the size of the signs, and require that they be removed within seven days after the election.

Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Ruxton Democrat, said he will introduce the bill at Monday's council meeting. The council then would likely discuss the bill and vote on it next month.

The council repealed a similar law on campaign signs in 1998, after a federal judge granted an injunction against enforcement of the law and said it was probably unconstitutional.

Kamenetz said his proposal avoids First Amendment questions because, unlike the old law, it would only apply to official campaign signs, and because candidates agree to certain restrictions when they run for office.

Josh Mitchell

Reisterstown

Man killed in two-vehicle accident

A man driving a van in the Reisterstown area died yesterday afternoon after his vehicle was struck by a truck, Baltimore County police said.

The man, whose identity was not immediately released by police, attempted to turn east onto Westminster Pike from Glen Falls Road about 12:20 p.m. when his van was struck on the side by a Ford Bronco traveling west on Westminster Pike, police said.

The driver of the Ford Bronco, who also was not named, was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, police said. His condition was unknown, police said.

Westminster Pike near the Carroll County line was closed for about three hours, county police said.

The investigation is continuing, police said.

Nick Shields

Politics

Ex-county official to run for executive

After discussing a possible candidacy for the past two years, John F. Weber, the former director of the county Department of Recreation and Parks, has announced that he will run for county executive.

Weber, a Democrat, kicked off his campaign Saturday at a rally at Dundalk American Legion Post 38.

He will run for the office held by James T. Smith Jr., who is in the final year of his first term. Smith, a Democrat, had more than $1.5 million in his campaign account as of January, though he has not formally announced a re-election campaign.

"I feel like a David-and-Goliath kind of battle coming up here," Weber, 62, said yesterday. "Everybody seems to think he's got all this money and he's unbeatable. I don't believe that."

Weber said he would work toward a "more inclusive form of government" that reaches out to the community.

Weber had been director of recreation and parks starting in 1995 but was replaced when Smith took office in 2002.

Josh Mitchell

Reisterstown

Council OK sought for sports facility

The county administration is seeking County Council approval to spend $2.5 million on the construction of a combination ice rink and indoor soccer-lacrosse facility in Reisterstown Regional Park.

The money is set aside in the county budget. The council is to vote on the expenditure Monday.

The remainder of the $5 million project would be paid for by the county revenue authority, which operates public golf courses and parking lots.

Josh Mitchell

After-prom parties

Grants offered for alcohol-free events

Baltimore County's Bureau of Substance Abuse has more than $50,000 to distribute to county high schools for alcohol-free "after-prom" programs, according to county officials.

The money includes a $3,500 donation from the Baltimore County Licensed Beverage Association, county officials said.

The after-prom celebrations take place at locations such as bowling alleys or a YMCA.

Hampton

Tours of historic site are available

Although the mansion there remains closed for renovations, park rangers at the Hampton National Historic Site offer programs about life at the estate.

The work of the craftsmen, servants and slaves will be the focus of a 45-minute walking tour at 2 p.m. Saturday. On April 9, a park ranger from the Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site will talk about 19th-century ironmaking estates such as Hampton, which was founded by the Ridgely family.

Also in April, the national historic site will offer storytelling for children ages 4 to 6.

Registration is recommended for the free weekly programs, which will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursdays from April 6 to 27.

The park is at 535 Hampton Lane in Towson.

Information: nps.gov/hamp or 410-823-1309.

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