Baltimore County Digest

Baltimore County Digest

May 03, 2006

Police urge caution after series of home burglaries

Baltimore County police are warning residents to be on the alert in the aftermath of a spate of home burglaries in which perpetrators have employed ruses to distract their victims.

In recent crimes in county neighborhoods, burglars have posed as water department employees, BGE workers or contractors, pointing to a phony problem with a fence or roof, police said. Another form of deception has been to pose as a mother and child.

According to police, a person will attempt to distract a potential victim while an accomplice slips into the home to search for valuables and cash to steal, police said.

Senior citizens in particular have been targeted, police said.

Police recommend that residents install chain locks so they can open a door slightly and see who is outside while the door remains secure.

Anyone concerned about a suspicious stranger in their neighborhood should call 911, police said.

Nick Shields


25 pupils win in anti-drug contest

Twenty-five Baltimore County middle-school pupils were recognized yesterday for their winning entries in the 18th annual anti-drug poster and calendar competition run by the county state's attorney's office.

Funded with the proceeds of property seized from convicted drug dealers, the competition is designed to allow children to encourage their peers to abstain from smoking cigarettes or using drugs.

This year's contest attracted about 5,000 entries of anti-drug artwork from pupils in more than 30 public, private and parochial middle schools in Baltimore County. Winners received copies of the poster and calendar as well as U.S. savings bonds worth $100 to $600, depending on the award.

"It is one of our favorite things to do," State's Attorney Sandra A. O'Connor said during yesterday's ceremony at the old Courthouse in Towson. "I can think of nothing I'd rather do with money that we take away from drug dealers."

Twelve pupils were honored for drawings that were selected for inclusion in a calendar that will be sent to everyone who submitted an entry.

Another 12 middle-schoolers were recognized for entries that were selected for a poster that will be distributed to dentist offices, pediatricians, libraries, drug rehabilitation centers and elementary schools.

And Ellen Skirvin, an eighth-grader at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School, was named the grand prize winner. Her drawing, titled "Pass on Grass," graces the cover of the calendar.

Jennifer McMenamin


Fallen Heroes Day ceremony is Friday

Maryland police officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty will be honored at the 21st annual Fallen Heroes Day ceremony at 1 p.m. Friday.

Since May of 2005, four police officers, a correctional officer and a volunteer firefighter have died in the line of duty.

In addition to honoring those who died, the day salutes police and correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical and rescue personnel and other members of the public safety community.

The event includes a procession with more than 25 members of police and fire department honor guards units from across the state. Maryland's first lady, Kendel Ehrlich, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. and U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin will give memorial addresses.

The ceremony will be held at the Fallen Heroes Memorial, Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, 200 E. Padonia Road, Timonium. Information: 410-666-0490.


Engineer to discuss street design

Transportation engineer Rick Hall will discuss street design and walkable communities at a meeting of the county Planning Board tomorrow.

The meeting, open to the public, will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 407 of the County Courts Building, 401 Bosley Ave., Towson.

Hall is president of Hall Planning and Engineering, Inc., based in Tallahassee, Fla. He also serves as a visiting professor in the Florida State University's Department of Urban and Regional Planning.


Cinco de Mayo event raises funds

The Arbutus Business and Professional Association is hosting a Cinco de Mayo celebration to raise funds for its scholarship program.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. Friday event are $25. The fundraiser will be at the American Legion Dewey Lowman Post 109, 1610 Sulphur Spring Road, Arbutus.

Information and tickets: 410-368-3121. The association plans to award three college scholarships to local students active in the community for the 2005-2006 school year.


Coupons offered for planting trees

Baltimore County is giving $10 coupons for trees to residents and encouraging them to plant a "family tree" for Mother's Day this year, as part of a "Growing Home Campaign."

Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. set a goal for county residents to plant 10,000 new trees this year through the program.

The Growing Home program is a partnership between the county, homeowners, and many nurseries, home improvement stores and garden centers in Baltimore County.

Growing Home Campaign brochures with the $10 coupon are available through county libraries, senior centers, recreation and parks locations, and on the county's Web site.

Information about the program and participating retailers:

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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