Baltimore County Digest

Baltimore County Digest

May 24, 2006

Gardina asks change in redistricting policies

A Baltimore County councilman asked members of the county school board last night to change its policies on redistricting students - making changes when schools become overcrowded rather than waiting for new schools to open.

Vincent J. Gardina, a Towson-Perry Hall Democrat, also asked the board to redistrict Chapel Hill Elementary School, so that children who would live in housing developments still in the permit stages would attend other schools.

He said Chapel Hill families could not wait for more capital funds for an addition to the school or for the planned Vincent Farms Elementary to open nearby in about two years.

"We cannot afford to build ourselves out of this dilemma," Gardina said.

The school board has avoided redistricting, except when new schools open, to avoid disrupting communities.

In other business, the school board voted last night to accept contract terms with the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.

A union leader said members have until June 2 to ratify the agreement, which includes a 4 percent cost-of-living raise and increased compensation for new and veteran teachers.

The school board also voted to accept the transfer and appointment of 18 assistant principals.

Liz F. Kay


Martial-arts teacher guilty of abuse

A 41-year-old marital-arts instructor was convicted yesterday of sexually abusing a teenage girl at his Overlea karate studio and at his Abingdon home.

Howard Mitchell, owner of a martial arts studio in the 7600 block of Belair Road, was found guilty of one count of sexual abuse of a minor. He faces up to 25 years in prison.

Baltimore County prosecutor Jason G. League told a judge that the fondling began in September 2001 when the girl was 15 years old and escalated to sex acts that continued through March 2005.

League said he plans to offer evidence at a sentencing hearing in August that Mitchell also allegedly fondled another teenage girl who studied karate with him.

Jennifer McMenamin


Lawyer to head liquor board

A lawyer who has been on the county liquor board for three years has been appointed chairman of the panel, county officials said yesterday.

Thomas Minkin, an attorney in the law firm of Peter G. Angelos, was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death last month of longtime liquor board Chairman Philip R. Leyhe Jr.

Minkin was appointed to the board by County Executive James T. Smith Jr. in March 2003. His appointment as board chairman is effective immediately.

Also, Kenneth Dansicker of Cox Auto Parts, who was appointed to the board in March 2003 and whose term was set to expire next month, has been reappointed to a two-year term and is moving from serving as an alternate member to become an at-large member, county officials announced.

At-large members of the board are paid $15,000 a year, and the chairman is paid $24,000 a year. Alternate members earn $148 per day when sitting on a case.

Owings Mills

Nurse gets 18 months for fraud

A 64-year-old registered nurse has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for Medicaid fraud, according to the Maryland attorney general's office.

Dolores E. Scott, of Owings Mills, was also ordered Monday by Baltimore County Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II to serve five years probation and to pay $133,992 in restitution to the Maryland Medicaid Program, according to the attorney general's office.

Scott provided in-home care for a seriously disabled child who was a Medicaid recipient. Between June 2002 and July 2004, she falsified 408 time slips by inflating the number of hours of care she provided, pocketing more than $90,000 she fraudulently obtained, according to the attorney general's office.

Jennifer McMenamin


Gas main break closes Padonia stretch

A section of Padonia Road in the Timonium area was temporarily closed yesterday because of a gas main break.

Construction equipment broke a 6-inch natural gas main in the 200 block of Padonia Road around 11:20 a.m., county fire and police officials said.

Officials closed Padonia Road between Broad Avenue and the intersection with Beaver Dam and Deereco roads, just east of the interchange with Interstate 83, county police said. The eastbound lanes and one westbound lane of Padonia Road were reopened about 4 p.m., according to officials.

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