Baltimore County Digest

Baltimore County Digest

July 13, 2006

Southwest Academy appoints new principal

A new principal was appointed for Southwest Academy middle school this week, in place of a former Woodlawn High School principal who had been named to the position in May.

Kevin D. Roberts, a former Western School of Technology assistant principal who shifted to Southwest Academy as assistant principal last month, was named principal at the county school board's meeting Tuesday.

He replaces former Woodlawn High Principal Daric V. Jackson, who will become an assistant principal at Pine Grove Middle School. Parents had told school board members at a May meeting that they were upset because they didn't participate in the decision to appoint him to Southwest Academy.

School system spokesman Brice Freeman declined to comment on Jackson's move, saying it was a personnel matter. He said, however, that Roberts is an experienced administrator and the school system is looking forward to Roberts reaching out to the community.

Stephanie Wilson, whose children have attended Southwest Academy and Western, said she was looking forward to working with Roberts.

"From what I know of Mr. Roberts, I feel comfortable that he will come in and have the support of the parents. To me, the support of the parents can make or break a school," she added.

Southwest's former Principal, B. Maria Hopewell, retired this year. Also, Donyall D. Dickey, an assistant principal at Southwest, was transferred to Parkville Middle.

In addition to the administrators at Southwest and Pine Grove, the school board approved transfers and appointments of 21 assistant principals and five principals this week.

Other changes include:

Barbara E. Walker, a leadership facilitator in the Office of Professional Development, will take over Pikesville High School for Principal Dorothy Hardin, who is retiring.

Carver Center for Arts and Technology Assistant Principal Karen E. Steele has been appointed principal there, succeeding Joseph Freed, who is retiring.

Complete lists of the designations and transfers made at this and other school board meetings are available online at

Liz F. Kay

District 2

Campaign kicks off at airfield

An amateur pilot landed a small plane on an eastern Baltimore County airfield yesterday to formally launch his campaign for Congress.

Jimmy Mathis, a 28-year-old videographer who as a teenager flew across the country solo, chose Essex Skypark as the backdrop for his campaign kickoff. The plane touched down several yards from his wife, who stood smiling as she held a stack of campaign fliers, and his father, who aimed a video camera.

Mathis, a Cockeysville Republican who has never run for political office, is running for the 2nd District seat held by Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a second-term Democrat who has filed to run for re-election. The district covers parts of Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Harford counties.

At 16, Mathis flew a plane from Baltimore to Long Beach, Calif. A 1994 article in The Sun described him as the youngest pilot to have flown across the country solo.

Other Republicans in the 2nd District race are Demaris "Dee" Hodges, a Towson resident and president of the Maryland Taxpayers Association; and J.D. Urbach of Edgewater.

In addition to Ruppersberger, the other Democrat in the race is Christopher C. Boardman, a nurse from Joppa who has run unsuccessfully for Congress and Harford County Council in previous elections.

Josh Mitchell


Traffic stop yields almost $18,000

State Transportation Authority police seized more than $17,000 after making a traffic stop yesterday afternoon on Interstate 95 in Rosedale, officials said.

A Maryland Transportation Authority officer was patrolling the southbound lanes of the highway about 1 p.m. yesterday when he stopped a 2000 Mitsubishi that, police said, was driving 75 miles per hour in an area with a posted speed limit of 55.

The officer reported smelling burning marijuana from the vehicle, and a search found a marijuana cigarette in the ashtray and $17,900, some in the front seat and most under the back seat in a black bag, police said.

Samuel Lopez, 19, of Apopka, Fla., was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, police said.

Nick Shields


Fire company receives grant

The Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company has been awarded a $7,700 grant to purchase a thermal imaging camera.

The camera will be mounted inside a fire truck and will help firefighters navigate through smoke and darkness to find victims trapped in buildings or ejected from cars.

The grant was awarded by Diversified Insurance Industries and Fireman's Fund Insurance Coy. An official from Fireman's Fund is to present a check to the fire company Monday.


Celtic tunes in Cromwell Valley

A concert of Celtic tunes is scheduled for Saturday evening at Cromwell Valley Park's Sherwood Farm.

Jared Denhard, a multi-instrumentalist and member of O'Malley's March, will perform on Celtic harp and bagpipes, and sing with his daughter, Harper. Gates open at 4:30 p.m., and the concert starts at 6 p.m. The cost is a donation of $5 per car.

Earlier Saturday, the park is to present Day with the Drafts, during which guests can eat lunch with horses while learning about them. No infants and toddlers are allowed, and children younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children and $20 for families. Reservations are required.

Information: 410-887-2503.

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