Community Notes


September 01, 2006

Benefit 5K walk, run is Sept. 16

The second Donate Life 5K Walk and Run to benefit the National Transplant Assistance Fund will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 16 at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia.

The event, which supports the Mid-Atlantic Liver Transplant Fund and honors Oakland Mills resident David Hillen, who recently had a liver transplant, is sponsored by the Oakland Mills High School PTSA and local businesses.

The cost is $15 in advance; $17 at the gate.

Information: Karen Hillen, 410-964-1175.

Libraries closing Sunday, Monday

All branches of the Howard County Library will be closed Sunday and Monday in observance of Labor Day.

Regular service will resume Tuesday.

Information: 410-313-7890, or

9/11 memorial ceremony planned

County executive James N. Robey will lead other county officials in a brief remembrance ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11 to pay tribute to all who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks.

The event will be held in Centennial Park's Garden of Hope, designed and officially dedicated four years ago on the first anniversary of the attacks. Ribbons will be available for the public to hang on a Tree of Hope as individual expressions of remembrance.

Long Reach fair slated Sept. 9

The 27th Long Reach Country Fair, sponsored by the Long Reach Community Association, will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 9 at the village center.

Music, homemade food (including funnel cakes), old-fashioned crafts, games, a children's area and other treats are planned.

Admission, parking and entertainment are free. Visitors can have their car's windshield etched with an identification number to deter theft.

Information: 410-730-8113.

Help available to pay utility bills

Grants of $65 to help with utility bills are available for those ages 62 and older and handicapped people in Howard County, through the Community Action Council.

People in those categories who are receiving money from the Maryland Energy Assistance Program are automatically being enrolled by Community Action Council staff members. Those not receiving aid, but who are eligible for help under that program, also will qualify for the supplemental $65 from Howard County, according to the agency director, James B. Smith.

This fiscal year, County Executive James N. Robey and the County Council budgeted $50,000 to the Department of Citizen Services help with utility bills, and Smith said $10,000 of that extra money is left.

The extra help is intended to help the most vulnerable Howard residents to cope with rising electricity rates that took effect July 1.

The grants are one-time only and may be used to pay only utility bills from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

Traffic-safety enforcement set

Howard County police will focus on enforcing speed, seat belt and child safety seat laws in school zones as part of a continuing back-to-school program to ensure safety for children, parents and teachers.

The H.A.S.T.E. (Helping Arriving Students Through Enforcement) program was implemented several years ago to raise awareness about traffic safety in school zones.

Red Cross calls for blood donors

The Red Cross says blood donations have fallen to a state of near depletion, and the community blood supply cannot meet the needs of hospitals. All blood types are needed.

Eligible donors are encouraged to call 800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule a blood donation immediately. Each blood donation can help save up to three lives, the Red Cross says.

Donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old (16 with written parental consent in Maryland) and weigh at least 110 pounds. They must not have received a tattoo within the past year and not have donated whole blood in the past 56 days.

Meeting scheduled on deer-hunt program

The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will hold an information meeting on the status of its managed deer-hunt program at 7 p.m. Tuesday at department headquarters, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia.

An overview of the program, management activities for the coming season and the ecological necessity for herd reduction will be discussed.

Fewer hunt dates are planned, but Howard County has received permission from the Maryland State Department of Natural Resources to add Schooley Mill Park and reinstate High Ridge Park to the list of parks hunted in the program. High Ridge Park was removed from the list after the 2003 hunt because of construction of park facilities.

Hunts are also planned in the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Blandair Park near Columbia; the David Force Park in Ellicott City; and Alpha Ridge Park near Woodstock. Hunting hours are from dawn to 1 p.m.; the parks will be closed to other uses during the hunt.

The managed hunt at Blandair Park will be archery only; at Schooley Mill Park, shotgun only. Bow hunting will be allowed at other parks in areas not conducive to gun hunting.

Information: 410-313-4700.

Classes to help smokers quit

In support of the new Howard County smoking ban, the Health Department's Tobacco Control Program will offer free smoking-cessation classes, open to anyone who lives or works in the county.

The eight-week program, which includes free medication, will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, starting next week; classes will also be offered from noon to 1 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, starting next week. The program will be held at the Howard County Health Department, 7178 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia.

Registration is required.

Information or registration: 410-313-6268, or www.hchealth. org. Or 800-QUITNOW and

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