Baltimore County Digest

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

September 20, 2006

Dulaney High plans exchange with China

Some Dulaney High School students might spend two months studying and traveling in China at the end of this school year.

In a presentation at last night's Baltimore County school board meeting, Dulaney Principal Lyle Patzkowsky described plans to host Chinese students and to send students from his school to China. He also discussed setting up a summer camp there that would be open to students from all county high schools.

"In this rapidly changing world, the success of China and the success of the United States appear to be inextricably linked," said Patkowsky, who traveled to China over the summer through a Fulbright program. This school year, Dulaney became the first school in the county to offer classes in Chinese language and culture.

Board member Meg O'Hare questioned whether the China program would benefit the majority of students in the school system. "It doesn't sit well with me because my focus is on the average child," she said.

Members also reviewed a proposal to name a new school White Marsh Elementary on what is called the Vincent Farms Site and gave final approval to modifying membership requirements for the county's educational advisory committees.

During the portion of the meeting set aside for public comment, several members of the Chapel Hill Elementary PTA complained that enrollment at the school exceeded state guidelines. PTA President Rick Heuther asked the board to support a temporary building moratorium in areas where schools are at or near capacity.

Board members looked at a proposal capital budget in preparation for a work session tomorrow. Among the largest expenses in the $358.7 million budget are $69 million to be used for high school renovations and $10 million for the construction of the school at the Vincent Farms Site.

The work session will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow in room 114 of the ESS building at the Greenwood administrative campus, 6901 Charles St.

Julie Scharper

Towson

Apartment fire ruled accidental

A three-alarm fire that heavily damaged a Towson apartment complex Monday started accidentally, Baltimore County fire officials said.

The fire, which broke out about 3 p.m. at the Cromwell Valley Apartments in the first block of Treeway Court, caused about $1.2 million in damage, fire officials said.

A total of 14 apartment units were damaged, and 22 adults and three children were displaced, county fire officials said.

"The fire investigators have ruled it an accidental fire, however, they are still investigating the exact cause of the fire," said Elise Armacost, a county Fire Department spokeswoman.

Nick Shields

Woodlawn

Boy, 3, falls from balcony

A 3-year-old boy fell from a third-floor apartment balcony yesterday in the Woodlawn area, county police said.

The youngster was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital for observation, but Cpl. Michael Hill, a county police spokesman, said yesterday, "It looks like the child is going to be OK."

About 11 a.m., a parent of the child went to a balcony in the apartment, in the first block of Wyndmoor Place, to retrieve a bicycle when the toddler apparently followed, county police said. The child apparently crawled under a wooden railing and fell about 24 feet into a grassy area, police said.

The fall appeared to be an accident, and no charges have been filed, Hill said.

Nick Shields

Environment

New machine removes graffiti

A new system that uses volcanic ash and low water pressure to remove graffiti was demonstrated this week by removing graffiti from the front steps of the Old Courthouse in Towson.

The county purchased the Farrow System at a cost of $45,000. Officials said it uses environmentally safe particles to blast the drawings from any surface. The county's had been using a pressure washer and chemicals to slowly remove the drawings.

The new system eliminates the chemicals and takes one-fourth of the time, officials said. The team is on call 24 hours a day and will eliminate most reported graffiti within 24 hours.

Towson

Italian Festival set downtown

An Italian Festival is scheduled for this weekend in Towson.

The nonprofit Columbus Celebrations Inc. will stage the festival, which will feature food from different regions of Italy, cooking demonstrations, crafts, music and a bocce ball tournament. Pasta-eating and grape-stomping contests are planned, along with a Frank Sinatra impersonator contest.

Also, an Italian opera and a showing of the movie Moonstruck will be featured Saturday evening. The festival will be held at the courthouse square in the center of Towson. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Information: 410-296-6591 or www.columbuscelebrations.com.

Recycling

Boy Scouts to accept electronics

Boy Scout Troop 750 of Immaculate Conception Church will sponsor a computer electronics recycling day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the parish, 200 Ware Ave., Towson.

Computer electronics and related items will be accepted, including CPUs, mice, keyboards, scanners, printers, fax machines, cell phones and monitors. No televisions will be accepted.

A fee of $10 per monitor will be requested to help offset processing fees and ensure proper recycling. All other materials are collected free of charge.

All drop-offs are tax-deductible with a receipt and will help support the troop's community service project and fundraiser.

Information: mfannon39@comcast.net or 410-525-1400. .Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to baltco.news@baltsun.com. Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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