Baltimore County Digest


October 11, 2006

Country club payment draws opposition

County government's plan to pay a Towson country club $2 million to limit development on its land was questioned yesterday by a county councilman who warned of setting a "dangerous precedent."

The plan is a compromise between the Country Club of Maryland and community leaders who were opposed to development on the property. The club would move ahead with plans to build 36 homes on part of its golf course, while promising to restrict development on the remaining 143 acres for 25 years.

At a council work session yesterday, Councilman Kevin B. Kamenetz questioned whether approval of the plan would create expectations for the county to use taxypayer money to derail other unpopular development projects.

Councilman Vincent J. Gardina, whose district includes the country club, replied that the plan is akin to the government practice of paying farmers to ensure agricultural preservation. He, along with county administration officials, said the country club is a well-known feature of the area that should be preserved, even if it is privately owned.

A council vote on the expenditure is scheduled Monday.

Josh Mitchell


Pedestrian and driver are identified

The pedestrian killed in an accident early Monday and the driver involved were identified yesterday by police.

Wayne Edward Byrd, 47, of no fixed address, was struck by a car as he walked down Main Street in Reisterstown about 2 a.m. Monday and died at the scene, said Cpl. Michael Hill, a police spokesman.

The driver of the 2001 Ford Mustang was identified by police as Thomas James Fink Jr., 22, of the first block of Millpaint Lane in Owings Mills. He was listed in serious but stable condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center yesterday, Cindy Rivers, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Police said that speed and alcohol were factors in the accident. Fink has been cited with traffic violations, Hill said.


Insurance agent convicted of fraud

A former Lutherville insurance agent was convicted of felony insurance fraud yesterday for misappropriating about $410,000 in insurance premiums, the state attorney general's office said.

Joseph J. Muehleison, 55, an insurance agent and former president of Commercial Lines Corporation, which was located in the 11000 Berans Road in Lutherville, was sentenced to two years' probation by a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge, said Kevin Enright, a spokesman for the state Attorney General.

The probation will begin when Muehleison is released from the Maryland prison where is he serving a three- year sentence on an obstruction of justice conviction, according to Enright and Division of Correction officials.

In August 2005, Muehleison took $410,000 from a Prince George's County business but never submitted the payment or renewed the policy, according to authorities.


Prospect Hill Cemetery tour Saturday

A tour of the Prospect Hill Cemetery being offered Saturday will highlight some of Towson's most prominent families.

Descendants of those buried in the historic cemetery in downtown Towson will be guiding the tour. Among those buried at the cemetery are members of the families that gave Baynesville and Burke Avenue their names, as well as the actor Divine.

The event begins at 11 a.m. The cemetery is at York Road and Washington Avenue. Free parking will be available across York Road on the lot opposite the cemetery entrance.

The tour is free and open to the public. To register, call 410-252-8462. The rain date is 2 p.m. Sunday.

Laura Barnhardt

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