Two women rescued from capsized boat

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

October 24, 2006

Two women were rescued from a sailboat that capsized in the Gunpowder River, just off Oliver Point, about 3 p.m. yesterday by three eastern Baltimore County men who saw a Maryland State Police helicopter trying to pull the pair from the cold water.

Baltimore County water rescue crews found one woman in the water hanging on to the boat about 200 yards from shore and the second woman, who had called 911, on top of the capsized boat, said Elise Armacost, a county Fire Department spokeswoman.

The rescuers planned to retrieve the pair using a Maryland State Police helicopter. But the woman who had been in the water for an hour was too cold and weak to lift herself into the rescue basket, according to Armacost.

Three men watching the rescue efforts got into their powerboat and pulled the women to shore, according to Armacost. "These three gentlemen got there very quickly," said Armacost. "We were happy to have the help."

The woman who had been in the water was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The other woman was taken to Franklin Square Hospital Center.

The women and their rescuers were not identified.

Laura Barnhardt

Executive race

Bell says school crowding is priority

Republican Baltimore County executive candidate Clarence W. Bell Jr. said yesterday he would make it his priority to end school crowding if elected to the county government's top position.

Bell, who is seeking to unseat Democratic Executive James T. Smith Jr., said he would tighten county laws so that construction would be shut down near all schools that are above 100 percent of their state-rated capacity, instead of the current standard of 115 percent. He also said he would not allow portable classrooms to be considered in determining a school's capacity.

"County Executive Smith and the Democrat-led County Council have allowed development to continue while school crowding got worse," Bell said outside Chapel Hill Elementary School in Perry Hall, where he was joined by Republican County Council candidate Wayne Skinner and several Republican state delegates.

Sterling Clifford, a Smith campaign spokesman, said the executive has increased funding for school construction and has provided money for enough teachers to keep class sizes at the state-mandated level. "Clearly the County Council and county executive are making every effort to meet the school system's needs," said Clifford.

Josh Mitchell

Catonsville

Groundbreaking for artificial turf

The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks and the county Board of Education will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at noon today to install the county's first artificial turf field at Catonsville High School/Recreation Center, 421 Bloomsbury Ave.

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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