Baltimore County Digest

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

November 14, 2006

Roads projects face funding shortfalls state official says

The state government has pledged to spend nearly $3 billion on transportation projects designed to benefit Baltimore County in the next six years, but many projects face a shortage of funding, transportation officials said yesterday.

About $850 million will be spent on expanding Interstate 95 between the city line and Route 43. But the most pressing need in the county is an upgrade of the aging interchange on the Beltway at Charles Street, Neil J. Pederson, the state highway administrator, said at a briefing yesterday in Towson.

A new bridge at the interchange will be designed to accommodate a planned widening of the Beltway.

The state has hired an engineering firm to plan the upgrades, and construction is expected to begin in 2008. But while the project is expected to cost $32 million, only about $7 million has been set aside for it, he said.

About $15 million has been set aside to widen a portion of York Road from Cavan Drive to Ridgely Road, and $8 million will be spent on engineering work and acquiring right of way for turn lanes on Reisterstown Road at Painters Mill Road.

"We have many more needs than we have revenues now," Pederson said after the hearing.

Some projects would be put on hold if funding cannot be found, he said.

Josh Mitchell

Death penalty

Criminal justice forum set today

Kirk Bloodsworth, who was twice tried and convicted in Baltimore County of a homicide that he did not commit, will speak about his experience inside the criminal justice system at 8 p.m. today at Goucher College, Heubeck Building, Multipurpose Room A, Towson.

Bonnita Spikes, an Open Society Institute-Baltimore Community Fellow whose husband was killed, will speak from a crime victim's perspective.

The two will share their experiences and talk about the different roads they traveled to come to their opposition to the death penalty.

Distribution

Coats for needy to be available

Coats for needy families will be distributed during Thanksgiving week at three Baltimore County fire stations as part of WBAL Radio's annual "Coats for Kids" campaign.

The distribution schedule is as follows:

Monday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Westview Fire Station, 6300 Johnnycake Road.

Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Hillendale Fire Station, 6636 Loch Raven Blvd.

Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Middle River Fire Station, 609 Compass Road.

Coats are available for men, women and children. The coats are cleaned by participating area dry cleaners and taken by the Maryland National Guard to the fire stations.

Coats left over at the end of the Coats for Kids drive are donated to the county Department of Social Services.

For more information on the Coats for Kids program, visit www.wbal.com/kidscampaign/default.asp.

Thanksgiving Day

3 senior centers to open on holiday

Three Baltimore County senior centers will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, with a special holiday meal to be served at 12:30 p.m.

The centers are:

Overlea Senior Center, 4314 Fullerton Ave. (410-887-5220).

Reisterstown Senior Center, 12035 Reisterstown Road (410-887-1143).

Victory Villa Senior Center, 403 Compass Road. (410-887-0235).

Reservations are required at least a week in advance.

For more information, call the center you wish to attend or 410-887-2594.

Towson

Capitol Steps to perform at Goucher

The League of Women Voters of Baltimore County will sponsor a performance by the Capitol Steps on Sunday at Goucher College in Towson.

The Washington-based musical/political satire group will perform at 2 p.m. in the Kraushaar Auditorium.

Tickets are $35 or $30 each for groups of 10 or more.

Information: 410-377-8046 or e-mail lwvbaltimore@verizon.net.

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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