Baltimore County Digest

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

January 18, 2007

More testimony due on Shelleys Fields

Deputy Zoning Commissioner John V. Murphy is scheduled to hear more testimony today about the Shelleys Fields development proposal, which has caused tension in the Freeland area.

As part of a proposal to build 17 homes next to two houses off Middletown Road, a developer plans to donate more land for local sports leagues to build a recreational complex.

The complex, which would include a 32,000-square-foot indoor arena, six fields and nearly 600 parking spaces, is the center of a clash between a community association and a sports organization.

Some members of the Freeland Community Association and others object to the size and location of the complex -- five miles from Interstate 83 in a rural area. They say Middletown Road cannot accommodate the traffic from the recreational complex and the new homes. They also say they are concerned about the development's impact on storm water management and schools.

Developer Randy Shelley and members of the Hereford Zone Recreation and Parks Council estimate that about 1,000 children participating in sports programs in northern Baltimore County would use the fields and recreational complex each year.

Pikesville

Man indicted on identity-theft counts

A 26-year-old Timonium man was indicted yesterday on charges that he used his employment at a Pikesville mortgage company to gain access to hundreds of files of personal information he planned to sell in what federal prosecutors called a scheme to "perpetuate bank fraud and identity theft."

Robert Michael Stewart attempted to sell 325 files, which included Social Security numbers, bank account and credit-card numbers, copies of driver's licenses, tax statements, payroll and statement of earnings and bank account statements to an informant for $50 each, according to the U.S. attorney for Maryland.

On Jan. 11, an informant paid Stewart $8,000 for 330 files, according to court documents. Stewart was arrested by the FBI.

Stewart, who was charged with fraud in connection with identity theft and aggravated identity theft, could receive a maximum of 15 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release if convicted.

Stewart is in federal custody and is awaiting a detention hearing Jan. 26.

Nicole Fuller

Owings Mills

With pact, CareFirst agrees to stay put

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the largest health insurer in the Mid-Atlantic region, will keep its headquarters in Owings Mills for at least the next 12 years, said David D. Wolf, the interim chief executive officer.

Officials at CareFirst, which employs about 1,300 people at the headquarters, had been considering moving to another location in the Baltimore region next year, when the lease on two buildings near Owings Mills Town Center ends. They recently struck a deal with the owner of the buildings, General Growth Properties, to stay until 2018, Wolf said.

Wolf said the county offered no special incentives for the company to stay.

The insurance company, which employs 700 more employees at two other sites in the county, is one of the 10 largest employers in Baltimore County, said David Iannucci, director of the county's economic development department.

Julie Scharper

North Point

Fire station air to be cleaned

The North Point-Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department will use a $40,000 federal grant to buy a system that removes diesel exhaust from the station house, officials said.

The grant, which was announced by U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, is through the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Maryland fire service organizations have received nearly $42.5 million through the program since 2001, according to Mikulski's office.

Towson

Education award nominees sought

The Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its 21st annual Awards for Excellence in Education.

The chamber is asking county residents who are involved with the school system to nominate educators whom "they feel have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their profession to mold our leaders of tomorrow."

The nominations deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 26. Nomination forms are available at the Baltimore County Chamber office, 102 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 101, Towson 21204; www.baltcountycc.com; and www.bcps.org.

Information: 410-825-0047.

Rodgers Forge

Board, Hairston, PTA Council to meet

The PTA Council of Baltimore County will host a general membership meeting today with members of the county Board of Education and the superintendent.

The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Dumbarton Middle School, 300 Dumbarton Road, Rodgers Forge.

The council will host Board of Education President Donald Arnold, several board members, Superintendent Joe A. Hairston and the county assistant superintendents to discuss board operations, board policies and educational issues.

The event is free and open to the public. All PTA officers, parents, and community members are encouraged to attend. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Information: www.bcptacouncil.org, or Nancy L. Ostrow, firstvp@bcptacouncil.org.

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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