Week In Review

April 22, 2007

Anne Arundel

Fort Meade to gain 22,000 jobs

Fort Meade stands to gain about 22,000 jobs from a military expansion, according to a recently released Army study, an estimate that's thousands higher than a recent state report.

The environmental impact study analyzing growth at the Army post in western Anne Arundel County showed that it will pick up 16,000 contractors and other federal employees in addition to the nearly 6,000 government workers it will gain as part of the base realignment and closure process, also known as BRAC. The report was the subject of a public hearing on the post Wednesday night.

It factors growth from a proposed lease agreement with real estate developer Trammell Crow Co. to build 2 million square feet of office space on post, which would house 10,000 contractors.

A state report released in February estimated that about 12,000 jobs would arrive at Fort Meade within the next five years because of BRAC.

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold, a Republican, said the latest study "just underscores the needs to accelerate our infrastructure improvements."

Anne Arundel section, Friday

Anne Arundel

Man prompts school lockdown

Eight Anne Arundel County public schools were locked down for several hours Wednesday after a man wanted on charges of attempted murder showed up at a high school in women's clothing and asked to see a female student, authorities said.

The man, thought by police to be Antonio Moore, 20, of Brooklyn Park, left North County High School in Ferndale after an officer stationed at the school learned that the girl was not expecting a visitor and alerted police.

As a precaution, North County and four nearby elementary schools, two middle schools and an early education center - which have a combined enrollment of nearly 5,000 - were locked down, meaning that students and staff were instructed to stay in classrooms behind locked doors. Parents were told that they could not pick up their children.

Moore was arrested about 1:30 p.m. Thursday on Holbrook Street in Baltimore. Lt. David Waltemeyer, an Anne Arundel County police spokesman, said Moore was driving a stolen car when he was arrested.

Michael Francis, 21, the man Moore is accused of shooting and stuffing into the trunk of a stolen convertible on April 14, is still missing. Francis' bloodstained clothes were found in the abandoned car. Police also have not found 18-year-old Sierra Anderson, Moore's girlfriend, who police say was in the passenger seat that night.

Maryland section, Thursday

Anne Arundel

Boys and Girls Club mourns sudden loss

LaRon Cephas was the Pied Piper of the Bates Boys and Girls Club, using his charm, charisma and a dose of determination to recruit children from Bates Middle School in Annapolis to sign up for its new sports leagues and activities.

The 6-foot-7 former Maryland basketball player would show the kids his Final Four ring and would engage them in any subject to show them he cared.

Now club and county school and recreation officials are faced with the heartbreaking task of helping the nearly 800 children he worked with grieve his stunning loss. Cephas, 29, died suddenly Monday, collapsing at his home in Annapolis. The cause of his death is being investigated.

"He went out of his way to spend time here," Bates Middle Principal Diane Bragdon said. "As far as I'm concerned, he was pure good, and it's a big loss for the Annapolis community."

Cephas, who was hired in August as the club's athletic director, was to be promoted Wednesday to program director.

Anne Arundel section, Wednesday

Anne Arundel

Groups given until July to buy island

Environmental groups attempting to block the construction of a lavish home on a private island in the Magothy River have until July to find the money to purchase the island, its owner said.

David L. Clickner Sr., who owns Dobbins Island, a 7-acre island near the mouth of the river, said he agreed to postpone a two-day hearing before the Board of Appeals scheduled to begin last Wednesday, at the request of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The Annapolis-based foundation, which has opposed the project along with the Magothy River Association, said it has several experts who are not available to testify this week, Clickner said.

"They weren't given a fair opportunity to present all their best witnesses, and we will give them that chance," Clickner said. "At least then we have given them a fair shot, and they can't complain if they lose" their appeal.

Anne Arundel section, Wednesday

Anne Arundel

Homeland security center gets funding

Anne Arundel County officials have taken steps to shore up the struggling Chesapeake Innovation Center, the nation's first homeland security incubator, shrinking its quarters and securing some funding.

The CIC will shrink to 5,400 square feet, one-fifth of its current space at its Admiral Cochrane Drive location in Annapolis, under terms of a new lease signed by the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. It also secured $75,000 in funding from sponsor ARINC Inc. and renewed a technology-sharing agreement with the National Security Agency, a highly valued partner.

It signed new rental agreements with eight member companies and graduated two others, PharmAthene Inc. and Inclinix Inc., which plan to stay in Anne Arundel County. Two companies, Mobile Digital Systems Inc. and Hybrid Knowledge LLC, opted not to renew their leases.

Business section, Tuesday

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