`Dead Man Walking' author speaks Thursday

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

September 15, 2007

Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, will speak about the death penalty at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Pius X Church, 6428 York Road, Towson.

A native of Louisiana, Sister Helen began her work against the death penalty in 1982 when she began counseling death row prisoners. In addition to Dead Man Walking, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and became an Oscar-winning movie, she is the author of a second book: The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.

Kirk Bloodsworth, a Marylander who was the first death row inmate in the nation cleared by DNA testing, will join her at the event. Christopher Conover will also speak about living behind bars for 18 years before DNA evidence resulted in his release in 2003.

The free event is sponsored by the Maryland Citizens Against State Executions, a coalition of groups and individuals who want to end the death penalty in Maryland. Information: 301-779-5230.

Schools

Education unions hold event

The Teachers Association of Baltimore County and the Baltimore County Instructional Assistants & Clerical Employees unions are sponsoring a "community conversation" Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ridge Ruxton School, 6916 Charles St., Towson.

The organizations are inviting the public to attend the forum to share their ideas for improving the county's public schools. Tim Tooten of WBAL-TV is scheduled to be the moderator.

Free refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m.

Information: 410-828-6403 or GreatSchoolsMary land.org.

Essex

Theater group sets benefit

The Children's Playhouse of Maryland will host a benefit performance, A Night of a Thousand Stars, at 8 p.m. today in the B Building Theatre at the Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Essex.

The playhouse is a nonprofit community theater organization providing training in acting and production to those 18 years and younger.

"This benefit will help support Children's Playhouse program initiatives, including the summer camp and discounted tickets for the underprivileged. These funds will also allow CPM to keep its ticket prices at a rate [$10 each] that allows children's theater to be accessible to the community," said F. Scott Black, dean of the School of Liberal Arts at CCBC.

Tickets for the benefit are $20 per person and are available through the CCBC Box Office at 410-780-6369.

Pikesville

Sales tax is focus of meeting

Tom S. Saquella, president of the Maryland Retailers Association, will speak about sales tax issues at the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday.

The 8 a.m. breakfast meeting will be held at the Pikes Diner, 921 Reisterstown Road. Cost is $15 for members, $20 for non-members. Information: 410-484-2337, www.pikesvillechamber.org.

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