Ending a long legal battle over what teachers can tell students about sexual orientation, a group that opposes new sex education lessons for middle and high school students in Montgomery County will not appeal a ruling in favor of the school system.
The group, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, decided it did not have a good chance of overturning last month's decision in Circuit Court. Instead, spokeswoman Michelle Turner said, the group will seek other ways to change the lessons.
"We think there are other avenues that would be more timely and have a greater impact," Turner said.
After a debate that lasted six years, the school system adopted a new sex education curriculum last summer. Some lessons now include discussions on homosexuality and the correct use of condoms. Among other things, CRC objected to lessons that describe homosexuality as innate.
Circuit Judge William Rowan III ruled for the school system, echoing a Maryland State Board of Education decision last year that determined the group had no right to "second-guess the appropriateness" of the curriculum adopted by the community. Turner said the CRC will, among other efforts, continue working with other groups to distribute information challenging the claim that homosexuality is innate.
Trial date set in Utech case
After months of delay, a trial has been scheduled for Monday in the case of a woman who employed Mayor Sheila Dixon's sister and then received taxpayer-funded contracts from City Hall.
A Circuit Court judge in Baltimore has scheduled a hearing that day for Mildred E. Boyer, owner of Union Technologies, in her trial on charges of forgery, theft and falsifying tax returns.
An attorney for Boyer said it is unclear whether the case will proceed Monday because, he said, he is waiting on a jury verdict in another case in Baltimore County. Officials at the Maryland State Prosecutor's office, which oversaw the investigation, declined to comment.
The trial, whenever it starts, is likely to bring the ethics scandal that has swirled around City Hall for months back into the news. Dixon, when she was president of the City Council, voted in favor of several contracts that included Union Technologies, or Utech, as a subcontractor.
Boyer was indicted by a grand jury in December 2006.
Ft. McHenry Tunnel
Some toll lanes will close for work
Several toll lanes of the Fort McHenry Tunnel will be closed from Monday through April 23 so that workers can do maintenance work, the Maryland Transportation Authority says.
Northbound lanes 1 and 2 and southbound lanes 23 and 24 will be closed. Also during the construction period, trucks 14 feet 6 inches tall or taller and at least 9 feet 6 inches wide will be prohibited from using the tunnel, the transportation authority says.
Drivers of the prohibited vehicles can call the State Highway Administration's Hauling Permit Office at 800-846-6435 or 800-543-4564 to be assigned alternative routes. The office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Four teens charged in destruction of cars
Aberdeen police have charged three men and a juvenile with 25 counts of malicious destruction of vehicles, authorities said yesterday.
Police were en route to investigate a report of shots being fired at car windows on Edmund Street early yesterday when officers stopped a vehicle for a minor traffic violation and found BB pellets in the car and a gun on one of the individuals, police said.
The investigation led to charges being filed against Brandon Christopher McDowell, 18; David Allen Barton, 19, both of Aberdeen, and Brian Allen McCarter, 19, of Churchville, police said.
A 17-year-old Aberdeen resident, who was not identified, has also been charged.
Police said they expect to bring more charges against the four individuals. Police said they have been involved in numerous similar incidents throughout Harford County.
Mary Gail Hare