around the region

August 29, 2008

650 workers at APG might strike Sunday

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About 650 contract workers at Aberdeen Proving Ground are threatening to strike, starting Sunday. Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted all day yesterday on a contract that they said does not offer even a cost-of-living raise. Results of the vote were not made public yesterday. In an e-mail, Henry Scott, a union representative, said the weekly pay raises offered in the three-year contract "don't even amount to a tank of gas." The workers are employed by three contractors who serve the Aberdeen Test Support Services, an Army agency that tests vehicles, equipment, weapons and ammunition for all branches of the military, the Department of Defense and private industry. Most of the workers are employed by Jacobs Technology, a subsidiary of Jacobs Engineering Group of Pasadena, Calif. Two Virginia contractors also fill jobs for ATSS, including Science and Technology Corp. of Virginia Beach and Lo-Sec Corp. of Manassas. "The Army has a contract with Jacobs," said Pat McClung, APG spokeswoman. "This problem is between Jacobs and its employees." McClung, who has worked at the post for 37 years, could not recall any strike there.

Mary Gail Hare

Police seek help identifying skeleton found in Cedonia

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Homicide investigators are asking for the public's help in identifying a man whose body was found this year in a wooded area in Northeast Baltimore. The body was found April 30 when a woman looking for scrap metal about 200 feet into the woods in the 4800 block of Strathdale Road in the Cedonia area discovered a full human skeleton, police said. A medical examiner later determined that the man had died as a result of a gunshot wound and might have been killed as long as three years ago, police said. He was described as a black male, between ages 24 and 27, with a medium build. Police believe the man might have ties to Lancaster, Pa. Anyone with information was asked to call the homicide unit at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7-LOCKUP.

Justin Fenton

Dud grenade causes stir at La Plata school

The 11-year-old boy found a grenade in his backyard and wanted to show his friends. So he took it to school Wednesday in La Plata in Charles County. But as soon as a teacher at F.B. Gwynn Education Center saw it, school officials took immediate steps to place the grenade outside the building and move students to other parts of the school that were farthest from it, authorities said. Police and bomb squad technicians were called to the scene and determined that the grenade was harmless, according to Deputy State Fire Marshal Joseph G. Zurolo Jr. He said the grenade proved to be an empty shell, lacking a firing mechanism and explosive material. Investigators believed the grenade was possibly made during the Korean War or World War II era. He said investigators visited the boy's house, searched the woods where he found the grenade and spoke with his father. They determined that the boy did not intend to terrorize or harm anyone, and no charges would be filed, Zurolo said.

Gus G. Sentementes

Democrat Kratovil gets pair of GOP endorsements

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Frank Kratovil Jr., a Democratic congressional candidate in Maryland's Republican-leaning 1st District, announced yesterday endorsements from two GOP county officials. Roy Crow, president of the Kent County Board of Commissioners, and Jack Cole, president of the Caroline County Board of Commissioners, are backing Kratovil, according to his campaign. The Democratic state's attorney for Queen Anne's County faces state Sen. Andy Harris, known for his solidly conservative credentials, in the November election in a district centered on the Eastern Shore but also includes other parts of the state. Harris, who is from Cockeysville, defeated longtime Republican incumbent Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest in the February primary.

Laura Smitherman

Baltimore Co. recycling program expanded

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Baltimore County is expanding its residential recycling program for compact fluorescent lamps, fluorescent bulbs, mercury thermometers and thermostats, and lead-acid and rechargeable batteries, officials said. Residents may now recycle these items at the Western Acceptance Facility in Halethorpe and the Baltimore County Resource Recovery Facility in Cockeysville, in addition to the Eastern Sanitary Solid Waste Management Facility in White Marsh. Only residential items, and not commercial loads, will be accepted. County government also will begin to recycle these items in most of the buildings that it owns or maintains, officials said. Information: 410-887-3745.

Howard County to roll out new recycling bins

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