County buys gas for fleet at less than $2 a gallon

COUNTY DIGEST

November 13, 2008

County Executive John R. Leopold has announced that the county has purchased thousands of gallons of gasoline at less than $2 per gallon, under a purchasing process that aims to help save taxpayer dollars.

The county purchased a total of 34,000 gallons of regular gas for $1.97 a gallon and diesel for $2.30 a gallon on Oct. 30. It was the lowest amount the county has paid for gasoline in almost two years and will result in a projected 11 percent savings against the 2009 budget allowance if prices remain constant.

At the time, the average cost in the Annapolis area was $2.30 a gallon for gas and more than $3 for diesel. The county purchases fuel for its fleet from distributors using the spot market, as opposed to buying for an extended period of time with locked-in prices.

Visitors bureau urges local holiday shopping

In an effort to give the local economy a boost this holiday season, the Annapolis & Anne Arundel Conference and Visitors Bureau has launched a marketing campaign to encourage residents to support local merchants.

In partnership with Baltimore radio station MIX-FM 106.5, the Christmas Holiday Kickoff campaign, which started Tuesday, includes Internet marketing, 500 radio spots, and an event at Westfield Annapolis Mall to highlight countywide shopping, dining and events.

To help create additional exposure for area businesses, the bureau will promote up to 25 member partner holiday specials free of charge on its www.VisitAnnapolis.org Web site. Along with www.mix1065.net, the Web sites will also list prizes donated from member businesses to be given away during a live broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 28 at Westfield Annapolis Mall's Center Court.

To assist the less fortunate, the bureau's Visitors Center at 26 West St., Annapolis, will provide a Toys for Tots drop box starting Monday. Area merchants will post fliers encouraging shoppers to purchase their Toys for Tots gifts at participating stores. Individuals who stop by the Visitors Center will receive a holiday sticker inviting readers to visit www.visitannapolis.org to find out more about the holiday offerings.

Another local campaign that continues through Nov. 21 is a One-Tank Getaway campaign in partnership with Baltimore's Fox 45-TV to showcase Annapolis and Anne Arundel County as a vacation destination and weekend getaway.

Cook named director of AACC legal institute

Anne Arundel Community College has named Karen L. Cook of Riva as acting director of the new Legal Studies Institute, which was launched in July.

Cook will oversee seven full-time and 30 part-time faculty members and manage the institute and the Legal Studies Internship Program. The institute offers degree and certificate programs of study.

"Our plans for the institute include offering additional credit courses to enhance our programs, providing advanced continuing education courses for paralegals, sponsoring annual conferences and forming more partnerships with county and state organizations, educational institutions and the judiciary to meet the community's legal training and education needs," Cook said.

Past president of the Anne Arundel Bar Association and a faculty member at AACC since 1999, Cook has taught mediation, business law, paralegal studies, criminal justice, criminal law, advanced legal research and writing.

She previously served as a professor of paralegal and legal studies, coordinator of the paralegal and legal studies program, and federal compliance manager.

Cook serves on the Anne Arundel Bar Association board of trustees, is chairwoman of the Maryland State Bar Association Special Committee on Paralegals and a member of the AACC Foundation Inc. board of directors.

In 2006, she won a teaching excellence award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.

A trained mediator, Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and education from Montclair State University and cum laude with a degree from California Western School of Law.

Money OK'd for artificial turf at three high schools

The Maryland State Board of Public Works has approved $385,000 in Program Open Space funds for new artificial turf at three Anne Arundel County public high schools.

North County, Annapolis and Arundel high schools are scheduled to receive the new turf.

Annapolis Opera sets auditions for competition

The Annapolis Opera is taking applications through Dec. 1 for its 21st annual Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition.

Auditions must be done by appointment, and tenors, baritones and basses are especially needed. Preliminary rounds will be held Jan. 30-31, then the judges will select eight finalists who will perform Feb. 8 at Maryland Hall to determine a winner.

Applicants must be between 20 and 35 years old; live in, and attend school or work in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia or Washington. Singers should prepare five operatic arias varying in mood and style, and in three different languages.

Applications are available at www.annapolisopera.org or at 410-267-8135.

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