Around The Region

July 30, 2009

ARC home for disabled in Howard wins top LEED certification

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A private nonprofit group's home for people with disabilities in Howard County is the first in Maryland to qualify at the highest level of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, according to County Executive Ken Ulman. The ARC of Howard County's new home, the Awake House in the 9300 block of Torrent Row in Columbia, won the platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, which evaluates buildings in five categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and indoor environmental quality. The idea is to encourage homes to use less energy, while using natural resources to minimize production of pollutants. Awake House is 54 percent more energy-efficient than ordinary construction and uses all drought-resistant plants to cut water use. The Howard County housing department provided the $450,000 grant funding for the project, using federal Community Development Block Grant money. The house is owned by Supportive Living Inc.

- Larry Carson

Charles County Republican plans run against Hoyer

Charles Lollar has told supporters he plans to form an exploratory committee for a campaign against Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, a longtime Southern Maryland Democrat and House majority leader. In an e-mailed letter sent Wednesday, Lollar said he made the decision after meeting with voters who are concerned about "reckless actions" taken by Congress. Lollar, chairman of the Republican Central Committee in Charles County, had been considering a gubernatorial run but reportedly might not meet the constitutional standard that candidates must have been registered voters in the state for five years before the general election. Lollar is seeking donations to raise more than $50,000 to open a headquarters, conduct a poll and build a grass-roots organization. He would face a well-financed Hoyer, who is now serving his 15th term in Congress.

- Laura Smitherman

Marine from Mississippi found dead at Fort Meade

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A Marine from Hattiesburg, Miss., died Monday at Fort Meade, and the death remains under investigation, a spokesman for the military base said. Pfc. Brad C. Wells, 22, was found in his barracks room at 9:48 p.m., and emergency workers tried to revive him, according to a spokeswoman for Fort Meade. He was pronounced dead at 10:37 p.m. at Laurel Regional Hospital.

- Andrea F. Siegel

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