Dangers of sniffing glue highlighted by state medical examiner [50 years ago]

June 11, 2014

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, June 11, 1964:

Glue sniffing was in the rise in Harford County among people ages of 13 to 17. Dr. Henry Freimuth, a toxicologist from the office of the Chief Medical Examiner, furnished the following information relating to the habit of glue sniffing. The practice of glue sniffing is a means of obtaining a cheap high. Most sniffers fail to realize the practice could be habit-forming and may cause harmful after effects. Drowsiness, stupor and unconsciousness may follow. Sometimes the subject can remain unresponsive for periods of an hour or more. The glue sniffer frequently has no memory of his or her actions.

Dr. Freimuth said, "Among the more disagreeable accompaniments is an unpleasant odor of breath and excessive secretions in the mouth, due to irritation. The chronic users have reported that they have suffered from nausea, loss of appetite and loss of weight. They also become more irritable and inattentive. They fall asleep in a classroom or even experience a sudden loss of consciousness. Depending upon the particular solvent used in the glues, it is possible that there may result injury to the liver, kidneys, heart, bone marrow and the nervous system."

William S. James, Harford County Senator, announced that resurfacing on Pulaski Highway would be accomplished by the end of 1964 as part of a $1 million statewide resurfacing program.

Bel Air Mayor Werner Buchal wrote a letter to The Aegis stating his disappointment with the lack of public interest in a public hearing on the budget for fiscal year 1965. A public hearing was scheduled for June 5 but not a single resident showed up. After waiting from 8 to 8:20 p.m. officials adjourned the hearing. Mayor Buchal wrote: "I was prepared to present the proposed disposition of the accumulated surplus funds and the future capital improvements facing the town. Public reaction to these important issues would have been welcome and helpful. I lost a bet when I predicted that at least one of the unsuccessful candidates for Town Commissioner would show up. The apathy of the townspeople may be an expression of confidence in the ability of the Town Commissioners to mange the Town's affairs. I am however, convinced that the Town would benefit more by the active participation of the people in such vital issues as the budget and the future plans of our community."

The Bel Air Band purchased its first piece of equipment when Band Committee Chairman Jim McMahan received a Ludwig bass drum from a local merchant. Band Director Ralph Porter sent letters to all of the county high school band directors requesting they announce to their 1964 graduates an invitation to join the Bel Air Band. The band was expected to play at the dedication of the new Town Office building.

Bel Air's Radio Station, WVOB-AM, marked its first year on the air June 11, 1964. Lee Stokes, president of the Bel Air Broadcasting Company, expressed his appreciation to WVOB's listeners and advertisers for the station's initial success. WVOB's offices were housed at the Bob Turley Bowl building south of Bel Air.

The Harford County Public Library recently added a new film information service. All branches would have The Green Sheet, a monthly survey of current films based on books and plays. Roenna Fahrney, library administrator said: "our library will not only make The Green Sheet available as a source of film information, we will also be happy to answer questions from parents interested in obtaining film information in order to decide whether or not certain films are suitable for the young people in their families."

The industrial arts department at the Edgewood Junior-Senior High School carried out a mass production project. The boys mass produced 34 five-foot sleds. A ninth grade woodworking class, made and assembled all of the wooden parts while a 10th grade metal class made and assembled all of the metal runners. The planning for the sleds was started before Christmas and the completed sleds were used during the season's final snow storm. The total cost of materials for each sled was $3.35. The purpose of the project was to produce a product that was of a better quality than what could be purchased at a store.

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