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25 years ago: 29,000 students get ready to head back to classrooms

BY ERIKA BUTLER, ebutler@theaegis.com

2:40 PM EDT, August 29, 2012

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From The Aegis dated Sept. 3, 1987:

It was the beginning of September and 25 years ago in Harford County that meant back to school. But with a late Labor Day in 1987, students got a little bit of an extended summer, with doors opening Sept. 8.

The last day was scheduled for June 15, 1988, but that included for "extra" days built in for inclement weather. Dr. A.A. Roberty was back on the job after suffering a heart attack early in the summer; he had been working half-days since mid-August. The county's was expecting almost 29,000 students in 42 school buildings.

Samuel Boyd Fielder Sr., Harford's Farmer of the Year in 1984, died this week 25 years ago when a tractor rolled on top of him while he was using it to pull another tractor up a steep slope.

"He died with his boots on," Harford County Councilman G. Edward Fielder, the grandson of the former president of the Harford County Farm Bureau.

"He didn't suffer...he wasn't sitting around in some nursing home," he continued.

Several months into its investigation, Harford County sheriff's detectives announced there may be two "phantom fondlers," not just one as originally thought.

Eighteen women had fallen victim to the fondler in the Edgewood, Abingdon and Joppa areas in the last few months. The man would enter the women's homes and in most cases, just watch them, running out when the women woke up. At least one woman reported being touched on the breasts.

It wasn't until this week, however, police said there were two possible fondlers.

"At least three of the reports received since April of this year are attributed to a second person," Maj. Jesse Bane, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said. "We are of the firm belief that we have to suspects."

That believe was based on descriptions given and the methods of operation – "they're different," Bane said.

The Army was soliciting bids 25 years ago this week to study what it would take to remove ammunition disposed of more than 60 years ago in waters of Spesutie Island.

The contract would determine the quantity, location and condition of the munitions, which contained white phosphorous and were buried in varying depths in the sediment of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Harford County Council 25 years ago approved a last-minute amendment to the Master Water and Sewer Plan to include a limited use sewer line to serve Harford Community College and the Campus Hills area.

Extending sewer service beyond the intersection of Route 22 and 543 was the first instance in which the utility would be extended outside the county's designated growth area, the development envelope, which the council approved in 1977.

The sewer line would be paid for by two developers who wanted to build 490 dwelling units, including more than 200 apartments and cottages for senior citizens, on 74 acres next to the HCC campus and the rear of the Campus Hill Shopping Center.

The same night, the council also "pushed through" a resolution establishing a committee to study where the new public school central administration building should go. Findings from the study were due by Jan. 1, 1988. The committee was also asked to look at ways to finance the building in a "cost-effective" way.

Lachrisha Miller, who lived on Hughes Road in Darlington, was shown in a photo 25 years ago this week posting with a 70-pound pumpkin, 20 pounds more than the 3-year-old.

Lots of stores and businesses were announcing Labor Day sales 25 years ago, including Box Hill Carpets and Interiors Inc., which featured Solarian carpet for $24.99 a square yard and Solarian Supreme for $35.99 a square yard; 20 to 50 percent off storewide at Ryan Furniture, where a complete daybed was $119 and a queen size sleeper was $499; and a blue dot sale at Grimmel's, where all bedding from Serta and Restonic was 50 percent off and a 10-piece Broyhill dining room set was marked down to $3,390 from $6,780.