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Ready to ring in 1988, The Aegis looks back at Harford in 1987

From The Aegis dated Dec. 31, 1987:

Harford County was getting ready to ring in the new year 25 years ago, when local party stores were packed with customers looking for party supplies to help usher in 1988 in just a few hours.

As 1987 drew to a close, The Aegis looked back at the top news stories of the year, highlighted by a train wreck in January, a deadly day trip for Harford Community College students, the death of two Maryland State Police troopers on I-95, a record budget request from the county executive, a building boom, Superintendent Dr. A.A. Roberty's heart attack, the death of blue laws, a fire at the sewing factory in Fawn Grove, Billy Ripken taking the field in Baltimore, a youth charged in the murder of his parents, the opening of the new Route 24 and the razing of Courtland Hardware.

Also coming to an end was Ida's Bavarian Inn in Aberdeen. For 23 years, Ida Simons, dressed in her authentic dirndels, had given people a taste of Germany, serving up goulash, various schnitzels, roulade, beef stroganoff, loberknodel, sauerbraten with kartoffelklosse and other culinary delights.

But Simons, 61, was retiring and her restaurant was slated to be sold at auction in early January.

"I love it. I love the people and the people love me...that's why I stayed here so long," Simons said, looking back on her time in Aberdeen.

As many as 393 jobs would be leaving Aberdeen Proving Ground, which was keeping a contract to supply maintenance services on post.

The in-house installation support team won a five-year contract over a private firm, underbidding it by $8.5 million, to provide the services.

But it meant 393 of the 987 civilian workers would retire, be reassigned or laid off, to do the jobs ranging from maintenance to heating and air-conditioning repair.

Possibly only six months away from a contract, a new Bel Air Post Office appeared to be a no-go 25 years ago this week. It was in the final phase of design and contracts were expected to be awarded soon, but according to the federal budget signed by President Ronald Reagan, the postal system was required to reduce its spending by $21.5 billion in 21 months, which put a hold on new post offices and a temporary halt on Saturday delivery in smaller post offices, including three in Harford.

In just over a month since the new Route 24 opened, Bel Air police responded to a dozen accidents at its intersection with Boulton Street near Harford Mall. And police said had a fully-functioning not been installed, it's likely at least one of them would have been fatal.

"If the light had not been installed there, I know we would be talking about some fatals" Cpl. Albert F. Giannini said. "We've got a speed limit of 50 miles an hour through there right how – we've never had that kind of speed in town, and without the light, the kinds of accidents would have been far more serious."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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