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Police search Bel Air day care center in ongoing investigation [25 years ago]

BY ERIKA BUTLER, ebutler@theaegis.com

11:31 AM EDT, June 20, 2013

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From The Aegis dated June 23, 1988:

A Bel Air day care center remained embroiled in legal action 25 years ago this week, as local police executed a search and seizure warrant.

Parents of several children at the center claimed their children had been sexually abused by a man there; the case had not yet been to court and the day care was allowed by the state to stay open.

After the owner denied police entry, officers forced their way inside through a screen and exposed rolls of still film and one video cassette.

While police spent hours inside the home, 20 to 25 day care supporters stood outside.

In a county that had no public golf courses, two new ones were being proposed 25 years ago this week, albeit with several hurdles to go through.

One course for which a plan was submitted was for 142 acres in northern Harford County on Davis Road, just north of Rocks State Park.

The second was a proposal for an 18-hole course off Gilbert Road at Maxa Road in Aberdeen.

Zoning hearings were scheduled for both proposed courses.

Despite being under a water moratorium for much of the previous year, Maryland-American Water Company was selling Harford County an average of 100,000 gallons of water a day 25 years ago this week at a price of about $2.80 per 1,000 gallons.

The water was needed while a 16-inch water main break south of the town of Bel Air, over Memorial Day weekend, was repaired. Thousands of customers were without water or were experiencing low flow.

If a charter amendment was approved 25 years ago, future county executives could be banned from having second jobs while they're leading the county.

"I feel as though the county executive is just like the chief of a $115 million corporation, and that should be his only job," Councilwoman Joanne Parrott, who sponsored the amendment, said, adding she considered the county executive's position to be "grossly underpaid." Her amendment also included a clause that set the minimum salary at $65,000.

To the phrase "The County Executive shall devote full time to the duties of his office," Mrs. Parrott's proposed amendment added "and shall not participate in any private occupation for compensation."

County Executive Habern Freeman had been working part-time as a physical therapist for several months, claiming he had to start his career before his term as exec was over.

Timothy Sherman, the Bel Air teen convicted of killing his parents the previous fall October, requested a new trial 25 years ago this week.

At least eight errors were alleged to have been made during the two-week trial, including a charge that "jurors committed misconduct during the trial and deliberations" and that the "Sequestration Order was violated by prosecution witnesses."

It was unknown if or when Judge Cypert O. Whitfill would grant a hearing on the motion for a new trial.

Rowdy visitors were forcing state park officials to close the Franklinville Area of Gunpowder State Park, despite pleas from nearby residents to keep it open.

The favorite swimming hole was to be off-limits through October as park officials "attempt to deal with an element that has left most nearby residents as well as authorities groping for an answer to the littering and law-breaking at the isolated spot."

Lisa and Peppi Simmeth, long-time owners of Peppi's Meats in the heart of Bel Air, sold their business 25 years ago this week to Diane and David Moser. The Mosers met while they were working at the butcher shop and then got married.

The butcher shop business had been in the Simmeth family for 288 years - 271 in Peppi Simmeth's native Bavaria and the previous 27 at the corner of Hays and Thomas streets.

"We feel it is in good hands and that's why we're so happy," Lisa Simmeth said.