As years ago, 2017 has been relatively kind to Harford County.
There were no blizzards, major flash floods, visits from hurricanes, earthquakes, the kind of natural events that have become all too frequent in recent years. Chalk it up to climate change, good or bad, we suppose.
That’s not to say the year due to end ending at 11:59 p.m. Sunday hasn’t didn’t provided its share of trials and tribulations, such as the two murders in Havre de Grace, the first in a few years with one victim a 15-year-old girl, or the worst workplace shooting incident in Harford County’s history that left three people dead, including an Aberdeen man, and two others wounded at an Edgewood granite countertop company.
All-in-all, 2017 was a violent year from Harford County’s standpoint, and it followed an equally violent 2016.
While many people have come to think of Harford’s opioid abuse epidemic as a “Bel Air problem” or a “north county problem,” it’s touched every corner of Harford County and every corner of the United States. Police, county officials, educators, public health officials and nonprofit organizations have banded together to fight back, understanding this is a crisis that can no longer be ignored or wished away. Those efforts haven’t reversed the trend yet – there were at least 80 fatal overdoses in Harford County this year, a 50 percent increase from 2016 – but let’s all be optimistic that 2018 is the year the tide turns.
Let’s all celebrate the many good things that happened in 2017, such as the completion of the Opera House renovation in Havre de Grace and the final phase of a brand new Youth’s Benefit Elementary School. Havre de Grace’s Brionna Jones, formerly of Aberdeen High, capped off one of the greatest four-year careers in the history of the University of Maryland’s women’s basketball program while Brent Lorin, a sophomore at Bel Air High won his second state wrestling title. Will he make it three in 2018? Find out this winter.
Onward to 2018!