Proposed $100 million shopping mall in Abingdon draws fire [25 years ago]

From The Aegis dated Dec. 8, 1988:

A proposed $100 million shopping center at Constant Friendship in Abingdon drew the ire of the community 25 years ago this week when the plans were unveiled.

The shopping center, called Windsor Mall, would encompass 200 mostly undeveloped acres on four tracts in the vicinity of Route 24, Tollgate Road, I-95 and Winters Run.

"Go back to Dallas and leave us alone," an angry resident yelled to those representing the Dallas-based Windsor Properties.

The mall was to include 800,000 to a million square feet of floor space; a Windsor partner said he was negotiating with national stores to be anchors. It would also include theme and fast-foot restaurants, a full service hotel and budget motel a low-rise office building, a multi-screen cinema and a day care.

The Harford teachers union and school system agreed to a three-year contract 25 years ago this week that would provide the 1,800 teachers an unspecified percentage raise each year.

The details were worked out during a marathon bargaining session in Baltimore County, which cost more than $1,000, paid for by the taxpayers of Harford County.

The agreement still had to be ratified by the Harford County Education Association (the teachers union) and the Harford County Board of Education.

In its fourth year, the Living Christmas Tree at Oak Grove Baptist Church sold out yet again. The singers were spread out in 10 rows, pyramid-style, up to 35 feet, where either Paul Simmons or Richard Anderson was featured. The singers were accompanied by a narration and were under the direction of the church's music director.

An estimated 250 of the church's members participated in each evening's performance. In 1988, the performance called "The Sounds of Christmas," was expected to cost $10,000 and was to be seen by almost 10,000 people during the 11 nights it was running.

Two men who robbed a convenience store in Edgewood were also suspected in the killing of a 21-year-old woman in Baltimore. The men, 17 and 21, were caught after they led police on a high-speed chase up to 100 mph. The motive, robbery, and method of operation in the armed robbery were linked to the woman's murder. Her body was found in her family's car in Baltimore County; she had been shot to death.

What was believed to be a done deal with regard to a parking garage in downtown Bel Air came undone this week 25 years ago when the town and county couldn't reach an agreement that would have allowed bonds to be sold to pay for the multi-level facility.

Proposed "additions" to the contract did not nullify the agreement in principle, however, and both sides were going over what were termed "language differences." The disagreement did cancel the sale of the $7.18 million in bonds until something could be worked out.

Despite the objections of two car dealers along Baltimore Pike, the July 4 parade route in Bel Air was staying put for another year. The car dealers, who last year cited terrible trash left behind, had asked that the route be moved.

One of the members of the parade committee told the town commissioners the trash problem is a correctable one and didn't necessitate altering the route.

Havre de Grace Police Chief Earl Walker announced 25 years ago this week he would be retiring at the end of January. He had been police chief since 1961.

"There comes a time sooner or later," the 62-year-old Walker said. "I want to do some things I haven't been able to do before."

A malfunctioning space heater was to blame for a three-alarm fire at an Abingdon condo complex that caused an estimated $750,000 in damage.

The blaze destroyed three units in the 200 block of Start Point Court and damaged one next to it. An estimated 100 firefighters from six fire companies battled the fire and tried to keep it from spreading to adjoining buildings.

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