Peach Bottom Atomic Power Plant given OK to restart [25 years ago]

Two years after its shutdown was ordered, Peach Bottom Atomic Power Plant was officially given the go-ahead 25 years ago this week to start up again.

The plant, three miles north of Harford County on the Susquehanna River, had been idle since March 31, 1987 after it was discovered control room operators had been asleep on the job and were otherwise inattentive. It was the only U.S. atomic power station that had ever been shut down without an incident occurring.

Owner Philadelphia Electric Company still had to satisfy pre-operating testing, but Unit 2 was to be restored with a 14-week gradual power-up.

Harford County Sheriff's Office divers and members of rescue squads from Bel Air and Jarrettsville volunteer fire companies attempted unsuccessfully to rescue a man who had fallen into Deer Creek rapids while trying to jump from one bank to another. The man's death was the second in Rocks State Park in two weeks.

Two Pennsylvania State Police troopers died this week 25 years ago when their helicopter crashed into the Susquehanna River near Delta, Pa. The chopper had hit a 34,000 volt power line, exploded and dropped into the river. The troopers had been searching for a Lancaster County man missing for five days.

In the previous six years, Harford County's contribution to the school system's operating budget had grown by 53 percent, but the county's contribution to the overall school system budget was down.

Those figures led to a debate 25 years ago this week between the county executive and school officials as the county council began its review of the budget proposed for the 1989-1990 fiscal year.

Six years earlier, when the total Harford County budget was $69,513,273, the school system was allocated $38,275,389 (55.1 percent); under the proposed county budget for the next fiscal year, totaling $128,194,620, 45.9 percent would go to the schools.

Two months after they were removed, the mailbox chutes on North Bond Street were back. They had disappeared shortly before the post office moved from Main Street to behind Harford Mall.

Customers had been able to pull up curbside at one of the two boxes near Forest Hill State Bank, but the post office removed the chutes and turned the other box away from the street. Officials said they became crammed when people would try to put larger packages in the chute and mail would spill onto the streets. Six boxes instead of two were installed.

Six Harford County students were awarded four-year Presidential Scholarships to Western Maryland College: Troy Harting and Theresa Lowe, Fallston High School; Jeffrey Lane and Karen Murphy, Aberdeen High School; Shannon Ruddle, North Harford High School; and Keith Poyer, John Carroll School.

Charmaine Bond, a circulation clerk at Joppa library for eight years, was this week's "Familiar Face."

Bond said the library was a pleasant place to work and visit.

"It's like a family," she said.

A Joppa man was charged this week 25 years ago in Baltimore City under a new state law in connection with the attempted shooting of two black men in March.

The law was aimed at people who "harass or commit a crime" because of someone's race, creed, religion or color.

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