www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/laurel/ph-ll-ot-neighbors-0109-20140107,0,3624975.story

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Main Street's Gallery, Salute Ristorante sold [Old Town Laurel]

By Jeff Dudley, OldTownLaurelColumn@yahoo.com 301-725-0377

8:36 PM EST, January 7, 2014

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The property once home to The Gallery, 344 Main St., has been sold. In an email received from Cathy and Randy Emery last week, Cathy said that they had been to settlement and would be moved out of the building within a week.

The unnamed buyer lives in Texas, and is a Bowie native who maintains a home there. He has plans to renovate the property, but the future use of the site is, at this time, unclear.

Salute Ristorante Italiano, a favorite dining spot at 504 Main St., closed recently after co-owner Meriem Kass and her husband announced they had sold the business. Meriem said, "We gave it our best, but it just did not work." Here's hoping that the new restaurateurs begin operating soon.

Via the Old Town Laurel Group on Yahoo, Rick Wilson provided some interesting statistics concerning Laurel Police Department activity in 2013. The force handled in the neighborhood of 50,000 calls. The average response time was "about" five minutes. There were no homicides within the incorporated city limits. There were roughly 200 DUIs.

Mike McLaughlin did the math, and explained it this way, "That's about 137 calls a day, or six calls an hour. The short response time and no homicides says that our Police Department is one reason Laurel is a nice place to call home."

Last week's snowfall, and the forecast of inclement weather in the coming days, prompts this reminder taken from the website: "City Ordinance requires all owners and occupants to clear ice and snow from sidewalks fronting their property within 12 hours after the cessation of snowfall or ice accumulation. Failure to clear your sidewalk may result in a fine."

Several days after our last accumulation of snow, numerous households and businesses failed to comply with the city's directive, forcing those traveling on foot to walk in the street, to avoid slipping on snow-covered, icy walkways.

Longtime area resident Nellie Dodson passed away Dec. 30. A 30-year employee of the Laurel Meat Market, she was, according to owner Bill Miles, a treasured, trusted employee.

Laurel High School Class of 1980 alum Larry T. Smith died New Year's Day in Bayboro, N.C. Numerous classmates expressed their sympathies at the loss of a valued friend.

Happy New Year!