'Riverwalker' ends two-week hike along Deer Creek in HdG

From The Aegis dated March 3, 1988:

The "Riverwalker" ended a two-week journey in Havre de Grace 25 years ago this week, having hiked and camped for two weeks along the 45-mile stretch of Deer Creek from its origin to its mouth at the Susquehanna River.

The Maryland Line resident braved temperatures that dipped to 10 degrees to complete a "pleasant stroll along one of the most beautiful streams in America."

"The temperature made it to you didn't stand around very long" Richard Klein said. "I crawled in my sleeping bag at night and within a few minutes I was warm as toast."

It was a leap year 25 years ago, in 1988, and Jason Patrick O'Brien was born on Leap Day, Feb. 29, 1988. If he only celebrated on his actual birthday, it would be 2060 before the O'Briens' son would be able to vote, and his first birthday wouldn't come until 1992.

"I was due on March 5 and everyone was joking that I would have a leap year baby," the baby's mother, Karen O'Brien, said.

In an effort to trim the workforce at Aberdeen Proving Ground without reductions in force or firings, the post's largest tenant - the Army Materiel Command - was offering voluntary early retirement to eligible employees. AMC employed about 6,300 civilians at APG.

No "good numbers" were available yet as to how many civilian jobs could be eliminated, an APG spokesman said.

"We don't have a handle on how many people will take the early out," he said. "Some people who applied have already changed their minds and withdrew."

The Harford County executive 25 years ago wanted to change how school board members got their positions. Habern Freeman was advocating for three school board members to be elected by popular vote, with the other four appointed - two each by the governor and the county executive, with approval from the county council.

"I've always felt the people should have a voice, but the problem is if all the members are elected, then it is too political," Freeman said. "But if they are all appointed, then it is too 'eggheady'."

Vehicular manslaughter charges were filed in Baltimore County this week 25 years ago against the Joppatowne woman whose three children were killed when the car she was driving plunged into an abandoned quarry in White Marsh. Police said the 30-year-old woman was intoxicated when the crash occurred. She was able to escape the car with the help of passersby, but her car quickly went underwater in the quarry, trapping all three children, ages 8, 6 and 3 in the icy water. It took rescuers 19 to 90 minutes to get them all out of the water.

The older children had been students at Joppatowne Elementary.

A Baltimore County grand jury also indicted an Edgewood man this week 25 years ago on three counts of manslaughter by automobile in connection with an accident on I-95 in which three members of the same Churchville family were killed.

The man was believed to be under the influence when the crash that killed James Malecki, 9, his wife, Charlotte, 36, and their son, Steven, 14, who were on their way home from a Baltimore Blast soccer game.

Havre de Grace Middle Schooler Becky Meranski spelled curricle and ghastliness correctly to take first prize in the first countywide spelling bee 25 years ago. The eighth-grader beat 45 other students; finishing in second was Bill Harvey, of Southampton Middle, and third place went to Heather Morris, of Edgewood Middle.

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