Harford school system ponders leasing space along Route 24 corridor [25 years ago]

From The Aegis dated June 16, 1988:

Deputy Superintendent for Harford Schools Alden Halsey said school system leaders could start looking at leasing space in area churches or elsewhere along the Route 24 corridor as early as 1989.

"I don't like to have this as a legacy for my successor - what a mess," departing superintendent A.A. Roberty said.

Ray Keech got glowing remarks from the president of the Bay City Education Association, which represented teachers in the Bay City, Mich., public school system, where Keech was superintendent. He was leaving Michigan behind though, to become superintendent of Harford's school system.

"Dr. Keech is aggressive, open, positive and hard-working," wrote Larry Piotrowski in a letter of recommendation. "Dr. Keech is a strong supporter of teachers and believes that when they are professionally satisfied they are the best public relations program a school district can have," he continued.

"You've got a good one in Ray Keech," he said.

Two Edgewood residents, one 20 and one 15, were charged this week 25 years ago with stabbing a 26-year-old man to death.

The two were accused of stabbing Thomas Cantler more times than could police could immediately determine just because, police said. The medical examiner was trying to make a definite count of stab wounds.

"I think they did it just for the hell of it, to prove what big men they were," Sgt. BJ Caudill of the Maryland State Police said. "They had talked about doing it for some time."

The two men accused both knew Mr. Cantler, and didn't like him. They were charged with first-degree murder; the 15-year-old as an adult.

Though it was still early summer, already water restrictions were in effect in Harford County 25 years ago.

A Havre de Grace man was killed 25 years ago this week in an 11-car pileup on Route 40, where a tractor trailer crashed into cars stopped at a red light.

Dennis Branscome, 44, died in the crash that sent one to shock trauma and injured seven others.

It had been six years since the county sold bonds, but it was planning to hit the market 25 years ago, preparing to open bids on $10 million in water and sewer facilities bonds.

The bond funds were to be used to build a second major water supply treatment plant in Havre de Grace, build a major sewer line along Route 40 from Joppatowne to Edgewood and undertake several utility service extensions to isolated areas around the county.

The county had an A-plus bond rating from Standard and Poors and A-1 from Moody's.

School system officials were painting a grim picture this week 25 years ago, saying only three elementary schools in the entire county had an available space, and even if the school system's budget were fully funded, overcrowding and at least some "short-term displacement" could be expected in some of the schools in the Bel Air/Route 24 corridor.

A new shopping center was proposed this week 25 years ago on 15 acres on the southeast corner of Beards Hill Road and Route 22. Called Market Center, the L-shaped complex would have about 100,000 square feet that was to include a supermarket. The property was being developed by Steven Hankins.

This week's familiar face was Gary Thomas, who had been working at the Joppa post office for the past six years. Thomas grew up in Joppatowne, where his parents bought one of the first homes in the second section of the community.

He had been an Explorer Scout and graduated from Edgewood High School, then joined the Navy, earning an associate's degree.

He told The Aegis meeting the public and solving their postal problems was the most enjoyable part of his responsibilities, but he also got "a kick out of" the newly hatched baby chicks imported from Pennsylvania in a old cardboard box and delivered by the post office.

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