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Call for Gun Purchase Background Checks

Following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton Conn., Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson spoke out against gun violence. In his speech, he described gun violence as a "public health epidemic" and called for a law supporting background checks for all gun purchases. "Enough is enough," Johnson said. "Law enforcement is calling on our elected officials to do what is right and responsible. They must act. It is time. There are no excuses."

Fatal Crash

At 2:40 a.m., Dec. 16, Baltimore County Police responded to the area of Garrison Forest Road and Nancy Ellen Way for a single vehicle crash. Police said the driver, 27-year-old Christopher Klinefelter of the unit block of Bosley Lane in Reisterstown, was traveling southbound on Garrison Forest Road. He failed to negotiate a curve in the road and crashed into a retaining wall. Klinefelter was taken to Northwest Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

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Stolen Vodka

Two women are being sought in the theft of two bottles of vodka from The Wine Post in Glyndon on Nov. 30. One of the women took two bottles of vodka off the shelf and placed them in a bag. Both women then fled towards Owings Mills Boulevard in a tan or silver Toyota Sienna van. For more information visit http://www.baltimorecounty.gov.

Historic Preservation Grants

The Maryland Historical Trust, an agency of the Maryland Department of Planning is accepting applications for FY 2013 capital grants under the MHT Historic Preservation Grant Program. Grants will only be awarded to assist properties on which MHT already holds a preservation easement recorded in the local land records on or before the application postmark deadline of Feb. 15. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations and local jurisdictions, business entities and individuals who are seeking funds for a preservation or development project that serves a high public purpose. The grant awards will be announced in late spring or early summer of 2013. The awards range from $5,000-$25,000. For more information, call 410-514-7634 or email araines@mdp.state.md.us.

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Free Parking for Holiday Shoppers

Approximately 1,735 parking meters will be decorated with red free parking bags in Catonsville, Towson, Parkville, Essex, Pikesville, Arbutus, Stoneleigh and Dundalk from Dec. 20-25. These spaces will allow shoppers two free hours of parking a day. Each of the spaces will be in front of locally owned shops and restaurants.

Woman of the Year Awards

The Baltimore County Commission for Women is accepting nominations for its annual "Woman of the Year" and "Young Woman of the Year" awards. Nominees must be women from Baltimore County who have made significant, unique and lasting contributions to the community, workplace, or school to further the interest of women. Nominees for "Young Woman of the Year" must be a high school senior attending a Baltimore County school. Previous winners and elected officials are not eligible to be nominated.

Nominations are due Jan. 11, 2013. For more information visit http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov, call 410-887-3448 or email women@baltimorecountymd.gov.

Memorial Tree

The 12th Annual Memorial Tree will be on view at the Eline Funeral Home, Reisterstown from December 2-23. The tree is decorated with the laser-engraved ornaments of each of the families they have served from December 2011-November 2012. Each ornament has the name, year of birth and death of the family member that has passed. Families are invited to stop by and view the tree and take their ornament with them to display in their own home.

Sweater Drive

Maryland Public Television is teaming up with area nonprofits to present its seventh Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive. The drive asks Maryland residents to contribute new or gently worn sweaters and other items of clothing to Goodwill stores, participating ZIPS Dry Cleaners or to a participating Girl Scout troop. The sweater drive ends January 15, 2013. For more information visit mpt.org/sweaterdrive.

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