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The Aegis
Harford County

Violent crime down, overall crime up 10 percent in Harford [25 years ago]

From The Aegis dated April 13, 1989:

Violent crime may have been down in 1988 in Harford County, but overall crime was up 10 percent, the Harford Sheriff's Office reported 25 years ago this week.

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Most of the increase was linked to theft-related crimes.

Overall, 3,196 theft cases were reported to the sheriff's office in 1988, compared to 2,909 in 1987.

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Crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and assault were down as much as 37 percent in 1988 compared to 1987. In 1988, 37 robberies were reported, down from the 59 reported in 1987. Murders dropped from seven to five.

Teachers in Harford County were working this week 25 years ago to put on a "1970s push" to get full funding of their negotiated 7.6 percent salary increase for the next year.

The 9 percent school system increase in Harford County Executive Habern Freeman's proposed budget would only cover a 5 percent teacher salary increase, School Superintendent Dr. Ray Keech said.

The school system and school board were planning to start asking for full funding during a day-long budget work session with the Harford County Council, which could restore the school system's full budget request.

"Our first priority will be teacher salaries," Keech said. "I believe we have the responsibility to honor negotiated contracts – school is a people business and that is where the first entry on our menu should be."

In the first week it was in service, the new Harford County Transportation Services was used by more than 250 riders.

"We are thrilled about the first week of operation. The ridership is going up each day," James Macgill, head of the Harford County Office on Aging, said.

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Anyone who had been in Harford for any length of time in 1989 was familiar with Betsy the cow. The mainstay of the Deaton farm in the middle of Bel Air, Betsy, the 29-year-old Jersey cow, died this week 25 years ago. She had grazed at the farm as restaurants, stores and Harford Mall were built up around the farm that had been owned by the late Glen Deaton. The farm had been sold to a Columbia developer and was to be converted to a strip shopping center, but only after the death of the bovine. Betsy was named after the daughter of the caretaker of Mr. Deaton's farm; they were born the same day.

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Three Harford residents died 25 years ago this week in a plane crash near Richmond, Va., on their way to an air show in Florida.

Killed were pilot Earl D. Jones Jr., of Jarrettsville, Rose M. Wilson, of Forest Hill, and Iris Wright Bailey, also of Forest Hill; James C. Wilson and Elizabeth Diane Jones survived the crash, but were in intensive care in a Virginia hospital.

"They lost their lives in their love for flying," said Larry Woodfin, a fellow pilot who owned a business at Forest Hill Business Airpark, where the group took off from.

A week after a man fell to his death from a rock out-cropping at Rocks State Park, park officials were considering putting up more signs to make visitors more aware of the dangers, but they had no intention of closing the King and Queen Seat to the public.

Three people had died in falls there in the previous seven years.

"We estimated that 30,000 to 40,000 people visited the rock out-cropping area last year," a park ranger said. "We believe that this is a legitimate recreational pursuit and, therefore, we do not want to close the Rocks to that activity."


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