The Aegis

Exec, new superintendent butt heads over need for new schools [25 years ago]

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From The Aegis dated July 14, 1988:

New Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Ray Keech had been on the job not even two weeks 25 years ago this week and already he was butting heads with Harford County Executive Habern Freeman.


The two were having a back and forth about the need for new schools.

In its capital plan to be reviewed in the fall, the school system was proposing six new elementary schools, one new middle school and a new school system headquarters be funded in 1989-1990;.


The proposal called for the county to fund $21 million and the state $17 million, and to have the county forward fund 65 percent of the state's portion, which Freeman balked at.

"We have a plan where we will spend $45 million for seven elementary schools, a middle school and school renovations - all in pay-as-you-go money," Freeman said. "We have no intention of going to the bond market and push any panic buttons just because someone says we've all of a sudden got a problem."

The county exec pointed out the school system had 34,000 students in 1975 and 11 fewer school buildings and that enrollment in September was projected to be less than 30,000.

It finally rained in Harford County 25 years ago this week, but brought with it winds up to 65 mph that knocked out power to much of the county.

The 911 center reported getting about 200 storm-related calls in a four-hour period one night, mostly for downed power lines. They were mainly from the southern and eastern part of the county.

Someone from the Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack said .73 inches of rain fell during the storm; it was the first significant rainfall of July.

"Big aggressive bumblebees" were wreaking havoc on neighborhoods in Fallston and Jarrettsville 25 years ago. Area residents said they were traveling in swarms throughout neighborhoods all day, unnerving animals and people.

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One person said there were so many outside over a neighbor's lawn that "it looked like there was a haze over the grass."


The Maryland Extension Office asked residents complaining about the bees to capture one and bring it to their office.

A bather found a Baltimore County woman murdered in Winter's Run swimming hole in Joppa 25 years ago this week. Police were still trying to trace her last steps to see if she had been sexually assaulted before she was killed. She was partially naked and her body was submerged about 6 feet of water and her throat had been cut.

Fire caused an estimated $100,000 damage to a White Hall barn 25 years ago this week. Several hundred bales of hay inside the barn, owned by Harold Smith of the 4400 block of Norrisville Road, also burned. The cause was still under investigation.

A Joppa man was credited with saving the life of a 26-year-old Churchville man who crashed his car into a concrete culvert.

Minutes after the car burst into flames, the Joppa man, Melvin Wehrman Jr., arrived and pulled the driver from the burning his car, "thus saving his life," a state police report read. Drinking and driving charges were pending against the driver who crashed.

Bel Air Plaza was hosting its annual sidewalk sale this week 25 years ago. Finkelstein's was offering a third to half off most things in the story, while Sears Surplus Store was selling all boys jeans $2 off surplus prices and Hunton's Sportfishing had Maxtec chest waders for $19.99.