The Aegis
Harford County

Turkey visits Youth's Benefit to celebrate Thanksgiving [25 years ago]

From The Aegis dated Nov. 24, 1988:

Harford was getting ready for Thanksgiving 25 years ago this week, and students at Youth's Benefit Elementary School in Fallston got a visit from Tom Turkey, a 40-pound bronze breed who was not going to be the main course this year.


Owned by Louise Stifler, of Scarff Road, the 6-year-old turkey was brought to school by Stifler's daughter so the students could appreciate it.

Brought in his own private horse van, Tom stood, peered at the children and on occasion gave a quick gobble or two, to the delight of the students.


"That's about all he does," Cynthia Warner said.

The day after Thanksgiving, Santa Claus was set to arrive at Frank's Nursery & Crafts on Belair Road in Fallston. He was set to come by limousine to the store that planned its Christmas Trim-A-Home two-day sale with everything Christmas marked down, including festival candles 33 percent off, cards 50 percent off and $15 to $120 off fake Christmas trees (plus another 10 percent for customers turning in their old ones).

In Harford's public schools over the previous five years, 44 students had been expelled for brining dangerous weapons onto school grounds.

A 14-year-old at Magnolia Middle School was the most recent case; he was suspended for five days then expelled.

The school system called its discipline policy regarding dangerous weapons "prescriptive," and said it was determined to keep local school free of weapons.

In 1979, the county's assessable tax base was $1 billion; by 1989, it was expected to double to $2 billion.

Those were the figures the county and state were working with 25 years ago as they prepared to send out 14,818 residents whose properties were reassessed - mainly in the county's northern tier, where some property values went up drastically.

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"There are some very large increases in the reassessments," which hadn't been done in that area since 1985.


Despite the projected doubling of the assessable base in 10 years, the period between fiscal year 1987-88 and 1988-1989 saw the limited growth.

The school system and Harford County Education Association — the teacher's union — were taking their negotiations outside Harford 25 years ago this week. The "marathon" bargaining session wasn't expected to end until an agreement was reached.

There was no word whether the county's 1,800 teachers would be getting pay raises.

A group had formed 25 years ago and was looking for people interested in preserving Battery Island and its lighthouse. The Battery Island Preservation Society, led by Elsie Stackhouse, was planning to meet in early January and would welcome anyone who was hoping to maintain the island.

Merry-Go-Round was holding a "colossal inventory warehouse sale" at its White Marsh warehouse, where everything was 50 to 75 percent off normal retail prices, including brand name fashions like I.O.U., Calvin Klein, Jordache, Pepe and Z Cavaricci.

With an 18-0 win over Milford Mill, the Havre de Grace Warriors were a game away 25 years ago from a return trip to the state football finals.