It's mid-October. A deeper blush of red and gold envelops the trees, warm blankets are back on the beds, and the smell of politics is in the air.

The general election may be a week and a half away, but voters at Severn School already have gone to the polls to elect student leaders for the year.

The sophomore class selected as its president David LaChapelle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Adrian LaChapelle of Severna Park; and Daniel Odenwald, son of Mrs. Lynn Odenwald, also of Severna Park, as vice president.

The junior class elected as president Marisa Braun, daughter of Drs.

Martin and Roberta Braun of Severna Park; and as vice president Anne Schorreck, daughter of Ms. Lolly Schorreck of Crofton.

Severn seniors have chosen as their new president Nikki Huberfeld, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Huberfeld of Annapolis; and as vice president Tim Phillips, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Phillips of Crownsville.

Andy Plummer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Plummer of Annapolis, is the new student council president, while Brett Schelenski, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ted Schelenski of Millersville, is vice president.

Kids, give your Halloween costumes a trial run by entering the costume contest sponsored by the merchants of Park Plaza, across from Severna Park Mall, at 11 a.m. this Saturday.

Rain or shine, children in four age categories, from babies to 13-and-older, will register at the Long and Foster real estate office and parade to the APet store where all sorts of prizes will be awarded.

The entire family is invited to Cinderella's Masquerade Ball from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Severna Park High School.

Sponsored by the Children's Theater of Annapolis, the ball will benefit CTA's Miriam Wolfe Memorial Scholarship fund. You'll recall that Miriam, a gifted Severna Park High grad, CTA performer and college student, was on the Pan Am flight that was blown up over Lockerbee, Scotland, killing all on board.

Until the tower clock strikes the bewitching hour, party-goers will be treated to performances by CTA graduates, grown-ups will dance to the tunes of a disc jockey, and youngsters, ages 8 and older, will enjoy games and prizes.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students, and $40 per couple.

For more information, call 757-2281.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be on hand for the sixth annual Children's Halloween Safety Party from 1 to 4 p.m. this Sunday at the Arundel Center North Plaza in Glen Burnie.

This year's party features visits by the Ninja Turtles and Ronald McDonald, scarecrow making, a costume contest, and lots of treats, including pizza.

The event is co-sponsored by Anne Arundel County Community Services and AFSCME Local 582.

For more information, call Community Services Director Rosemarie Church at 222-6880.

Have you discovered your local YMCA? Some of us couldn't get along without its reasonable services.

To help pay its overhead, the Severna Park YMCA is conducting a flea market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

If you have usable items to donate for the sale, the Y will be happy to accept them the rest of this week.

Speaking of the Y, the next eight-week session of classes begins this coming week, and now is a good time to begin that fitness program.

The YMCA offers aerobics, floor work, yoga -- pre- and post-natal, and healthy back classes. Classes are held six days a week, and baby-sitting is available.

For more information, call 647-3800.

It's a fact. If you read to your child, your child is more likely to become an enthusiastic reader.

Jim Trelease, author of the internationally recognized "Read Aloud Handbook," will speak to parents and educators at 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis.

The first edition of his book was on The New York Times bestseller list for four months and the third edition is sold in more than 30 countries.

Trelease will discuss the benefits and techniques of reading aloud to children of all ages. He will talk about choosing the best books to read aloud and offer countermeasures for too much TV.

It's tough enough being a teen-ager, but when this is complicated by the death of a loved one, life can be unbearable.

The first session of the Arundel Hospice Bereavement Center's Support Group for Teens will meet 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Harundale Presbyterian Church across from Harundale Mall.

The group is free and professionally led.

Registration is required by Monday, Oct. 29. Call Betty Asplund at 987-2129 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Around here, if it's fall, it's fair time.

The UMW of Asbury United Methodist Church in Arnold will conduct a Crafts Bazaar from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in the fellowship hall.

Sales will include baked goods, jewelry, wreaths, handmade tree ornaments, flower arrangements, quilts, and many other arts and crafts.

Light refreshments will be available at reasonable prices.

This fall, the world is expanding for students at Chesapeake Academy.

Kindergarten children are finding out what it is like to be the parents, albeit adoptive parents, of an otter and a black leopard.

As part of the Baltimore Zoo's adopt-an-animal program, students of Mrs.

Binkley and Mrs. Stehl will earn the required donation by doing chores at home. In November, the children will visit their furry beneficiaries.

In what has become a lesson in both English and geography, Chesapeake second and third graders in Mrs. Merrill's classes are writing letters to our service men and women in the Middle East.

Each month, Chesapeake students study a famous artist. Vincent Van Gogh is being featured in October and guest performer Ted Brown will interpret the 19th-century, impressionistic painter.

The office of Gov. William Donald Schaefer has announced the appointment of Severna Park businessman Gene E. Floyd to a six-year term on the board of trustees of Anne Arundel Community College.

In 1963, Floyd, an Air Force veteran and former weather forecaster and cryptanalyst for the National Security Agency, opened his own company specializing in real estate sales, appraisal, and development.

Floyd, who attended the University of Maryland, the Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University, also served as a consultant for the Glen Burnie Urban Renewal Project from 1979-1984. The following year, he was appointed a special assistant to an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Chesapeake Dance Theatre Inc. has announced its new board of directors for the coming year. Officers are president Randy Brown; vice president for artistic design Ann Brown; vice president for corporate development Linda Gilligan; treasurer Judi Heineck; secretary Jean Mincher; and board member Beverly Layton.

CDT was created in March to promote modern dance as an art form.

Membership is open to teachers, musicians, dancers, and volunteers. For more information, call 647-5954.

The Severna Park Republican Women will have its regular club meeting and luncheon at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Chartwell Country Club.

Republican candidate for sheriff Robert Pepersack will discuss crime prevention. Nominees for club officers will be announced.

For information on club membership call Betty Vosburay, 757-0110. For luncheon information, call Rita Brandon at 987-0391.

This year, the Severna Park Jaycees will again sell luminaria kits.

The lighted candles in small paper bags symbolize the bonfires built by shepherds lighting the way to Bethlehem and have become one of the prettiest sights at holiday time in Severna Park. Entire neighborhoods have adopted the Spanish custom of placing the twinkling luminaria along front walks, creating a warm holiday glow.

The cost of each kit, containing 10 candles and bags with instructions, is a very reasonable $4, and proceeds will help the Jaycees make much-needed repairs to their community center.

Pickup day for the kits is Saturday, Dec. 8 at Severna Park High School.

To place your order, call 647-3596.

The thought for the day comes from our local fire department: Daylight savings time ends this weekend. When you turn your clocks back, start a new tradition. Change the batteries in all your smoke detectors.

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