Donation saves shelters
The two homeless families in shelters operated by the Human Services Programs of Carroll County Inc. didn't have to move out Friday.
A $32,000 contribution from an anonymous donor last week averted the closing of the shelters, Human Services Programs Director Sylvia Canon reported.
The shelters had been scheduled to close Friday after the agency was turned down for a $32,000 state grant that would have allowed it to continue to operate the program.
The $32,000 donation, a $1,000 donation from Grace Lutheran Church of Westminster and a small energy assistance grant will allow Human Services Programs to meet its $34,400 budget for the shelters for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Canon said.
The budget covers operation and maintenance costs for the two shelters, a five-bedroom apartment and a small house, and the salary for a case manager.
Canon said the donation was handled through an intermediary, and the Human Services Program staff had no contact with the donor.
The shelters housed a family of three and one of six last week. If the facilities had been closed, the families probably would have been offered the opportunity to split up, with the women and children assigned to the women's shelter in Westminster and men to the men's shelter in Eldersburg, Canon said.
AIDS video on hold
Parents will have a chance to watch and comment on a nine-minute videotape to be used in ninth-grade classes to teach about AIDS, before the Board of Education votes on it July 15.
The schools will schedule opportunities during the day and at night for parents to view the tape.
But the school board did make decisions Wednesday on other materials for the family life and sexuality curriculum -- including a decision not to distribute the "Get Help Index" from the county Rape Crisis Intervention Service.
In the 3-2 vote, Cheryl McFalls, Joseph Mish and Ann Ballard said no to the card, which included a heading for "Pregnancy/Abortion counseling," and listed the numbers of two agencies.
Voting for the card were Carolyn Scott and John Myers.
The first number listed was for the Alpha Agency, an anti-abortion group. The other was for Planned Parenthood, which includes abortion counseling among its gynecological services.
The bookmark-like green card also has numbers for police, drug-abuse counseling, a suicide hot line and other public health and service agencies.
The AIDS videotape shows several teens and young adults who have the fatal disease. The controversy has been over the fact that one man in the film is a homosexual, and that not enough emphasis is placed on abstinence.
However, school officials have said teachers would always bring up a discussion on abstinence when showing the film.
McFalls and Mish also voted against a film called "Kids to Kids," which discussed the changes in boys' and girls' bodies at puberty and would be shown in sixth grade.
McFalls objected to showing the girls the section about boys, and the boys the section about girls. Lohnes said state law requires that if boys and girls are separated, as Carroll County schools do for some sex education, they must be shown the same materials.
Gouge meets public
WESTMINSTER -- Carroll County Commissioner Julia Gouge will have a public meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in Room 07 of the County Office Building, 225 N. Court St.
Another public meeting will be from noon to 2 p.m. June 24 in Room 309 of the County Office Building.
All residents are welcome to attend the informal sessions, which are designed to address citizens' concerns and issues.
Students who take drivers education will have to pay a $65 fee to cover their on-road expenses, starting with summer school this month.
The Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to begin charging the $65 to compensate for money the state no longer provides counties for the program.
Superintendent R. Edward Shilling said that most surrounding counties don't offer driver education, except as part of adult evening classes.
In other business, the board voted to:
* Renew its contract with the law firm Blum, Yumkas, Mailman, Gutman and Denick at an annual retainer of $115,000. The retainer is the same as the current year's. The board also voted to approve an additional $30,000 in payments for the past 12 months to the firm for services above what the retainer covers.
* Hire the architectural firm of Smeallie, Orrick and Janka Ltd. of Baltimore to design the New Windsor Middle School.
Water bids received
The county opened a low bid of $671,611 Wednesday to construct a water system for about 52 homes in the Bark Hill, Key View and Star Court communities and Francis Scott Key High School.
The high bid of the six opened was $790,825 for the project, which is intended to supply clean water in an area whose wells have shown contamination. The low bidder was Gaines & Co. of Hunt Valley, Baltimore County.
County engineers estimated the job at $679,000.
The state Board of Public Works approved a $500,000 state grant in September to construct the community water system. The water system would serve an area between Bark Hill and Middleburg roads northeast of Union Bridge. The county is expected to pay the remainder.
Leaks have been detected from private septic systems in the area, causing well contamination. Contaminants have also leaked from an abandoned landfill nearby.
The water supply would be drawn from an existing deep well near Key High in Uniontown.