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Lack of progress seen in black students'...


Lack of progress seen in black students' grades

ANNAPOLIS -- Little has been done to help improve the academic achievement of black males since a special panel made recommendations to the county school board three years ago, a member of that panel has complained.

Yevola Peters, who has served on a number of school committees, said that school officials have implemented only one of some half-dozen recommendations.

Meanwhile, academic achievement continues to lag. Statistics released last week show that 60 percent of high school-age black males have less than a "C" average.

Board members, who first saw the figures when reviewing a policy that requires students to maintain at least a "C" average to participate in sports, said they knew they had a problem, but didn't realize how bad it was.

Vincent O. Leggett, board president, called for an action plan, vowing he would not "let this get swept under the rug."

Coke plant to invigorate economy, officials say



ELLICOTT CITY -- As far as Howard County is concerned, things will indeed go better with Coke, local business people say. Much, much better.

It's not merely the $4 million a year the company is expected to add to the county budget by way of corporate property taxes or the 700 new workers who will be assigned to Coke's state-of-the-art production and distribution facility in Dorsey.

It's also what Rouse Co. Vice President Alton J. Scavo ecstatically calls "the wonderful spinoffs" -- a new economic vitality created by an increased demand for local goods and services combined with help for schools and non-profits from "an established, world-class corporate citizen."

If half of the expected 900 employees live in the county in an average-priced $184,000 home and earn the county median household income of $54,348, the county would collect $366,849 more in local income taxes and $857,808 more in personal property taxes, county officials estimated.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Northeast, which paid $15.2 million for the site, will build a $100 million to $200 million syrup and bottling plant on a 120-acre site at Parkway Corporate Center east of U.S. Route 1 near the Anne Arundel County line.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer, County Executive Charles I. Ecker, and Henry Schimberg, the president and chief operating officer of the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., will attend an announcement ceremony today.

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