Parents to meet principal over abuse arrests

The principal of Northeast High School is scheduled to meet with parents tonight to resolve their concerns about how the school has handled the arrests of two teachers on charges of child sexual abuse.

News of the principal's willingness to meet with parents forestalled a protest some had planned for yesterday, but the parents say they may yet picket the school.

Principal Joseph Carducci sent an announcement home with students Friday, promising to meet with parents at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Board of Education staff members and the board's lawyer, P. Tyson Bennett, will be on hand to answer parents' questions.

"Only written questions will be taken from members of the audience and read by a parent representative," stated the note sent home to parents. "This format was selected to ensure an orderly dialogue and allow persons hesitant to speak the opportunity to participate."

The announcement of the meeting came one day after the president of the County Council of PTAs met with state School Superintendent Nancy Grasmick, who promised to look into why Mr. Carducci had not met with parents since the arrest of the first teacher, Ronald Walter Price, in April. A second teacher, Laurie Susanne Cook, was arrested this month.

Kmart challenges law that limits sign size

The Kmart Corp., which has a store at Jumpers Hole Road and Ritchie Highway, is challenging a county ordinance that limits the size of commercial signs.

The retailer wants to replace its main logo on the store front with four smaller signs, advertising its garden and automotive shops, pharmacy and a Little Caesar's pizza store. But an administrative hearing officer has ruled that that would violate the county's sign ordinance. In fact, hearing officer Robert Wilcox concluded that Kmart's existing logo is more than twice as big as legally allowed.

Mr. Wilcox, in a recent decision, ruled that Kmart could add a sign for Little Caesar's, which operates independently of the retailer, but he also said that Kmart must replace its 500-square-foot logo with a 200-square-foot sign.

Kmart is to challenge the ruling before the county Board of Appeals at 6:30 p.m. June 7 in the County Council chambers in Annapolis.

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