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WESTMINSTER -- Cranberry Mall has closed its...


WESTMINSTER -- Cranberry Mall has closed its doors on Carroll County Citizens for Charter Government and its charter petition drive.

The group needs about 2,000 more signatures in order to require the Board of County Commissioners to appoint a charter-writing board.

Collecting the signatures at Carroll's busiest mall would help supporters meet their goal of 4,000.

Shopco, the New York-based owner, bans any political activity at the mall.

"We try to give our shoppers a pleasant experience, unhindered by civic responsibilities," said Sherrie Little, Cranberry marketing director.

ELLICOTT CITY -- The Howard County Office of Human Rights is going forward with an investigation of civil rights complaints filed by an anti-smoking group against 13 county restaurants, according to the group.

"It's passed the first hurdle," said Al Ertel, co-chairman of the Coalition for Smoke Free Maryland Workplaces based in Rockville. "We think we're onto something."

The civil rights complaints -- against five Columbia-area restaurants and eight restaurants in Ellicott City -- are part of the group's strategy to eliminate smoking in all restaurants in Howard County, already subject to the strictest anti-smoking law in the state.

Executive Ecker considers pulling out of Tipton deal


ELLICOTT CITY -- Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker may back out of the tentative deal to take over Tipton Army Airfield at Fort Meade unless the Army agrees to take legal responsibility for any environmental problems left behind on the 310-acre site.

Since November 1995, the Army has been clearing the site of shells, grenades and other remnants of its military past so Howard and Anne Arundel counties can turn Tipton into a civilian airport.

But in the middle of negotiations to ratify that deal, Ecker has said that the Army's proposed lease agreement would burden the counties with legal liability should more environmental problems turn up at the airport.

BALTIMORE -- State officials are holding a hearing today to get public comment on four programs that provide assistance in grooming, eating and other personal care for the disabled and elderly. A task force has been studying ways to consolidate the programs.

The group, which plans to make recommendations to the governor this month, may suggest changes, such as use of the same application packet.

The hearing is from 11 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. at the Gateway Building, 6751 Gateway Drive, Columbia. Information: (410) 333-3098.

Pub Date: 12/06/96


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