Schmoke aide is named to Arundel County...


Schmoke aide is named to Arundel County post

Kevin S. O'Keefe, director of government relations for Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, has been named to a similar position in the administration of Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens.

O'Keefe, 35, will replace Catherine Kelly, who resigned recently from the $71,000-a-year job as the county's government relations officer -- responsible for promoting the administration's legislative initiatives to the General Assembly and the County Council.

A graduate of Georgetown University School of Law, O'Keefe spent the past five years in the Schmoke administration, first as deputy director and since 1997 as executive director of government relations.

He served on the 12-member transition team of Gov. Parris N. Glendening in late 1994 and early 1995, and was formerly director of government relations for Baltimore schools. He has worked as assistant to the president of the Baltimore Development Corp., special aide to Schmoke, and as an usher for the Baltimore Orioles from 1982 to 1986 -- while he was an undergraduate at Georgetown.

O'Keefe was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1989.

He assumes his new position on Dec. 9 -- two days after Schmoke steps down as mayor.

Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking is Dec. 11

Arundel Habitat for Humanity is planning a Dec. 11 groundbreaking ceremony for two houses in the Clay Street community of Annapolis.

The houses on West Washington Street represent Arundel Habitat's first new-construction projects in the area, although a major renovation was completed on Bates Street in the past year.

A total of four new homes are expected to be completed during the next year, furthering the goal of the Clay Street Improvement Association and Clay Street Revitalization Committee of increasing home ownership.

Eligible families -- with income of $10,000 to $30,000 a year and living in substandard conditions -- are being sought for three of the new homes. They are required to contribute "sweat equity" by working on Habitat homes and pay a small mortgage.

Habitat team members will take part in the 9 a.m. groundbreaking and will be available to answer questions about the program. Information: 410-384-9212.

Art exhibit, sale to open at Maryland Hall

An alternative to mall shopping for the holidays opens with a dessert reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

The annual "Deck the Hall" art exhibition and sale features works by artists of all ages and levels of skill, with most items priced in the $150 range. A percentage of the proceeds supports Maryland Hall's Visual Arts Program.

The sale will continue through Dec. 21 on the first and second floors of Maryland Hall, at 801 Chase St., Annapolis. Information: 410-263-5544.

Volunteer drivers sought during winter storms

The Anne Arundel County EMS/Fire/Rescue's Emergency Management Bureau is seeking owners of four-wheel-drive vehicles who are willing to provide transportation for medical personnel, emergency workers or dialysis patients during winter storms.

The bureau matches people in need of transportation with volunteer drivers.

To be added to the list of volunteers, or for additional information on the program: 410-222-8040.

Winter trip schedule announced by county

The county Department of Recreation and Parks has announced a schedule of winter and spring trips that include post-holiday shopping and a concert.

An "After Christmas Shop 'Til You Drop" trip will be taken on Jan. 15 to Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, Va.

A trip to a Roy Clark concert at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Pa., is planned for Feb. 12 and includes time for shopping at Rockvale Square. The $85 cost includes bus transportation, a buffet dinner at Miller's Smorgasbord and show ticket.

Information: 410-222-7300.

Dec. 13 deadline to change party affiliation for primary

The county Board of Elections has issued a party-hopping reminder: The deadline to change party affiliation for voting in Maryland's March 7 presidential primary is 9 p.m. Dec. 13.

To change party, a voter should appear at the election office, 7320 Ritchie Highway, in the county's Glen Burnie office building; or send a request by mail -- with the voter's signature -- to P. O. Box 490, Glen Burnie 21060-0490 in time to ensure receipt by the deadline.

The last day to register to vote -- or for the elderly or disabled to apply for reassignment to a more accessible polling place -- is Feb. 11.

All county libraries will be open until 5 p.m. that day; the Board of Elections office will be open until 9 p.m.

Information: 410-222-6600.

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