In Baltimore County
Contractor slices cables. cutting Essex phone service
ESSEX - At least 260 Bell Atlantic customers in the Essex area were left without service yesterday afternoon when a contractor doing work at 1010 Old Eastern Ave. near Middlesex Shopping Center cut three cables, severing two.
The number of customers without telephone service could grow to 4,800, said Bell Atlantic spokeswoman Sandra Arnette, adding that "the 260 number just includes the people without service who have contacted us. There will be others who come home to discover they don't have dial tone."
Arnette said crews will work around the clock to restore service to customers by tomorrow or Friday at the earliest. Affected exchanges are 686, 687, 391, 574, 682, 780 and 918.
Ruppersberger declines debate on renewal plan
TOWSON - County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger declined an invitation yesterday to participate in a debate on his revitalization plan that includes condemnation power in several areas, including Essex and Middle River.
The debate is sponsored by The Avenue, a weekly community newspaper, and is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at Kenwood High School. Ruppersberger would have faced Del. James F. Ports Jr., a Perry Hall Republican, who opposes the new law.
Jean A. Flanagan, editor of The Avenue, said the event will be held. Ruppersberger said he will conduct an "educational campaign" on neighborhood renewal that will include debates, guided by rules established by his administration.
Police seek witness to fatal accident
TOWSON - County police said they are looking for a driver they believe witnessed a fatal accident Monday on Seminary Avenue.
Phillip Smith, 40, of the 8000 block of Jeffers Circle was walking across the road near Jamieson Road about 9:30 a.m. when he was struck by a Airborne Freight van. Police determined that the accident resulted from Smith's error.
Anyone with information should call Baltimore County police at 410-887-2198.In Baltimore City
Sharpton urges blacks to continue freedom fights
The Rev. Al Sharpton was in Baltimore last night urging African-Americans to continue the freedom fights of their martyred ancestors while criticizing racial profiling and police brutality.
Sharpton, a New York City minister known for outspoken stands on issues involving police and blacks, spoke at a rally organized by former state Sen. Larry Young at Empowerment Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church, 401 W. Fayette St.
Sharpton urged the 400 or so in attendance to join him Aug. 26 in the March on Washington to "redeem the dream" made famous in the 1963 march on the capitol led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Group to feature Payne, honor Banfield at meeting
City Housing Commissioner Patricia J. Payne will speak at the annual meeting of Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc. at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Edward A. Myerberg Northwest Senior Center, 3101 Falls Road.
At the meeting, CHAI will give its "Public Servant of the Year" award to Gilbert Banfield, director of the Northwest Neighborhood Service Center.
OlympiKids competition for fourth-graders today
More than 500 fourth-graders will participate in the Mayors' OlympiKids for Fitness Track Competition from 10 a.m. to noon today at the Poly-Western track , 4600 Falls Road.
The children will compete in three track and field events. Also, Arlene Limas, gold medalist in Taekwondo in the 1988 Olympics, will give a demonstration of that martial art.
Awards will be given to winners of OlymiKids essay, poetry and poster contests.