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In Baltimore County

Democratic Club in 10th District backs condemnation law

TOWSON - Members of the 10th Legislative District Democratic Club have voted to endorse Senate Bill 509, the neighborhood renewal law backed by Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.

In a statement, Ruppersberger called the endorsement a "real coup" because the legislative district includes part of the Liberty Road corridor that is among three areas targeted for revitalization - and possible condemnation - under the legislation.

The law, which has run into opposition on the county's east side, will be the subject of a referendum Nov. 7.

Pickup driver is killed after vehicle hits tree

ESSEX - The driver of a pickup truck was killed last night when he lost control of his truck and hit a tree in a rural section of southeastern Baltimore County near the Essex Skypark, county police said.

Police said the 1997 Ford pickup was heading west on Evergreen Lane about a quarter-mile west of Back River Neck Road shortly after 6 p.m when it left the roadway, struck a tree and burst into flames, police said.

The driver, who was alone in the truck, was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity was withheld pending notification of family members.

Mount de Sales Academy to hold homecoming Oct. 7

CATONSVILLE - Homecoming for Mount de Sales Academy will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 7 at the campus, 700 Academy Road.

Fall crafts, entertainment and food will be featured, along with alumnae vs. varsity basketball and lacrosse games. All proceeds will benefit the Alumnae Scholarship Fund.

Information: 410-744-8498.

Dundalk pianist, 10, wins talent search contest

Joseph Davis Jr., a 10-year-old pianist from Dundalk, captured the grand prize at the McDonald's Kids Talent Search Saturday at Security Square Mall in Woodlawn.

Joseph earned a free trip to New York City and a chance to appear on "It's Showtime at the Apollo," the nationally syndicated television show taped at the Apollo Theater.

Second-place honors went to a sister act from Baltimore - Jacquese Johnson, 8, and Taryn Johnson, 9 - who performed a dance routine. Percussionist Otto Grosse II, 12, of Owings Mills, took third place. The program, which had comedian Rudy Rush as host, featured 50 performers between the ages of 5 and 12.

Heritage Society to hold Maryland Mystery Tour

ESSEX - The Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River will sponsor its annual Maryland Mystery Tour from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. According to the society, the tour aims to "explore Maryland's unique places off the beaten path to learn more about this place we call home."

The tour costs $25 per person. The fee covers admissions, transportation and refreshments. Lunch and dinner are not included.

Information: 410-574-6934.

Notre Dame Prep students honored for achievement

TOWSON - Two students at Notre Dame Preparatory School have been recognized by the Maryland Distinguished Scholars program for their academic accomplishments.

Stephanie Sellinger, a senior from Lutherville, will receive a $3,000 scholarship to attend a Maryland college or university. Lacy Gill, a senior from Reisterstown, will be placed on an alternates list and might be offered a scholarship not used by a finalist.

About 3,600 students applied to the program, with 366 selected as finalists, all of whom have high grade point averages or excellent scores on the PSAT or SAT. Information: Maryland Higher Education Commission, 410-260-4500.

In Baltimore City

Society opens housing for 15 homeless families

The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Baltimore held a grand opening Saturday of its Cottage Avenue Community in Park Heights, a project that provides transitional housing and supportive services for 15 homeless families.

The organization restored 12 vacant rowhouses near its St. Ambrose Family Outreach Center. The families of the Cottage Avenue Community will receive services through the Outreach Center.

St. Vincent de Paul also operates Beans & Bread, a meal program and learning center; Camp St. Vincent, a free summer camp for low-income children; and prison outreach and emergency assistance programs.

5,000 walk to raise funds for diabetes research

More than 4,000 people participated a walk-a-thon yesterday at the Baltimore Zoo to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

About 1,000 people attended the Howard County Walk at Centennial Park on Saturday, said spokeswoman Marjorie Valin. She said the events were expected to raise an estimated $700,000.

The walk-a-thons raise money for research.

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