In Baltimore CitySchools set to open today...


In Baltimore City

Schools set to open today for city's 94,000 students

Most of Baltimore's 94,000 public school students are scheduled to begin classes today as nearly all of the district's 179 schools open their doors for the new academic year.

A handful of schools, including Southern and Northern high schools and Lake Clifton/Eastern High School, will have delayed or staggered openings, but all students are scheduled to be back in their classrooms by the end of the week. Changes at city schools this year include the division of Northern High into three smaller schools; a new digital high school housed at Southern; and financial and travel/tourism academies located at Port Discovery near the Inner Harbor.

As the school year begins, the school system will be coping with a large number of students who will be required to repeat grades and will need extra help. Last week, school officials said about 20,000 pupils in grades one through eight - more than a quarter of the children in those grades - failed to meet new, tougher promotion standards.

Women's Bar sponsoring state's attorney debate

The Baltimore Women's Bar is sponsoring a debate today among the candidates for city state's attorney - incumbent Patricia C. Jessamy, longtime lawyer Anton J.S. Keating and City Councilwoman Lisa Joi Stancil.

The debate will begin at 6 p.m. at the Moot Court Room of the University of Baltimore Law School, 1415 Maryland Ave. It will be moderated by Kristen A. Brinster, president of the Baltimore Women's Bar.

At 5:30 p.m., a reception will be held in the atrium adjacent to the Moot Court Room. Democratic voters will select the next state's attorney in the Sept. 10 primary, as no Republican candidate filed.

'Dragon boat' races to aid Catholic Charities work

Catholic Charities will hold "dragon boat" races from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 14 in the Inner Harbor.

Teams sponsored by corporations will compete in elimination heats to raise money for 80 programs benefiting children, families, older people and those with developmental problems. The other goal for the teams - competing in boats modeled after Chinese craft - is to win the Dragon Cup.

Catholic Charities serves more than 160,000 people in the Baltimore area.

In Baltimore County

Businesses hurt by drought may be eligible for loans

TOWSON - Baltimore County has announced that businesses suffering financial hardship because of the drought might be eligible for public assistance.

Companies seeking to purchase equipment to recycle or conserve water, or hoping to drill new wells, may qualify for loans from the Baltimore County Small Business Loan Fund or the Revolving Loan Fund.

On Friday, County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger sent letters to the county's largest employers and to 1,500 members of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce urging them to conserve water and alerting them to possible aid through the county Department of Economic Development. Information: 410-887-8000.

Area population figures to be presented Thursday

TOWSON - Dunbar Brooks, director of metropolitan research for the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, will present the latest population figures for Baltimore County and the surrounding area to the Baltimore County Planning Board on Thursday.

In his presentation, part of a speaker series on Smart Growth and community design, Brooks will discuss how population trends will affect growth and development in the county.

Brooks will speak at 4 p.m. in Room 407 of the County Courts Building, 401 Bosley Ave.

Catonsville festival events to include race, Funwalk

CATONSVILLE - The Western Family YMCA will hold its fourth annual 5-kilometer race and Funwalk at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The race will begin and end at Bill's Music House, 743 Frederick Road. The entry fee is $20. Registration will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Bill's and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the YMCA, 850 S. Rolling Road.

The race is part of Catonsville Festival Weekend and is the opening event leading to the Catonsville Arts Festival on Sunday. Information: 410-747-9622.

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