Council to consider 7 appointments

The Harford County Council is expected to consider seven recent appointments and reappointments made by County Executive James M. Harkins, when it meets Tuesday.

Alexander C. Burdette of Bel Air is seeking council confirmation of his appointment as the student representative to the Commission on Disabilities for fiscal year 2004. He is a senior at C. Milton Wright High School.

Nancy L. Dow of Bel Air has been reappointed to the Department of Social Services Advisory Board. With council support, she will serve a three-year term expiring June 30, 2006.

Harkins has presented three new appointments and two reappointments to the Towing Appeals Board. Willa J. Harkins of Harford County Inspections, Licenses and Permits; and Jerry N. Thompson, from a licensed towing company, are seeking reappointment to the board.

Seeking appointment to the same board are Lt. John Bowman of the Harford County Sheriff's Office; Joseph G. Neukum, from a licensed towing company; and Hirl S. Foley of Joppa, as the citizen at large.

Upon council confirmation, the five will serve terms coterminous with the county executive expiring Dec. 4, 2006.

Six repair projects cause road closures

Six road work projects are included in the latest county road closure report.

The bridge-painting and deck-replacement project on Harmony Church Road between Glenville and Deths Ford roads is expected to be completed next month.

Two projects are expected to be completed in October: the stream bank stabilization project on Patterson Mill Road between Route 924 and Wheel Road; and road reconstruction on Windy Laurel Way, between Box Hill South Parkway and Copper Ridge Road.

November remains the target completion month for three other projects: bridge reconstruction on Singer Road, between Atkisson and Clayton roads; bridge replacement on Turner Road, between Houcks Mill and Pocock roads; and bridge repair work on Onion Road, between Scott Road and Route 136.

Medical examiner identifies pilot in crash

The body of a pilot killed in a crash Sunday was identified Tuesday through dental records as John Robert Martin, 64, of the 2100 block of High Point Road in Forest Hill, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies cleared the crash scene Tuesday morning, said spokesman Edward Hopkins, and a cleanup crew from the Environmental Protection Agency was removing jet fuel-contaminated soil from the site.

Martin was killed when his Aero L-39Z0 Albatros, a two-seat Czech military training jet, crashed into a house on Rocks Road in Forest Hill and burst into flames.

Police plan checkpoint for driver sobriety

The Harford County Sheriff's Office and the Aberdeen Police Department will conduct a joint sobriety checkpoint in the Aberdeen area Friday.

This checkpoint is part of a national campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to crack down on drunken driving. Jurisdictions participating in the campaign include Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Statistics indicate that alcohol-related crashes are on the rise. Since January, Harford sheriff's deputies have arrested 384 drivers on DWI charges, according to Sgt. Joseph VanSeeters of the Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit. "Fortunately, we have not experienced any alcohol-related fatalities this year" in Harford County, VanSeeters said.

Hearing scheduled on services for elderly

The Harford County Office on Aging will hold a public hearing on its Area Plan for Services for the Elderly for 2004-2006. The session will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the McFaul Activities Center, 525 W. MacPhail Road, Bel Air.

Submitted to the Maryland Department of Aging, the plan specifies how the Office on Aging will plan, coordinate and fund services for the elderly in Harford County. The Office on Aging's plans for senior information and assistance, in-home services, transportation, health, legal services, the ombudsman program, senior centers and nutrition programs are included in the plan.

Senior citizens and others interested in the future of services for seniors in Harford County are welcome. Reservations are required for lunch after the hearing.

Information: the Office on Aging, 410-638-3025.

County to conduct water line maintenance

The Harford County Public Works Department's Water and Sewer Division will conduct its biannual flushing from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 15 to Oct. 31, officials announced last week.

There may be a temporary discoloration of the water, changes in water pressure or temporary interruption of water service. The potability and safety of the water will not be affected, officials said.

"We request the understanding of customers and we apologize for any inconvenience created by the flushing operation," said County DPW Water and Sewer Facilities Chief E.L. Kimmel.

Information: 410-612-1612.

Harford man hospitalized with West Nile infection

A 76-year-old Harford County resident hospitalized with encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, has become the first Marylander confirmed this year as a victim of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, the state health department announced last week.

Health officials said confirmation tests are not complete on another suspected West Nile victim -- a 58-year-old Frederick County woman whose illness was announced Aug. 18.

Last year, 36 cases of West Nile illness were detected among the 800 Marylanders tested. Seven of the victims died. Nationally, more than 770 cases of West Nile illness have been reported this year in 32 states. There have been 17 deaths.

Two gunmen sought in Abingdon robbery

Harford sheriff's deputies were searching for two gunmen who robbed a Philadelphia Road convenience store before fleeing on foot.

Just before 3 a.m. Tuesday, the 32-year-old clerk on duty at the 7-Eleven in the 3500 block of Philadelphia Road, Abingdon, went out through the rear door of the store, where the two men were waiting, said Harford sheriff's office spokesman Edward Hopkins. One of the men, wearing a dark blue ski mask and gloves, grabbed the clerk by the hair, dragging her back into the store and demanding money from the register, Hopkins said.

His accomplice, wearing a red bandana over his face, accosted two male witnesses outside the store, striking one in the face as he ordered them to the ground, he said. The assailants, each carrying a revolver, fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash toward Abingdon Road and Route 7, Hopkins said.

Cecil County

State police increase checks on alcohol sales

State police have stepped up compliance checks at stores selling alcoholic beverages in the southwestern corner of Cecil County after a car crash that killed three young people on Carpenters Point Road, Perryville, Aug. 13. Accident investigators think speed and alcohol were factors in the crash, state police said.

Investigators and police cadets have checked 23 establishments in Conowingo, Rising Sun and Elkton, issuing five citations.

Sale of alcoholic beverages to a person younger than 21 is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and suspension of the seller's license.

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