THB, Banditos, Wayward and more confirmed for Cosmic Cocktail!




McDonogh School starts capital funds campaign

McDonogh School has started a $50 million capital campaign that school officials say is the largest ever undertaken by a private school in Maryland.

The school has raised $26 million for projects including endowment funding for faculty compensation, need-based student scholarships, preservation of buildings on the 132-year-old campus and construction of a new swimming pool. Of that, $13 million has come from the Rollins-Luetkemeyer Foundation, which awarded McDonogh a $20 million matching grant in February 2004.

The Rollins-Luetkemeyer gift was the largest in McDonogh's history and at the time was the largest made to any Mid-Atlantic private school.

McDonogh is a college preparatory school with 1,258 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

- Sara Neufeld


Free seminars scheduled on how to manage diabetes

The Enoch Pratt Free Library is cosponsoring a series of free seminars on how to understand, manage and treat diabetes. Walgreen's pharmacists are leading the sessions, which are funded through a $25,000 grant as part of a national health education seminar series.

The seminars are scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the library's central branch, 400 Cathedral St.; 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at 6310 Reisterstown Road; 11:30 a.m. June 16 at 3323 Eastern Ave. in Highlandtown; 11:30 a.m. June 21 at 1531 W. North Ave.; and 11 a.m. July 19 at 3023 Garrison Blvd. in Forest Park.


Greek folk festival planned this weekend at church

The St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival will be held this weekend at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 520 S. Ponca St.

This year's theme is "Family," and it "celebrates the influence of morals and values in the Greek community," according to the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.

The opening ceremony will be at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. tomorrow, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.


Top three officers resign from city schools police

The three highest-ranking officers in Baltimore schools' Police Department have resigned, authorities said yesterday.

School police Chief Paul R. Benson and Lts. Richard Damon and John Cunningham resigned Monday, a school spokeswoman said.

Benson joined the school police in 2002 and was named police chief this school year. Until a replacement is found, the city Police Department's Deputy Maj. Sandra Potts will serve as interim school police chief.

Damon had been an employee since 1988, and Cunningham had been with the school system nearly three years.

Chief Operating Officer Eric T. Letsinger, who oversees the system's 84-officer Police Department, declined to comment on why the three resigned.

"We have begun a national search for new leadership," said Letsinger, who left the city housing department last month to take the school system job.

"The mayor and the police commissioner have generously loaned us senior leaders from the Baltimore Police Department to help support us until we bring on our new leadership team," he said.

- Laura Loh


MVA Express office in Towson is moving to North Plaza Mall

The Motor Vehicle Administration's Express office in Baltimore County will move this fall from the Shops at Kenilworth in Towson to North Plaza Mall in Parkville, the MVA said yesterday.

The new location was chosen from among 14 potential sites in the area, said James F. Ports Jr., deputy secretary for the state Department of Transportation. Express offices allow customers to renew driver's licenses, return vehicle tags and obtain driving records and identification cards, the MVA said.

The operators of the Shops at Kenilworth told the MVA 18 months ago that its lease would not be renewed, Ports said, ending a 16-year relationship. The shopping center wanted to pursue "alternate plans" for the space, according to the MVA. Ports said the center did not submit a bid on the MVA's proposal for a new office.

Attempts to obtain comment yesterday from management at the Shops at Kenilworth were unsuccessful.

- Danny Jacobs


Police officers recognized for work with mentally ill

Police officers from Baltimore and Baltimore County are among several people being honored by the Nation's Voice on Mental Illness for their work to improve the lives of people with special needs.

City Officer Charles Hinkel took a course on how emergency workers should respond to people suffering from mental illness and has worked with judges, attorneys and fellow officers to better help those in need.

Sgt. Randall Miller of the Baltimore County force expanded the county's Crisis Response System to ensure that mental health workers are called to police incidents involving the mentally ill.


Saturday's Leon Day Festival to include parade, ballgames

A parade, Little League baseball games and appearances by several Negro League baseball players will be featured at the annual Leon Day Festival, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Leon Day Park in the 1200 block of N. Franklintown Road.

The free event commemorates the 10th anniversary of Baltimore resident Leon Day's election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. He died of heart failure at 78, six days after learning of his election to the hall as a Negro League pitcher.

Negro League players Bert Simmons of the Baltimore Elite Giants and Al Burrows of the New York Black Yankees are scheduled to attend Saturday, and games, vendors, storytelling and music are planned.

Information: 410-945-6258.


Sheriff's Office plans larger home-detention program

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office will expand its home-detention program to accommodate as many as 40 inmates who meet criteria that would allow them to finish their sentences at home.

The program has had 84 participants since it began a year ago and can now handle 25 inmates at a time. Twenty-two inmates, who are typically in the last 120 days of their sentences, are on home detention this month. Each detainee pays for drug testing, plus $70 weekly to participate in the program, officials said.

It costs $51.54 per day to house prisoners at the Carroll County Detention Center in Westminster. The home-detention program helped save the county nearly $130,000 in housing costs this fiscal year, which ends June 30, officials said.

"We have been successful with this program, and we are proud of it," said Major Stephen C. Reynolds, commander of the administrative services bureau at the detention center. "We are freeing up beds and minimizing the inmate population."

The jail's near-capacity status has officials considering expansion or new construction. The home-detention program is giving the county time to consider its options.

"We are looking for ways to buy time and space and to keep beds empty," said Ted Zaleski, county director of management and budget.

Expanding the program will also mean hiring another deputy by July 1 to do job and home site tests.

"The intent is to return these people to the community and closely monitor them," Reynolds said. "Violators go immediately back to prison."

- Mary Gail Hare

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