Baltimore County Digest


Cockeysville contractor charged in state probe

A Cockeysville concrete contractor faces criminal charges as part of a continuing investigation by the state attorney general's office into construction projects at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the state attorney general's office said yesterday.

Patrick R. Sisk, 49, was charged this week in Baltimore County Circuit Court with felony theft, conspiracy to commit theft and bribery, according to the attorney general's office. He is accused of colluding with a UMBC construction manager to send fake or exaggerated invoices to UMBC between August 1999 and May 2004.

Charging documents said Sisk kicked back more than $100,000 in proceeds to the construction manager and others, the attorney general's office said. Kevin J. Enright, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said only that the investigation is continuing.

Sisk is the second person charged in the investigation, the attorney general's office said. In December, the office said that it had filed a charge of felony theft in county Circuit Court against Joseph A. Shryock of Catonsville.

Shryock, 47, was a project manager in the facilities management department before resigning to take another job, a UMBC spokesman said. Shryock is accused of charging to UMBC in 2003 the cost of bathroom fixtures, valued at nearly $3,000, that he installed in his home, charging documents say.

Liz F. Kay


Businesses to get interest-free grants

Interest-free loans and grants will be made available to downtown Pikesville businesses that make exterior improvements using designs recommended in a county-funded architectural plan, Baltimore County officials announced yesterday

Owners of businesses on Reisterstown Road between Old Court Road and Sherwood Avenue can apply for a loan to revitalize their exteriors, including parking lots and landscaping, said Peirce R. Macgill, commercial revitalization specialist with of the Department of Economic Development. Up to 10 businesses can each receive up to $40,000 in an interest-free loan and up to $5,000 in a grant. How much each business receives depends on the cost of the individual project plan.

The design project, by Brown Craig Turner Architects, was paid for through a grant that the county Office of Community Conservation provided to the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce. The loan and grant package for businesses was announced yesterday by County Executive James T. Smith Jr. and County Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Ruxton Democrat.

Kristi Funderburk


School-to-home contact plan is ready

Baltimore County public schools are to begin using a school-to-home communication tool that was tested in 25 schools during the summer and fall.

The system allows a school principal to record a message that is sent by telephone to all families associated with the school within minutes.

"It's a way for us to communicate quickly when we have something we need to get across to all families in the school," said school district communications officer Diana Spencer.

Messages that families might receive through the system are reminders of testing, release of report cards and school events. The program is designed to supplement information families receive through newsletters, fliers or letters home.

The school system urged families to be sure that their children's schools have telephone contact information.


County plans to repair Wise Ave. bridge

County officials will discuss plans to repair the Wise Avenue Bridge at a public meeting Feb. 15.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Patapsco High School Auditorium, 8100 Wise Ave.

The two-lane bridge, which crosses Bear Creek, needs structural repairs and will close next month, a county official said.

County Councilman John Olszewski Sr., a Dundalk Democrat, scheduled the meeting to give residents and business owners of the 7th District a chance to bring questions and concerns about the project.

Towson University

Youth, coach baseball clinic is Feb. 11

The 48th baseball clinic for youths and coaches will be held from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 11 in Burdick Hall at Towson University.

The clinic will feature Orioles scout Dean Albany, Towson University head baseball coach Mike Gottlieb and some of his players and several former Orioles.

The young participants will be instructed in batting, pitching, catching, outfield and infield skills. Adult coaches will be given tips on coaching young people, handling parents and drills.

Tickets are $5 and can be reserved by calling the county Department of Recreation and Parks. Tickets are limited to the first 200 people who register. Any remaining tickets on the day of the clinic can be purchased at the door. Tickets: 410-887-1071.

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