Public meeting set on bridge project

The Harford County Department of Public Works will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 13 in the cafeteria at Fallston High School, 2301 Carrs Mill Road, on the future of the historic Watervale Road bridge in Fallston.

The bridge needs repairs, and because of its historic and scenic nature, as well as the road's importance to the county's transportation network, officials want to gain a consensus on how to proceed with the project.

At the hearing, county representatives will give a presentation on the existing span, its condition and possible alternatives for new construction. A panel of residents will be formed to discuss alternatives and come up with a design that will be supported by the community.

Another public hearing will be held later to present the proposed options. After that meeting, formal design of the project will begin.

Residents who cannot attend the March 13 session but want to comment on the bridge and its future can send their comments by Wednesday to Project Manager Julio M. Espinoza, Harford County Department of Public Works, 212 S. Bond St., Bel Air 21014. Please print "Watervale Bridge Project" in the lower left corner of the envelope.

Comments may be sent by e-mail to jmespinoza@harfordcountymd.gov.

Information: 410-638-3509, ext. 1283.

County compiling list of local services

The Harford County Government and Community Relations Office is creating a mailing list of community, neighborhood, service, fraternal, professional and nonprofit organizations to improve the dissemination of information about local government and services.

Groups or organizations (including homeowners associations) that would like to be placed on the list should send their name, mailing address, contact person, telephone number and e-mail address to the Harford County Government and Community Relations Office, 220 S. Main St., Bel Air 21014, or fax to 410-838-4284 or e-mail to sjcollins@harfordcountymd.gov.

Information: 410-638-3258.

Expo on serving disabled is March 18

More than 40 vendors, agencies, organizations and support groups providing services to individuals with disabilities are expected to showcase their products and services March 18 during "Expo 2006: Successful Futures."

The conference for teens and young adults with disabilities and their families will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the New Life Center at Mountain Christian Church on Mountain Road in Joppa.

Planned workshops include "Everything You Wanted to Know About Social Security Benefits for Individuals with Disabilities," "Service Coordination: Unlocking the Door to Adult Services" and "You Don't Have to Be a Magician to Be Your Own Self-Advocate."

The Harford County public schools' special education staff will present a workshop on transition services within the public schools. Other workshops will focus on creative housing options and financial planning.

Speakers include Social Security Administration public affairs specialist Vicki DeRuggiero and Marc Weinstein, supervisor of the Harford County Service Coordination office.

Exhibitors include Harford County Public Library, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland, the Harford County Partnership for Families, Care Resources Inc., Dankmeyer Inc., and Richcroft Inc.

Registration for the free conference is required.

Information: 410-638-3373 voice/TTY.

Library for seniors to begin rounds

The Harford County Public Library held a ribbon-cutting Thursday to launch the Silver Reader, the library's senior outreach vehicle.

The Silver Reader takes library services directly to seniors by visiting nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, senior housing and senior centers throughout the county.

Acquired with the support of Harford County government, the library on wheels will house a collection of fiction and nonfiction books, DVDs, CDs, magazines and a small reference collection.

Information: 410-973-3565.

Police academy slated for residents

The Harford County Sheriff's Office will hold its annual Citizen's Police Academy, a 14-week program that aims to provide residents with a better understanding of the Sheriff's Office and foster a partnership between the agency and the community.

This year's academy, free of charge to county residents, will be held Tuesdays from March 7 through June 13. The academy is open to any county resident age 18 or older.

Community groups, businesses and elected officials are encouraged to nominate individuals to participate in the academy.

Weekly classroom instruction will include overviews of most aspects of the Sheriff's Office, including patrol services, criminal investigation, the K-9 unit, dive team and crisis negotiation. Deputies will provide information on personal safety, drug identification and gangs.

Field trips will be taken to the Harford County Detention Center, Emergency Operations Center, Sheriff's Office Evidence Collection Unit, and the Northern and Southern precincts.

Students also will use the agency's Firearms Training System, a state-of-the-art video training system that shows realistic examples of scenarios confronting police officers.

Information: www.harfordsheriff.org.

Canned food drive begins Saturday

The 20th annual Letter Carrier Food Drive, the biggest food drive in the county, will be held Saturday through March 11.

The collection is sponsored by Harvest for the Hungry. Among the items needed are peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, cereal, as well as canned meats, tuna, soup, juices, fruits and vegetables, and other nonperishables.

Items can be left out for pickup by U.S. Postal Service letter carriers.

The Community Action Food Pantry in Bel Air will receive most of the food, and is assisting more than 2,200 people with groceries each month.

The organization receives many donations leading up to the Christmas holidays, but giving drops off significantly afterward, said Pat Harkins of the Harford Community Action Agency Inc.

"People are hungry 12 months a year," she said.

Information: 410-638-3240.

Paws for Life to hold bingo fundraiser

Paws for Life, a nonprofit organization that helps reduce the population of homeless animal and rehabilitate needy animals, will hold its annual fundraiser on March 10.

The event, a Longaberger basket bingo, will be at Mary Magdalen Hall, 1716 Churchville Road, Bel Air. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the event. Doors open at 6 p.m., and bingo begins at 7 p.m.

Information: 410-838-4656.

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