Baltimore County Digest


McIntire aims to resolve complaints over tent

A Baltimore County councilman said yesterday he would bring together community leaders and officials at the Baltimore Lutheran School to resolve complaints over a large tent on the school's property.

The tent, erected this spring at the private school just outside the Baltimore Beltway in the Loch Raven area of the county, is used for athletic events, said County Councilman T. Bryan McIntire.

The structure -- 54 feet tall and more than 160 feet long, according to McIntire -- is a "monstrosity" with "no educational value," resident Ross Memphis said.

"It doesn't fit in the community at all," said Memphis, who is among residents who have set up a Web site opposing the tent.

Attempts to reach school Headmaster Randal C. Gast for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.

McIntire, a north county Republican, has been looking into complaints that the tent is taller than county regulations allow for structures in the area.

Donald T. Rascoe, deputy director for county permits and development management, said the structure is regulated by another kind of "tent height": an invisible line rising at a 45-degree angle from the property line. The structure falls within that area, he said.

"We're not aware of any violations," Rascoe said, adding that the school received building permits and the tent passed a county inspection.

He also addressed community complaints that the tent is being rented out to athletic camps.

"You could have something consistent with school use, and certainly athletic camps would be consistent with the school use," Rascoe said.

McIntire said he's trying to set up a meeting with residents and school officials to try to resolve the dispute.

"I can appreciate both sides. The school is trying to grow," McIntire said. "On the other hand, I have a lot of sympathy for the community's point of view because it's not an aesthetically pleasing site."

Josh Mitchell


Pharoan seeks to join board

After years of lobbying the Baltimore County school board to close schools on Islamic holidays, the president of the Baltimore County Muslim Council said he wants to move to the other side of the table.

Dr. Bash Pharoan, a Timonium surgeon and critical-care physician, said he sent a letter and resume to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s appointments office two weeks ago, asking to be considered as an at-large member of the 12-member panel.

The 58-year-old said he hopes to use his medical expertise to combat drug abuse and obesity among young people, in addition to advocating for diversity, multiculturalism and the inclusion of Muslim holidays.

"I would not really be a one-issue person," he said.

Pharoan has served as Muslim council president for three years. He's also the president of the Baltimore chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

He said he has lived in Baltimore County since 1975 and his three sons attended Baltimore County schools.

The governor appoints Baltimore County school board members. The terms of board president and at-large member Tom Grzymski and vice president Warren C. Hayman end July 1. Hayman said he's interested in another term, but Grzymski said he is not seeking a seat.

Another vacancy remains unfilled after Luis E. Borunda, who represented parts of Dundalk and Essex, stepped down in April.

Liz F. Kay

White Marsh

Traffic stop leads to drug arrests

Two Baltimore men were arrested on drug charges after police stopped their car on Interstate 95 in White Marsh and found hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of heroin, authorities said yesterday.

The men were in a 2005 Nissan heading south about 3 p.m. yesterday when they were stopped for a seatbelt violation, according to Maryland Transportation Authority police. After a police dog detected the possible presence of drugs, police found more than 1,000 grams of heroin, with a street value of more than $300,000, in the trunk of the car, authorities said.

Andre Darrell Lewis, 24, of the 700 block of Carey St., identified as the driver of the car, and Dwayne Antonio Holland Jr., 18, of Baltimore were charged with drug offenses, police said. Both were being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center, Lewis in lieu of $2 million bond and Holland in lieu of $1.5 million bond.

Nick Shields


Deteriorating bridge closed

The Mount Zion Road Bridge over Piney Run near Upperco has been closed because of significant deterioration found during a routine inspection, officials said.

The bridge was closed Friday to be evaluated for repairs. Vehicles will be detoured to Dover, Dark Hollow, Trenton and Black Rock roads.


Arts camp scheduled to open July 3

The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks' Office of Therapeutic Recreation Services will sponsor a performing arts summer camp for children and young adults with mild developmental disabilities and nondisabled individuals ages 6 and older.

The camp, which will run for five weeks starting July 3, will operate Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Aug. 4 at the North Point Government Center, 7701 Wise Ave., Dundalk.

The Sky is the Limit camp offers instruction in acting, dance, music and design. The registration deadline is Monday. Information: 410-887-5370.


Fire company to hold breakfast

The Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company is sponsoring a Pancake Breakfast to celebrate Father's Day on Sunday.

Donations will benefit the station. The breakfast is scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Information: 410-887-5773.

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