The Baltimore Sun

NAACP to hold forum and gala

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will hold an education forum and black-tie gala next weekend to mark the inauguration of Wayne Jearld, president of the Anne Arundel County branch.

Speakers at the education forum, which will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Wiley E. Bates Heritage Center in Annapolis will include N. Joyce Payne, founder of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Kevin M. Maxwell, superintendent of the county public schools. The subject will be advancing minority student academic achievement.

Bradford E. Brown, who recently retired from a 41-year career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its predecessors, will deliver the keynote address at the gala, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis. He has been recognized for his work with historically black colleges and universities in expanding opportunities in marine science.

The community is invited to worship with the branch during the worship service at First Baptist Church of Annapolis, 31 W. Washington St., at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The branch also plans to unveil its first Web site and cable television program and provide a report of the six-month membership drive.

To buy tickets, call 410-974-6317 or e-mail

Nominees sought for Sarbanes award

The Paul S. Sarbanes Center for Public and Community Service at Anne Arundel Community College is seeking nominees for the 2007 Paul S. Sarbanes Spirit Award.

The award honors those who make a difference as entrepreneurs and demonstrate a spirit of leadership, integrity and service.

There are three award categories:

National Award: An individual whose entrepreneurial contributions have made a significant impact on a national scope.

County Award: An individual whose entrepreneurial contributions have made a significant impact within Anne Arundel County.

Student/Alumni Award: A student or recent college alumnus or alumna (ages 18 to 25 and within three years of receiving a degree or certificate) whose contributions have made a significant impact to address critical social problems on the local, regional or national level.

To submit a nomination, describein 500 words or fewer why the nominee should receive the award and include the nominee's and nominator's names, organization, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address and Web address.

Nominations are due July 13 and may be sent to Cathy Doyle via e-mail at ch or by mail to Anne Arundel Community College, Paul S. Sarbanes Center, 101 College Parkway, Arnold 21012-1895.

Information: 410-777-2902 or center/awards.

Well owners asked to test their water

County Executive John R. Leopold is encouraging private well owners to test their well water for radium, offering free screening Wednesday to the first 50 callers in an affected area.

"There is no greater priority than public health and safety, and in a high cancer rate county, it is imperative to do all that we can to provide financial assistance," said Leopold, who as a delegate sponsored legislation in 2003 to help county residents pay for radium-reducing water treatment systems. He also initiated a bill this year to make the pilot radium grant program permanent.

Radium is a natural element found in rocks that can dissolve into groundwater. Although radium does not pose an immediate health threat, it can eventually attach to bone and possibly increase the risk of certain cancers.

It can be removed from well water by installing a specialized treatment unit.

High levels of radium have been found in two-thirds of the private wells tested in the county.

If test results show that the well water exceeds Environmental Protection Agency standards for radium and related particles, the homeowner can apply for the Radium Grant Program.

The county Department of Health, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, will reimburse up to 25 percent of the cost of radium water treatment systems. Grants are made based on income eligibility.

To receive a radium screening, well owners should call 410-222-7398.

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