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Board creates budget survey

In an effort to give the public another chance to weigh in on the school system's fiscal 2009 budget, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education has created an electronic survey.

The board's budget request to the county was $941 million; the County Council allocated $868.9 million to the school system, a nearly 8 percent increase over the current year.

Council members said that school leaders had asked for too much when the rest of county government is tightening its belt. County Executive John R. Leopold said the school system is administration-heavy and urged it to run more like a business.

The school board, which is scheduled to pass its budget June 20, is weighing options such as increasing fees and reducing services.

"Given the funding level appropriated by the County Council, we must make cuts that will, unfortunately, directly impact students," board President Tricia Johnson said. "We have created this survey because we want as much information as possible before we adopt our final budget."

The board had conducted two public hearings and two budget forums to gather public input.

Anyone wishing to fill out the survey should visit the school system's Web site, www.aacps.org. Surveys will be accepted through Friday.

Annapolis' head of preservation quits

Donna Hole, Annapolis' chief of historic preservation for 15 years, is retiring at the end of June, the city announced yesterday.

She has served as administrator of the city's Historic Preservation Commission, supervised the publication of a design manual for the historic district and directed the Annapolis Intensive Survey, which to date has recorded more than 450 buildings in the historic district and resulted in 12 block studies.

Hole was also the first chairwoman of the Annapolis, London Town and South County Heritage Area Coordinating Council. She serves on the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions board of directors and the Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation board.

Medical center gets Weinberg grant

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Inc. has awarded a three-year, $180,000 grant to Anne Arundel Medical Center to support the Annapolis Outreach Center and the Adult Dental Clinic, programs that provide free health care to thousands of low-income and uninsured residents.

Located in the Stanton Center in downtown Annapolis, the outreach center coordinates more than 150 AAMC physicians, 60 dentists and other health care professionals who provide free medical, dental and preventive care. In addition, the center arranges referrals for laboratory, diagnostic and specialist care.

The Weinberg grant will fund a bilingual medical assistant to help low-income and uninsured patients get free or low-cost prescription drugs through national programs.

The medical assistant will be particularly important to the growing number of Hispanic patients who rely on the Outreach Center, said Bill West, director of AAMC's Community Health and Wellness Program.

"Since 2000, the number of Hispanics utilizing the outreach center has tripled. During the same time, the number of Hispanics receiving care at AAMC's main campus has more than doubled. We have more Spanish-speakers in our community, and that number continues to grow," West said. "Because many are uninsured, their health needs also continue to grow."

The funds were part of $2.7 million in Maryland community health center grants provided by the foundation.

Mentoring poster winners named

The Volunteer Center for Anne Arundel County and the Anne Arundel Mentoring Roundtable have named the winners of the second annual Mentoring Roundtable poster contest.

The theme this year was "Mentoring Builds Character," and the 22 posters show what it means to be a good citizen, a caring person and fair, responsible, respectful and trustworthy.

The contest was open to all school-aged youth in Anne Arundel County who have been in a mentored relationship. The winners are:

Grades two and three: Deneen Morris, 7, of Laurel and Derek Lee, 9, of Annapolis.

Grade four: D'Asia Jacobs, 10, of Glen Burnie and Michael Cruz, 10, of Glen Burnie.

Grade five: Brandyn Carter, 10, of Baltimore and Rachel Bergamini, 11, of Riva.

Grades seven and eight: Charles Pindell, 14, of Annapolis and Heena Patel, 13, of Annapolis.

Honorable mention: Hailey Palmer, 11, of Edgewater and Lydia Parlett, 11, of Edgewater.

Prize-winning posters will be on display in Marley Station mall in Glen Burnie through the end of June. An awards ceremony will be held there at 11 a.m. Saturday.

For more information about the Mentoring Roundtable, 410-897-9207 or pam@volun teerannearundel.org.

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