The Baltimore Sun

Anne Arundel may reduce builders' impact fees

In an effort to stimulate the construction business sector, Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold announced yesterday that he will propose an immediate, temporary reduction in economic impact fees on commercial and residential builders. The reduction, which would delay full implementation of proposed increases in impact fees on development in the county until 2010, is scheduled to be voted on Monday night by the County Council. Economic impact fees are designed to help local governments provide services and infrastructure improvements, such as sewer lines and roads.

Chris Guy

Fire officials look for $4 million in budget cuts

The city's Fire Department is examining how to cut roughly $4 million from its budget as part of that agency's contribution to a citywide effort to reduce expenditures. In recent public appearances, Mayor Sheila Dixon has said that she has asked all of her agency heads to look at how they can reduce their budgets. But she has been vague about how much she expects each agency to cut. City Fire Chief James S. Clack said he is considering delaying advanced training courses and apparatus purchases. He also might move some administrative staff back to the field, cut overtime and send fewer firefighters to special events. Sterling Clifford, a City Hall spokesman, said city finance staff are still assessing the extent of expected revenue shortfalls.

Annie Linskey

Anti-slots group alters mistaken radio ad

An anti-slots ballot committee will modify its first radio advertisement and issue a formal retraction today after mistakenly listing a Baltimore faith-based nonprofit organization as an endorser, officials said yesterday. "We've never taken a position for or against slots," said Rob English, lead organizer for Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD). "How dare they assume what an individual organization's position is?" Scott Arceneaux, a senior adviser to Marylanders United to Stop Slots, said that the anti-slots group mistakenly assumed BUILD was a supporter because Bishop Douglas I. Miles, a pastor affiliated with the group, had appeared at one of their anti-slots events. "I've apologized to Bishop Miles and we will change the ads and we'll put out a retraction," Arceneaux said. The radio spot started airing in the Baltimore market yesterday. Arceneaux said the anti-gambling group has bought $50,000 worth of airtime this week and hopes to continue airing ads until November, with television commercials closer to Election Day.

Gadi Dechter

Ruppersberger plans forum on college aid

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger will hold a congressional forum on finding financial aid to pay for college at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Randallstown High School, 4000 Offutt Road. Parents and college-bound students can hear from state and federal financial experts on how to find money for college. Information: 202-225-3061.

Police identify pedestrian killed crossing highway

Police released yesterday the identity of a pedestrian hit and killed by a car while crossing Route 175 in Howard County late Friday. Lester Erick Smallwood, 47, of no fixed address, was wearing dark clothing and crossing an unlit area of eastbound Route 175 near U.S. 1 about 11:30 p.m. when he was hit by a Honda Accord, according to county police. Smallwood was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead. The driver was not injured, police said.

Tyeesha Dixon

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