Duncan moves from UM to private sector
Douglas M. Duncan, the former Montgomery County executive, resigned yesterday from his vice president's job at the University of Maryland to take a job with a private start-up company, the university said. Duncan had served as vice president for administrative affairs for the past 17 months, at an annual salary of $255,000. Duncan will join CivicUS, a new firm that advises local governments on executive management, as a senior vice president. The university said the resignation, effective Nov. 7, is not related to a recent dust-up in which Duncan had said he was forced to back out of a political forum at the direction of Gov. Martin O'Malley's office. Duncan later apologized and said he had misunderstood friendly advice from the university's lobbyist as a directive.
Obama campaign sign defaced in Fallston
A presidential campaign sign for Barack Obama was defaced over the weekend in the 2100 block of Watervale Road in Fallston, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said yesterday. The sign, defaced Saturday night or Sunday morning, is being investigated as a hate crime, officials said. The sheriff's office said it had alerted the Secret Service because of how the sign had been defaced, but offered no other details. The altered sign has been replaced.
Harford meetings on school uniforms canceled
The Harford County Board of Education has canceled all parent and community meetings that had been set up to consider the issue of school uniforms in the county, officials said. Teri D. Kranefeld, spokeswoman for the school system, said board members will focus on budget issues. She said no decision has been made regarding school uniforms and the process will continue later. Information: 410-588-5203.
Harford council OKs 136 changes to zoning code
The seven-member Harford County Council approved 136 amendments to an 800-page draft of a zoning code in a meeting that continued into early yesterday before council members had voted on all the changes. The updated zoning code took nearly two years to rewrite and was the subject of numerous workshops and public hearings. Most of the amendments won unanimous approval, since they were considered housekeeping efforts. But a few were contentious. A last-minute effort, by Councilman Dion Guthrie and Councilwoman Veronica Chenowith, to table the proposed transfer of development rights failed by a 5-2 vote. The transfer allows farmers to sell their building lots rights, in established growth areas, to developers. The zoning code is scheduled for a vote at Tuesday's oct 21council meeting.
High school bands competition Saturday
The Bands of America Regional Championships will be held Saturday at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium, featuring 23 high school bands from six Mid-Atlantic states competing for a spot in the national finals. Preliminary performances start at 9:30 a.m., with the 10 top-scoring bands going that evening to the final competition, where the regional champion will be named. A preliminary class awards ceremony will be held at 4:45 p.m. and the Towson University Band will perform at 4:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Gates open for the finals at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $19 each for the preliminaries and finals, or $30 for a day pass to both. Information: www.musicforall.org.
Benefit dance for homeless children
Baltimore County Communities for the Homeless will hold the Harvest Ball for Babies to raise money for homeless children from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. tomorrow at Martin's Valley Mansion in Cockeysville. Tickets are $75, $35 of which is tax-deductible. The evening includes dinner and music for dancing. Information: 410-853-3021.
BCCC to offer seniors free preventive dental care
Baltimore City Community College's dental hygiene program will offer free preventive dental care services to people age 62 and older during the last week of October. Dental sessions will be available at the college's Liberty Campus from 1 p.m to 5 p.m. Oct. 27; from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28 and Oct. 30; and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 31. Appointments must be made in advance; to schedule, call Grace Simmons at 410-462-7712.
Open Space program buys 1,000 acres on Shore
The Board of Public Works has approved the purchase of more than 1,000 acres of forest land on the Eastern Shore through Program Open Space. The state is buying the land for $2.5 million, with help from a $695,000 gift from The Conservation Fund. The purchase was approved at yesterday's meeting.