Wetlands restoration project to get under way
Four Maryland companies will join state and federal environmental agencies today in Queenstown to launch an effort to restore wetlands around the Chesapeake and Maryland's coastal bays. The Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership will use public and private money to do six initial projects totaling $2.9 million. They include shoreline erosion controls at Eastern Neck in Kent County and the replacement of invasive phragmites with native habitat at North Point State Park in Baltimore County. Founding corporate members include the Brick Companies, an Edgewater developer; Biohabitats Inc., a Baltimore environmental remediation firm; Covanta Energy Corp., a Dickerson waste-to-energy company, and Baltimore's Constellation Energy.
Fire erupts, routs family from Glen Burnie house
An early-morning fire caused $75,000 in damage to a Glen Burnie home yesterday, Anne Arundel County fire officials said. About 5:30, fire broke out in a home in the 500 block of Stanhome Drive, Fire Department spokesman Lt. Keith Hamilton said. Smoke alarms awakened two adults in the house who were able to shepherd a disabled adult and three children to safety. The fire, which appeared to have been started by a heating element in a waterbed in a basement bedroom, was brought under control in about 20 minutes, Hamilton said. The Red Cross provided the family with food and a place to stay, a spokesman for the nonprofit said.
Morgan State parade set for tomorrow morning
Morgan State University's Homecoming Parade is planned for tomorrow morning, starting at 9 a.m., according to city transportation officials. The parade is to begin at The Alameda and Chinquapin Parkway, head south on The Alameda, east on Coldspring Lane and south on Hillen Road. The parade is expected to last about two hours. To accommodate the parade, Hillen Road will be closed from Argonne Drive to Coldspring starting at 8:30 a.m. At 8:45 a.m., The Alameda will be closed from Belevedere Avenue to Coldspring, and Coldspring will be closed from The Alameda to Hillen. Detours will be in place during the parade, and parking restrictions will be marked, according to transportation officials. Heavy congestion is expected, and officials recommend that motorists avoid the area if possible.
Shotgun deer hunt slated at Soldiers Delight in Jan.
A two-day shotgun deer hunt will be held in January at the Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area in western Baltimore County, the state Department of Natural Resources said yesterday. The environmental area will be closed to the public and to bow hunters for the shotgun hunt Jan. 20 and Jan. 21, officials said. The number of hunters will be limited to 100, according to the department, and they will be chosen by lottery. The deadline to submit a lottery application is Nov. 14, officials said. "Limited bow hunting occurred on the property for the past two years," said Karina Stonesifer, associate director of operations for DNR's Wildlife and Heritage Service. "However, additional deer management measures are needed to further reduce the deer population, which is damaging the rare serpentine ecosystem on the site."
From Baltimore Sun staff reports
Community health fair set tomorrow at GBMC
Greater Baltimore Medical Center will hold a free community health fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at the hospital's Civiletti Conference Center in Physician's Pavilion East. The event will include free screenings and information from health care specialists. Children's activities are planned. In addition, GBMC's Nearly New Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Farmhouse Hill Building. Information: 443-849-2400.
Woman who was missing returns home safely
Baltimore County police say that a Cockeysville woman reported missing has returned home safely. Shaquana Smith, 22, who had not been seen since Saturday night, returned to her home on Hogarth Circle on Wednesday night, police said yesterday. The woman had been described as developmentally disabled and unfamiliar with the area.
From Baltimore Sun staff reports
Speed-camera protest includes graffiti on roads
Some motorists are spray-painting graffiti on Montgomery County roads to express their frustration with cameras that catch speeding drivers. Police say someone recently painted the word "scam" in large letters in front of a River Road speed camera in an obvious protest against the cameras. And in at least two other instances, the words "greedy scam" and "gov. scam" have been scrawled in large letters on other roads near the cameras. Montgomery County Police Lt. Paul Starks says authorities take the vandalism seriously. The county has used speed cameras since May 2007. If a motorist is traveling more than 10 mph above the speed limit, a picture of the license plate is taken and a $40 fine is sent in the mail.
Easton UPS has drivers turning off cell phones
Delivery drivers for UPS Inc. in Easton could be setting an example for their colleagues around the country. They are turning off their cell phones while they are on the road. Managers at the Easton UPS center say the initiative was launched Oct. 1, and they believe they are the first UPS center to adopt the policy. Brian Czyz, co-chairman of the Easton center's safety committee, says he came up with the idea after learning that the operator of a Los Angeles commuter train was sending text messages before a deadly crash last month. He says he wants people to feel confident when they see a UPS truck driving by.
CASA de Maryland to start building
Maryland's largest immigrant advocacy group says it will break ground on a new multicultural center and headquarters building. CASA de Maryland will start work Monday on the 84-year-old McCormick-Goodhart Mansion in Langley Park, in Prince George's County. The facility will house CASA's statewide departments and serve as an incubator for small nonprofits that are advocates for immigrants. Officials say CASA began a $33 million fundraising campaign last year and has reached 87 percent of its goal.