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12 nonprofits to share United Way crisis funds

Twelve nonprofit groups will share in $244,408 from a United Way emergency fund launched Jan. 22 to help local charities cope with soaring demand because of the recession. Grants of $10,000 to $25,000 will provide food, rental assistance, shelter and other basic needs, the United Way of Central Maryland announced yesterday. An estimated 1,064 people will be served by recipients that include the Arundel House of Hope, the Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, Health Care for the Homeless, the Harford Community Action Agency and a St. Vincent de Paul program for homeless women and children in Baltimore called Sarah's Hope. A 12-member committee selected the initial recipients. The United Way hopes to raise at least $1 million.

Signaling lane changes could become mandatory

All over the United States, the law on changing lanes is clear: A driver must signal that intention - at least if another vehicle is in the vicinity. Maryland is the odd state out, with no such requirement. A Maryland delegate urged his colleagues in Annapolis yesterday to get in line with other states and the District of Columbia in making such a signal mandatory rather than just a recommendation in the driver's handbook. Del. Brian J. Feldman, lead sponsor of the legislation, told the House Environmental Affairs Committee that "it came as a surprise to me" when he learned Maryland had no explicit law requiring a signal before a lane change. "We do stand out like a sore thumb," the Montgomery County Democrat said. Feldman's bill would apply the same rules to lane changes that now apply to left and right turns. The legislation drew support from AAA Mid-Atlantic and ABATE Maryland, an advocacy group for motorcyclists.

Michael Dresser

Glen Burnie pedestrian dies after being hit by car

A Glen Burnie man was killed trying to cross Crain Highway on foot Monday night, Anne Arundel County police said. About 9 p.m., John Patrick McCartan, 58, was trying to cross near Oak Manor Drive when he was hit by a Buick Century, police said. McCartan was wearing dark clothes and was in an area not designated for pedestrian crossing, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Buick's driver, identified by police as Wendell E. Fitzgerald, 53, of Glen Burnie, was not injured. Speed is not considered a factor in the case, police said. The investigation is continuing.

Essex, Catonsville colleges offer tax preparation help

The Community College of Baltimore County is offering low- and moderate-income residents free tax-preparation help through the IRS' Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Tax assistance will be available by appointment from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through April 15 (except April 8) at the Catonsville campus, 443-840-1658; and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through March 17 at the Essex campus, 443-840-4231.

BRAC job fair scheduled for Saturday in Bel Air

The Susquehanna Workforce Network has scheduled a BRAC job fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Harford Community College's Chesapeake Center, 401 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air. Among the government positions available at Aberdeen Proving Ground are budget analyst, computer scientist, contract specialist, engineer and logistics manager. Registration is required at www.swnetwork.org. Information: 410-939-4240.

Nearly a dozen protesters arrested in Edgewood

Nearly a dozen Harford County residents were arrested yesterday afternoon when a crowd protested the arrest of a youth driving recklessly through the Edgewater neighborhood in Edgewood on an unregistered motorcycle, a spokesman for the sheriff's office said. No injuries were reported. Shortly after 4 p.m., sheriff's deputies stopped the motorcyclist on Brookside Drive at Judy Way near the Edgewater Shopping Village and were attempting to arrest him when a large crowd gathered to protest and became disorderly, Sgt. David Betz, the spokesman, said. Betz said that when some of the crowd began to hinder police, additional deputies and state troopers from the Bel Air barracks responded and quelled the disturbance. "We had plenty of help in a very short period of time," Betz said. He said one man and 10 juveniles were arrested; all were charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault and hindering.

Richard Irwin

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