Harford offices closed Friday for furlough
Harford County employees will be off Friday, government offices will be closed and only essential services will be provided in the first of five furlough days. The unpaid leave will help offset local government funding cuts imposed by the state of Maryland, officials said. County offices will also be closed on Sept. 4, Oct. 12, Dec. 24, 2009 and April 5, 2010. Employees who work around the clock at water and waste water operations and Emergency Operations Center personnel will not follow the same furlough schedule. Along with all county government offices, Harford's five senior centers, its recreation centers and Harford Transit Bus Service will be closed on the furlough days. The Harford County Waste to Energy Facility will remain open, but the county's Disposal Center at Scarboro Landfill will be closed.
- Mary Gail Hare
Meals on Wheels benefits from Eppel retirement
When Arnold Eppel retired as director of Baltimore County's Department of Aging in May, he wanted no celebrations or personal gifts. But he did ask for charitable donations to Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland. He invited friends and co-workers to participate in an online virtual retirement party that raised $8,000 for the nonprofit organization. Eppel, now director of Atrium Village Retirement Community in Owings Mills, did have a celebration Friday. He and County Executive James T. Smith Jr. presented the donation to A. Thomas Grazio, executive director of the organization whose staff and 2,000 volunteers prepare and deliver meals to thousands of clients each day.
- Mary Gail Hare
Ellicott City student wins Germany trip
An Ellicott City student earned a free trip to Germany this summer after scoring well on a language skills test and beating out a nationwide pool of about 26,000 applicants. Daniel Ojard, who attends St. Paul's School in Baltimore, joined 43 other students for 3 1/2 weeks abroad, sharpening his speaking skills and experiencing German culture. To qualify for the program, Ojard had to score in the 90th percentile in a test administered by the American Association of Teachers of German. Then he answered essay questions and interviewed with the association to prove his merit. Ojard spent his time in Germany with a host family, shadowing their children at school and traveling to cities such as Berlin and Munich. He flew home Friday. The program is funded by a grant from the Federal Republic of Germany, through its embassy in Washington.