FROM THE PAST

Record Observer - - Opinion -

50 YEARS AGO

The Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers have ap­proved the form for a County Merit Sys­tem which has been drawn and pre­sented on Tues­day by the at­tor­ney, J. Elmer Thomp­son Jr.

The two new mem­bers, Julius Groll­man and Leonard Smith, who will for­mally take of­fice next week were also asked for their opin­ions and they also ap­proved of the plan.

A Merit Sys­tem for this county would be in sim­i­lar form to the State Merit Sys­tem and is pri­mar­ily pro­vided for job pro­tec­tion and to as­sure fair ben­e­fits. The con­tents ap­ply to wage scales for var­i­ous de­part­ments, pe­ri­odic raises, pro­mo­tions, sick leave and so forth.

***

“Thou­sands of dol­lars” in dam­ages were sus­tained by the Bram­ble Con­struc­tion Com­pany at their as­phalt mix plant near Rolph’s Wharf in two sep­a­rate fires Fri­day and Sun­day.

David Shar­retts, manager, said the ex­act amount in dam­age has not been de­ter­mined and the state Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice and the Mary­land State Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing both fires for the pos­si­bil­ity of ar­son.

Chestertown Fire Com­pany was called about 3 o’clock Fri­day af­ter­noon to the site about four miles south of town, and about three miles north of Church Hill. A one-story frame build­ing, about 16x12, con­tained lab­o­ra­tory equip­ment used for test­ing was lev­eled and all equip­ment de­stroyed.

Shar­retts said that work­men had been at the plant in the morn­ing, but no one was work­ing dur­ing the af­ter­noon.

At 11:20 a.m. Sun­day, both Church Hill and Chestertown fire­men were called to the scene when a larger heater used to heat the as­phalt mix caught fire.

The ma­chine, op­er­ated by fuel oil, was en­closed in a 10x18 frame shed and was said to be com­pletely de­stroyed.

***

For the want of five cir­cu­la­tor pumps much of the new Queen Anne’ d County Com­pre­hen­sive High School re­mains with­out heat and elec­tric­ity.

Dr. Harry Rhodes, su­per­in­ten­dent of schools, said this week that a por­tion of the vo­ca­tional train­ing build­ing has had heat and elec­tric cur­rant since Nov. 12, but the cir­cu­la­tor pumps are needed be­fore cos­me­tol­ogy, home ec and other rooms can be heated.

… the Viet­nam War is be­ing blamed by elec­tri­cal con­trac­tors for the hold up in ob­tain­ing equip­ment.

A week af­ter the pumps ar­rive, heat is ex­pected to be in the en­tire por­tion of the school hous­ing the class­rooms.

The vast build­ing is now en­tirely un­der roof and work­men have poured the fi­nal con­crete floor in the au­di­to­rium sec­tion.

***

Once again the Queen Anne’s County Chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Red Cross is spon­sor­ing the “Voices from Home” pro­gram as its gift to ser­vice­men over­seas who will be un­able to spend Christ­mas with their fam­i­lies.

This project is des­ig­nated to trans­port the fam­ily Christ­mas spirit over the many miles to the many out­posts where Amer­i­can ser­vice­men are sta­tioned, in­clud­ing Hawaii and Alaska.

There will be Red Cross vol­un­teers on duty in the Red Cross of­fice on Lawyer’s Row in Cen­tre­ville, ev­ery day from 9 a.m. un­til noon the week of Dec. 5 through Dec. 9.

These hol­i­day mes­sages will be tape record­ings which will last for 15 min­utes.

25 YEARS AGO

A 12-year-old boy was found car­ry­ing a vial filled with an es­ti­mated $400 worth of sus­pected crack co­caine when he walked into school last Tues­day morn­ing, ac­cord­ing to Mary­land State Po­lice.

It ap­par­ently was learned the boy was car­ry­ing the vial Monday af­ter­noon when he showed it to an­other stu­dent on a school bus headed to his home in Ch­ester. The other stu­dent told his par­ents, who called Stevensville Mid­dle School shortly after­ward.

When the boy re­turned to the mid­dle school Tues­day morn­ing, he was taken to the main of­fice where a vial still filled with pieces of sus­pected crack was re­cov­ered, said Prin­ci­pal Dominic M. Ro­mano.

Po­lice seized the vial and the boy was re­ferred to the Queen Anne’s County De­part­ment of Ju­ve­nile Ser­vices. He is stay­ing with his grand­mother.

***

“A se­vere lack of co­op­er­a­tion ex­ists” in Queen Anne’s County be­tween po­lice and the state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice that is sti­fling the war on drugs, ac­cord­ing to a grand jury re­port re­leased in cir­cuit court last week.

In the re­port, 23 county res­i­dents on the grand jury rec­om­mended an eval­u­a­tion of the Caroline-Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force and that per­son­al­ity con­flicts be­tween the task force and the state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice should end with re­as­sign­ments.

Iron­i­cally, the re­port said pros­e­cu­tors also should re­ceive the same train­ing as po­lice of­fi­cers on laws cov­er­ing ar­rests and search and seizures.

Pros­e­cu­tors should be more in­volved with po­lice of­fi­cers’ cases too so they are more pre­pared in court, the re­port added.

And be­cause the state’s at­tor­ney po­si­tion can­not be moved up to a full-time of­fice un­til the next elec­tion, the grand jury urged county of­fi­cials to move one of his as­sis­tant state’s at­tor­neys up to a full-time in the in­terim.

***

House­holds which rely on help from the Mary­land En­ergy As­sis­tance Pro­gram have seen a 30 per­cent de­crease in their ben­e­fits , ac­cord­ing to David Turner, of the Mary­land En­ergy As­sis­tance Pro­gram.

“De­mand is up, and grants are down,” said Turner. “The ben­e­fits the clients get will be down com­pared to last year.”

The state of Mary­land re­ceived $24 mil­lion in fed­eral grant funds this year as op­posed to $29 mil­lion last year.

Turner said that 10 per­cent of those funds go to the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tive agen­cies which run the pro­gram, “So about $21.6 mil­lion for the whole state.”

“Queen Anne’s County got about $200,000 of that,” Turner said.

Cur­rently 500 county house­holds are to be served by MEAP, al­though Turner an­tic­i­pates that fig­ure will ap­proach 1,000. Last year 800 county house­holds re­ceived aid, while 85,000 re­ceived help statewide.

The av­er­age house­hold will re­ceive $240 in heat­ing as­sis­tance — down from $341 last year.

***

If you lis­ten to the newly named pres­i­dent of Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege, John R. Ko­tula, you can hear echoes of his pre­de­ces­sor, Robert C. Sch­leiger.

Both be­lieve a com­mu­nity col­lege should grad­u­ate stu­dents ready to com­pete in a global mar­ket; both be­lieve a com­mu­nity col­lege should be a vi­tal pat of the lo­cal com­mu­nity and its busi­nesses; and both be­lieve a com­mu­nity col­lege ben­e­fits from shar­ing fac­ulty with other coun­tries.

The dif­fer­ence is that Ko­tula is be­ing asked to take over where Sch­leiger left off.

Af­ter 15 years as pres­i­dent of the two-year col­lege in Wye Mills, Sch­leiger retired July 1. Ko­tula was named his re­place­ment last week.

Ko­tula will of­fi­cially join the col­lege March 1. Un­til then he will re­main in charge at Delaware Tech­ni­cal and Com­mu­nity Col­lege based in Dover.

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