Record Observer - - OPINION -

Po­lice now say the 12-yearold boy ac­cused of car­ry­ing a vial of sus­pected crack co­caine at school last month wasn’t car­ry­ing crack after all.

A re­cent lab re­port from Mary­land State Po­lice shows the con­tents in the vial tested neg­a­tive for crack.

The con­tents may have been pieces of dried soap in­tended to look like crack, ac­cord­ing to Cpl. Gerald M. Kreiner, who in­ves­ti­gated the case for state po­lice. The case no longer is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated, he said, and “it’s life as usual” for the boy.

School of­fi­cials at Stevensville Mid­dle School learned Nov. 11 that the boy was show­ing off the vial to other stu­dents while on the school bus go­ing to his home in Ch­ester. The next morn­ing, they seized the vial and turned it over to the state po­lice.

*** Two days after Cen­tre­ville wa­ter­man Christo­pher Scott Lea­ger ap­par­ently drowned while div­ing for oys­ters off Kent Point here, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and spec­u­la­tion on how the 23-year-old pro­fes­sional diver lost his life con­tinue.

Ge­orge O’Don­nell, pres­i­dent of the Mary­land Diver’s As­so­ci­a­tion, said Wed­nes­day that he and other mem­bers of his group are con­cerned about the safety of div­ing in the area where Lea­ger drowned.

O’Don­nell thinks Lea­ger may have been div­ing around the ar­ti­fi­cial fish­ing reef place there around seven years ago.

O’Don­nell said the reef, which he de­scribed as de­mol­ished con­crete and steel rem­nants of an old bridge from Tu­nis Mills in Tal­bot County, was not placed in deep enough wa­ter.

*** Mid-Shore clam­mers who suf­fered through a dis­as­trous har­vest this year may soon be el­i­gi­ble for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the fed­eral Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion dis­as­ter pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, who said he ex­pects Gov­er­nor Schaefer to sign the re­quired cer­ti­fi­ca­tions.

“Gov. Schaefer is go­ing to sign the nec­es­sary pa­pers,” Gilchrest said Fri­day. “We were told that he has agreed to do it.”

Ear­lier this week Gilchrest said once Schaefer de­clared this year’s clam har­vest a dis­as­ter the SBA would “move quickly to dis­patch loan of­fi­cers to the Mid-Shore to as­sist clam­mers in ap­ply­ing for emer­gency loans.”

*** MedE­vac he­li­copters could be­come more than just a res­cue op­er­a­tion ac­cord­ing to a “rad­i­cal” pro­posal that East­ern Shore of­fi­cials are con­sid­er­ing.

Un­der the pro­posal, a MedE­vac heli­copter pi­lot from Eas­ton could trans­port a top busi­ness ex­ec­u­tive to a meet­ing in Ocean City as an­other pi­lot from the north­ern tip of the Shore car­ries a fee­ble can­cer pa­tient to Delaware while yet an­other pi­lot in Cen­tre­ville sends an ac­ci­dent vic­tim to Shock Trauma.

The sce­nar­ios could fall un­der a pro­posal that Eddy L. Teak of Zak Avi­a­tion Ser­vices is tak­ing to lo­cal of­fi­cials that com­bines the tra­di­tional res­cue op­er­a­tions with com­mer­cial ven­tures in an ef­fort to cre­ate a self-sus­tain­ing emer­gency ser­vice. *** Christ­mas cards bring a lit­tle bit of warmth and good cheer with their ar­rival. There’s a spe­cial joy in be­ing re­mem­bered by our friends and fam­ily. It’s not what the cards say as much as the idea that some­one thought of you enough to take the time to send you one.

That’s what has Clover­fields res­i­dent An­nette Lavelle so up­set.

Last Wed­nes­day as she opened a newly ar­rived Christ­mas card, Lavelle found three pic­tures of her­self which had been taken the day East­ern Shore res­i­dents went to the gov­er­nor’s house to protest his out­house com­ments.

Won­der­ing who had sent her the pic­tures, Lavelle read the card’s in­scrip­tion. It read: Don Schaefer, Gov­er­nor.

“It flipped me out when I opened up the card and saw the pic­tures of my­self. It was re­ally eerie,” said Lavelle. “Then, when I saw who it was from, I al­most fell over.”

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