Sparrows Point L Furnace demolished (PHOTOS)
Thursday, 29 January 2015 14:30

 By Nicole Rodman

In a matter of seconds, a piece of local history came crashing to the ground in a cloud of thick brown dust.
    The long-anticipated implosion of the iconic L Blast Furnace at the former Sparrows Point steel mill occurred at approximately 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 28.
    By 1:16 p.m. the 32-story structure, a highly-visiblesymbol of the once-bustling local steel industry, was just a memory.
    The L Blast Furnace opened in 1978, erected on the site once occupied by the company town of Sparrows Point.
    The small town, home to many mill workers and their families, was shuttered in 1975 to make room for the massive new blast furnace.
    The furnace, and the mill, weathered many ups and downs in the decades to follow. Finally, the mill was closed for good in June 2012 following the bankruptcy of then-owner RG Steel.
    Pieces of the mill site have been sold or demolished in the years since it closed.
    The implosion of the L Blast Furnace, however, marked the symbolic end of steel in Sparrows Point for many who grew up in the furnace’s shadow.
  

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Amazon job fair to be held Feb. 3 and 4
Thursday, 29 January 2015 14:03
By Ben Boehl

    Amazon.com, Inc. is now acceptinig applications and has scheduled a job fair for early February.
    The online retailer announced in October 2013 that it would open a one-million-square-foot fulfillment center on the 184-acre former General Motors (GM) property near Holabird Avenue and Broening Highway.
    Amazon later announced in April 2014 that a second 350,000-square-foot sorting center would be built on Holabird Avenue alongside the previously-announced warehouse on Broening Highway.
    Amazon representatives said at a public meeting last summer that the warehouse is scheduled to open in the spring of 2015.
     Baltimore City recently announced a job fair for Amazon to be held next week at the Eastside One-Stop Career Center at 3001 E. Madison Street on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 3 and Feb. 4. from 9 a.m. to noon.
  
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West Inverness Rec Council back on track after financial woes
Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:55

Council had faced possible dissolution over unfiled taxes

 by Nicole Rodman

    West Inverness Recreation Council has apparently recovered since a series of financial issues threatened to end the program last year.
    Chief among these issues was the failure of previous council officials to file tax returns for several years.
    Last year, the Baltimore County Board of Recreation and Parks placed the council on probation after it came to light that the council had not filed returns for eight years.
    As a result, the IRS had stripped the council of its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
    The Board of Recreation and Parks gave the council until last June to correct the tax issues and assemble a full board.
    Had the issues remained unresolved, the council would have been dissolved.
    According to Dave Stickel, current president of the West Inverness council, all of the council’s tax and financial issues have been resolved.
    The issues, he explained, began after the council’s two previous presidents began experiencing health problems.
    “They were not doing proper book-keeping,” he said.
    Stickel took over as president of the council one year ago, after five years as a coach.
  

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State budget includes funding for Red Line, no tax cuts — for now
Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:58

Red Line is “under review; tax cuts may soon be proposed

 by Bill Gates

    The first state budget proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan contains many cuts, but none — as of yet — in taxes.
    There are cuts in every state agency, but no layoffs or furloughs. Education is funded, but some jurisdictions will receive less money due to changes in the geographic cost of education index.
    The Red Line, a light rail project that will include Dundalk, also retained its funding — for now.
    All told, the budget will include $750 million in cuts, as the incoming Republican administration not only deals with a current state deficit, but attempts to keep the deficit from returning in the years to come.
    “It’s doable,” said Del. Bob Long (6th District), one of four Republicans newly elected last November to represent the 6th District in Annapolis.
    “This is what people asked for: for wasteful spending to stop,” Long said.
    The two percent cut across the board for all state agencies “won’t effect our district in adverse ways,” Long said.
    State employees will lose a two percent raise they received this month.
    Del. Rick Metzgar (6th District), pointed out that cuts are preferable to not working.
    “Would people rather be furloughed, or give up a week’s pay?” Metzgar said.
  

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City, Point owners reach wastewater agreement
Thursday, 29 January 2015 10:36

City to pay $120,000 per month to pump water through mill site

 by Nicole Rodman

    Baltimore City has reached an agreement with Sparrows Point Terminal (SPT), owner of the former steel mill site, over wastewater discharged at Sparrows Point.
    Under the new agreement, approved by the Baltimore City Board of Estimates in December, the city will pay SPT $120,000 per month to continue pumping wastewater through pipes at the site.
    According to the agenda from the Dec. 24 Board of Estimates meeting, this fee includes $90,000 for monthly electrical costs and $30,00 for personnel and operating costs.
    The city has been pumping treated wastewater from the Back River Waste Water Treatment Plant to the Sparrows Point steel mill since 1941.
    While most of the wastewater treated at the plant is returned to Back River, approximately 40 percent of the water is pumped through two six-mile long pipes to Sparrows Point. From there, the water is discharged into the Patapsco River.
    The diversion of some wastewater away from Back River is necessary to comply with federal regulations.
    The discharge agreement was mutually beneficial until the mill closed in 2012. Until that time, the mill used the waste water as a coolant in steelmaking.
   

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