Recreation council management, oversight questions unanswered
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:48

Embezzlement, loss of nonprofit status among
problems; oversight of local operations is scant

 by Nicole Rodman

A host of financial issues have plagued local recreation councils in recent years, leading one council to lose its federal 501(c)(3) status, another to be dissolved and a third to be placed on probation.
    Comments from county officials and the chairman of the Baltimore County Board of Recreation and Parks on these issues have raised more questions than answers.

Optimist Club of Dundalk honors Precinct 12 officers
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:41

Ferguson earns Officer of the Year accolade

by Ben Boehl

    To show its members’ appreciation of the efforts of local police, the Optimist Club of Dundalk last week held its 9th Annual Respect for Law program, to which police officers were invited to a free dinner and rewarded for their services.
    Det. Justin Ferguson was named the club’s Officer of the Year and officers Jason Butschky and Robert Rayner received Outstanding Officer awards.
    Ferguson was award a $1,000 check from the Optimist Club.
    “The Police Foundation offers their officer of the year $500,” noted Optimist program chair Tom Toporovich. “We thought our officers were twice as good, and we decided to give $1,000.”
    Capt. Jan Brown, commander of North Point Police Precinct 12, said that he is proud of the officers and thanked the Optimist Club for taking the time and the money to hold such an event.
    “In other parts of the county, they don’t have celebrations and ceremonies for our officers,” Brown said.
    Ferguson has been a member of the Precinct 12 Investigative Services Team for over five years.
    Colleagues said that Ferguson is more of a “behind-the-scenes” detective who likes getting work done without recognition.

Russ Mirabile taking another shot at public office
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:07

Will contend with Olszewski for Senate nod

by Ben Boehl

    Russ Mirabile could be the personification of the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
    Mirabile ran for the state Senate in 1994 and ran for the House of Delegates in 1998, 2002 and 2006.
    He ran for the House of Delegates in the 8th District as a petition candidate in 2010, but failed to get enough signatures to get on the ballot that year.
    This year, he thinks, will be different.
    “[People] should be glad that I’m running again. They should be happy because I’m here to make the Constitution work,” he said.
    Mirabile said he has received criticism from some members of the community who asked him where he has been the past few years.
    He responded that he was busy taking care of his sick mother, who died in 2011.
    Mirabile, who is originally from the Diamond Point area but now resides in Rosedale, is running for the 6th District state Senate seat left vacant by the retirement of longtime Sen. Norman Stone. He will face Del. John Olszewski Jr. in the Democratic primary on June 24.
    With two open seats in the House of Delegates and an open County Council seat, why did Mirabile choose a daunting race against the heavily-favored Olszewski?
    “I’ve ran for Senate before. I’ve been there, and I have a better idea of what is going on in places like [the Sparrows Point steel mill],” Mirabile responded.
    “I’m not going after John Olszewski’s seat. I’m going after an open seat.”

CCBC ACE program graduates inaugural class
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:38

New program trains students for careers

by Nicole Rodman

    Dundalk resident Brenda Goeller’s life went into a tailspin when her 50-year-old husband died suddenly three years ago.
    Already facing life without the man she described to The Eagle as “my best friend,” Goeller faced yet another challenge when she lost her job working for a certified public accountant.
    Goeller was at the Eastpoint Workforce Development Center one day looking for a new job when she came across a flier for the ACE (Accelerating Connections to Employment) program at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC).
    It was a flier that would change her life.
    “It seemed like a good opportunity and something to do — something to give me hope,” Goeller said of the program.
    The ACE program is a federally-funded workforce training initiative that offers career training and assistance to job seekers.
    A multi-state initiative, ACE is administered in  six Maryland jurisdictions and in Texas, Connecticut and Georgia.
    In Baltimore County, the program has been run by CCBC.

Maryland General Assembly votes by local legislators
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:58

General Assembly Votes

•    How the 6th District legislators voted on select bills during the session. Bills are not law until they are signed by the governor.

SB 170: The Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Bill, which provides $38.9 billion in appropriations for 2015 — an increase of $1.6 billion (4.3 percent) above fiscal 2014. General fund spending accounts for 41.3 percent of the total budget. Federal funds support 27.1 percent of all spending.  Special funds constitute 21 percent of the budget, and higher education revenue provides the remaining 10.6 percent.  State agency operations constitute the largest area of spending, representing 44.4 percent of the total budget. Entitlements account for 25.1 percent of the budget, and 20.2 percent is provided as aid to local governments. Passed Senate 40-7; passed House 98-37.
Yes: Sen. Norman Stone, delegates Joseph “Sonny” Minnick, John Olszewski Jr. and Michael Weir Jr.

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