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Contest deadline nears, stonewall continues and Bill returns

October 08, 1997

With just a few more days remaining before the deadline in our annual Hagerstown's Favorite Sandwich Contest, I have a grand total of three entries, even though I've upped this year's prize to $20.

It's not that tough to win. Just describe your favorite sandwich in 100 words or less and get that description to me by the close of business at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13.

There are some rules: I'm the sole judge and will make my decision based on how cleverly written the piece is, or whether it makes my mouth water. Or maybe both.


The sandwich must be available on the regular menu of a restaurant within the Hagerstown city limits, for eat-in or carry-out. Restaurant owners and managers aren't eligible, but I'd be surprised if some of them didn't encourage their customers to enter.

Our address is 100 Summit Ave., Hagerstown, Md., 21740, although I'm not sure I'd trust the mail at this late date. If you don't want to drop it off at our building, you can fax it to me at (301) 714-0245.


I was hoping I'd be able to make this a "light" column, but after the Hagerstown City Council's Monday decision to back up the police department's decision not to release the report on the Sept. 11 incident leading to Kari Trumpower's death at the YMCA, light isn't how I'm feeling.

On Saturday, it will be a month after the event, and although the official report is apparently complete and in the hands of the YMCA and Kari's family, the police are taking the position that it won't be released to the public.

We disagree; this happened in a public place, funded in part by taxpayer dollars. The idea that the final report of the police investigation (also produced with taxpayer dollars, by the way) is not the public's business, is ludicrous.

Earlier this week, Kari's family sent us (through their attorney's office) a statement which, is essence, is their interpretation of the police report and the events it describes.

The idea of printing that interpretation without seeing the original report makes me very uncomfortable, but an investigator for the family's attorney says they're not ready to release it now.

And so, in the interest of being fair and professional in regard to the police and the YMCA - in spite of their lack of cooperation to date - I won't use the family's version of events and their criticism of some of the people involved, at least until I can balance their interpretation with the official report.

Instead, I will keep trying to obtain the police report by any legal means at my disposal. If you can help, call me between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at (301) 733-5131, ext. 7622.


Bill Kaufman is a Hagerstown man who earlier this year was burned out of the West Side Avenue home where he lived with his wife, daughter and grandson. While the house was being rebuilt, he went to live with another daughter in Florida, where it was discovered he had cancer of the tear duct.

Kaufman has had some radiation treatment for the cancer and is home now. He stopped by The Herald-Mail this week to say "thanks" to all the people who sent him cards and who contributed to the trust fund set up for his family at Home Federal Savings Bank.

Kaufman says the family hopes to be back in the home by Thanksgiving, but one complicating factor is the ceilings of his grandson's attic bedroom had to be raised to bring them up to code.

Ever the jokester, Kaufman offered a bunch of recent ones that have tickled his funny bone. My favorite is as follows:

A gentleman was summoned to court at the request of his estranged wife. The obviously irritated judge looked at the defendant and said:

"You haven't taken proper care of your wife. I'm going to give her $350 a month."

The defendant smiled at the judge and said, "Why that's mighty nice of you, your honor. I'll try to give her a few dollars myself from time to time."

Bob Maginnis is editorial page editor of The Herald-Mail newspapers.

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