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Briefly

October 16, 1997

St. Mary's parents praise police effort

A spokesman for St. Mary's School parents concerned about prostitution near the school thanked Police Chief Dale Jones and Hagerstown's mayor and City Council on Tuesday for taking action, including a prostitution sting, to curb the illegal activity.

After the council meeting, Steve Hummel said he had been told the wheels of government would turn slowly and not to expect city officials to care or help.

Instead, he found a cooperative effort between parents and city officials that has gotten rid of the problem.

"Hopefully, it will stay away," Hummel said.

After meeting with city officials on Aug. 26 about the problem of prostitutes hanging around the school and providing services in the area, the city installed street lights in the alley by the school and the church put in motion detector lighting in the school's stairwells, Hummel said.

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Hummel said parents also followed Councilman J. Wallace McClure's suggestion and stood around the area at peak trouble times with clipboards and legal pads to discourage the presence of prostitutes.

Hagerstown City Police's Criminal Investigations Division put together an Oct. 3 prostitution sting with the help of Frederick City Police and the Washington County Narcotics Task Force. Jones specifically cited the work of Sgt. Rick Johnson and Sgt. Charlie Summers.

FSU center hosting 1997 Women's Fair

Women interested in how to manage stress, market themselves, invest for retirement and prevent health problems could find solutions Saturday at the 1997 Washington County Women's Fair.

The women's fair is about networking, showcasing women's businesses, learning about current issues involving women, having fun and discovering downtown, said co-chairwoman Maggie Brill.

The fair will be held at Frostburg State University's Hagerstown campus from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with activities in the Public Square area.

Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, will be the keynote speaker at 1:30 p.m. at Tres School for the Arts downtown.

A panel will be held at Tres School from 10 a.m. to noon for women considering elective office as well as people who would support them. Panel participants include Sue Schaefer Baum, former mayor and former City Council member in Creve Coeur, Mo. She now works in Washington, D.C.

Registration costs $5. Free child care for children ages 2 to 12 will be provided at the YMCA.

For more information, call Donna Smith at 301-797-8761 or 301-432-8416.

Medical issues topic of Halfway program

Seniors who want to better prepare themselves for a possible medical emergency are invited to the Halfway Volunteer Fire Co. Oct. 23 for a special program.

Deb Gargana, a Halfway firefighter and emergency medical technician, will begin speaking at 1:30 p.m. on personal medical emergency information.

The 90-minute program, sponsored by Triad of Washington County, also will give information on the "buddy" emergency awareness program.

The fire hall is located at 11114 Lincoln Ave.

Metzner wants forum on media relations

Hagerstown Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said Tuesday it's time for the mayor and city administrator to host a forum for local media to determine a reasonable press policy.

In recent weeks there has been an adversarial relationship between the newspaper and the city because The Herald-Mail wanted access to the police department's investigation report on the Sept. 11 YMCA swimming pool accident that claimed the life of 7-year-old Kari Trumpower, Metzner said.

Metzner, a local attorney, said the newspaper is not entitled to closed investigation reports where no charges are filed because of privacy rights.

Members of print, television and radio media should be invited to the forum, he said.

Metzner said the city needs a designated individual to be in charge of all press relations.

School plans peace program Saturday

Students at Northern Middle School will participate in a "Walk/Run for Peace" on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Participants will walk or run a 3.5 mile course to say to the community that they are committed to a non-violent school.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the school. The course will be a loop walk starting at the school, continuing on Oak Hill Avenue, Potomac Street, Jonathan Street, Prospect Avenue and back to the school.

Ruling on Ritchie awaited from Army

Washington County is waiting on the Army to make decisions on whether any parts of Fort Ritchie will stay open past the sceduled closing date of Oct. 1, 1998, according to County Administrator Rodney Shoop.

Shoop said the Army hasn't made decisions on whether to keep some functions, such as military police, the fire department, the PX and the commissary operating past the deadline.

The Army also is considering leasing some of the housing at Fort Ritchie for soldiers stationed at Fort Detrick after the land and buildings are turned over to the Pen Mar Development Corp., said Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers.

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