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News laws go into effect

September 30, 2000

News laws go into effect



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


South Mountain officially becomes the first state battlefield park today, a designation that is one of nearly 300 laws passed by the Maryland General Assembly and going into effect today.

The first visible signs of the battlefield designation won't be seen until next year.

The park has requested about $500,000 in operating money from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' 2002 budget, which begins in July, said Al Preston, assistant manager of the South Mountain Recreation Area.

Sixteen signs are being made to mark the driving tour that's already in place, he said.

"It's a wild ride right now. Little did I suspect last year that we would be this far along," Preston said.

In addition to the South Mountain Battlefield law, seven other laws that directly affect Washington County go into effect today. The new laws will:

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HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Give Washington County residents a bigger incentive to show up for out-of-court child support conferences.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Give the Washington County Orphans Court the flexibility to set its own hours of operation. Previously, the hours were set by law.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Allow the Washington County Commissioners to be reimbursed the cost of job-related travel such as mileage.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Allow the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts to appoint emeritus members to its board of trustees.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Require the Washington County Commissioners to put an extra $500,000 a year into a new water and sewer debt reduction fund.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Subsidize commuter airline flights, boosting Hagerstown Regional Airport's chances of restoring service to Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Establish the Wellmobile program, staffed by the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Starting in the spring, the health clinic on wheels will visit rural areas in Washington County twice a week.

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