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Locked building delays meeting

January 06, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

A meeting of the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly was delayed by 35 minutes Saturday when residents who showed up at South Hagerstown High School for the meeting discovered they were locked out.

The meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m. at the school.

Delegation Chairman Robert McKee, R-Washington, said a man in the crowd went around the building, jumped a fence and was able to open the front doors to let the crowd in.

When that happened, the school's alarm went off inside and outside and stayed on for about 15 minutes while the crowd waited in the lobby.

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The meeting attracted about 60 people.

The crowd remained in the lobby because the auditorium's doors were also locked, which further delayed the meeting.

School personnel eventually showed up, turned off the alarm and opened the auditorium doors.

McKee apologized to the public for the delay and said the incident must have been the result of a miscommunication with the Washington County Board of Education. He said the delegation had approval from the School Board to use the school for the meeting.

"We also apologize for the alarm system, which is not hooked up to anything because the city police never showed up," McKee said before the meeting began.

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