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It was a long, strange year according to Tim

December 31, 2006|by TIM ROWLAND
(Page 2 of 5)

March 3- In the face of the ongoing prison, malpractice, highway funding and growth crises, Del. Bob McKee introduces a bill that would give school kids an hour for lunch, up from 30 minutes.

March 8 - A task force recommends Washington County change to a "home rule" form of government, which would allow local elected officials greater authority to make their own laws without action from the General Assembly.

· Chief Arthur Smith calls his service.

March 9 - In election news, controversial former Del. Paul Muldowney announces he once again will be a candidate for office, but raises eyebrows with his campaign slogan, "I can lick anybody in the room."

· The Board of Education renews the contract of Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan, with provisions that include a $158,000 base salary, full health care, $10,000 for professional development activities and a restraining order against educational activist Tom Janus.

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March 10 - A shocked audience at Hagerstown's annual State of the City address watches in horror as Mayor Carrie Shank peels off her mask to reveal former Mayor Bob Bruchey. President Bush immediately taps Bruchey's cell phone.

· In a major governmental reform, Washington County voters approve a "home detention" form of government, which wouldn't let elected officials out of the house.

· Bob McKee introduces a bill to pay school children minimum wage.

March 15 - Hagerstown Mayor Bob Bruchey and Councilwoman Penny Nigh pay tickets they were issued while conducting city business. This makes headline news, for some reason.

March 18 - A 62-year-old Williamsport man is arrested and charged with threatening to blow up the Washington County Permits and Inspections office.

· President Bush says, "If an elected official in Hagerstown doesn't pay a ticket, we'd like to know about it."

March 20- As the election heats up, Washington County Board of Education candidate Virginia Powers describes herself as "a pit bull with lipstick."

· A mistrial is declared during jury impanelment, when prosecutors are unable to find 12 people who have NOT wanted to blow up the Washington County Permits and Inspections office at one time or another.

March 22 - Tensions mount in the Town of Williamsport after its two-day festival known as "Canal Days" is canceled because of a disagreement over fees, but then reborn under the new name of "Williamsport Days."

March 29 - Saying it might be an embarrassment, the State of Maryland drops plans to weigh each student and list each student's weight on his report card. Bob McKee counters by submitting legislation to pay school children overtime for homework.




April

April 1 - In a prepared statement at a Hagerstown City Council meeting, Mayor Bob Bruchey announces that "Hagerstown is not racist."

· In a counter to "Williamsport Days," organizers of "Canal Days" announce their own festival, to be called "Those Know-It-Alls, They Think They're So Big Days."

April 8 - Washington County's on-again, off-again dealings with Civil War filmmaker Ron Maxwell move forward after the commissioners hear plans for "The Last Full Measure," the long awaited third in a trilogy that will finally tell us how the Civil War turned out.

· Saying it might be an embarrassment, the Maryland Board of Elections drops plans to list each candidate's IQ on the ballot.

April 12 - In the fight against terrorism, Washington County lands a $200,000 urban assault vehicle called the "Lenco Bearcat" from the Department of Homeland Security.

· The Maryland Board of Education drops plans to greet children in the coming school year with, "You are all worthless and weak, now drop and give me 20!"

· Mayor Bruchey announces that "Hagerstown is not, technically, a city made up entirely of car thieves."

April 15 - In what will become known as his "I Have a Broom" speech, Washington County Commissioner John Munson objects to spending tax money on janitorial services for the Martin Luther King community building.

· In Williamsport, vendors sign up to participate in "Oh, So You Want A Piece Of Us, Well We'd Like To See You Try Days."

April 18 - Fifty disappointed terrorists quit Hagerstown, vowing to fight the Great Satan in a town that isn't so heavily armed.

April 20 - Two Hagerstown councilwomen call an organization working for racial harmony a "secret society," blast city administrators for giving tax money to the group so it can buy refreshments at a meeting and call racism charges in the county "overblown." Meanwhile, the Ku Klux Klan gets permission to host a rally at Antietam National Battlefield.

April 22 - Answering the call for property tax relief, the commissioners send every homeowner in Washington County a check for $150.

· Anger mounts in Hagerstown when gas approaches $3 a gallon. Economists blame a spike in demand, most of which is created by the Lenco Bearcat.




May

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