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Carroll County Bureau of Utilities workers have repaired the South Carroll Wastewater Treatment Plant after 24,000 gallons of treated -- but not disinfected -- wastewater flowed into Piney Run Creek.

The plant treats water for South Carroll High School, 1300 W. Old Liberty Road, Winfield, said Joe Barrington, chief of the Bureau of Utilities.

Workers found that on Thursday, Dec. 18, the ultra violet light system that disinfects the water failed, and those bulbs have since been replaced, he said.

The plant is now operating normally, according to a news release issued by Carroll County Government.

On Monday, Dec. 29, the Carroll County Health Department tested stream water quality, but those results were not immediately available, said Edwin Singer, director of county environmental health.

"We don't anticipate this being a big deal," he said.

-- Charles Schelle

Homemade bomb found in Westminster

A bomb made of household chemicals exploded Monday, Dec. 29, in Westminster, and police are offering an award for information leading to an arrest.

At about 10:30 p.m., Monday, the Westminster Police Department responded to the rear of 88 W. Main St. due to reports of a "loud bang" heard in the area.

Officers found a melted one-liter plastic bottle and a plastic half-gallon container behind the building, near Winters Alley.

The State Fire Marshal's Office bomb technician said the bombs were home made and contained household materials to produce a chemical reaction, according to a news release issued by the Westminster Police Department.

One witness tried to pick up the device that had detonated and received a minor burn, but refused medical treatment, according to the release.

Westminster Police are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible. Anyone with information can call the anonymous Tips Line at 410-857-8477.

-- Charles Schelle

County has reminder for homestead credit

The Board of County Commissioners this week sent out a reminder to homeowners in the Westminster area and in the northwest part of the county -- including Keymar, Taneytown, and Union Bridge -- to file for the State of Maryland's Homestead Tax Credit.

In Carroll County, the credit keeps property tax bills from rising more than 7 percent per year regardless of the assessment increase.

Prior to last year, the credit was automatic, but because of a change in state law, homeowners must fill out a one-time application in order to receive the credit.

Homeowners who have been recently assessed should have received a copy of the application with their new assessment.

Vandals slash tires on 38 cars in Eldersburg

Carroll County Sheriff's deputies want to know who went on a Monday, Dec. 29, tire slashing spree in Eldersburg and Sykesville.

Vandals slashed tires on 38 cars along Chesterfield Court, Monroe Avenue, Advisory Court, Tanglewood Drive, Victor Drive and Heritage Lane, according to a news release issued by the Sheriff's Office.

An unknown number of suspects punctured the sidewalls on the tires using an unknown sharp object. Police estimate the damage at $6,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call Cpl. David Stem at the Sheriff's Office at 410-386-2900 or the anonymous TIPS hotline at 1-888-399-TIPP (8477).

-- Charles Schelle

BOE to unveil FY10 operating budget

The Carroll County Board of Education will present the superintendent's proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2010 during its regular monthly board meeting set for Wednesday, Jan. 14.

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m., in Room 007 of the board offices, 125 N. Court St., Westminster.

There will be time for citizen participation at this meeting. The public is invited to attend.

The agenda and back-up materials for the meeting will be available at the school system's Web site, For more details, call the Office of Community and Media Relations at 410-751-3020.

Holiday greeting cards get a second chance

The Arc of Carroll County is collecting holiday greeting cards to be used in an project by individuals in the Arc's vocational services program.

The recycled cards will be used by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to make handmade greeting cards to be sold next holiday season.

About 1,000 cards were sold at locations in Westminster this past holiday season and supply did not meet demand. Production for the 2009 holiday season will continue throughout the year.

All proceeds from the cards benefit individuals with developmental disabilities.

Recycled holiday cards may be dropped off at: The Arc of Carroll County, 180 Krider's Church Road, Westminster; the Westminster City Police Department office, 36 Locust St., Westminster; or the recycling area of the Northern Landfill, 1400 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster.

Senior legal aid clinic set for Westminster

The Carroll County Bureau of Aging will host a walk-in legal assistance clinic for county seniors ages 60 and older on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Bureau of Aging, 125 Stoner Ave., Westminster.

The county contracts with the Mid-Western Maryland office of the Legal Aid Bureau, Frederick, to provide the legal aid walk-in clinics. Those wishing to attend should call the Bureau of Aging at 410-386-3800 to confirm.

Bring Christmas trees to county landfills

Christmas trees can be dropped off at either of the county's landfills, were they will be recycled into landscaping mulch and chips.

The locations and hours at the two drop-off locations are:

Northern Landfill, 1400 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster. Open 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Hoods Mill Landfill, 7901 Kabik Court, Woodbine, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

All non-organic materials, including lights, wire, tinsel and ornaments, should be removed. For details, call 410-386-4550 or contact Maria Myers, county recycling manager, at 410-386-2035.

Center to hold 'job seeker' workshops

The Carroll County Business & Employment Resource Center will hold a series of classes and workshops in January for people either entering or re-entering the workforce.

The workshops are free and are geared toward helping people prepare and polish their resumes and presentations for interviews.

The center is also open to anyone who wants to use its resources and databases for self-directed job searches. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

Advance sign-up is required for workshops, and participants are requested to attend an orientation session that is held daily at 9 a.m. and does not require an advance appointment. Those unable to attend the 9 a.m. sessions can call ahead and arrange an orientation session that fits their schedule.

The workshops and orientations are held at the Business and Employment Resource Center's office, 224 N. Center St., 2nd floor, Westminster. For more information and appointments call 410-386-2820. Additional information and a complete schedule for January is on the Web site,

The following workshops are scheduled for the first two weeks in January:

*Practice interviews: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 5; 8 to 10 a.m. Jan. 7; 8 to 10 a.m. Jan. 12; and 8 to 10 a.m. Jan. 14.

*Basic resume preparation: 9 to 11 a.m. Jan. 9; and 9 to 11 a.m. Jan. 15.

*Resume critique: 9 to 11 a.m. Jan. 8; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 14.

-- Bob Allen

Sykesville convenience store is robbed

The Sykesville Police Department is looking for information about a suspect who on Sunday, Dec. 28, robbed the High's Dairy Store in town.

At about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, a white male entered the store, 7503 Village Road, Sykesville, displayed a large knife and demanded money from the clerk, according to a news release issued by the department.

The suspect fled the store on foot toward Village Road.

Police describe the man as having a slim build, about 6 feet tall and was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans, tennis shoes and carrying a black Adidas gym back.

Police also say a small blue four-door compact car with gray wheel covers may be associated with the robbery.

Anyone with information about the robbery should contact Sykesville Police at 410-795-0757.

-- Charles Schelle

Open house unites those with disabilities

On Wednesday, Jan. 7, Service Coordination Inc., a Westminster nonprofit, will host an open house to bring together individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Representatives from community service and advocacy groups for the disabled are also invited to attend.

The open house will be held 3 to 7 p.m. Jan. 7 at Service Coordination's headquarters, 95 Carroll St., Suite 104, Westminster. For details call 410-876-0028 or e-mail

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