From the past

50 YEARS AGO—JANUARY 12, 1972

The commissioners of Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, and Kent counties have agreed that a moratorium on plans for Phase II construction at Chesapeake College be halted until they can meet as a body with the college’s president and board of trustees. The decision of a “gentlemen’s agreement,” as it was termed by members of the four county boards, grew out of decisions by Caroline and Kent counties who say they cannot afford the additional burden of the Phase II project.

The proposed project includes a 386-set auditorium, swimming pool, a technology building, and modifications to the plan referred to as Phase IIA, which would include a centralized heating system, storage space for college equipment, and a maintenance and classroom in one building.

The commissioners of the four counties agreed that any future discussions of finances for the college are to be conducted with the four counties together. In the past, college president George Silver has gone to each county separately for approvals. The meeting was initiated by Caroline County, which has already said it cannot pay its $10,000 share of the school’s cost for 1971-1972.

• • •

Three Maryland State Troopers stationed at the Centreville Post have begun an investigation which has so far led to the arrest of two Queen Anne’s County residents suspected in recent armed robberies in the Grasonville-Kent Island area. Arrested were Philip Tyrone James, 18, and Donald Rayfield Handy, 20, both of Grasonville. They are being held at the Queen Anne’s County Jail, and bail has been set at $20,000 each.

State Police learned that robberies similar to those committed recently in Queen Anne’s County have occurred in New Jersey. Because of information supplied to them by New Jersey police, Maryland State Police believe James and Handy may have been involved in the neighboring state’s robberies.

A victim of one of the New Jersey robberies, shot by one of the bandits, was brought to the Centreville Post where he identified several police photographs as possible pictures of the bandits. Handy and James have been charged by New Jersey police with attempted murder. New Jersey police have been given priority in seeking conviction of the two men.

• • •

Magdalene Waters was elected president of the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary at the organization’s meeting on January 4. Auxiliary officials said dues are now being collected. Dues are one dollar. It was also announced that the fire department will hold its annual birthday dinner and dance at the firehouse on January 29.

25 YEARS AGO—JANUARY 10, 1997

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners have passed a revised zoning ordinance regulating sludge storage tanks and rubble landfills. The new law would prohibit private ownership of such facilities in the county, blocking Wheelabrator Water Technologies plans to build two storage tanks on Soaring Vista Farms.

The new law would also scrap plans for a new rubble landfill near Millington. Millington Quality of Life Coalition President Loretta Walls thanked the commissioners for passing the bill. “We think this will protect Queen Anne’s County from pollution problems in the future,” Walls said.

While the new county law was passed Tuesday, the Maryland Department of the Environment had already issued the permit with certain conditions that Wheelabrator needed to build storage tanks. “I know they had to grant the permit because they had to follow state law. I just don’t happen to agree with state law,” Commissioner Mike Zimmer said. There may be legal action in connection with the matter.

• • •

The first step in the construction of a new state-of-the-art high school began with a shovel full of dirt on Tuesday. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Kent Island High School marked the start of work on the 1,200-student school on Old Love Point Road. School Superintendent Bernard Sadusky said the school will solve overcrowding at other county schools.

School architect Steve Parker said he has designed more than 85 schools, but that this one was the best. He said he had more input from teachers, parents, students, and school officials during the design phase. The cost of the project has been a matter of major debate for more than a year. Some residents had hotly contested a raise in taxes to pay for the county’s five-year capital budget, which included the $24.3 million high school,

The project was also criticized because it cost $120,000 more than the commissioners planned for in the over-burden process. The school is expected to be completed by September 1998.

• • •

Pam McNichol said she never really thought she was doing anything special 22 years ago when she decided to take a fire and rescue class. “They needed 15 people or we wouldn’t have the class,” McNichol said. So, she ended up taking the class, passing it, becoming a full-fledged member of the United Communities Volunteer Fire Department, the first woman volunteer in Queen Anne’s County. She was the only one of three women in the class who finished the course.

As United Communities is celebrating 25 years of service, McNichol is serving as a role model to her daughter Heather McNichol, 18, already a volunteer with the department who just finished her training to become an emergency medical technician. Pam McNichol said she never had a problem being one of just a handful of women on the volunteer squad. “There were some jokes, but everyone has been very supportive. It was never a female thing. We are all there to do a job,” she said.

From 1984 to 1988 she was president of United Communities, the first woman to hold that position. “That is something I hold near and dear to my heart,” she said.

Compiled by Jack Shaum from Record-Observer archives.

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