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Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Date: May 2012

Cold Mill Workers

Dan Gundersen

Executive Director, Baltimore County Department of Economic Development

They're longer than four football fields and can carry three times the cargo of any vessel.  And they're coming soon to a port near you.

A new generation of super ships will begin sailing through the Panama Canal beginning in 2014. The Port of Baltimore is getting ready for these huge visitors, with the Seagirt Marine Terminal in Dundalk undergoing a major expansion.

Baltimore County has launched a major economic development initiative to help us capitalize on the Port's tremendous growth. A new Sparrows Point Partnership brings together 16 prominent business and private sector leaders to look at port-related business and job growth opportunities in Sparrows Point, North Point, Essex, Rossville and Middle River.

We already have a strong industrial base that includes a network of manufacturers, suppliers, logistics and distribution companies and their trained workers. We have deepwater access, two commercial rail lines, interstate access, and land zoned for industry.

Bring on the super ships!


Elise Armacost

Director of Public Safety Media & Communications

An email from one of the Baltimore County Police Department’s Community Resource officers, warning about the dangers of “Drano bombs,” has gone viral.

 Over the past two weeks, we’ve fielded calls from news agencies, government offices and community leaders asking if the threat is “for real” and trying to gauge the extent of the problem. One of my neighbors called, asking if it’s safe to pick up a Pepsi bottle someone tossed in the front yard.

The answer is: yes, it’s probably safe.  If the bottle looks like a normal bottle, go ahead and toss it in the trash.

But if it looks swollen or misshapen – as if it might burst – leave it alone and call 911.

Drano bombs, also called “bottle bombs,” are nothing new. Made from a few basic household items, they explode when gas generated by a chemical reaction inside the capped bottle builds to a breaking point. Our Arson & Bomb Unit says they’ve been around for years; typically, they’re constructed by juveniles fooling around with stuff they ought to leave alone.

Baltimore County is not experiencing a Drano bomb epidemic.

There were 13 Drano bomb cases in all of 2011. So far this year, police have documented six incidents involving the devices – two in the White Marsh precinct; one in the Franklin precinct; and, last week, three in the North Point precinct. Officers in the bomb squad say they typically see an uptick in these incidents at this time of year, just after school lets out.

The Franklin incident involved the arrest of a 13-year-old boy. One of the North Point incidents occurred in the Dundalk High gymnasium and involved arrest of an 18-year-old student. In a different North Point incident, one person suffered minor injuries.

 The lack of serious injuries is good news, because Drano bombs can cause severe injury, especially if they’re placed in a mailbox or other container that can turn to shrapnel if the device goes off.

The catch-22 in all this is that efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of Drano bombs may entice some kids (or adults) into experimenting with them. Such would-be pranksters should know that the law puts Drano bombs in the same category as the pipe bombs terrorists use. Building, setting off or possessing a Drano bomb is a felony; conviction can land you in jail for up to 25 years and/or cost you up to $250,000 in fines.


Kevin Kamenetz
Baltimore County Executive

Military OfficersOn Monday, our entire nation will commemorate Memorial Day. For some, this will be a very personal occasion. You will pause to remember family and friends whose sacrifice secured our Country's safety and preserved its liberty. For others, it is a time to reflect on the knowledge that we owe the freedoms and prosperity we enjoy every day to the sacrifices of those in the United States Armed Forces, brave individuals that we never knew, heroic men and women that we never met. These anonymous heroes nonetheless gave their all to protect their country and our lives.     

However, whether we knew them or not, the valor of every fallen member of our armed services has earned the respect and gratitude of every citizen of the United States. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid.

So on this Memorial Day, let us honor their service and sacrifice by not only honoring their service but by giving our surviving veterans the care, support, and respect that they deserve. On this sacred day, let us keep in our thoughts those who still stand watch around the world today by remembering these words spoken so long ago by Abraham Lincoln: "Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away."

Keywords: memorial day, military

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