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Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.

photo of woman cupping her earPaul Efros, M.A., CCC-A
Audiologist, Baltimore County Department of Health

Free Hearing Screenings Offered by the Department of Health

Many of us take our hearing for granted, but hearing loss is one of the most preventable and treatable health issues in our nation. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, approximately 28 million Americans have hearing loss and this number has doubled in the past 30 years.

Many Americans with hearing loss tend to be older adults.  But loss of hearing doesn’t need to be an accepted part of getting older. Help is available!  In observance of Better Hearing and Speech Month, the Baltimore County Department of Health’s Audiology Services will offer free hearings checks at three county locations (by appointment only) during the month of May.

How do you know if you or a loved one is losing their hearing? Some signs include:

·         Frequently asking others to repeat themselves

·         Pain or ringing in the ears

·         Difficulty hearing conversations, and

·         Keeping the TV or radio volume so loud, others ask you to lower it.

Loss of hearing isn’t just inconvenient; it’s detrimental to a happy, healthy life.  Hearing loss is often accompanied by symptoms such as: irritability, fatigue, avoidance or withdrawal from social situations, reduced alertness and increased risk of personal safety, and reduced job performance.

So, do yourself a favor, schedule your free hearing screening today!

crab malletTim Murphy, Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development

Apparently, folks have been digging into a lot more steamed crabs and slurping more spicy crab soup if sales at J.O. Spice Company are any indication.  The Halethorpe company, established in 1945, manufactures crab seasonings, soups, batters and breadings for restaurants.   J.O. Spice’s online and retail stores offer seasonings and soups, plus Maryland crab jewelry, engraved mallets, crafts, and other “crabby” items. The company has just added 17,000 square feet of space to expand the growing retail portion of their business.

You can find J.O. Spice products in many crab houses throughout Maryland, by visiting the new store or online at . 

To celebrate their newly expanded retail store, J.O. Spice is holding a ribbon cutting Saturday, April 5, at 11:00 a.m. at 3721 Old Georgetown Road in Halethorpe.  All are welcome to attend for tastings, giveaways, and more. 

Stop by so you’re ready for outdoor crab season!

County sealGrace G. Connolly
Register of Wills Baltimore County

A will may be the most important document that you will ever write.  It allows you to choose the persons who receive what you own when you die.  If you should die without a will the State of Maryland will determine how your property is divided - not you. Writing a will is important for everyone, whether you are married, single, a parent or childless, and whether your health is good or poor.

To emphasize the importance of a will, I would like to provide an example of someone who dies without a will and the consequences.

A man dies who is single, never married and has no children. He has one living sibling and two deceased siblings. She had become his caretaker in his later years. The only remaining asset is a bank account in his name only. Since there is no will, state law will determine who receives the assets from the estate.  This includes the children of the deceased brother and sister who had little or no contact with their uncle.  If there had been a will in place, only the people he named in the will would benefit after all the debts were satisfied.

A will is a legal document that dictates how you want your assets to be distributed after you die.  Here’s everything you need to know:

You may change your will at any time but it must comply with several requirements.  It must be written, either typed or handwritten and witnessed by two people.  A person shall be named to serve as the Personal Representative, (Executor) who will stand in the shoes of the deceased person (decedent). This should be someone who is younger than you are, for obvious reasons, trustworthy and capable.   You need to include an attestation clause shall be included to prove that the witnesses signed in the presence of the testator.  It should be signed by you in their presence.

The will should have specific directions on how you want your estate to be distributed upon your death, including provisions for tangible personal property that you may own like jewelry, furniture etc. If you have minor children, your will should name the guardians you have selected.  The Executor will be responsible for the settlement of your estate. This includes any estate taxes, probate fees and debts incurred by the estate.

You should review your will every five years to ensure that it is current and in agreement with your wishes.

For your sake and the people in your life that are important to you, don’t postpone getting your will drafted properly.  Should changes need to be made, do not cross out any change in the will but have a codicil (document that amends the will) drawn up and be witnessed by two people.  If the changes are significant a new will should be made.

None of us want to deal with preparing a will, but no one is guaranteed a long lifetime.  Be good to your family, friends and yourself and do the planning now if you have not already done so.

If you have questions, feel free to contact the Office of the Register of Wills at 410-887-6680.

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