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Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.

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.

photo of facility ribbon cuttingCharlie Reighart, Recycling and Waste Prevention Manager

In a county where cost-effectiveness for the taxpayer is king, and a Triple A bond rating is highly prized, the new single stream recycling facility in Cockeysville is another crown jewel. In just the first full four months of operation (November 2013-February 2014), the new facility has generated nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in net operating revenue. At this pace, the new facility will benefit taxpayers to the tune of $1 million by April 2014!

Baltimore County has revenue-producing markets for all of the recyclables sorted at the single stream facility. Many people realize that aluminum is a highly valuable commodity (as high as $1,300 per ton during the facility’s first full four months). However, most people are not aware that the sorted recyclables’ per ton market values have reached as high as the following levels in several other categories during that same period:

  •  $802 for #2 HDPE plastics;
  •  $364 for #1 PET plastics;
  •  $266 for steel cans;
  •  $140 for cardboard; and
  •  $86 for mixed paper.

Baltimore County’s new single stream facility is obviously off to a very good start financially. Combined with residents’ growing enthusiasm with the recycling program, as reflected in ever-increasing amounts of recycling (a 49% tonnage increase from 2009 to 2013), future fiscal prospects are bright. Baltimore County residents have enjoyed 21 straight years without an income tax rate hike and 25 straight years without a property tax rate increase. And now that you’ve read this blog, you know that you can help keep Baltimore County’s tax rates low by recycling!

If you’re already recycling, thanks very much for doing the right (and frugal) thing. If you aren’t recycling, the County’s single stream recycling program (weekly collection of the full range of acceptable recyclables, all mixed together) makes it easier than ever to start recycling and stop wasting valuable resources. In either case, please consult your 4-year collection schedule/program guide to make sure you know how to recycle all that you can. If you can’t locate the schedule/guide, just go to to download one or call 410-887-2000 and you’ll promptly receive one in the mail.

Every County resident can take pride in our new single stream recycling facility. If you’d like a tour, or access to a DVD showing what happens there, simply contact Public Information Specialist Clyde Trombetti at or 410-887-2791.

If you really want to multiply your positive impact, contact Clyde Trombetti about how you can become a part of the County’s newly forming “Recycling Volunteer Network.” Encourage your neighbors, friends, and relatives to join you as active recyclers, with guidance and support from the County’s expert recycling staff.

Keywords: recycling, solid waste

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