Police investigate 2 robberies, 2 burglaries

Police GraphicPolice are investigating two robberies and two burglaries that were reported this week.

Sometime between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17, an individual broke into a residence in the 8500 block of Harris Avenue in Parkville (21234) and stole a game system, games, and headphones.

At 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, a woman was walking in the 1600 block of Poles Road in Essex (21221) when she was approached by three individuals. The suspects assaulted and robbed the woman of her property, then fled the scene on foot.

At about 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, two known juveniles approached another juvenile at Seneca Elementary School in Middle River (21220) and asked to use his cell phone. When the victim refused, the suspects assaulted the victim and then fled with his cell phone.

Sometime between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, an individual entered a residence on Cedar Chip Court in Parkville (21234) by prying open a window. Once inside, the suspect stole cash and a credit card before fleeing the scene.

Baltimore County recognizes achievements by and for people with disabilities

Baltimore CountyAt Wednesday’s 27th annual Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities Awards ceremony, an enthusiastic crowd helped to recognize the achievements of eleven individuals, employers, advocates and organizations for their outstanding achievements and contributions.

The Commission on Disabilities provides support and advocacy for County residents with disabilities and works to ensure that County programs, buildings and services are open equally to all persons, regardless of their disabilities.  In addition, the Commission provides resources and referrals on obtaining services not only from the County but through programs offered by the state and federal government.

“Healthy communities thrive because they have people who care, who get involved and who look out for the needs of their neighbors,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “We are pleased to recognize the efforts of some remarkable people living with disabilities in our communities and the people who help them in their journey.”

This year’s honorees include:

  • Jessica Solomon of Goucher College, winner of the Education Advocate of the Year Award;
  • Kayla Burroughs of Rosedale, winner of the Student of the Year Award;
  • Patricia Lane-Forster of Essex, winner of the Teacher of the Year Award;
  • Amy Smolenski on behalf of PDP Group of Hunt Valley, winner of the Employer of the Year Award;
  • Crystal Brockington of Towson, winner of the Employee of the Year Award;
  • Biliana Borimetchkova of Timonium, winner of the Art Accessibility Award;
  • Mat Rice of Towson, winner of the Statewide Advocate for Change Award;
  • Jennifer Hobbs, Pathfinders for Autism, winner of the Media-Public Awareness Award;
  • George Bollock of Fallston, winner of the Volunteer Award;
  • Richard Gnibus of Middle River, winner of the Disability Advocate Award;
  • Wanda Brown of Dulaney High School, winner of the Chairperson’s Special Award.

A few interesting stories…

Patricia Lane-Forster is an art teacher at Ridge Ruxton High School who serves students who are severely disabled, both intellectually and physically. She finds ways to adapt art projects so that students can complete the work independently, regardless of their ability. For example, she has developed methods through which nonverbal students can communicate color, texture and style preferences. For students with limited mobility, she incorporates robotics into the art class so that every student can make a mark on paper or canvas with the touch of a button.

Mat Rice, an individual with disabilities, has been at the forefront of self-advocacy in the legislature and in teaching other individuals with disabilities about how to advocate for themselves. Rice graduated from the Maryland School for the Blind and Parkville High School and went on to work as the Public Policy Specialist for People on the Go of Maryland. He has been instrumental in advising legislators on issues that affect the quality of life for people with disabilities in Maryland.

George Bollock has been a volunteer with the Oriole Advocates since 1991. He became a chairperson and “cheerleader” for a program known as the Challenger Baseball League, in 2010. The Challenger Baseball Program offers a variety of adapted baseball opportunities for athletes with disabilities. Bullock has provided more than 800 tickets each year for the athletes and their families to enjoy a game at Camden Yards during “Challenger Night.”

Wanda Brown, who teaches an engineering class at Dulaney High School, has led her engineering students through a standard engineering design process to create what is known as “chariot” for a young boy named Chandler who has Cerebral Palsy. The “chariot” is essentially a wheelchair bicycle hybrid that helps him exercise his limbs while being pushed outside in the neighborhood by his parents. This is just the most recent of eight projects for children with disabilities that Dulaney High’s engineering class has completed under Brown’s leadership.

Health officials to provide free flu shots in Middle River this weekend

Flu ShotBaltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of Health and Human Services and “Sure Shot,” the Department of Health mascot, announced this week that Baltimore County would hold “Super Saturday” free flu vaccination clinics this weekend.

On Saturday, October 21, from 9 a.m. to noon, the department will hold public flu vaccination clinics at the following locations in each of the seven council districts:

  • Drumcastle Government Center
    6401 York Road, First Floor
    Baltimore, Maryland 21212
  • Dundalk Middle School
    7400 Dunmanway
    Baltimore, Maryland 21222
  • Hereford Middle School
    712 Corbett Road
    Monkton, Maryland 21111
  • Lansdowne Middle School
    2400 Lansdowne Road
    Baltimore, Maryland 21227
  • Randallstown Community Center
    3505 Resource Drive
    Randallstown, Maryland 21133
  • Middle River Middle School
    800 Middle River Road
    Middle River, Maryland 21220
  • Pikesville Middle School
    7701 Seven Mile Lane
    Pikesville, Maryland 21208

Free flu vaccinations will be available, while supplies last. Vaccines are given on a first come, first serve basis and no appointment is needed. Residents are asked to wear short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts for quick and easy access to the portion of their arm where the vaccination will be administered.

“Nobody wants to catch the flu and flu vaccines are a great defense against this common, but potentially dangerous illness,” saidCounty Executive Kamenetz. “By having clinics located across the county, we are making it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get their free, annual flu shot on Saturday.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the flu vaccine – even if they were vaccinated last year – since immunity from vaccination declines over time and strains my change from year to year. The vaccine is safe, effective and readily available this season.

“I am urging all individuals six months and older to stay in the game and get a flu shot this year,” stated Dr. Branch. “As I remind residents every fall, the best defensive move against the flu is knowing the flu FACTS – Frequently wash your hands, Always get an annual flu shot, Cover your coughs, Take time off when you are sick, and Seek medical treatment if symptoms get worse.”

For more information on Super Saturday flu vaccination clinics, call 410-887-BCHD (2243) or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/flushot.

Police investigating home invasion, robberies, burglary

Police LightsPolice are investigating a home invasion, several robberies, and a burglary that have been reported over the past week.

Sometime between 11:30 p.m. on Friday, October 13, and midnight on Saturday, October 14, a man reported being assaulted by several unknown suspects with a baseball bat in the area of Pulaski Highway at Jones Road in Bradshaw (21087). The suspects took money from the victim and then fled the scene.

At about 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, two individuals entered the MetroPCS store located in the 100 block of Middle River Road in Essex (21221) and robbed the store of cash and two cell phones at gunpoint and then fled.

At just after 1:15 a.m. on Monday, October 16, three individuals forcefully entered a home in the 800 block of Wampler Road in Middle River (21220). Once inside, the suspects assaulted the victims and fled with their cell phone and house phone.

At 5 a.m. on Monday, an individual broke into the Taste of Taj Restaurant, located in the 9800 block of Belair Road in Perry Hall (21128), by shattering the glass door. Once inside, the suspect stole a cash register drawer, cash, and a safe.

At about 2:30 p.m. on Monday, a man was assaulted and robbed of his cell phone outside of his residence, located in the 2000 block of Kelbourne Road in Rosedale (21237), by two individuals. The suspects then fled the scene.