County to Establish “New Americans” Task Force

In acknowledgement of the growing number of residents who are immigrants and their substantial contributions to Baltimore County, County Executive Johnny Olszewski this week issued an executive order establishing a New Americans Task Force.

The new Task Force will guide County government as it seeks to build and maintain positive relationships with members of the immigrant community, and share research on policies, practices, and services that impact immigrant health, well-being, economic success and safety.

“Baltimore County’s greatest strength is its diversity, and we believe that all people – including those who are new to the country – should feel welcomed, included and valued,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “This task force’s work will highlight our commitment to supporting the immigrant community and strengthen and coordinate efforts countywide to better assure the successful integration of our New American neighbors.”

The Task Force is charged with developing an integration and inclusion strategic plan that builds upon the strengths of immigrants, their families, and their institutions, and expedites their journey towards integration and inclusion. The plan will further efforts to make Baltimore County a place of welcome, economic opportunity, community well-being, and inclusion.

The diverse group, chaired by Helany Sinkler, Diversity Acquisition Program Manager at T. Rowe Price, includes stakeholders from nonprofit organizations, private partners, foundations, financial institutions and County agencies serving New Americans. Members include:

  • Maricruz Abarca, Latino Providers Network
  • Richard Amador, Healthcare Access Maryland
  • Laura Brown, Asylee Women Enterprise
  • Alejandra Balcazar, Towson University
  • Susana Barrios, Latino Racial Justice Circle
  • Matthew Bernardy, Community College of Baltimore County
  • Ramona Carter-Brown, Baltimore County Human Relations
  • Zainab Chaundry, Council on American-Islamic Relations
  • Truphena M. Choti, AfriThrive
  • Mary Clay, Baltimore County Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Alejandra Flores Miller, Centro Sol, JHU School of Medicine
  • Nidia Gentry, Baltimore County Department of Health
  • Tasha Gresham James, Dundalk Renaissance
  • Monica Guerrero Vazquez, Centro Sol
  • Jennifer Hernandez, Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Annette Karanja, Haki Zetu
  • Cindy Kolade, CASA
  • Rachele J. Lawton, Community College of Baltimore County
  • Della Leister, Baltimore County Department of Health
  • Bishop Bruce Lewandowski, Archdiocese of Baltimore
  • Major Orlando Lilly, Baltimore County Police Department
  • John Mason, Baltimore County Department of Economic Development
  • Cassandra Miller, Baltimore County Public Library
  • Abdun Nafey Matin, ICNA Relief
  • Bella Owens, TurnAround, Inc.
  • Laure Pepper Covert, World Relief
  • Edwin Perez, Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Mitch Posner, Community Assistance Network
  • Javier Riva, Latino Economic Development Center
  • Valerie Rivera, Esperanza Center
  • Catalina Rodriguez-Lima, Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
  • Nan Ross, International Rescue Committee
  • Alfredo Santiago, Peace and Strength Counseling
  • Cate H. Scenna, Esq., Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland
  • Pat Shannon Jones, Immigration Outreach Service Center
  • Helany Sinkler, T. Rowe Price (Chair)
  • Tim Suryodaya Timsina, BANA
  • Betty Symington, ERICA

During its tenure, the ask Force will organize focus groups in each councilmanic district; facilitate a community survey in the County’s five most commonly spoken languages; identify and analyze barriers facing immigrants and their efforts and make recommendations to address those barriers.

“New Americans are here to have a better life and while they are extremely resilient, they have barriers to accessing services many of us take for granted,” said Baltimore County Immigration Affairs Outreach Coordinator Giuliana Valencia-Banks. “The New Americans Task Force’s work will support the efforts of this administration to make Baltimore County a place of welcome, economic opportunity, and inclusion. We are taking a comprehensive, community-driven approach to New American inclusion.”

The first meeting of the Baltimore County New Americans Task Force will be held via WebEx on Monday, June 12 at 6 p.m. A schedule for future meetings will be available at the work group’s webpage.

The Baltimore County New Americans Task Force will submit a report to the County Executive and the County Council by March 31, 2024.

For questions or more information about the Baltimore County New Americans Task Force, please visit the work group’s webpage.

BCPS to Offer Summer Meals Starting June 20

Baltimore County Public Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch meals through the Summer Food Service Program from Tuesday, June 20, through Friday, August 18.

Meals will be served Monday through Friday, but meal sites will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. All meals
must be consumed on site.
During the Summer Food Service Program, breakfast and lunch meals will be provided at the following
sites and times:

BCPS schools (serving breakfast and lunch)
• Colgate Elementary School, 7735 Gough St. 21224 – 9-9:30 a.m. & 1-1:30 p.m.
• Dundalk High School, 1901 Delvale Ave. 21222 – 7:15-7:45 a.m. & 11:15-11:45 a.m.
• Elmwood Elementary School, 531 Dale Ave. 21206 – 9-9:30 a.m. & 1-1:30 p.m.
• Glyndon Elementary School, 445 Glyndon Dr. 21136 – 8-8:30 a.m. & 12-12:30 p.m.
• Hawthorne Elementary School, 125 Kingston Rd. 21220 – 8-8:30 a.m. & 12-12:30 p.m.
• Hebbville Elementary School, 3335 Washington Ave. 21244 – 8-8:30 a.m. & 1-1:30 p.m.
• Lansdowne Middle School, 2400 Lansdowne Rd. 21227 – 7:15-7:45 a.m. & 11:15-11:45 a.m.
• Middle River Middle School, 800 Middle River Rd. 21220 – 7:15-7:45 a.m. &11:15-11:45 a.m.
• Milbrook Elementary School, 4300 Crest Heights Rd. 21215 – 9-9:30 a.m. & 1-1:30 p.m.
• New Town High School, 4931 New Town Blvd. 21117 – 7:15-7:45 a.m. & 11:15-11:45 a.m.
• Padonia Elementary School, 9834 Greenside Dr. 21030 – 8-8:30 a.m. & 12-12:30 p.m.
• Parkville Middle School, 8711 Avondale Rd. 21234 – 7:15-7:45 a.m. & 11:15-11:45 a.m.
• Pleasant Plains Elem. School, 8300 Pleasant Plains Rd. 21286 – 8-8:30 a.m. & 12-12:30 p.m.
Baltimore County Public Library branches (serving lunch only)
• Arbutus Library, 855 Sulphur Spring Rd. 21227 – 12-1 p.m.
• Essex Library, 1100 Eastern Blvd. 21221 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
• Lansdowne Library, 500 Third Ave. 21227 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
• Loch Raven Library, 1046 Taylor Ave. 21286 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
• North Point Library, 1716 Merrit Blvd. 21222 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.
• Parkville-Carney Library, 9509 Harford Rd. 21234 – 12-1 p.m.
• Randallstown Library, 8604 Liberty Rd. 21133 – 12-1 p.m.
• Reisterstown Library, 21 Cockeys Mill Rd. 21186 – 12-1 p.m.
• Rosedale Library, 6105 Kenwood Ave. 21237 – 12-1 p.m.
• White Marsh Library, 8133 Sandpiper Cir. 21236 – 12-1 p.m.
• Woodlawn Library, 1811 Woodlawn Dr. 21207 – 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Police Tell Residents to Stay Vigilant for Summer

Detectives with the Baltimore County Police Department remind residents to remain vigilant as the weather warms. This is the time of year when criminals impersonating legitimate contractors, handypersons, or utility workers appear in local neighborhoods looking for unsuspecting homeowners to deceive, scam or burglarize. These transient imposters/deception burglars often work in tandem to gain access to your home. While one person pulls you away to discuss the paving of your driveway, the other culprit is looking to gain entry into the house. Please report any suspicious individuals or activity by immediately calling 911. If possible, take note of license tag numbers, vehicle descriptions, or suspect descriptions without putting yourself at risk. If obtained, be sure to provide the information to the responding officers.

The scammers appear unannounced. They may drop the name of a neighbor to disarm you.
They are always offering a deal! Remember, if what they offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Contact the Better Business Bureau to verify the contractor’s background.
Ask a neighbor or friend to recommend a reliable contractor.
NEVER pay upfront for work; ALWAYS pay after the job.
Do not let someone in your home you are not expecting – regardless of what they tell you.
Take a minute to study what the person looks like (height, facial hair, weight, tattoo, etc.)
If you feel unsafe, call 911 immediately.

The suspect knocks on your door or approaches you while you are outside working in your yard, washing your automobile, etc. They claim to need your help or offer to do the construction or maintenance-type work outside your home. This offer requires you to accompany the suspect to look at your roof, fence, check property lines, etc. While the first suspect diverts your attention outside, a second suspect enters your home and steals money, jewelry, and other valuables before you return. It may be days before you realize you have been victimized.

Another scenario involves the suspect(s) inquiring about the purchase of an item that you have displayed outside for sale (e.g., car, boat, camper trailer, etc.). The first suspect will distract the homeowner, while a second suspect enters the home and steals your valuables. The suspect sometimes agrees to purchase the item to get you more interested (or, in this scenario, more distracted) and decides to return with the money. For obvious reasons, they never return.

A similar scenario can also take place inside your home. The suspect will come to your door claiming to be a representative of a utility, cable, telephone company, etc. They will ask you to let them in to test the service. While you are assisting the first suspect, who you believe to be a legitimate representative, the second suspect enters the home and steals your valuables.

Juveniles Arrested for Destruction to Cars

On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at approximately 12:25 a.m., Baltimore County Police officers responded to the 6600 block of Loch Hill Road in reference to a destruction of property call.

When officers arrived on the scene, they identified several nearby vehicles that had been broken into. Shortly thereafter, officers located a dark sedan with its engine running at Raven Hill and Loch Hill Roads.

As officers were working to determine whether the vehicle was stolen, two juveniles jumped into the sedan and drove off. Although officers attempted to stop the suspect vehicle several times, the driver refused, placing the lives of officers in danger.

At one point, the suspect vehicle dragged an officer who was attempting to stop the juveniles. The suspect vehicle also struck two marked police cars while attempting to flee.

Officers apprehended the 15 and 14-year-old juvenile suspects at the intersection of Northwood Drive and Pentwood Road. Officers later identified at least five vehicles that were broken into in connection to these suspects.

Applications Being Accepted For BCPS School Board Seat

The Baltimore County School Board Nominating Commission will begin accepting applications for the Board’s one at-large seat for the term beginning 2023 through December 4, 2028.

The composition and selection of the Board of Education of Baltimore County includes both appointed and elected members. Seven members of the school board are elected, while four members of the Board are appointed by the governor. The Baltimore County School Board Nominating Commission has the task of selecting nominees to recommend to the governor for the at-large positions.

“Interested Baltimore County residents are urged to submit applications,” said Commission Chair Cindy Sexton. The candidate interview dates will be determined.

The application is posted on the Baltimore County Public Schools’ website, beginning May 4, 2023, and will be accepted through Thursday, May 18, 2023, until 4 p.m.

Applications, resumes, and two letters of recommendation may be mailed or hand-delivered to the Baltimore County School Board Nominating Commission, c/o Tracy Gover, 6901 North Charles Street, Building A, Towson, MD 21204.

Police Investigate Homicide in Cockeysville

Detectives with the Baltimore County Police Department continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding an early morning homicide in Cockeysville.

At approximately 4:55 a.m., April 30, Baltimore County police officers responded to Cranbrook and Halesworth roads, 21030, for a reported shooting. When officers arrived on the scene, they located a subject suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body. The male victim has been identified as 28-year-old Earl Bodkin Jr.

Homicide detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this case. Anyone with information concerning this fatal shooting is asked to contact detectives at 410-307-2020.

Orlando to Ft. Lauerdale

Would you like to take a daytrip from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale? We can get you there through driving, taking a plane, taking a bus or taking a train.

The distance from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale is 212 miles, which is an estimated 3 to 3 1/2 hours when driving.

Would you like to take a daytrip from Orlando to FortLauderdale? We can get you there through driving, taking a plane, taking a bus or taking a train.

We will provide different routes to get you from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. There are different options to get from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. We will list three different routes.

Option 1-Florida Turnpike & I-95
The distance from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale using the Florida Turnpike is 212 miles. This is the quickest and most expensive route as it is an estimated three hours and 10 minutes

Motorists are advised to start at Interstate 4 West and to get off at exit 77 which is the exit for the Florida Turnpike.
Motorists are next told to take the Turnpike 143 miles all the way South Florida until Exit 116, Jupiter Road. Then turn left onto southbound I-95. Then take exit 27 off I-95 to arrive in Fort Lauderdale.
There is a toll when taking the Florida Turnpike. The toll is an estimated $xxx from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale.

Option 2 I-95
The distance from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale when using the Florida Turnpike and I-95 is three hours and 19 minutes and 221 miles.
This route starts on Florida Route 50 east. Take that road for 17 miles until it eventually becomes Florida Route 520 E. Stay on that road until it connects to I-95 South 23 miles later.
Remain on I-95 South for 174 miles. Take exit 27, which is Florida Route 842 Broward Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

It is about an hour and 5 minute non-stop flight from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. There are around five flights a day that leave from (link to airport website) Orlando International Airport (MCO).
The airport is located at Orlando International Airport, 1 Jeff Fuqua Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32827.
Flights leave as early as 7:35 a.m. and flights go out as late as 11 p.m. Spirit, Southwest and Silver are the three airlines that provide flights from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale.
There are flights as low as $120 on some discounted sites but those flights must be booked in advance and are part of special deals. It appears most flights are around $200 to $300 per person and some last minute flights can range between $400 to $500.

Here is the daily flight schedule from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale

7:35 a.m. Spirit 195 departs from Orlando
9:35 a.m. Southwest 3627 departs from Orlando
3:40 p.m. Silver 53 departs from Orlando
9 p.m. Spirit 3675 departs from Orlando
10 p.m. Southwest 1225 departs from Orlando



4:20 a.m. Greyhound Orlando Bus Station to Fort Lauderdale Bus Station 7:55 a.m. $47.99

5:05 a.m. Flixbus Orlando International Drive to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride $51.25

5:30 a.m. Flixbus Kissimmee North to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 11:40 a.m. $51.26

7 a.m. Flixbus Orlando International Drive to Ft. Lauderdale Airport 10:35 a.m. $42.99

7:25 a.m. Flixbus Kissimmee North to Fort Lauderdale Airport 10 a.m. $37.99

7:45 a.m. Flixbus University of Central Florida to Fort Lauderdale Airport. $64.99

10:10 a.m. Greyhound Orlando Bus Station to Fort Lauderdale Bus Station 1:40 p.m.

10:30 a.m. Flixbus Orlando International Drive Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 2:10 p.m. $42.99

11 a.m. Flixbus Kissimmee North to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 2:10 p.m. $37.99

11 a.m. Flixbus Orlando Airport to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 2:55 p.m. $37.99

11:15 a.m. Flixbus Salt Lake Road to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 2:55 p.m. $37.99

11:45 a.m. Flixbus Kissimmee North to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 2:55 p.m. $37.99

1 p.m. Flixbus Orlando International Drive to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 5 p.m. $37.99

1:25 p.m. Flixbus Kissimmee North to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 5 p.m. $37.99

2 p.m. Flixbus Orlando International Drive to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 5:30 p.m. $42.99

2:25 Flixbus Kissimmee to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 5:30 p.m. $42.99

3 p.m. Flixbus Orlando International Drive to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 6:60 $37.99

3:25 p.m. Flixbus Kissimmee North to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 6:50 p.m.

4 p.m. Flixbus Orlando Airport to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 7:50 p.m. $37.99

4:15 p.m. Flixbus Salt Lake Road to
Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 7:50 p.m. $37.99

5:05 p.m. Greyhound Orlando Bus Station to Fort Lauderdale Bus Station. $37.99

5:25 Flixbus Orlando International Drive to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 8:55 p.m. $37.99

5:50 p.m. Flixbus Kissimmee North to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 8:55 p.m. $37.99

9:10 p.m. Greyhound Orlando Bus Station to Fort Lauderdale Bus Station 2:15 a.m. $37.99

11:50 p.m. Flixbus Orlando International Drive to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 8:05 a.m. $49.99

11:50 p.m. Flixbus Orlando International Drive to Broward Boulevard Park & Ride 8:10 a.m. $49.99

11:50 p.m. Greyhound Orlando International Drive to Fort Lauderdale 8:20 a.m. $49.99

The costs of a train ticket between Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale is $ggg

The 91 Silver Star leaves the Orlando train station at 10:47 a.m. and arrives in Fort Lauderdale at 12:55 p.m. It is approximately at 7:10 minute ride.

The 97 Silver Meteor is only 4:47
It departs from the Orlando train station at 1:19 p.m. and arrives in Fort Lauderdale at 6:06 p.m.

Five BCPS Elementary Schools Receive National Computer Science Education Awards

Five Balitmore County Public Schools were among the inaugural group of 160 schools nationally to receive CS100 Awards from CS is Elementary and CSforAll.

CS100 Awards recognize elementary schools that commit to teaching at least 10 hours per year of computer science to every student in Kindergarten through Grade 5. The BCPS schools were among a subset of honorees to receive “All-In” awards for offering instruction aligned to all state or local standards for computer science education.

The honored BCPS schools are:
Hawthorne Elementary – Michelle Schnell, teacher; Jennifer Burch, acting principal
Hebbville Elementary – Hagit Barrett, teacher; Jordan Filderman, principal
Mays Chapel Elementary – Bethany Berkowitz, teacher; Steve Coco, principal
Oliver Beach Elementary – Kimberly Myers, teacher; Lynne Palmer, principal
Sparks Elementary – Jill Crowley, teacher; Magan Chyko-Leigh, principal

“We are so proud of these schools, teachers, and principals for ensuring that our elementary students
receive a strong foundation in computer science,” said BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams. “Their
transending efforts are sure to be duplicated across the county.”

According to CS is Elementary and CSforAll, less than 6 percent of U.S. high school students take even
one computer science class. “It turns out that computer science is a literacy, and like other literacies, it must be acquired in the elementary grades,” said John Pearce, CS is Elementary executive director. “We
owe every child a solid understanding of coding, robotics, artificial intelligence, data science, and
computational thinking to prepare them for the digital future.”

York Man Arrested for Assault of Uber Driver

Maryland State Police arrested an Uber passenger after he verbally and physically abused the driver yesterday evening in Baltimore County.

The accused is identified as Eduardo Castillo, 30, of no fixed address. Castillo was charged with second degree assault, false imprisonment and other related drug charges. He was transported to St. Joseph Medical Center for treatment. He was later transported to the Baltimore County Detention Center where he was seen by a district court commissioner and later released.

The victim is not being identified at this time. He was the driver of a 2012 Hyundai Accent involved in the incident. He was transported by ambulance to Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) for possible exposure to controlled dangerous substances during the Uber transport.

At about 3:50 p.m. on Friday, April 21, Maryland State Police Golden Ring Barrack received a 9-1-1 call in reference to an Uber driver being held against his will while transporting a passenger. The preliminary investigation revealed an Uber driver picked up a passenger, later identified as Castillo in York, PA. The driver transported Castillo to several locations before driving him to Baltimore City.

During the transport, Castillo reportedly took the driver’s phone several times. The victim advised police that Castillo was also smoking an illegal substance in the front passenger seat, yelling at him and hitting him in the head while he was driving. The driver, in fear for his own life, was able to send a single text message to his mother to ask her to call for help. The mother of the victim then contacted the police. An immediate lookout for the vehicle was issued.

Troopers at the Golden Ring Barrack located the vehicle and conducted a subsequent traffic stop on northbound I-83 in the area of York Road. Upon their approach, troopers observed Castillo with signs of drug impairment. Troopers also located illegal drugs inside the vehicle. Castillo was arrested on scene without incident.

The Baltimore County Police Department provided assistance on the scene. Personnel from the Baltimore County Fire Department also assisted with the incident. The case remains under investigation.

County to Hold 2023 Litter Blitz

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski is calling on County residents and organizations to help reduce the litter that degrades our communities and threatens our waterways. BaltCo Litter Blitz — a grassroots outreach effort that begins on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 — invites groups of any size in Baltimore County to “team up to tackle litter” by hosting community cleanups and sharing results.

“A clean Baltimore County is a healthy and thriving Baltimore County, and all are encouraged to come together and help to ensure that those who visit, live and work here are able to enjoy all of the natural beauty our communities offer, said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We all have a responsibility to take care of the environment, and working together to keep neighborhoods clean and waterways litter free is a win for everyone.”

Details and resources for the initiative, including a registration form, a cleanup checklist and social media toolkit, an interactive cleanup map and real-time results dashboard, are all accessible via the County’s website. Groups that choose to organize a cleanup can register their events, request supplies and indicate if they are seeking volunteers, and people who wish to volunteer can find contact information to reach out to them directly.

Upon request, the County is providing contractor bags and safety gloves to registered cleanups while supplies last and trash pickups for large cleanups.

The Litter Blitz initiative, which runs through Memorial Day, is a partnership between the County Executive’s Office, Baltimore County departments – Public Works and Transportation, and Environmental Protection and Sustainability.

Long-Term Anti-Litter Programs

In addition to the one-month Litter Blitz promotion, Olszewski encourages people to participate in the County’s year-round litter collection programs, Adopt-A-Road and the Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge.

The County’s Adopt-a-Road program currently includes 130 groups that pick up litter along a designated section of county roadway at least four times per year. Eligible adopters include civic and nonprofit organizations, school groups, commercial and private enterprises, families and individuals.

The Team BCPS Clean Green 15 Litter Challenge allows groups who conduct a 15-minute litter cleanup to designate a Baltimore County public school to earn credit towards grants to fund school-based environmental projects like outdoor classrooms, butterfly or rain gardens and nature educational opportunities for students.