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Chesapeake Ranch Loses Again

By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 31, 2005; Page SM02

A federal appeals court has rejected a request by the Chesapeake Ranch Water Co. to prevent Calvert County from providing water to the Lusby town center.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit unanimously ruled that the county commissioners did not violate federal rule when they decided that the county, rather than the water company, would provide water to Lusby.

Stephen D. Ball, an attorney for the utility, said Chesapeake would not appeal the ruling.

The March 16 decision said the legal arguments put forward by Chesapeake, which serves 10,000 customers in the Lusby area, would "lead to absurd results."

Emanuel Demedis, the county attorney, said he was pleased that the court used such strong language in rejecting the utility's claims. "It was more than I was expecting," he said.

Linden House Gets Funding

The Calvert Historical Society received $250,000 this week to support the Linden House restoration project.

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who sponsored the inclusion of the money in the federal appropriations legislation passed last year, presented the check to Historical Society and Calvert County on Monday.

Linden is the last urban farmstead on Maryland's western shore and the only house of its period in Calvert County, according to the historical society. The funding will be used to restore the interior of Linden's main house to complete its full use as a community heritage center.

Linden has been home to three politically, economically and socially important Maryland families, according to information supplied by Hoyer's office. The house was built in 1869 by Henry Williams, a lawyer who later headed the Weems Steamboat line.

Daniel MacGruder, chief justice of Calvert County and Maryland's youngest judge, lived there until 1881. John B. Gray Sr., a founding member of the Maryland State Bar Association, and his descendants called Linden home for many years. It was eventually sold to St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

The house has been vacant since 1988 and had fallen into disrepair. At the urging of the historical society, the county purchased the land in 1997. Since then, the historical society has joined with others to restore the property.

A Big Donation

Local 26 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, based in Pomfret, has donated $125,000 worth of equipment for a lab that will be used to train new electricians at Charles County's new North Point High School for Science, Technology and Industry.

Union members also will take part in a program to teach electrical apprentices at the new school, which is scheduled to open Aug. 15.

The arrangement, school and trade officials said, represents a growing trend of school-to-work programs sponsored by unions around the nation. The program at North Point involves Charles County public schools, Local 26, the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Cooperative, and the D.C. chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.

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