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The Top 10 Stories in Anne Arundel County

Wednesday, December 25, 1996; Page M01

1. Midshipmen Arrested

A series of midshipmen arrests -- on charges including sexual assault, car theft and drug use -- jolted the U.S. Naval Academy, prompting tighter restrictions and an ongoing institutional evaluation. On the bright side, Navy football enjoyed its best season since the 1960s and drew record home crowds.

2. Political Resurrection

Prickly and powerful Sen. John A. Cade, the Anne Arundel Republican with unprecedented influence in the Democrat-controlled State House, died Nov. 14 of a heart attack. Onetime Republican golden boy Robert R. Neall emerged from political retirement to take his place.

3. Officer Shoots Teenager

An Annapolis police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Cochise Daughtry on Sept. 2 while trying to break up a fight. The incident, still under investigation, stirred long-simmering complaints of police racism in the city's public housing community.

4. Megachurch Melee

Religious leaders and rural residents battled over Riverdale Baptist Church's plans to build a sprawling megachurch near Davidsonville. This month the County Council approved new land-use restrictions requiring nonprofit groups to get county permission before building super-sized parking lots in agricultural zones.

5. Homeowners vs. Development

Anne Arundel homeowners dug in to oppose several planned subdivisions, including a 154-house community in rural waterfront Shady Side and some smaller developments on the already-crowded Annapolis Neck Peninsula.

6. Mixed Results on Pensions

The courts blocked County Executive John G. Gary in June from rolling back generous and controversial pensions given to former top county officials in the 1980s. But Gary succeeded in getting the council to cut pensions for current and future employees, with expected annual savings of $3 million.

7. Executive Job Allegations

County Executive Gary was dogged by accusations that he improperly placed political pals in merit jobs within county government, but the county Ethics Commission cleared him on all charges this fall.

8. Sandy Point Shootout

The opening of a deer-hunting season for teenage bow-and-arrow hunters at Sandy Point State Park prompted a protest in November by animal rights activists and neighbors. State officials scaled back the hunt, but the controversy continues.

9. School Disputes

Crowded classrooms spurred a face-off in November between school officials -- who pleaded for more money -- and County Executive Gary, who told them they already have plenty in their budget surplus. Meanwhile, school board member Thomas R. Twombly resigned in June after colleagues complained of abusive behavior toward them.

10. Medical Center Move

After ending merger talks with sometime-rival North Arundel Hospital, Anne Arundel Medical Center announced last summer that it will leave its home of 94 years in downtown Annapolis and build a hospital near its satellite campus on Jennifer Road.

© Copyright 1996 The Washington Post Company

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