Five for Hall of Fame The Prince George's County Commission for Women this week named the first five persons to be inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame.
Community activist Theresa D. Banks, District Court Judge Bess Lavine, scientist Mary Shorb, former U.S. representative Gladys Spellman and Orphans' Court Judge Lucy D. Warr were chosen because of outstanding contributions to the county.
Banks, a Prince George's native who died in 1972 after a heart attack, was an elementary school teacher in the county schools for 48 years, starting in a one-room schoolhouse in a black school system. She also helped to establish black parent-teacher associations.
She was the first woman to serve on the Glenarden Town Council and served as town clerk for many years.
Lavine, a 37-year resident, was appointed in 1970 by the 7th Judicial Circuit Court to serve as master for juvenile cases, becoming the first woman in the county in a judicial position.
She is the founder and president of the Women Lawyers Caucus of Prince George's County. She was involved in many community groups and worked to establish the Bryam Home, the first group home in the county for emotionally disturbed adolescents.
Shorb is a 50-year resident whose research work in the field of bacteriology and immuniology led her to identify vitamin B-12, which is used to treat pernicious anemia, a disease that was considered fatal until 1947.
Spellman, in 1962, was the first woman to be elected to the County Commission, which became the County Council in 1970. She was elected to Congress in 1974.
Spellman suffered a heart attack in 1980, collapsed into a coma and has never regained consciousness.
Warr, a 37-year resident, also serves as associate executive director for social planning for the United Way of the National Capital Area, served as a state delegate for the county's 25th district and is a member of the Women's Political Caucus. She also served 10 years as judge and chief judge of elections in the 18th precinct.
Minority Business Award A federal agency has cited Prince George's County for innovation in promoting minority business enterprise.
The national award, presented by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, recognized programs that include the county's Entrepreneurial Development Program, which provides technical and financial assistance to small business, and the Community Development Program, which provides grants for economic rehabilitation.