The Bladensburg Town Council at its Dec. 10 meeting voted to support the Free Hope Bapitist Church, 4107 47th St., in its bid for a historic preservation grant to help restore the nearly 200-year-old church. The requested $38,000 grant is one of several grants to be given by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission to preserve historic structures.


The Capitol Heights Town Council at its Dec. 10 meeting voted to allow Mae's Beauty Salon to operate permanently in the rear of the town police station at One Capitol Heights Blvd. The council last month voted to force the salon to move out of the building to give the nine-member police force more space. Council members said the salon, which has been paying $75 a month rent to the town, may stay in the police station as long as it signs a lease and obtains liability insurance.


The Cheverly Town Council at its Dec. 13 meeting voted to annex the new Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary School at 64th and Kilmer streets, which is scheduled to open early next year. The annexation will put the county school within city corporate limits and allow the city to participate in fundraising and curriculum planning.

The school was formerly the site of the Happy Acres Elementary School, which was razed in 1988 to allow for the construction of a new school.


The Colmar Manor Town Council at its Dec. 11 meeting approved a referendum on whether the mayor and the four-member council should serve two-year terms rather than the current four-year terms. Town residents will vote on the referendum, requested by council member Howard Foster to permit more frequent changes on the council, on Feb. 19 at Town Hall, 3701 Lawrence St. Voters will be asked a second question on the ballot, whether -- if two-year terms are approved -- the current office holders should finish out their four-year terms or begin two-year terms following the town's May election. Two council members are up for reelection in May. The mayor and two other members of the council are in the second year of their terms. The elected part-time positions pay the mayor $150 a month and council members $100.


The College Park City Council at its Dec. 11 meeting voted to send a letter to Metrovision Cable Co. requesting that the company give city residents a choice in cable guides. Metrovision recently notified town residents that they will be charged an additional $1.45 monthly fee for a new cable guide they are now receiving in the mail. Residents who do not wish to purchase the new guide were instructed to notify Metrovision that they don't want the new guide. Those who notify the company would continue to receive the standard cable guide Metrovision issues free. College Park officials said city residents should be given a choice before the cable listings are sent out.


The Laurel City Council at its Dec. 10 meeting approved pension fund changes allowing city government and police employees to withdraw their retirement contributions when transferring between the two departments -- which is not permitted under current city regulations.


A memorial service for former Mayor Sammie Abbott will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 5 at the Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th St. NW.

Abbott, whose controversial style and unrelenting activism helped transform the community, died Saturday of myelodysplasia anemia. He was 82.

As mayor from 1980 to 1985, Abbott championed the causes for which he had a lifelong concern: civil rights, nuclear weapons and the plight of the poor. During his tenure as mayor, the city declared itself a "nuclear free zone" and prohibited any city business with companies involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Also, while he was mayor, the city enacted rent control, installed speed bumps and worked to stop school closings.

In 1985, he lost his bid for re-election by seven votes to Stephen J. Del Giudice, who left the mayor's post earlier this month to take a seat on the Prince George's County Council.

Del Giudice's victory over Abbott came after the young lawyer promised residents he would pay more attention to the day-to-day operation of city government. Many residents and political observers said that Del Giudice's entry to city politics signified that residents were distancing themselves from Abbott's liberal philosophies in favor of a more pragmatic approach.

His activism continued after even after his defeat. In 1988, he was arrested protesting a Montgomery County move to evict illegal renters in Takoma Park.