Tree Lighting

In Park Canceled

Howard County Aglow, the annual tree lighting in Centennial Park scheduled for tomorrow evening, has been canceled. Organizers said the parking lots at the park are still too icy after last week's storm.

The county tradition is expected to resume next year.

Public Welcome

To Discuss Budget

A public hearing about the Howard County budget for fiscal 2004, hosted by County Executive James N. Robey (D), will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Banneker Room of the Howard Building, 3430 Courthouse Dr., Ellicott City.

Sign up in person starting at 6:30 p.m. to speak at the meeting. A form is available on the home page of the county's Web site,, for those who want to present testimony via the Internet.

Warm Up Holidays,

Donate Mittens

The Howard County Library is accepting donations of children's mittens to decorate holiday trees at the Central, East Columbia, Elkridge, Glenwood, Miller and Savage branches.

The mittens will be donated to local charities after the holidays.

Essay Contest

For Students

The Howard County Library is inviting fourth- and fifth-graders to write a brief essay on their favorite black inventor in celebration of Black History Month in February.

In one page or less, students should tell which inventor they have chosen, what that person invented, when the invention occurred and why it is important.

During February, selected essays will be displayed at the Howard County Central Library near an exhibit about black inventors, sponsored by the Great Blacks in Wax Museum. All other essays will be compiled and made available for library patrons to read.

Essays, with the student's name, grade and school, should be submitted between Monday and Jan. 27 to E.B. Johnson, Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, Md. 21044 or e-mailed to

Last Flu Clinics

Planned This Week

The Howard County Health Department will hold the last two flu shot clinics this season from 9 a.m. to noon today at the Athletic and Fitness Building at Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, and from 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow at Longwood Apartments, 6150 Foreland Garth, Columbia.

No appointments are necessary; wear a short-sleeve shirt. The shots are free.