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Baltimore County Now

Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
  1. Baltimore County Health Officials Announce First West Nile Virus Case

    Health Experts Offer Prevention Tips

    The Baltimore County Department of Health is announcing its first confirmed case of West Nile Virus (WNV) this year. The infected individual died on Monday, August 24, from causes not related to West Nile Virus.

    “West Nile Virus is an unfortunate, yet common disease that we expect to find in Marylanders this time of year," said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services. "To reduce the risk of getting infected, I encourage residents to W.R.A.P. up."

    W.R.A.P. Up

    “W.R.A.P. Up” prevention measures are: 

    • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats, when concerned about mosquitoes.
    • Repair damaged window screens.
    • Avoid areas of high mosquito activity and unnecessary outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
    • Purchase and use an EPA-registered insect repellent according to package directions.

    WNV is a disease that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected animal. In humans, WNV generally causes either no symptoms or mild, flu-like illness, but it can also be fatal. Persons older than 60 have the greatest risk of developing severe disease. People with compromised immune systems also may be at high risk of WNV infection.

    Monitor Yards and Gardens

    Residents are urged to monitor their own yards and gardens for standing water that can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Small amounts of water in a discarded can or container will support dozens of mosquitoes. To eliminate mosquito-breeding areas: 

    • Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.
    • Empty or screen corrugated drain pipes.  
    • Remove old tires or drill drainage holes in tires used as playground equipment.
    • Turn over wading pools, wheelbarrows, wagons and carts when not in use. Flush water from the bottom of plant holders twice a week.
    • Replace water in birdbaths at least twice a week.
    • Turn garbage can lids upside down and make sure trash receptacles are empty of water.
    • Fix dripping faucets.
    • Aerate ornamental pools and water gardens or stock with fish and use a circulating filter system.

    Spray Programs Offered

    In an effort to reduce the WNV-infected mosquito population, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will spray all communities within a one-mile radius of where the deceased person lived. MDA plans to post the affected communities at http://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/mosquito_control.aspx.

    Communities interested in the spray program should send an email to the Environmental Health Services Office at ehs@baltimorecountymd.gov. Please note that mosquito control services cannot be provided within a community that has not enrolled in the program.

    Information

    To learn more about WNV, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

    Wed, 26 Aug 2015 20:22:00 GMThttp://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/Baltimore_County_Health_Officials_Announce_First_West_Nile_Virus_Case
  2. Crime Drops by 7.2 Percent in 2014

    Some Categories Have Fallen to 1980s Levels

    The official statistics for 2014 show a 7.2 percent reduction in overall crime in Baltimore County, with a decline in almost every category of violent crime.

    Police Chief Jim Johnson, along with County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, announced this latest crime data at a press briefing this morning in Towson. (BCoPD releases crime statistics that have been certified as accurate under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. BCoPD uses the previous five-year average as a benchmark for comparison.)

    “Our police department has surpassed my expectations when it comes to crime reduction,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Some categories of crime have fallen to levels not seen since the 1980s.”

    Like overall crime, Part I Crime – which includes the most serious types of violent and property crime – decreased by 7.2 percent relative to the previous five-year average. All precincts saw a reduction in Part I Crime, with Essex experiencing the greatest decrease of 11.9 percent.

    Part I Violent Crime – homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – fell by 6.1 percent overall. Most notably, an 11.3 percent decrease was recorded in cases of aggravated assault. Aggravated assaults are the most serious types of assaults, often involving a weapon and often a barometer of a community’s overall  safety.

    All precincts experienced a decrease in Part I Property Crime, with the total decline recorded at 7.4 percent. This includes a 15.8 percent decrease in burglaries and a 17.1 decrease in motor vehicle theft.

    Total crime – including total Part 1 and 2 Crime – also declined compared to the previous calendar year, 2013.

    A Strategic Approach

    Chief Johnson attributed the overall decline in crime largely to a strategic approach by Baltimore County Police that involves constant monitoring of crime trends and deciding how  best to allocate resources.

    “The other crucial factors,” Johnson said, “are the support of the County Executive in making sure resources are available and, of course, the talent and dedication of our detectives, patrol officers and community outreach officers.”

    Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:46:00 GMThttp://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/Crime_Drops_by_72_percent_in_2014
  3. Active Aging is Healthy Aging

     Benefits of Exercise

    Research has proven that the more you exercise the better, and longer, your life will be. No matter what age you start your exercise program, you will benefit from the physical activity.

    Just moving for 30 to 60 minutes three to five times a week boosts your health by…

    •Lowering your stroke risk.

    Protecting against osteoporosis.

    Increasing your metabolic rate.

    Preventing, and even reducing, high blood pressure.

    Alleviating depression.

    Reducing your cancer risk.

    Lowering your blood sugar.

    Reducing your risk of falls.

    Get Ready!Get Set! Get Fit!

    An easy way to have some fun and get some exercise too is to register for Baltimore County Department of Aging’s (BCDA) ninth annual “Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit! 5K Run-Walk / 1 Mile Walk” on Sunday, September 20, 2015. This family-friendly event will be held at the CCBC Essex campus, conveniently located near I 95 and I 695 off of Rossville Boulevard. You can run or walk the 5-kilometer or 1-mile course at your own pace. Your wallet might get some exercise too if you win the “Fitness Pays” Grand Door Prize Drawing of $500, courtesy of Walgreens (must be present to win). Proceeds from the event support BCDA’s programs for seniors.

    Every moment spent exercising is time well spent. If you don’t know how to get started exercising, and you are over 60 years of age, the Baltimore County Department of Agingprovides wonderful opportunities to engage in fitness and wellness activities; explore the options.

    Information

    For more information on the "Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit! 5K Run-Walk/1 Mile Walk”or senior center fitness programming, call 410-887-2040 or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/seniorcenters. To register for the Run-Walk, visit www.getreadygetsetgetfit5k.com.

    Donna Bilz, Program Specialist, Baltimore County Department of Aging

    Tue, 25 Aug 2015 22:01:00 GMThttp://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/Active_Aging_is_Healthy_Aging
  4. Back-to-School in Style

    Stay on Track

    It’s that time of year again: the sun sets a bit earlier, the weather gets a bit cooler, and “back-to-school sale” ads are constantly running on television and in our news feeds online.

    School has become the focus for kids and families everywhere, including me, as I start my junior year of high school next week. Stores are packed with shoppers, and students are rushing to complete the homework packets they were supposed to work on all summer long. A little switch turns on inside students and parents alike, making us shift gears from leisure mode to work mode for the next nine months.

    Tips for Students

    With the new school year comes new ideas, new people, new challenges, and new experiences. Here are my back-to-school tips for students. And actually, most can apply to grownup endeavors too! Head back with a new attitude and challenge yourself with a new routine. Set goals like keeping organized, creating study guides for every test, accepting a few more AP classes, and even expanding your group of friends or challenging the status quo. This can keep your ideas fresh, help you stay on track, and create a sense of accomplishment that will last the whole year.

    Suggestions

    My suggestions include:    

    1. Get plenty of sleep. Students need lots of rest to stay alert and focused in class. Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep a night to help you perform your best each day.
           
    2. Stay organized. Organization is important for having a successful year. Classes can become overwhelming sometimes, but if you keep a neat locker and organized binders, school will flow more smoothly.
          
    3. Set goals. This will keep you on track and focused throughout the year. As American author Earl Nightingale put it, “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” Let your goals be your guide.
         
    4. Manage time effectively. Time management of academic life and social life can be difficult, but it’s the key to good grades and a great school year. In other words, do your homework and limit your daily social activities as needed. Managing your time well helps you meet deadlines and stay on track.
         
    5. Start your daily routine in advance. Going back to school can be a shock to your system after a few relaxing months off. Ease back into things by getting up early and starting your morning routine a few days or even a week before school starts.
          
    6. Remain positive. Writer Anthony J. D’Angelo once said, “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your sunshine.” With intense classes and tons of homework, school can get a little stormy. Everything may not go your way all the time, but staying positive will help you push through the year with confidence and success.
         
    7. Establish a close rapport with your teachers. Participate in class and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Teachers are there to guide you with advice and encourage you to succeed. Also, don’t forget about those all-important colleges recommendations!   
          
    8. Make new friends. High school is the perfect opportunity to form lifelong friendships. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, speak up and reach out to new people. In the words of Italian Renaissance writer Francesco Guicciardini, “Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.”
          
    9. Prepare the night before. Mornings can be hectic. Choose your clothes and pack a lunch the night before for a stress-free start to your day. And of course, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast!
          
    10. Create a homework zone. A well organized, spacious area at home is essential for a getting your homework done. Designate a quiet, well-lit spot to help you do your work thoroughly and efficiently. 

    Sure, this time of year can certainly feel like a hassle, but laying down some smart ground rules and challenging yourself with new goals will get you back into the swing of things at school in no time flat. The best part is, you’ll return wearing a confident smile. Now that's how to go back-to-school in style!    

    Rashi Pachino, Intern
    Baltimore County Office of Communications

    Fri, 21 Aug 2015 17:45:00 GMThttp://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/BacktoSchool_in_Style
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