Dundalk Eagle’s April Fool’s Day Prank

The following story originally appeared in the March 31, 2010 edition of the Dundalk Eagle newspaper. On the paper’s front page, the article was topped by a banner saying, “Unbelievable news!” Readers who saw the story on the Internet or who followed the print edition’s suggestion to read more on the Eagle web site were met with this message at the end of the online version: “April Fool’s! You didn’t actually believe this, did you?” The unbelievable news led to an unbelievable response, as many Eagle readers believed the hoax, prompting the Eagle to print a follow-up editorial explaining the joke. It was East Baltimore’s version of Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 “War of the Worlds” Mercury Theatre on the Air radio hoax!

CITY TO ANNEX DUNDALK-EDGEMERE
(Dundalk Eagle, Wednesday, 31 March 2010)

Expects to add tax revenue, population
Dundalk and Edgemere will become part of Baltimore City as part of a multijurisdictional attempt to improve efficiency and attract more federal dollars.

The news was announced Tuesday in a press release in which Baltimore County revealed that it was giving up its southeastern section for $25,000.

“It’s clearly the best thing to do,” county spokesman Bernard Madeup said in the release.

The annexation, which will become official on April 1, is on a fast track that avoids “those pesky public meetings that always slow things down,” Madeup said.

“Plus, we’ll streamline our operations and get more federal dough,” he said. “The city will pick up population and tax revenue. It’s a win-win.”

As part of the change, the county retains the rights to hold Dundalk’s 75-year-old Heritage Fair and its 34-year-old 4th of July parade, both of which will be moved to Essex.

The newly configured Baltimore City will take in all of ZIP codes 21222, 21219 and 21052 and the county portion of 21224.

About 75,000 people will become city residents instead of county dwellers. They will begin receiving city services and tax notices immediately.

“It’ll be fine,” city spokeswoman Lyla LaLala said. “They’ll even grow to love their new mayor.”

April Fool’s! You didn’t actually believe this, did you?

Continue reading a statement from the editor (“About our April Fool’s Day story”) at dundalkeagle.com.

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