In Maryland Third lawsuit filed opposing governor's...

REGIONAL DIGEST

March 05, 2002|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Maryland

Third lawsuit filed opposing governor's redistricting plan

ANNAPOLIS - Two state delegates and a half-dozen Democratic and Republican voters have joined in a lawsuit opposing the governor's General Assembly redistricting plan, which they say unfairly divides their communities.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday in the Maryland Court of Appeals, contends that the plan violates the state constitution by drawing district lines that have no regard for natural boundaries or the boundaries of political subdivisions. The new 44th District, for example, joins culturally and politically disconnected regions of Baltimore and Baltimore County, the suit states.

Plaintiffs include Del. Jacob J. Mohorovic Jr., a Baltimore County Democrat; Del. John R. Leopold, an Anne Arundel Republican; and Michael F. Gallagher, a member of the Democratic State Central Committee. The suit is the third filed in opposition to the plan.

Abortion opponents rally for bill on unwanted babies

ANNAPOLIS -More than 400 abortion protesters gathered outside the State House last night for an annual Annapolis March for Life, urging lawmakers to support bills that would give teen-age mothers safe places to leave unwanted newborns.

Doug Stiegler, executive director of the Family Protection Lobby, an anti-abortion organization, urged the crowd to voice support for the "Safe Haven" legislation, which would allow teen-age mothers to leave newborns at such places as hospitals without facing any legal consequences.

But that legislation appears to be in trouble, because the House of Delegates has amended its version of the bill to include among those who can accept an unwanted infant any "responsible" person. Anti-abortionists say they oppose the amendments because they might not guarantee safety for the child or the mother.

In Frederick County

Firefighters ceremony to be held in D.C. this year

EMMITSBURG - The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will move its annual memorial service to Washington this fall to accommodate an expected crowd of 20,000, a spokeswoman said yesterday.

The ceremony will honor the 343 firefighters killed in the attack Sept. 11 on the World Trade Center in New York, as well as 98 other firefighters who died in the line of duty last year across the nation. It will be held Oct. 6 at MCI Center in Washington, foundation spokeswoman Mary Ellis said.

The event has been held on the mountaintop campus of the U.S. Fire Academy, about 60 miles north of Washington, since its inception 20 years ago, Ellis said. "This is just for one year," she said. "We just could not accommodate all those people."

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