Maryland Digest

MARYLAND DIGEST

July 15, 2006

politics: attorney general

Gordon drops out, says he backs Simms

Dropping out of the race for Maryland attorney general yesterday, Baltimore lawyer J. Wyndal Gordon backed Stuart O. Simms, saying he "has a better chance of winning" and that the two are concerned about the same issues, such as public safety and health care.

Gordon's move narrows the field to three Democrats in the primary. They are Simms, a fomer Baltimore state's attorney; Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler; and Montgomery County Council member Thomas E. Perez.

Simms, 55, said he valued the support of Gordon, 37, who was a student intern in the city prosecutor's office when Simms headed the office.

Simms entered the attorney general race after Gordon did. Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan chose Simms as his running mate but withdrew from the governor's race last month.

The winner of the September Democratic primary will face Frederick County State's Attorney Scott L. Rolle, a Republican, in November.

ANDREA F. SIEGEL

eastern shore: flood victims

U.S. will offer low-interest loans

The federal government will offer low-interest loans to Eastern Shore residents and business owners whose properties were damaged during last month's floods, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced yesterday.

The loans will be offered to residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot and Wicomico counties who suffered damage between June 22 and June 28.

The loans will be available at 4 percent interest for businesses and from 2.9 to 5.9 percent for homes. Maximum loans will be up to $200,000 for repair or replacement of real estate and $40,000 for repair or replacement of personal property. Business loans of up to $1.5 million will also be available.

The Small Business Administration has established a disaster outreach center for loan applicants at Hurlock Elementary School. The center opens Monday. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it will be open July 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

JOSH MITCHELL

Anne Arundel: Jessup

Authorities identify slain inmate

State correctional authorities yesterday identified the inmate who was fatally stabbed Tuesday at the maximum-security Maryland House of Correction - the third inmate who has been killed there since May.

Julius Pratt, 34, was serving a life sentence for murder, said Priscilla Doggett, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Division of Correction.

All three men were killed by other inmates, Doggett said. No formal charges have been filed.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Prince George's: upper marlboro

Charges dropped in two killings

Prosecutors in Upper Marlboro have suddenly dropped first-degree murder charges against a man who had been accused of slashing the throats of two men in Prince George's County last summer.

Prosecutor Clayton Aarons said documents from the police investigation contained evidence so contrary to the testimony of their key witness that they were forced to drop all charges against Edgar A. "L.A" Reyes on Thursday, the third day of his trial.

associated press

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