State Digest

STATE DIGEST

July 18, 2006

Senate candidate faults political poll

A Republican candidate for the state Senate in northeastern Baltimore County complained yesterday that a political poll included a question about his blindness.

Craig Borne, 33, an attorney from Perry Hall running against incumbent Democrat Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier, said the telephone poll asked voters whether they agreed that one reason to vote against him was that it would cost too much money to accommodate the special needs of a blind person.

Borne said a family friend and a campaign volunteer received telephone calls from the pollster last week that included the question.

"It's disappointing that the level of rhetoric has gotten this low," said Borne who lost his sight as an adult. He called for Klausmeier to dismiss whoever was responsible for the question.

Klausmeier denied any knowledge of a poll that mentioned the blindness or disability of her challenger.

She said she conducted a survey last week that contacted about 400 residents but that Borne's blindness was not among the questions.

"I don't play dirty," said Klausmeier, who has represented the 8th District, which includes Perry Hall, since 2003 as a state senator. She served two terms in the House of Delegates before she was elected to the Senate.

Laura Barnhardt

Frederick County: Emmitsburg

Man sought in patrol-car theft

Police are looking for a man they say stole a Frederick County deputy's patrol car.

Cpl. Rudy Torres had cuffed Daniel J. Cadden's hands behind him and buckled him into the back seat of a Frederick County sheriff's office cruiser after finding Cadden as the passenger of a car that had crashed along Harney Road near Emmitsburg about 7 a.m. Saturday, Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said.

Cadden, 26, of Finksburg, was wanted in Carroll County for failing to appear for a court date, she said.

As Torres continued to investigate the crash, Cadden climbed into the front seat and drove away in the patrol car, Bailey said.

She said the patrol car was recovered about a mile north but that Cadden remained at large yesterday.

Associated Press

Western Maryland: Rocky Gap

Workers learn to repel bears

Twenty-five state park workers learned to spritz black bears with pepper spray, harass them with explosives and blast them with rubber buckshot during a training session held in response to the animals' population growth and restructuring of the park ranger corps.

The aversive-conditioning training held last week at Rocky Gap State Park involved civilian workers from all state parks in Western Maryland, said Mike Deckelbaum, Rocky Gap manager.

Before last year's merger of state park rangers into the Natural Resources Police force, rangers handled nuisance bears, Deckelbaum told the Cumberland Times-News. Now the Department of Natural Resources is training civilian workers for jobs that aren't exclusively law enforcement.

"The more employees that have the tools to implement bear aversion as quickly as possible, the better job the Department of Natural Resources can do as a whole," Deckelbaum said yesterday.

Maryland's bear population is growing despite a resumption of legal hunting in 2004 after a 51-year ban, the DNR said in June.

Associated Press

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