State Digest


September 08, 2006

Md. gets A's for higher education

Maryland ranked near the top of the nation in a new study of higher education released yesterday, although the state, like most of the rest of the nation, got an F for the affordability of a college degree.

The study, conducted every two years by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, evaluates categories such as how well states are preparing students for school, numbers of working people enrolled in college classes, numbers of students who drop out during the first year and benefits to the state from having a highly educated work force.

Maryland and all but seven states got an F in higher education costs. But Maryland got three A's and a B in four other categories, putting the state in a league with Connecticut and New Jersey. Massachusetts was the only state to get four A's.

Tuition increased sharply over the past three years in Maryland, by a third or more at various campuses, because of cuts in state aid to colleges as Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. trimmed state spending to balance the budget.


Prince George's: Commute

Standoff stalls traffic on Capital Beltway

A standoff between police and two people in a stolen car shut down the Capital Beltway yesterday morning, stranding motorists in the Washington area for more than an hour at the height of the morning commute.

A Maryland state highway worker spotted the Honda Accord stopped on the shoulder of the highway that rings the nation's capital about 8 a.m. and notified police, said Sgt. Russell Newell, a spokesman for the state police. A state trooper ran the car's license plates through a computer and discovered it was reported stolen in Prince George's County.

When a trooper approached the car, a woman and man appeared to be asleep in the front and back seats. The pair refused to leave the car, prompting police to block the highway in both directions for fear they were armed, Newell said. About an hour later, the two were dragged from the car and taken into custody. No weapon was found in the car, though officers found drugs, Newell said.


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