State Digest


November 17, 2006

Anne Arundel: Annapolis

Edwards warns fellow Democrats

Stopping in Maryland to promote his new book, Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards came bearing a warning for his newly empowered Democratic colleagues: Don't pop the champagne corks yet.

"What really happened was people said, `Look at what's happened the last six years, America's better than this both at home and abroad ... and we may as well give the other guys a chance,'" the former senator said, cautioning Democrats not to let their sweeping victories in both the House and Senate allow them to grow complacent. "The question is now, will we step to the plate and meet our responsibilities?"

Edwards was in town to promote his new book, Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives, which looks at the values various Americans received while growing up. But questions quickly turned to politics and whether the former North Carolina senator plans to run for president.

Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2004, said he "might very well" run and coyly told the audience to check his Web site in the coming weeks for "something new and interesting."

Standing on a makeshift stage at a suburban bookstore, Edwards decried what he described as the pervasive "toxicity" and lack of candor in American politics. Positioning himself as someone who will be honest with voters, he said Americans are no longer falling for politicians who misuse their power and fail to come clean to the American people.

Edwards is director of the University of North Carolina's Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.



Lawsuit aims to stop sale of religious camp

Supporters of a 60-acre Cecil County religious camp are suing the church to prevent the sale of the 89-year-old camp to a developer.

A lawsuit filed this week seeks to prevent the sale of the North East Nazarene Camp to Rhine Properties LLC.

Defendants in the lawsuit are the Church of the Nazarene's Philadelphia District and the Rev. Newell D. Smith.

Plaintiffs claim the advisory board of the church's Philadelphia District doesn't have authority to sell the camp. They say the district and Smith violated a 1991 document that sets up a religious corporation to run the camp.

"We think North East Nazarene Camp is a vital ministry and we want it to remain that way," said Geraldine Walker, a cabin owner.

Rhine Properties has plans to remove all the existing structures to make way for a mixed-use community that the developer hopes to build once all the necessary permits are obtained.



Man, 80, convicted of child sexual abuse

An 80-year-old man convicted of child sex abuse won't get work-release privileges despite his age and value to his workplace, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Frederick Karl Langguth was convicted of sexual child abuse for fondling two young boys at their Elkton home.

Langguth's co-workers at the Army Corps of Engineers urged visiting Judge R.L. Karwacki to give him a penalty that didn't interfere with his work.

The judge disagreed and gave Langguth 10 years in prison, with five years suspended.

"There is no doubt that Mr. Langguth is a valued employee of long standing with the Army Corps of Engineers - but he is a pedophile, a self-confessed pedophile, and the chance that he will repeat these offenses is great," Karwacki said in Cecil County Circuit Court.

In August, Langguth pleaded guilty to those three sexual child abuse counts as part of a plea agreement.

He must register as a sex offender, undergo counseling for pedophiles and pay restitution to cover the medical and psychiatric therapy expenses incurred by his victims. He is to start his prison term Nov. 27.


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