State Digest

May 24, 2007

Giuliani attends game, fundraiser

Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani visited Maryland last night for two competitive American pastimes: political fundraising and youth baseball.

Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, was expected to raise $250,000 at the home of Edward St. John, an area developer.

Giuliani was joined last night by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who told reporters that in addition to helping the ex-mayor raise money, Ehrlich would head to New Hampshire next month to help out after a GOP debate at St. Anselm College.

In Cape St. Claire last night for 7-year-old Drew Ehrlich's baseball game, Giuliani said he's pleased with his fundraising pace.

"As we keep adding more and more primaries, you have to keep raising more and more money," Giuliani said, noting that he had held fundraisers in New Hampshire earlier in the day.

"It's really a marathon," he said. "With each day, you try to make progress."

Ehrlich, who is the Mid-Atlantic chairman of Giuliani's campaign, said the men became friends in 2000 and that Giuliani has done everything he's asked of him politically.

Jennifer Skalka


: Internet safety

Gansler to start kids' program

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler will launch a statewide Internet safety initiative today at a Howard County school.

The CLICKS initiative -- which stands for Community Leadership in Cyber Knowledge and Safety -- will focus on promoting the safe use of the Internet through "train-the-trainer sessions." Internet safety experts will lead sessions for teachers, police and community leaders.

At the event at Waverly Elementary School in Ellicott City, Gansler will lead a session that uses characters to teach children about the potential dangers of the Internet. The presentation was created by the NetSmartz Workshop, an interactive, educational safety resource put together by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Sun staff


No outside wood on DNR land

As part of an effort to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced a policy aimed at prohibiting the importation of firewood onto properties owned or managed by the agency.

The department says it plans to begin notifying campers of the policy through posted notices and when they make reservations. Visitors will be directed to local firewood sources, and they will have to burn any firewood that they bring onto DNR properties. Repeat violations can lead to the revocation of a camping permit.

"The emerald ash borer is a non-native, invasive wood boring insect that has the potential to devastate the ash tree population and radically alter the forest composition of Maryland," Maryland State Forester Steve Koehn said in a news release. "It has been found in parts of Maryland and nearby states and is spread most rapidly though movement of infested wood products -- most notably firewood."

Concerns about the voracious Chinese beetle prompted the Maryland Department of Agriculture recently to remove more than 25,000 ash trees from neighborhoods and forests in a 21-square-mile swath of Prince George's County, according to the agency.

The beetle surfaced in the county after infested ash trees were illegally shipped to Maryland in 2003. Officials are trying to deprive the bugs of food so they won't spread to destroy all of the ash trees in the region.

Sun staff

Garrett County

: Wilderness Ranch

Md. to buy land to expand forest

The state of Maryland agreed yesterday to buy an 846-acre tract known as the Wilderness Ranch for $1.84 million to expand the 7,000-acre Garrett State Forest in western Garrett County.

The Board of Public Works also agreed to reimburse the Nature Conservancy, which acted as an intermediary, about $151,000 in acquisition costs, for a total expenditure of $1.99 million. The purchase of the ecologically important parcel secures a protected link of forested land between the state forest and the conservancy's 1,700-acre Cranesville Swamp, Gov. Martin O'Malley said.

The conservancy, a national conservation group, purchased the land from an investor group, Wilderness Ranch Inc., in January, said Steve Bunker, director of government programs for the group's Maryland-D.C. chapter.

Nat Williams, the chapter's state director, said the tract contains habitat for black bears, bobcats and timber rattlesnakes, among other species.

Associated Press

Washington Co.

: Hagerstown

Pa. man shot to death in tavern

A Pennsylvania man was fatally shot in a Hagerstown tavern, police said yesterday. Christopher J. Ayala, 23, of Greencastle, Pa., was found lying on the floor of Zipper's tavern on North Jonathan Street by police who responded to a reported shooting about 11 p.m. Tuesday, Lt. Tim Wolford said.

He said Ayala died at Washington County Hospital of a gunshot wound to the head. Police said they were searching for a gunman and that a witness to the shooting was being held for questioning.

Associated Press

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