Around The Region

AROUND THE REGION

November 07, 2008

Court says 2 Ehrlich aides must answer firing queries

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that two former state employees will have to answer questions posed by a special legislative committee that investigated whether former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. targeted longtime state employees for political firings. The committee issued its report two years ago on what were characterized as arbitrary and unfair personnel decisions by Ehrlich, a Republican, without answers to some questions from Gregory Maddalone and Craig Chesek. That is because the extent of the committee's subpoena power became the subject of a legal battle. Now that the state's highest court has ruled, Del. Adrienne A. Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat and co-chair of the committee, said the panel will reconvene to get those answers and complete the report. She said investigative subjects should not be allowed use the courts to stall legislative inquiries indefinitely.

Laura Smitherman

Court says subsidized home-care rules too strict

Maryland's eligibility requirements for subsidized home care for the elderly and disabled are too strict, the state's highest court ruled yesterday. The family of Ida Brown, an 86-year-old Alzheimer's patient, sued the state when it denied her application for the program, which is part of Medicaid, because her medical problems were not deemed severe enough. State officials said they needed to maintain strict eligibility requirements so that limited funds go to those most in need of help. A 2006 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that Maryland was one of just three states with a waiting list for such services, and its list was by far the longest. The Court of Special Appeals ruled in 2007 that the state's requirements were stricter than allowed by federal law, and the Court of Appeals upheld that decision yesterday.

Plastic campaign signs accepted for recycling

Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks will recycle residents' plastic campaign signs. Campaign yard signs made of corrugated plastic called Coroplast, which is similar to corrugated cardboard box material, will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays until Nov. 14 at the department, 300 S. Center St., Westminster. Information: 410-386-2035 or 410-386-2103.

From Baltimore Sun staff reports

Conference for writers is tomorrow in Towson

Towson University will host the 2008 Baltimore Writers' Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. tomorrow in the University Union. The keynote speaker will be Larry Doyle, a one-time writer for The Simpsons and author of I Love You, Beth Cooper. The conference brings together aspiring writers from around the Mid-Atlantic to learn about writing from published authors, agents and editors. Panel sessions will include screenplays, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Registration is $95; $50 for students with identification. Information: 410-704-3695.

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