Around The Region

December 20, 2009

State gets $1.4 million for food stamp success

The state's Department of Human Resources was officially awarded $1.4 million Friday from the federal government for increasing by 44 percent the number of people receiving food stamps. Maryland enrolled more participants for food stamps than any other state for the one-year period ending in September 2008, and has more than 527,000 people receiving the federal benefits. Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald credited the increase to targeted outreach effort by the department's workers, including a focus on the elderly and the homeless who were eligible but not receiving assistance. The award comes a week after a Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled that the state had failed to deliver food stamps and medical benefits in a timely manner to thousands of Marylanders and ordered the department to come within compliance of federal guidelines that require applicants to receive assistance within 30 days. U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin W. Concannon presented the award at a ceremony in West Baltimore and said that, "We know Maryland is under pressure to be timely. It's important to us, it's important to the local economy. So we want to help them and all states."

- Brent Jones

Man found fatally stabbed on North Avenue

A man was fatally stabbed Friday night in East Baltimore, police said. Police were called to the 1600 block of E. North Ave. just before midnight for a report that a man had been stabbed several times, according to Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. No additional details were available.

- Justin Fenton

OC studying alternative energy for powering town

The city engineer for Ocean City says officials there are considering wind turbines and solar panels to help power government buildings. Terry McGean says a geothermal energy system is also being studied for the airport. The wind turbines would be installed at Northside Park. Solar panels might go on the convention center roof and at the Inlet parking lot. McGean says the town would save money and experience more consistent energy bills. Dave Wilson, executive director of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, says the city's decision to study alternative energy options shows the town's leaders understand climate change and is going to do something about it. Costs and energy projections haven't been completed, McGean says, but he expects that construction could be completed within a year.

- Associated Press

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