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NEWS
By Andy Harris | March 31, 2014
Last week, the Maryland Senate approved Senate Bill 364, which would "decriminalize" possession of marijuana. The Senate bill, which passed 36 to 8, would remove criminal penalties for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana and impose small civil fines, with a provision for the judge to order drug education only after the third offense. The bill has gone to the House of Delegates, where a hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. One could argue that people whose only crime is smoking or possessing a small amount of marijuana should not be punished with an arrest record, which could destroy their chances of getting a job and other benefits later in life.
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FEATURES
By Donna M. Owens, For The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2014
Maryland's own Sugar Ray Leonard is perhaps best known as a baby-faced Olympic gold medalist and champion prize fighter with a winning smile. Yet for decades, the world-renowned boxer suppressed a devastating secret: Leonard had been sexually abused as a teen. "I didn't scream. I didn't look at him," the athlete writes of one particular incident involving a male coach and revealed in his autobiography, "The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring. " The fighter recounts: "I just opened the door and ran. " Leonard, now 57, has become a national advocate fighting for children who have suffered abuse.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2014
A 24-year-old Annapolis man charged with sexually abusing a child he was hired to babysit said he is "ashamed" and has apologized to the victim's family. Anne Arundel County Police said Andrew Dickinson Grabau, of Annapolis, was arrested on a warrant charging him with sex abuse of a minor, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses, and second-degree assault. The investigation stemmed from allegations that he abused a child, who he had been hired to babysit, on numerous occasions between April 2013 and October 2013.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2014
A Maryland nurse now serving jail time in Ohio for having unwanted sexual contact with a woman in labor has surrendered his state nursing license. James Julian Lewis, 29, voluntarily surrendered his Maryland nursing license Feb. 18, though he pleaded guilty in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to abusing a patient in December, according to court records. It's unclear where in Maryland Lewis was employed, if anywhere, or if he was working after he pleaded guilty. Local nursing regulators say there have been no complaints against him in Maryland.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | March 20, 2014
Who speaks for Ghanson Debrosse? Before he was born, many people did. Anti-abortion groups did. Churches did. Protesters did. And lawmakers did. Florida, for instance, requires that a woman undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion, and the provider must offer her the option of viewing the image. Ghanson was not aborted. He was born, Oct. 26, 2010, to a teenage mother, Fafane Caze. During his short stay on this Earth, he endured enough pain for a lifetime. Police say that when he wet the floor, his mother burned his genitals with a lighter, and when he soiled his diaper, she beat him with a broom handle.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 19, 2014
A Baltimore police officer was arrested Wednesday in Howard County and charged with sexual abuse and solicitation of a minor, county police said. Charles Hagee, 44, of the 8800 block of Goose Landing Circle in Columbia, was arrested after police say he communicated with a 14-year-old girl advertising prostitution services online. Howard County police said investigators believe the two exchanged text messages before meeting at his home and engaging in sexual activity on three occasions between January and May 2013.
NEWS
By Ian Shapira and Dana Hedgpeth, The Washington Post | March 13, 2014
He thought they were his friends. The 16-year-old autistic boy allegedly assaulted by two teenage girls in Southern Maryland is perplexed by the criminal charges they are facing and even considers one of them his girlfriend, according to the boy's mother. "He doesn't appear to be traumatized. He thinks these girls are his friends and is surprised the police are involved," said his mother, who works for a local health department. "But I am glad they are [investigating]. I am glad someone brought this out. " The Post is not naming the mother to protect the identity of the victim, who is a minor.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
A city police officer is accused of beating a Jack Russell terrier puppy with a mop, then choking the dog and sending a picture of its dead body to its owner - his girlfriend. Montgomery County Police have charged Alec Eugene Taylor, 27, of Silver Spring, with aggravated animal cruelty and abuse or neglect of an animal. Taylor's girlfriend told police she received a text from Taylor on February 26 telling her that he killed the seven-month-old dog, named Rocko, after it defecated on the carpet.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | March 3, 2014
Sister Dolores Baumgartner, a retired parochial school and orphanage principal during her 74 years as a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, died of a heart attack Thursday at her order's Maria Health Care Center in the Woodbrook section of Baltimore County. She was 93. Born Dolores Julia Baumgartner in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of Bernard Baumgartner and the former Frances Reischmann. She attended St. Boniface School in North Philadelphia and decided to join the religious order in 1936.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2014
      How many attacks on the First Amendment is President Obama going to be allowed before he's universally denounced as a worse enemy of the press than Richard Nixon? I have been comparing Obama to Nixon in his disdain for the First Amendment and a free press since 2009, and mainly all I got was attacked - often from long-time colleagues in the media who couldn't believe the object of their political affection could have such contempt for them. I am late coming to the most recent example, the outrageous attempt led in part by an Obama appointee on the Federal Communications Commission, Mignon Clyburn, to send investigators into newsrooms to ask reporters and editors about such matters as selection of stories.
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