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NEWS
March 11, 2014
Both Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown say they welcome the federal review into Maryland's botched health insurance exchange that's coming at the request of Rep. Andy Harris. A spokesman for Mr. Brown's gubernatorial campaign said the feds' involvement will be helpful "so we can learn from these challenges," and Mr. O'Malley issued a statement saying the review was "welcome" but blaming vendors who "failed to deliver the product they promised. " If that's so, both of them could speed along the process of lesson-learning (or blame-shifting to the vendors, if that is in fact appropriate)
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 11, 2014
When University of Maryland football player Wes Brown was suspended last year, officials released few details to explain the action other than to tie it to an alleged confrontation with a police officer who wanted to question him in a shooting investigation. But according to court documents in a wide-ranging prosecution of Black Guerrilla Family gang members in Baltimore, Brown told police that he was behind the wheel of a vehicle involved in the drive-by shooting last June at a birthday party for an alleged high-ranking gang leader.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and Scott Calvert and The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2014
Last March, Baltimore issued a speed camera ticket to a bus company after one of its yellow buses was clocked going 42 mph on Harford Road. But the city voided that $40 citation after concluding the vehicle's actual speed was just 26 mph - below the 30 mph limit. That erroneous ticket is among a number of problems that city transportation officials knew about but did not disclose publicly when they suspended the speed and red-light camera program last April, according to internal city documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun. The documents come to light as the City Council presses Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to turn over reams of records to a council committee investigating the troubled camera program, which operated from 2009 until last April.
FEATURES
By Sean Welsh, The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2014
Biologists from Maryland's Department of Natural Resources got to hold some cute bear cubs Monday. But it was more than just an opportunity to see the state's wildlife up close. DNR's Wildlife and Heritage Service used the winter check-up to "keep an eye on the size and health of Maryland's bruin population," said DNR spokeswoman Candus Thomson . Staff ventured into the woods Monday, while sows and bears were still located in their dens, Thomson said. The exercise allowed biologists "to change the batteries in radio collars worn by some sows and tag the new cubs with microchips, so they can be scanned in subsequent years without disturbing their hibernation.
NEWS
February 19, 2014
Pesticides have been linked to a variety of human diseases, from cancer to birth defects, asthma and various disorders of the nervous system, so it's hardly unreasonable for people to be concerned about their exposure to them. But good luck finding out about the use of pesticides in Maryland, as there are scant reporting requirements. That needs to change, and the first step toward developing an appropriate pesticide reporting database is to create the means to pay for one. Legislation pending before the General Assembly would create a modest $10 fee - added to the annual $100 fee paid by chemical manufacturers to register their products in the state - to finance just such a database that would be available to scientists and the public.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2014
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was trending on Twitter Wednesday afternoon for all the wrong reasons. In an eight-hour period, Rice's image suffered severe damage -- the kind from which it might never recover. It was the result of two devastating media developments. It started with TMZ releasing video from an Atlantic City casino early in the day, and was followed by publication of a summons saying that Rice hit his fiancee with his hand "rendering her unconscious" at the casino Saturday night.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2014
Maryland speed camera programs came under intense scrutiny Tuesday in Annapolis and Baltimore, with the General Assembly considering reforms ranging from a ban of the so-called "bounty system" to levying heavy fines against operators that issue erroneous tickets. Meanwhile, a city councilman leading an investigation into a secret audit of the city's speed camera system said Baltimore's top lawyer has agreed to turn over hundreds of pages of documents to the committee conducting the probe.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | February 11, 2014
A federal grand jury indicted two Garrett County developers Tuesday on charges related to a $3.7 million bank fraud conspiracy. The indictment, announced by U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt, alleges that the two developers, who were involved in land deals together, used fake documents that included false names and inflated sales prices to secure a total of $3.751 million in bank loans for two properties...
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2014
A City Council committee investigating a confidential audit of Baltimore's speed camera program on Monday delivered a letter to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake seeking 31 batches of documents involving nearly all aspects of the once-lucrative program. Councilman James B. Kraft, chairman of the judiciary committee, is seeking hundreds of pages of reports, contracts and financial material related to the city's speed and red light camera program, which has been off-line since April. His letter seeks documents pertaining to former speed camera contractors Xerox State & Local Solution and Brekford Corp., as well as consultants URS Corp.
FEATURES
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2014
The American Civil Liberties Union released an online "toolkit" on Wednesday outlining ways local advocates can improve conditions for LGBT prisoners across the country. It also provides information on how LGBT prisoners can protect themselves. In its announcement, the ACLU said lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inmates in the United States face increased levels of sexual harassment, sexual assault and physical isolation. Transgender people often cannot live in spaces for those of their identified gender, and are forced to strip so guards can check their genitals.
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