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By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2014
A gubernatorial hopeful has offered to pay the phone bills of the Seattle pottery store that fielded hundreds of wayward calls from people stuck in Maryland's broken health exchange. After The Baltimore Sun reported that the state's insurance website erroneously listed the toll-free number of a West Coast specialty kiln business instead of the state call center, Republican David Craig said Monday he hopes to reimburse the business out of his personal checking account. "The state should have taken the lead on this," said Craig, the Harford County executive.
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NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2014
A gubernatorial hopeful has offered to pay the phone bills of the Seattle pottery store that fielded hundreds of wayward calls from people stuck in Maryland's broken health exchange. After The Baltimore Sun reported that the state's insurance website erroneously listed the toll-free number of a West Coast specialty kiln business instead of the state call center, Republican David Craig said Monday he hopes to reimburse the business out of his personal checking account. "The state should have taken the lead on this," said Craig, the Harford County executive.
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NEWS
By Lem Satterfield | November 13, 1990
My phone bill is going to be a lot cheaper from now on.Why?I've only been working here at The Anne Arundel County Sun for a little over a month, but I've already noticed a refreshing difference with regards to the availability of coaches and important information: They're there, for the most part, when I need them.As a reporter for a weekly newspaper in Harford County, several times I needed information for a story. First a call to the school for the team's coach likely would be met with bureaucratic delays.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | July 1, 2013
You probably don't want to bother — because, let's face it, eating a salad with gritty spinach is more fun — but you really should take a close look at your cellphone bill. You could be getting "crammed" with bogus charges for sports trivia and horoscope texts you never ordered. I've told you this before, and my Baltimore Sun colleague Eileen Ambrose has warned you about it in her consumer reporting. If you haven't actually looked at your bill in a while — either online or in the printed version that comes in the mail — pour yourself a beverage, sit down and take a close look.
NEWS
December 7, 1992
When public representatives abuse for personal gain the power that we vest in them, we get as disgusted as anyone. Whether it be a powerful senator such as Phil Gramm getting a Texas builder to cut him a cushy deal on an Eastern Shore vacation spread, or a member of the Columbia Council ignoring conflicts of interest to vote on a proposed golf course next to his home, the newspaper takes a dim view of such actions.But we have trouble mustering much disfavor for Howard County Councilman C. Vernon Gray over his car phone bill.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Staff Writer | January 7, 1993
The county fire service ran up the highest car phone bill of any county department during the period from July 1991 through November 1992, spending 43 percent of the total.The department, which uses 11 mobile phones, made $6,726 worth of calls in that period -- 71 percent more than any other department.One reason for the high bill, said Deputy Chief James E. Heller, is that several phones are assigned to battalion chiefs who are on the road a lot and don't want to use their radios for non-emergency conversations.
NEWS
By Andrew Ratner and Andrew Ratner,Sun Staff | June 11, 2001
Telephone bills are growing. Not necessarily in the total expenses they record but in different types of charges. Like rings on a stump reveal the age of the tree, the entries on the bills have always been a measure of the industry. Alexander Graham Bell's phone was a money-loser for nearly a generation until 1896 when a Buffalo businessman, Edward J. Hall, figured out that charging per call rather than a flat rate was a way to make the system profitable, according to Herbert N. Casson's 1910 "History of the Telephone."
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,Sun Reporter | March 26, 2008
Legislation to ban using a cell phone while driving ran into opposition yesterday, eliciting a mixed reception in a House committee that has killed similar bills this year. Skeptical questions outnumbered statements of support as the House Environmental Matters Committee briefly reviewed the cell phone bill that cleared the Senate last week after prolonged debate and revision. The bill - which senators approved on a vote of 26-21 - would outlaw talking on a hand-held cell phone or text-messaging while driving.
EXPLORE
January 25, 2012
While the good intentions of a "plastic bag tax" for store shopping bags to prevent pollution is admirable, I do take one issue to Mr. Pasalic's letter (Leader, Jan. 19). Specifically the line "five cents never put anyone into poverty. " One thing is for certain, once you give the government an inch with taxes, they eventually take the mile. Take a look at your phone bill. Many years back the government said, "We're gonna add just a teeny weeny tax on your phone bill. It's just a few cents and it's for the children's education!"
BUSINESS
By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | December 30, 1997
Ameritech won an important marketing battle with long-distance giant AT&T yesterday, this time centering on a war of words about that all-important marketing tool -- your phone bill.The National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, an ad industry self-regulatory organization, ruled yesterday that an ad by Ameritech -- promoting one phone bill for both local and long distance as well as cellular phone and Internet service -- was not misleading, as AT&T had claimed earlier this fall.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | May 13, 2013
Take a line-by-line look at your cellphone bill - all dozen or so pages. See a $9.99 charge for horoscopes, flirting tips or some such thing that you didn't request? If so, you've been crammed. Once only a big problem with landline telephones, cramming - the placement of unauthorized charges on phone bills by outsiders - is gaining a foothold in the mobile-phone marketplace, regulators and consumer advocates say. Indeed, some landline crammers have migrated to wireless schemes as consumers switch to smartphones.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | March 6, 2013
Audits released Wednesday offered new details about two of the city's ongoing financial problems: money wasted by the outdated municipal phone system and the unfunded liabilities of the Police and Fire departments' pension plans. The independent HPA Consulting Group of Rochester, N.Y., said the city phone system is wasting as much as $1 million annually. The system, run by Comptroller Joan M. Pratt's office, could save as much as $700,000 a year by eliminating lines that are "no longer being used," the report states.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2012
The city of Baltimore is likely wasting tens of thousands of dollars a month on "phantom" phone lines that are never used, the city's new information technology director said Thursday. Chris Tonjes, who heads the Mayor's Office of Information Technology, said he's discovered 51 idle phone lines in his agency alone. He recommended that the city conduct an audit to review the status of its estimated 14,000 lines - and said that based on audits in other cities, Baltimore probably could save 15 percent of its $16 million annual phone bill.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | September 3, 2012
One good thing about being the victim of a widespread scam estimated to cost American consumers $2 billion a year: You don't feel like the only fool in the country. And in the matter of "cramming" — when shady text-message companies bill cell phone customers for services they never ordered — there's even less reason to feel a fool's desolation: You weren't duped. You were a victim without knowing it, and without doing a thing. In fact, some crammers prefer that we neither notice them nor act to stop them.
EXPLORE
January 25, 2012
While the good intentions of a "plastic bag tax" for store shopping bags to prevent pollution is admirable, I do take one issue to Mr. Pasalic's letter (Leader, Jan. 19). Specifically the line "five cents never put anyone into poverty. " One thing is for certain, once you give the government an inch with taxes, they eventually take the mile. Take a look at your phone bill. Many years back the government said, "We're gonna add just a teeny weeny tax on your phone bill. It's just a few cents and it's for the children's education!"
NEWS
By Raven L. Hill, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2010
The Baltimore County Council approved borrowing more than $19 million to help build the long-stalled Owings Mills Town Center project, a major step forward in revitalizing the struggling commercial zone. The measure passed on a 6-0 vote, with Republican T. Bryan McIntire abstaining. The project will house branches of the Community College of Baltimore County and public library. The library and two-year college, housed in an estimated 60,000-square-foot building, will become part of the larger project along the Interstate 795 and Reisterstown Road corridors.
ENTERTAINMENT
By MIKE HIMOWITZ | March 6, 2003
FROM TIME to time, I compare surfing the Web to swimming in a sewer. You never know what kind of little nasty is going to attach itself to you and make life miserable. That's what happened to several readers who complained about finding $50 to $200 worth of calls to pornographic Web site numbers on their phone bills. None had ever told their computers to dial the numbers, although they remembered occasions when porn sites appeared unbidden in their Web browser. Unfortunately, these folks have a serious problem on their hands.
NEWS
By Carol L. Bowers and Carol L. Bowers,Staff writer | September 15, 1991
Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann says she couldn't have wrapped up negotiations to convince Frito-Lay Inc. to build a plant inthe county without her cellular car phone."
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | October 5, 2010
Cynthia Brooks, executive director of the Bea Gaddy Family Center in East Baltimore, opened the mailbox Tuesday and found a stack of letters with donations. She said she has not seen so many checks in months, adding that many donors have dropped canned food at the center's doorstep as well. Just a few days ago, Brooks faced the possibility of turning needy people away because the center's supplies were dwindling, its phones were disconnected for lack of payment and donations had dropped significantly.
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