Fri June 6, 2014
Cardin Calls On Obama To Declassify Prisoner Exchange Details, Public Financing, & “The New Dundalk”
US Senator Ben Cardin is urging President Obama to declassify the details of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's prisoner swap as quickly as possible. A look at why GOP gubernatorial hopeful David Craig failed to qualify for public financing. Plus: casino revenue, ringworm at Howard County’s animal shelter, “The New Dundalk,” and more.
Cardin Calls On Obama To Declassify Prisoner Exchange Details: US Senator Ben Cardin is urging President Obama to declassify the details of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's prisoner swap as quickly as possible. Senator Cardin says there has been a rush to judgment by people without all the facts about the case. The Democrat released a statement yesterday encouraging the public and fellow lawmakers to wait for all the facts to come out before drawing any conclusions.
Mikulski Urges Obama To Focus On Marylanders Held Overseas: US Senator Barbara Mikulski says she’s concerned over the resources that were dedicated to Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s release – saying she fears similar resources are not being dedicated two Marylanders who are being detained overseas. The Baltimore Sun notes that one Montgomery County man has been held in Cuba since 2009; another has been held in Pakistan since 2011. Senator Mikulski has sent a letter to President Obama urging his administration to focus its attention on their cases
Federal Judge Exempts Baltimore Archdiocese From Providing Contraceptive Coverage: A federal judge has granted a temporary injunction exempting nearly 200 Catholic employers from providing contraceptive coverage in their health insurance plans, as required by the Affordable Care Act. The injunction had been requested by the Catholic Benefits Association, saying that the requirement violated religious principles. Baltimore Archbishop William Lori is president of the Catholic Benefits Association, which includes parishes in the Baltimore archdiocese. WJZ has more.
The New Dundalk: For years, the Baltimore County community of Dundalk has been the butt of jokes. But now, the community’s leaders are hoping to attract a new generation of residents while changing its image. WYPR’s Kenneth Burns reports that they launched a campaign yesterday to do just that.
Why Craig Failed To Get Public Financing For His Campaign: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Christopher Connelly talk about why David Craig, despite a long history in Maryland politics, was unable to qualify for public campaign financing in his bid for governor. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Cardin Rejects Endorsement, Money From Rapper Ski Money: State Attorney General candidate Jon Cardin is rejecting the endorsement of a convicted rapper. The Baltimore Sun reports the Democratic Delegate says he knew nothing about the criminal record or charges pending against Lawrence Christian, a.k.a. Ski Money, when he posed for a picture with him at a fundraiser this week. Christian has been convicted of crimes including conspiracy to distribute drugs and fourth-degree sex offense. Last year he was charged with 22 counts of human trafficking and prostitution. Delegate Cardin is vying with Delegate Aisha Braveboy and State Senator Brian Frosh for their party’s nomination for Attorney General. The Daily Record has more here.
May Casino Revenue: Revenue at Maryland's four casinos was up last month, after slumping a bit in April. The May take was nearly $76-million dollars – about $4-and-a-half-million more than the month before. More than three quarters of the gambling revenue came from the Maryland Live casino in Anne Arundel County. Overall, the four casinos brought in about 10 percent more dollars in May of this year than they did in May of last year... even as the casinos in Cecil and Worcester counties posted year-over-year declines. There’s more here from the Daily Record, and more here from the Baltimore Sun.
Displaced Families Return To Charles Village: Some of the families who were evacuated after late April's street collapse in Charles Village are back home. Of the 19 families who had to leave, eight returned yesterday. All are expected to be back by the weekend. City officials say they’re conducting environmental testing on the homes just to be sure they are safe. WJZ has more.
Property Tax Rate Goes Up In Wicomico County: Homeowners in Wicomico County are seeing their property taxes go up, again. Earlier this week, the county council voted to raise the rate – for the fifth year in a row. Wicomico leaders tell the Daily Times this year's five-percent hike is needed to offset a two and half percent drop in the county's total property value. The move comes the same week that Baltimore City reduced its property tax rate… but even with the changes, the City’s rate is more than twice Wicomico County’s rate.
Ringworm Outbreak Temporarily Shutters Howard County Animal Shelter: Pet adoptions are on hold at the Howard County animal shelter for the next two weeks due to an outbreak of an aggressive form of ringworm. Officials are closing the shelter because the fungal skin infection can spread to people. Some of the animals in the shelter are showing ringworm symptoms, which include hair loss and rash, and all animals are being tested. The shelter will reopen on June 19th and adoptions will resume then. The Baltimore Sun has more.
MD Health Officials Warn About Heat-Related Illnesses: State health officials are reminding Marylanders to brace themselves for the summer heat. Seventeen heat-related deaths occurred in Maryland last summer, and state Health Secretary Doctor Joshua Sharfstein says these kind of illnesses are preventable. He says wearing loose, light-colored clothing, and drinking plenty of water will help. He adds that people should also wear sunscreen and hats on hot and sunny days. The Baltimore Sun has more.
“Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail” Opens; Buoy Returns To Historic Location: A special channel marker has been returned to an historic spot in the waters near Baltimore's harbor. The buoy with red and blue stripes and white stars marks the location in the Patapsco River where Francis Scott Key watched the British bombardment of Fort McHenry and penned the words to the Star-Spangled Banner. Each spring the buoy is set in water near the key bridge, and is removed in the fall. The buoy’s return came the same day that Governor Martin O’Malley officially opened the “Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail.” The 560-mile route connects important sites to the War of 1812 in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. There’s more here and here from the Baltimore Sun.
Ocean City Prepares For High School Grads: With high school students across the state graduating this month, many will be heading to Ocean City to celebrate. The resort town is increasing police patrols this year and installing surveillance cameras up and down the boardwalk to help deter crime and drunkenness. Last year, police in Ocean City issued more than 400 underage drinking citations in the month of June alone. WJZ has more.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles fell to the Texas Rangers last night; 8 to 6 was the score. The O’s now host the Oakland A’s for a three game series; tonight’s starts at 7:05 at Camden Yards.
Washington Baseball: The Washington Nationals won their game against the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday; the score there: 4 to 2.