Headlines
7:48 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Christmas Day Schedule Changes, Tree Recycling, Return Tips, Leopold’s Appeal, and Bail Reform

The Christmas tree made from hubcaps greet visitors to the home of Jim Pollock. Pollock, known as "The Artist on 34th Street," uses his living room as a gallery for his work along with two other artists.
Credit P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

A look at Christmas Day schedule changes, plus info about Christmas tree recycling programs around the region. Also: tips on returns and gift cards, the date for John Leopold’s appeal of his misconduct convictions is set, bail reform in next year’s General Assembly session, and more.

Christmas Day Schedule Changes: It's Christmas Day -- and other than celebrations with family and friends, not much is going on in Maryland. Schools, courts, banks, and public libraries are closed... Federal, state, and local government offices are closed as well. There's no regular mail delivery from the post office... although express mail is still going out. Trash and recycling pickup is going on in Anne Arundel County. But there's no regular trash or recycling pickup in most other jurisdictions; if you live in Baltimore City, your makeup day is Saturday. Also in Baltimore, the Charm City Circulator is not operating. There are no MARC trains running today. The only commuter bus route that’s seeing service is route 201, and that’s on a Holiday schedule. Holiday schedules are in effect for local MTA buses, the light rail, and the Metro Subway. And it's a parking meter holiday -- so there's no need to feed the meters if you end up going out today. The Baltimore Sun has a comprehensive list of Christmas Day schedule changes here.

What To Do With Your Christmas Tree When The Holiday’s Over? In the coming days, many Marylanders will be looking to get rid of their Christmas trees. And most jurisdictions will turn it into mulch for you. In Baltimore City, you can put your tree on the curb for pickup, starting next week-- but if you you’re your tree mulched, you'll have to take it to the Reedbird Avenue Citizen Convenience Center any Friday or Saturday in January. In Baltimore County, you can drop off your tree at one of three locations – starting tomorrow. Curbside pickup is also an option in Baltimore County, but not for a couple weeks; the county’s pickup program starts on January 13th. Howard County will pick up trees at the curb through the third week in January. In Harford County, can drop off your tree at a couple different locations. And Anne Arundel County will also pick up trees at curbside on your regular collection day. Officials in all jurisdictions remind you to remove tinsel and decorations from your tree before you put it out or take it in.

Court Date Set For Leopold Misconduct Appeal: Former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold was barred from running for public office for five years when he was convicted of misconduct in office back in January. Now, Leopold is looking to get that ban repealed, and his convictions overturned. The Baltimore Sun reports that the Maryland Court of Special Appeals has agreed to hear Leopold’s appeal of his misconduct convictions on February 5th. The deadline to file to run for office for next year’s election is February 25th. After being convicted of two counts of misconduct in office for having county workers carry out personal tasks, Leopold resigned from his County Executive’s post… he served 30 days in jail and performed community service. Leopold says his actions didn’t amount to criminal behavior.

General Assembly Preview: Bail Reform WYPR's Fraser Smith and Bryan Sears of the Daily Record talk about recommendations to revamp the bail review system after a Court of Appeals decision that ruled that defendants have a right to an attorney at bail hearings. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.

Gansler’s Notes On Returns, Gift Cards: State Attorney General Doug Gansler wants to make sure you're protected AFTER the gift giving holiday, if you try to return gifts or products that don't work. As the Chestertown Spy reports, Gansler says policies can vary from store to store and note that some retailers allow returns at any time, while others don't. Gift cards have their own rules, too, though state law gives consumers at least four years from the date of purchase to use store-specific gift cards without fees or charges. Gift cards processed through national credit or debit card services may have different protections and fees. Federal legislation extends expiration protection to five years, but fees can begin to be charged once a month if the card is inactive for a year. Gansler’s full recommendations are here.

Holiday Cards At The Enoch Pratt: Holiday greetings have a long tradition in Maryland, and during the season Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library is taking you back in time. The library is displaying around 450 Christmas, New Year's or Hanukkah cards dating back more than 140 years. The Baltimore Sun notes that the exhibit goes through February. But you can’t see it today, because the Enoch Pratt – like all Maryland public libraries – is closed for the holiday.
 

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