Friday, April 19, 2013
Pension issues and local funding to drive spending over next four years.
While Montgomery County spends approximately half of its annual $4 billion budget on K-12 education, that figure is expected to grow by more than $100 million over the next four years, according to a recent Washington Post article. Two state mandates uncovered by Montgomery County Council staff will drive the increased spending—the shift of teacher pension costs from the state to the counties and the “maintenance of effort” rules which require schools to maintain a level of per-pupil funding at least equal to the previous year, The Post reported. Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin (D-Dist 5) described the increases in education funding as “a runway train.” Montgomery County Council staff director Stephen Farber described the …
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Here are some of Patch's top Local Voices posts across Maryland this week.
Bevins Critical of Proposal to Tighten County Car Rules: Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins said a colleague is only calling for the changes because he was questioned by a reporter for breaking a campaign promise not to take a county vehicle if elected. Sequestration to Have Serious Local Impact: Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young talks about what the impact of the sequestration's mandated federal budget cuts would be on city services. State of the River Address: The South River Report Card is discussed in this blog that details the health of one of the local waterways in Anne Arundel County. Anne Arundel 'School Hours Study' - Answers to the Questions: Blog reacts to a recent study as part of the ongoing …
Friday, February 22, 2013
Share with your neighbors and friends in the Maryland Love Project.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley recently announced the “Maryland Love Project,” an on-line portal where Maryland residents can express what they most appreciate about their state. Born of a partnership between the State of Maryland, the Baltimore Love Project, the Digital Harbor Foundation’s STEM Engine program and the Maryland State Arts Council, the Maryland Love Project is designed to “showcase all of the reasons why people love Maryland while shining a light on the important role that the arts and technology play in our communities,” O’Malley said in an annoucement. With the assistance of two mentors, four middle and high school students from the STEM Engine project created the portal--love.maryland.gov--during a seven-hour session at …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Sean Henderson and Julia Maldonado, Capital News Service
Wednesday, January 23
This interactive graphic shows the five people executed in Maryland since 1976, and the five people currently on death row in the state. Also includes an interactive map comparing the number of executions in Maryland since 1976 with the number of executions in other states in that period.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Start off your week with the news from around the state in crime, business and politics.
Public Safety: Naval Academy rape, gun control and school safety A Naval Academy professor is charged in the 2011 rape of a midshipman. Maj. Mark A. Thompson, 43, is undergoing an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a grand jury hearing, at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Two gun vendors were arrested in Timonium after they were caught selling illegal, high-capacity bullet magazines to undercover police at a local gun and knife show. In light of the Sandy Hook shootings, some Maryland legislators are hoping to make their schools safer. Anne Arundel County's delegation is introducing a bill that would put an armed resource officer in all of Maryland's public schools, while in Montgomery County, a councilman is hoping to …
After the Newtown, CT school shooting, Maryland legislators are looking at a number of ways to make schools safer.
According to Annapolis Patch, delegates from Anne Arundel County are introducing legislation on Tuesday, Jan. 22 in hopes of increasing security and mental health services at public schools across the state. The proposed bill would also pay for an armed resource officer at each school. "If you really understand public schools in Maryland, you know this: They are becoming increasingly more difficult for classroom teachers because discipline is lacking at home and teachers are spending an increasing amount of time maintaining discipline in the classroom," said Del. Nic Kipke (R-Pasadena). In Montgomery County, Councilman Craig Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown, a vocal advocate of school resource officers stationed in schools, told a room full …
Friday, January 18, 2013
By Rashee Raj Kumar, Capital News Service
Friday, January 18
Fears of new gun control regulations proposed by President Barack Obama and Gov. Martin O’Malley have intensified sales at Maryland gun shops. While the boost in sales has bolstered gun dealer’s profits, it has also led to a shortage in the supply of guns in the state, especially assault rifles, gun shop owners said. "Everybody is panicking. Every day has been absolutely crazy for the last three weeks," Henry Calvert, president of Calvert Firearms, Inc. in North East, a town in Cecil County, said of his customers. “It’s a bear market. Everyone is purchasing everything that comes in." Obama proposed a set of gun control regulations on Wednesday, which included a universal background check for all gun sales and a ban on military-style …
Friday, January 11, 2013
Google Flu Trends "uses aggregated Google search data to estimate current flu activity around the world in near real-time," its website stated.
Flu cases appear to be rising still in Maryland, according to Google Flu Trends, which "uses aggregated Google search data to estimate current flu activity around the world in near real-time," the Google Flu Trends website stated. Google Flu Trends data indicates that the number of flu cases in Maryland started rising in mid-November. As of Jan. 11, the flu has reached the "intense" category in Maryland, whereas at this time last year, the number of flu cases was only in the "moderate" range. Earlier this week, Montgomery County hospitals reported an uptick in patients suffering from flu-like symptoms. At Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, about 30 extra patients a day are visiting the emergency room, many of them complaining of flu-like …
Monday, December 31, 2012
If you're out celebrating on New Year's and don't have a designated driver, here are some choices for getting home.
The highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the last decade occurred on New Year's Day, according to Michael Green, AAA spokesman. But once you start your 2013 pre-celebration, you may not be thinking about statistics. So right now while you're thinking clearly, consider your options. Getting a designated driver or hailing a cab are some of your choices. But if you find yourself with empty pockets and no driver, you have options. Sober Ride Call Sober Ride 1-800-200-TAXI (1-880-200-8294) for a free ride home (up to a $30 fare) from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). It says rides started Dec. 14 and are available every night until Jan. 1, 2013. People using the service must be 21…
Make sure your property is registered by Dec. 31.
- Ben Gross
Monday, December 31, 2012
Have you registered your home for the Maryland Homestead Tax Credit? If not, you have only a few days left; the deadline to do so is Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The Homestead Credit limits the potential increase in taxable property assessments to 10 percent or less each year. Applying for the credit would prevent you from having to pay taxes on any increase above that 10 percent cap. The Department of Taxation and Assessments website offers the following example: Assume that your old assessment was $100,000 and that your new phased-in assessment for the 1st year is $120,000. An increase of 10% would result in an assessment of $110,000. The difference between $120,000 and $110,000 is $10,000. The tax credit would apply to the taxes due on …