Judge Rules Gun Law Unconstitutional
A District Judge has ruled that Maryland residents do not have to provide a “good and substantial reason” to legally own a handgun, striking down as unconstitutional the state’s requirements for getting a permit. The objective of the Maryland legislation was to limit the number of firearms individuals could carry. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Fader has vowed to appeal the ruling. The case in which the ruling was made, involved a Hampstead man who obtained a handgun permit after fighting with an intruder in his home, but was denied a renewal three years ago because he could not show he had been subject to “threats occurring beyond his residence.”
Kroll Sentenced in Pennsylvania Assault
John Leroy Kroll of Cumberland has been sentenced to 18-1/2 to 37 years in prison for the 1980 sexual assault of a nine-year old girl in Bedford County. Kroll entered a guilty plea to all charges filed against him. The charges stemmed from an incident in March of 1980, in which Kroll kidnapped a girl from her Cumberland home. She was transported to Bedford County, where she was sexually assaulted. Bedford County State’s Attorney Bill Higins credited his counterpart in Allegany County for Kroll’s prosecution for crimes committed in Maryland. Kroll will be taken to the State Correctional Institution in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
Employee Resigns, Piedmont City Hall Closed
One employee has resigned and Piedmont City Hall has been closed “until further notice,” because of an illegally-called special meeting to discuss an ongoing investigation involving several of the town’s elected officials. Assistant Town Clerk Nancy Wade resigned, following a meeting last week. According to the Mineral News-Tribune, a major portion of the disagreement center around Commissioner Ray Hall’s statements that the meeting had been illegally called, because a notice on the city hall door did not state a reason for the meeting.
Man Arrested South of Bel Air
A Rawlings resident, Derik Sanders was charged with driving on a suspended and revoked license, following a stop on Route 220, south of Bel Air Sunday afternoon. An Allegany County Sheriff’s deputy stopped Sanders, with a female passenger telling the deputy that she and Sanders had been arguing and she was in fear that an assault was going to take place. She had sounded the horn of the car, to gain the attention of the deputy on patrol. He was charged, and taken to a District Court Commissioner. He was later released.
Public School Registration Set
Children who will enter public school for the first time in August will be registered on March 29th and 30th, at the appropriate elementary school, as determined by residence. A child entering the pre-kindergarten program must be four years old on or before September 1st of the school year in which they apply for entrance. There are other guidelines for children entering school. For more information, call the Board of Education’s Student Services Office at (301)-759-2001 or the Elementary Education Office at (301)-759-2012.
Edwards To Request Money for Canal Improvements
Senator George Edwards has submitted a bond bill request for up to $320,000 for improvements at the C & O Canal national Historical Park improvements in Williamsport. Republicans in the delegation say the state’s financial problems were too severe last year to ask for money. But Senator Edwards is going ahead with plans to ask for the money for improvements at Lock 44 and the lift bridge, as well as Lockhouse 44. Edwards represents a small portion of Washington County, but not Williamsport.
Budget at Center of General Assembly Session
The budget is at the center of the General Assembly, as it is now into its ninth week. Legislators have set an April 2nd deadline to approve the final budget. The General Assembly is considering everything from increasing income taxes to extending the sales tax to nearly 30 different services in an effort to close a $1.1 billion budget deficit. Lawmakers are also trying to come to an agreement on a bill to require public defenders to represent poor defendants at bail hearings.
Gas Prices Continue to Rise
Gas prices continue to rise, both in the state and nationally. Triple “A” is reporting the cost of a gallon of regular, unleaded was up seven cents nationally, 6 cents statewide, and 5 cents in the Baltimore area. Two service stations downstate have already topped $4 per gallon. The least expensive gas in the Baltimore metro area was $3.50 a gallon.