News Conference to Discuss Special Session
House Republicans in Annapolis are held a news conference yesterday, to discuss the possibility of a special session, as the Governor tries to broker a deal on a tax bill that would be the focus of the session. O’Malley says he will not call a special session until House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller come to an agreement on a tax bill. Leaders are urging Governor O’Malley to call the session, so a tax bill can be passed, thereby avoiding $512 million in spending cuts, set to take effect on July 1st.
Plans for New Allegany “Encouraging”
The Maryland Interagency Committee on School Funding is expected to approve plans today, to use the former Sacred Heart Hospital as the site for a new Allegany High School. Architects Grimm and parker are scheduled to report to the Board of Education early next month on how to best convert the former hospital into a school. If all goes well, the Board could solicit proposals for the design of the school by October.
Woman Charged with Fraud, Theft
A 25-year old Cumberland woman is accused of stealing from a relative. Megan Aline Chamberlain is accused of making numerous unauthorized purchases and withdrawals from a relative’s account at various locations throughout the county. She was charged by Cumberland City Police with fraud, theft, and 10 counts of unauthorized use of credit card numbers. At a District Court bond hearing, she was ordered held on $35,000 bond.
Two Groups Receive Funding
Friends Aware has received $250,000 and the Allegany County Museum received $200,000, as a result of state bond funding. Friends Aware had requested a total of $634,000 in state bond funding, while the Museum asked for $350,000. The county commissioners asked that the Allegany Museum be prioritized as it is completing the redevelopment of its building on Pershing Street.
New Piedmont Council Member Appointed
Robert Patenaude has been appointed to the Piedmont City Council, to fill the position left vacant by the resignation of Bob Fike. Mayor Skip Clifford says it is his impression that Fike did not want to return. Clifford then recommended Patenaude for the position, and it was approved on a 3 to 1 vote. Current Council Member Ray Hall, who has been urged to step down from the council, voted against the appointment. Hall was convicted of attempted extortion last week.
Violence on the Rise at Juvenile Facilities
Violence at a handful of Maryland’s juvenile detention facilities is on the rise. Staff members at the Victor Cullen Center used handcuffs to restrain youths only 36 times in 2010; last year, that number rose to nearly 200 times. At another facility, Cheltenham Youth Facility, there were 65 reports of “group disturbances,” up from only a dozen times in 2010. The Juvenile Justice Reporting Unit is attempting to address contributing factors, such as the length of time youths are spending in detention centers, along with overtime and turnovers among staff members.
Plane Crashes in Berkeley County
A single-occupant plane crashed in Berkeley County Monday. Crews were dispatched to what was originally termed an “emergency landing,” but found the plane on its roof just after 3:30 p.m. There were no injuries. The pilot says he lost engine power. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash, located off of National Fruit Road.
Bagged Salad Recall in Maryland, Virginia
The Dole Food Company is recalling 756 cases of bagged salad, which could be contaminated with salmonella. The recall affects both Maryland and Virginia. There have been no illnesses reported, but they were distributed in 15 states. If you have a bag of the contaminated salad, you’re asked to simply throw them out. The “use by” date is April 11th, and contains a UPC code of 7143001057.