Local News

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are exploring a quick way to approve sports betting this year, but it's unclear if they will be able to do it without voter approval in 2020.

Voters endorsed a constitutional amendment allowing casinos in 2008, but any further commercial gambling expansion requires another voter referendum.

And lawmakers failed to pass legislation to put sports betting on last November's ballot.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP/WashPost) - Maryland is getting a new political party.

The Maryland State Board of Elections has certified a new socialist party called Bread and Roses.

The board verified that the party submitted the 10,000 voter signatures needed to be on the 2020 and 2022 ballots in Maryland.

The certification comes after progressive activist Jerome Segal who created the party ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Senator Ben Cardin in the Democratic Party primary.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's criticism of Washington's divisive politics during his inaugural speech has generated some buzz about whether he might seek national office, but the Republican says he's not making any plans to end his second term early.

Hogan was asked Thursday at a news conference on his budget proposal whether he wants to run for president. He says he plans to talk more about national politics, because he is the incoming chairman of the National Governors Association.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has used his old state political action committee to raise big money and cut checks to Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire as he weighs a presidential run.

Campaign finance reports show McAuliffe's PAC raised $300,000 in the second half of 2018 after raising no money in his first six months out of office. The PAC's spending included money for staff, travel and donations to the Democratic parties in Iowa and New Hampshire - both early voting states in presidential primaries.


The Seaford Police Department now requires all of its officers to carry the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

WBOC reports that the department says it has seen a rise in the number of overdose deaths in recent years.

Last year they said they responded to 48 overdoses 4 of which were fatal.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The monitor observing reforms to the Baltimore Police Department has told a legislative committee that dysfunction in the department is so deep and widespread that it will take longer to fix than anticipated.

The Baltimore Sun reports attorney Kenneth Thompson spoke Thursday to the House of Delegates' Judiciary Committee in Annapolis and called the department "a highly dysfunctional organization." He said he believed it would take longer to reform the department than acting Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle's prediction of five to seven years.

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GLEN BURNIE, Md. (AP) - Weeks after a Maryland county stopped alerting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the immigration status of its jail inmates, the federal agency is withdrawing from its contract to house detainees there - a decision that will cost the county millions in revenue.

The Capital reports the agency gave Anne Arundel County three months' notice in a letter Wednesday. The county received about $4 million last year to house up to 130 ICE detainees.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence says the criticism of Christian education in America should stop.

Pence is responding to media reports of his wife returning to teach at a school that says it can refuse to employ gay and lesbian teachers or enroll children with gay or lesbian parents.

Karen Pence is teaching at Immanuel Christian School in northern Virginia.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights advocacy group, criticized the move as an example of the Pences showing their public service "only extends to some."

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Governor Larry Hogan was sworn in yesterday doing something that has not been done in decades – becoming a Republican to win a second term in office.

During his inaugural address Hogan said that he wants to seek the "middle ground where we can all stand together" in his second term.

Hogan emphasized bipartisanship on Wednesday in his second inaugural address and contrasted civil debate in Annapolis with the partisan rancor in nearby Washington.

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A lawsuit has been filed charging that a Delmar Department failed to act after a complaint that the male colleague placed his hand on a volunteer female colleague’s inner thigh.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that in the suit April Molchan says that when she was captain of emergency medical services in 2015 then-Fire Chief Andrew Rementer did so at a restaurant.  

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Governor John Carney is set to give his State of the State address to Delaware lawmakers this afternoon.

WBOC reports that Carney has said that while the state’s finances are showing progress they need to be on firmer financial ground.

In addition, the Delaware Democrat wants to expand the ability to vote with early voting and same day voting.

On jobs Carney says that he has seen some progress but more needs to be done.

And on education the Democrat says he was $60 million for more school funding.

Voting Legislation

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state task force headed by Democratic lawmakers is recommending that Delaware establish an individual mandate to bolster the financial stability of the state's Affordable Care Act program.

The recommendation follows the expiration earlier this month of the federal mandate that required individuals to obtain health insurance or face tax penalties. The mandate was eliminated as part of the 2017 tax reform law.

According to the task force report, Delawareans paid $8 million in penalties in 2016 under the federal mandate.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia's largest city has passed sweeping new laws to regulate short-term rentals that are found on sites like Airbnb.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that Virginia Beach's regulations mark the first time the issue has been recognized in the city's laws. The city of nearly half a million people sits along the Atlantic Ocean in a tourist-heavy region.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Karen Pence's return to teaching at a Virginia school that lists "homosexual or lesbian sexual activity" as among the disqualifying criteria for employees is drawing criticism from the nation's largest gay rights advocacy group.

The office of the vice president's wife says it's "absurd" to attack both her decision to resume teaching art to elementary students as well as the school's religious doctrine.


STAFFORD, Va. (AP) - A Virginia university is hosting a day of professional development and "personal enrichment" for federal employees who have been furloughed during the partial government shutdown.

The University of Mary Washington has invited all workers affected by the shutdown to a free program Thursday on its Stafford campus.

Faculty will join administrators to offer leadership lessons, workplace tutorials and a brown-bag networking lunch.

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HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - Maryland State Police say a Delaware man suspected of firing at troopers has been arrested.

News outlets report 20-year-old Isaiah Peppers was arrested Tuesday in Hampton, Virginia. Police say they found a revolver in his backpack and rounds of ammunition in his pockets.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - In a rarity of Maryland politics, a Republican is being sworn in to a second term as governor.

Gov. Larry Hogan will be sworn in Wednesday on the grounds of the Maryland State House.

Hogan is the first Republican governor in Maryland to win re-election since 1954, when Theodore McKeldin became the first Republican to do so in the state.

Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1 in Maryland.


OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - A light earthquake has been recorded off the coast of Maryland.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 4.7-magnitude earthquake struck Tuesday evening in the Atlantic Ocean, about 136 miles (219 kilometers) southeast of Ocean City, Maryland. No tsunami warning has been issued.

In a Facebook post, Ocean City town officials said emergency officials were monitoring the situation but had not observed any effects from the quake.

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Partial shutdown of the federal government has cost the state of Maryland $778 million affecting some 172-thousand residents.

That’s the latest from the Comptroller Peter Franchot who said every two weeks it costs the state $60-million.

Franchot said it is having devastating impact on Maryland families.

He said, “Six percent of our totals jobs in the state are federal jobs. And, many, many more are private sector federal contracting jobs.” He went on, “There is a unique impact on the state of Maryland from the shutdown.”  

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials have unveiled a plan to provide more funding for low-income students and students whose native language is not English.

The proposal announced Tuesday calls for an additional $60 million over three years for educating poor students and students designated as English Language Learners.

District schools and charter schools would receive an extra $500 for each ELL student and $300 for each low-income student.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland sheriff says a new law that allows courts to temporarily restrict firearms access for people at risk to themselves or others resulted in more than 300 protective orders, five of which were related to schools.

Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin told state lawmakers Tuesday that 302 orders were sought under the state's "red flag" law, in the first three months since the law took effect Oct. 1.

He says five of them related to schools, and four of those five "were significant threats."

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Catholic leaders in Baltimore say they've delivered over 50,000 files to Maryland's top law enforcement official amid an investigation into child sex abuse.

At a Tuesday event for reporters, Archbishop William Lori said Baltimore's archdiocese is cooperating fully with Attorney General Brian Frosh's ongoing probe. Lori said any credible allegations have long been sent to the attorney general's office "so there was already a lot on file from us."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia has taken another step toward becoming the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

The state Senate voted in favor of legislation Tuesday to approve the gender-equality amendment. The measure passed with bipartisan support.

The legislation still has to clear the House, where its chances for passage are unclear. The measure failed in the House last year.

The ERA's passage would mean it has reached the threshold for ratification, but not by the 1982 deadline set by Congress.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorney General Mark Herring has voiced strong concerns that a wide-ranging review of his office by the legislature's watchdog agency is being used as political weapon.

The Democratic attorney general blasted the review as an "inquisition" designed to "support partisan preconceptions" in a November letter to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

Virginia Festival of the Book

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The annual "Virginia Festival of the Book" will feature writers on racism, climate change, crime and the opioid crisis.

The schedule for the March 20-24 festival includes more than 100 programs that are free and open to the public. The program of Virginia Humanities is celebrating its 25th year of bringing writers and readers together to promote books, reading, literacy and literary culture.

Renowned meditation teacher Ruth King will discuss racism, white supremacy and identity.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A proposal to update Virginia's definition of a hate crime to include gender, gender identity and sexual orientation has failed to get out of a Senate committee.

The bill submitted by state Attorney General Mark Herring failed after the Republican-dominated Senate Courts of Justice Committee on Monday voted 8-6 against reporting the bill to the full Senate.

Herring, a Democrat, says he is disappointed to see the bill die in a party-line vote.

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The snow fell over the weekend bringing from 2 to 4 inches of the white stuff.

Today should be partly sunny with the highs in the upper 30’s.

Salisbury saw around three and a-half inches with some melting from light rain on Sunday.

That was followed by a light dusting on Sunday night.

Cambridge and Laurel Delaware also saw around three and a-half inches with Wallops Island at two inches and Chincoteague getting around and two and a-half inches over the weekend.

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Delmarva said good-bye to Mike Pretl this last Sunday with a memorial service where over a hundred showed up to remember him.

The 76-year old environmentalist and activist died from a heart attack on Christmas day.

He hailed from Baltimore but was known as some who seemed to never meet a cause he didn’t like.

John Grout with the Wicomico Environmental Trust noted, “ At one dinner we shared he was asked teasingly…whether there was one organization on the Lower Shore where he did not sit on the board.”

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The federal government shutdown has prompted Virginia's second-largest city to offer help to furloughed federal employees.

The city of Norfolk said in a statement Friday that it's offering assistance through payment plans on property taxes, water bills and city parking fees.

The assistance is being offered to people who work for various federal departments. Those include the Department of Interior and the Department of Homeland Security. The latter employs U.S. Coast Guard members and TSA agents who are working without pay.

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(AP) The rules that govern recreational marine fishing in the U.S. will get an overhaul due to a new law passed by Congress.

The new standards are part of a suite of changes that proponents call the Modern Fish Act. They were approved by the House and Senate in December.

The author of the proposal, Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, says one of the key features of the law is that it promises to help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration incorporate data from fishermen, which he says would be a boost to timeliness and accuracy.