maryland

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The number of tourists who visited Maryland last year may have dropped slightly, but a report says they spent more money than in 2017.

The Economic Impact of Tourism in Maryland report was announced Wednesday at the annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit.

The report says visitors to Maryland spent more than $18 billion last year, up about 2.1% from the previous year.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says he'll keep pushing for redistricting reform in the state, but Democrats say a national solution for reform is needed, not a piecemeal approach on a state-by-state basis.

The Supreme Court on Thursday reversed the outcome of federal court rulings in Maryland and North Carolina, where courts had ordered new congressional district maps to be drawn due to partisan gerrymandering. That's when political parties in control draw districts that favor them.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court seems wary of getting federal judges involved in determining when electoral district maps are too partisan.

The high court on Tuesday was hearing more than two hours of arguments in two cases involving the issue. The first case involves North Carolina's heavily Republican congressional map, and the second involves a map drawn by Democrats in Maryland.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Early voting is starting in Maryland.

The state has 79 early voting centers, and they open at 10 a.m. on Thursday. They will be open until 8 p.m.

Early voting runs through next Thursday. There is at least one early voting center in every county, and 12 counties have more than one center.

During early voting, eligible Maryland residents can register to vote and registered voters can make address changes. If all of the requirements are met, the voter can complete or update the registration and vote at the center.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland State Police say reports of hate crimes had increased by more than 100 from 2016 to 2017.

The Capital Gazette cites the newly released numbers from State Police as saying there were 398 reports of hate crimes or bias incidents in 2017 in Maryland compared to 295 in 2016.

The increase was mostly from more densely-populated regions as Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties each had more reported hate crimes.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is resolving partisan redistricting cases from Wisconsin and Maryland without ruling on the broader issue of whether electoral maps can give an unfair advantage to a political party.

The justices ruled against Wisconsin Democrats who challenged legislative districts that gave Republicans a huge edge in the state legislature. They also did not side with Maryland Republicans who objected to a single congressional district.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is taking up its second big partisan redistricting case of the term amid signs the justices could place limits on drawing maps for political gain.

The justices are hearing arguments Wednesday in an appeal filed by Republicans in Maryland. They complain that Democrats who controlled the state government in 2011 drew a congressional district for the express purpose of ousting the Republican incumbent and replacing him with a Democrat.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are gathering for the start of their annual 90-day legislative session.

It begins at noon on Wednesday in Annapolis.

As they do each year, lawmakers are expected to elect the presiding officers for the House and Senate on the first day.

While some sessions get off to a slow start, lawmakers appear ready to act soon on some high-profile issues. Democrats who control the General Assembly say they expect an override vote against Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill requiring paid sick leave for businesses with 15 or more employees.

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The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee noted that Maryland was one of three states most targeted by Russian ads during the 2016 presidential elections.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that North Carolina Republican Richard Burr used the heavily Democratic state to downplay the impact of the Russian backed ads.

The paper reports that there were 262 ads in Maryland as opposed to Wisconsin which saw only 55.

President Trump barely won Wisconsin.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A candidate for the Maryland Democratic Party's nomination for governor wants a judge to rule she's eligible to seek the office.

A Maryland gubernatorial candidate must have been a Maryland resident and registered voter for five years immediately preceding the election.

The Washington Post reports that in a filing Friday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, Krishanti Vignarajah says she was always a registered voter, although she did not vote in Maryland for 10 years.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland members of the Electoral College are meeting in Annapolis to cast their votes.

State Board of Elections spokeswoman Donna Duncan says the 10 electors are meeting at 1 p.m. Monday in the Maryland State House.

They're required by law to vote for the presidential and vice presidential candidates who received the plurality of votes cast in the state in the Nov. 8 general election.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Voter turnout in Maryland ended up lower than state elections officials thought it would be.

Linda Lamone, the state's elections administrator, said Thursday that voter turnout was about 66 percent for both Election Day and early voting.

With some long lines at polls on Election Day, Lamone initially projected hours before polls closed that overall turnout could reach 80 percent or higher.

In the end, about 2.5 million Maryland residents voted early and on Election Day. The state has about 3.9 million eligible voters.

Women in Politics

Jul 25, 2016
Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland has been among leading states in electing women to political offices for decades, but the state could have its first all-male congressional delegation in more than 40 years unless at least one of two Republicans or a third-party candidate wins in November in the heavily Democratic state.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The Pride of Baltimore II is leaving the city for a four-month voyage along the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

The tall ship's mission is to promote Maryland's economic interests to ports around the U.S. and Canada. It also will participate in the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016. That involves several sailing races throughout the summer.

The ship leaves Tuesday and is scheduled to return in early October.

Since its commissioning in 1988, the ship has traveled more than 250,000 nautical miles and visited 40 countries in 200 ports.

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Voting centers will be open from 10 a.m. on Thursday until 8 p.m.

Early voting for Maryland's April 26 primary runs through April 21. There is at least one early voting center in each county.

Ballots should be cast at designated early voting centers in county of residence.

Voters will be choosing nominees for president and a U.S. Senate seat, as well as nominees for congressional seats. Baltimore voters will be picking a nominee for mayor.

Addresses for the early voting centers are available at www.elections.maryland.gov/voting/early-voting.html 

Don Rush

Virginia got White House approval for a declaration of disaster which will provide supplemental aid to the state.

January’s snow storm struck the commonwealth hard and the federal funds will go toward repairing and replacing infrastructure.

WBOC reports that twenty counties and five cities were particularly hard hit by the storm.

Meanwhile, Maryland got approval for a disaster declaration last week while Delaware is still awaiting a response to its request.

Weather Channel

With the oncoming snow storm Maryland and Virginia have declared a state of emergency as Delaware Governor Jack Markell urges residents to prepare for the winter blast.

Delaware is expected to be hit the hardest on Delmarva with up to 8 inches in Sussex County while in Salisbury the snow is expected to be 2 to 4 inches deep.

Delaware

The National Weather Service has declared a blizzard watch for New Castle and Kent counties, while Sussex County is under a winter storm watch.

Farming the Oyster

Nov 25, 2015
Don Rush

With the depletion of the oyster in the Chesapeake Bay a new industry has grown up in the region. It's called aquaculture where oysters are raised to produce this iconic creature. WYPR's Joel McCord took a look at the growth of this industry in the region.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland elections officials say the state's new voting system has been used successfully in recent local elections and a test election.

Linda Lamone, the Maryland state board of elections administrator, said Thursday elections in Rockville and College Park gave voters the chance to use Maryland's new system, and it was well received.

State and local election officials found a statewide test election last month useful to understanding the new system and identifying areas where procedures and documents need revision for next year's elections.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland residents arguing that their lawsuit over the state's 2011 redrawing of its congressional districts was thrown out prematurely seemed to find some sympathy with justices at the U.S. Supreme Court.

During oral arguments Wednesday, the residents' lawyer asked the Supreme Court to agree that that the lawsuit should have been forwarded to a three-judge panel, not dismissed by a single judge.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A new poll says 54 percent of Maryland residents view Gov. Larry Hogan favorably, up from 33 percent in February.

The poll by Goucher College released Monday found 15 percent viewed the Republican governor unfavorably and 30 percent responded they didn't know.

The poll found 58 percent approve of the way Hogan is handling his job, up from 40 percent in the college's February poll. The latest poll found 18 percent disapproved and 23 percent didn't know.

The February poll was released less than a month after he took office.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland board has revised the state's revenue estimates up by $212 million for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates approved the estimates Monday. The estimates went up $80.6 million for fiscal year 2016, which began in July. Revenue estimates increased $131.6 million for fiscal year 2017.

The revisions come after Maryland ended fiscal year 2015 with a fund balance of $295 million.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan says Maryland ended the fiscal year with a higher-than-expected budget balance.

Hogan says the state's fund balance is about $295 million.

The Republican says about $84 million of that is from reversions from state agencies. That's $54 million more than previously expected.

Hogan says it's due to more careful management of state spending.

Maryland also benefited from about $214 million in higher-than-anticipated state revenues.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Former Gov. Marvin Mandel will lie in repose at the Maryland State House this week, a day before his funeral.

Elaine Rice Bachmann, acting secretary of the State House Trust, said Monday the trust has approved use of the capitol for the former governor to lie in repose Wednesday.

Mandel, a Democrat, died Sunday. He was 95.

Mandel was governor from 1969 to 1979. Hewas  also speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates before serving as governor.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland attorney general's office says legislative action isn't necessary for the state to recall license plates bearing the Confederate battle flag.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Assistant Attorney General Kathryn M. Rowe wrote an opinion addressed to Sen. Jamie Raskin and Del. David Moon that says there are no legal obstacles blocking a recall of the specialty tags.

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More motorists are expected to hit the roads this July 4th holiday.

Triple AAA Mid-Atlantic says in Delaware 97-thousand are expected to be on the highways out of 112-thousand expected to be traveling this year.

That’s up .9 percent over last year.

Meanwhile, in Maryland 870-thousand residents are expected to be traveling with 754-thousand hitting the roadways.

That’s an increase of 2.3 percent over last year.

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WASHINGTON (AP)- The Supreme Court will decide whether it was proper for a single federal judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging Maryland's 2011 congressional redistricting plan.

The justices on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from a group of Maryland residents who say their First Amendment challenge should have been reviewed by a three-judge panel.

Federal law requires a special panel of three judges to hear constitutional redistricting cases unless a single judge who initially considers the case decides it is frivolous or "obviously without merit."

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - New regulations are going into effect in Maryland and Delaware for a reduction in fishing for striped bass.

The two states have taken different approaches to recommendations for the fishing reduction.

Maryland is changing regulations for inland fishing and on the coast. Last year, anglers could catch two striped bass per day per person. This year they can only catch one per day.

Maryland Democratic Party Facebook

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Democratic Party has elected an interim chair.

The party's executive committee on Thursday elected D. Bruce Poole as interim chairman. He succeeds Yvette Lewis, who announced last month that she was resigning to spend more time with family.

Poole, a lawyer, is a partner at Poole & Kane, P.A. in Hagerstown. From 1987 until 1999, he served as a member of the House of Delegates, including 3 years as House Majority Leader.

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There's an afterglow from the Maryland Senate vote that unanimously approved the $40 billion budget.

The surprise outcome caught many members cheering as the final vote count went up on the board.

Capital News Service reporter Anjali Shastri was there and describes the scene and the issues for Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush. 

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