Committee Approves Minimum Wage Increase
The Senate Finance Committee has approved a bill to raise Maryland's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and it could hit the full Senate floor by today. Supporters are hoping the final bill can clear the House and Senate by the time the legislative session ends on Monday night. Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley, who sits on the Finance Committee, believes the increase is not a good idea for the Maryland economy. Some of the changes made by the Senate are beneficial; however, he believes any minimum wage increase should be decided by the federal government. On another subject, Brinkley says he is not surprised by the health board's decision this week to scrap the state's website and adopt software, developed by Deloitte Consulting, which is used by the more successful exchange in Connecticut.
Two Arrested in Recent Drug Raid
Thirty-three year old Charles McCord and 23-year old Molly Ann Nelson have been arrested, as a result of what Frostburg authorities call one of the largest drug busts to happen there in recent memory. A drug raid at an Ormand Street residence in late March resulted in the recovery of marijuana, hashish, LSD, and nearly $26,000 in cash. Both McCord and Nelson were released after posting bond. Frostburg Police Chief Royce Douty noted that this is the type of drug activity that is taking place, not only in Frostburg, but also throughout Allegany County.
Firing Range Proposed
Allegany County is considering the construction of a shooting range for law enforcement training on land near PPG Road in Mexico Farms. J. Robert Dick, chief of the County's Division of Public Safety, says the facility wouldn't cost a lot of money, and would be located close to the existing public safety building. County staff could do most of the work. A fence would be built around the range; that could be purchased by the county, and installed by an outside contractor.
Harford Joins Rural Counties Coalition
The Maryland Rural Counties Coalition continues to grow, as Harford County Executive David Craig joined as an Associate Member, expanding the membership to 11 counties. The Coalition, which includes Allegany, Frederick and Washington counties, represents nearly 1.2 million Maryland residents. The coalition is charged with strengthening their policy-related standing in Annapolis. Since December of 2011, seven additional counties have now become members.
Pennsylvania Man Charged with CDS Possession
Brownsville, Pennsylvania resident Christopher Lockhart has been charged with possession of marijuana and CDS paraphernalia. Lockhart was stopped for speeding Wednesday afternoon on Route 40, in the area of Pig's Ear Road. A vehicle search resulted in the discovery of the marijuana and paraphernalia. He was processed, and later released from the McHenry barrack of the Maryland State Police.
Women Issued Summonses For Children's Absenteeism
Thirty-five year old Cumberland resident Naomi Smith has been arrested for failing to send her children to school numerous times between August 27th of last year through March of this year. She was served with the summons and released, pending trial in District Court. Additionally, 42-year old Tracy Bender of Cumberland was cited for failing to send her child to school, with absenteeisms, dating from August of last year, through March of this year. She, too, was served and released, pending trial in District Court.
Man Served Summons for February Burglary
Fort Ashby resident Malcolm Parsons was served a criminal summons for fourth-degree burglary, in connection with an incident in February of this year. Parsons is accused of entering a West Oldtown Road residence, and damaging a screen in the process. He was observed by a neighbor, climbing out of a window, and running in an unknown direction. There was no property taken, nor was anyone harmed. He was served and released, pending trial in Allegany County District Court.
Bedford County Town Still Without Clean Water
Six Mile Run in Bedford County experienced a roof collapse at its water facility in mid-February, and the approximately 300 residents there are still without clean water to use. Officials there say they have been working hard to rebuild the facility, and that, along with and insurance settlement, they are look for state help to pay for about $80,000 in repairs. Residents have been on a "boil water" advisory since the collapse, and an emergency water permit was issued, but that expires a week from tomorrow.
Security Increased at MCI
Prison officials at MCI-Hagerstown have increased security, as the result of an increase in contraband found there. Cell phones appear to be a significant problem, and an ongoing investigation has not implicated any correctional officers or employees. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is combating the problem by investing more than $1.1 million in gate-entry security measures.
Ignition Interlock Bill Passes House
A bill, known as the "Blow-N-Go" bill has passed the Maryland House of Delegates, and will now go to Governor Martin O'Malley's desk, to be signed. The bill requires repeat DUI offenders to use an ignition interlock system to make sure they're under the legal limit, before driving. If they are unwilling to submit to the interlock system, they would have to hand over their driver's licenses for one year.