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Maryland's Response To Friday's Tragic Shooting In Connecticut, FEMA Aid For Some Somerset County Residents, and A 10-Year Deal For Horseracing In MD
December 17, 2012
Maryland state flags will fly at half-staff in the wake of Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Governor Martin O'Malley says that the loss of innocent lives is tragic beyond words. He sends his thoughts and prayers to those who lost loved ones in the heartbreaking tragedy, saying it's incomprehensible to attempt to understand the pain the families are feeling, especially the pain of losing a child. The governor is encouraging everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.
Maryland school officials say they're re-evalutating their crisis procedures in the wake of Friday's school shooting. School officials around the region are planning to hold staff meetings this morning to review emergency plans. Teachers, administrators and other staff are also being alerted to looking for signs of students struggling with the situation (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Hundreds of guns were surrendered during a weekend gun buyback event in Baltimore, possibly driven by Friday's school shooting (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
On today's edition of Inside Maryland Politics, WYPR Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith talks to Karen Hosler about the progress that is being made by those trying to abolish the death penalty in Maryland, including Benjamin Jealous, the President of the NAACP, national chapter.
The Obama Administration has reversed the Federal Emergency Management Agency's decision to deny individual disaster aid to some of the people on the Eastern Shore whose homes and businesses suffered severe damage during Hurricane Sandy. In response to an appeal from Governor Martin O'Malley, FEMA says it will now offer aid for Somerset County residents. The reversal comes after new damage reports gathered by the Maryland Emergency Mangement Agency. Households in Somerset will be eligible for nearly $31-thousand worth of federal help. The Somerset County town of Crisfield was one of the areas hit hardest by the storm. State officials note that not everyone who applies for the assistance will get it; people in Somerset County who suffered damage from Sandy can call 800-621-FEMA to apply for aid (more here from the Baltimore Sun and here from WBOC).
Horse racing will continue at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park for the next ten years, under an agreement reached on Friday between the Maryland Jockey Club, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, and the Maryland Thoroughbread Horsemen's Association (via our wire service and the Baltimore Business Journal). Governor O'Malley applauded the long-term deal, saying: "Today's a great day for Maryland's racing industry. The deal will retain industry jobs and preserve the future of racing."
And in sports: the Ravens' losing streak now stands at three games -- after they fell 34 to 17 to the Denver Broncos yesterday. But the Ravens ARE heading back to the postseason, after the Cowboys beat the Steelers. The Ravens host the New York Giants this coming Sunday.
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