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News From The Democratic National Convention, Preventing West Nile Virus, and Bird Strikes At BWI
September 4, 2012
Like their counterparts from across the nation, Maryland delegates to the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating convention have arrived in Charlotte eager to have their turn. WYPR’s Fraser Smith reports from Charlotte.
Governor Martin O'Malley will to have a prominent role at the Convention in the coming days. Tonight, O'Malley's set to delegates the convention during the 10 o'clock hour -- he'll be the first speaker in that hour, which is when some national networks begin live broadcasts. He'll use that speech not only to try to help President Barack Obama's re-election campaign... but also to establish himself as a possible presidential candidate in 2016. O'Malley tells the Baltimore Sun that he's "a little bit nervous" in advance of the speech; there's more on his speech here from the Washington Post.
Another Maryland Democrat -- House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer -- will also address delegates tonight; he'll be speaking earlier, sometime during the 5 o'clock hour. And other Marylanders will have roles in the convention later this week... Senator Barbara Mikulski is also set to speak to delegates, as is eighth district congressman Chris Van Hollen -- who sits on the House Budget Committee with the Republicans' Vice Presidential Nominee: Paul Ryan (via the Baltimore Sun). Van Hollen is also helping Vice President Joe Biden prepare to debate Ryan later this fall -- he tells the Washington Post that he "understand[s] how Ryan presents his case."
Governor O'Malley is telling reporters he might have chosen his words differently in characterizing how Americans are doing. On Sunday, O'Malley was on CBS's Face the Nation... and was asked whether Americans are better off today than they were four years ago. O'Malley said "no" (and qualified that answer by laying the blame for the recession at the feet of former President George W. Bush). That answer drew fire from Republicans.... and yesterday, O'Malley backpedaled a bit -- telling "USA Today" that he'd like to have answered the question differently. O'Malley says his party must articulate a message of forward progress by pointing to such accomplishments as job gains in the private sector and the resurgence of the auto industry.
Yesterday's torrential downpour at the CarolinaFest street festival drowned out a planned performance from Governor Martin O'Malley. He'd been planning to play some celtic rock with actor/musician Jeff Bridges... but the rain put a damper on those plans, and O'Malley never got to take the stage. The governor's band, "O'Malley's March," is slated to play at two late-night gatherings later during the convention (via the Washington Post).
Cases of the potentially fatal West Nile Virus are up 40 percent this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (via patch.com). The mosquito-borne disease has led to one confirmed death in Maryland so far... and Montgomery County is urging people to stay away from mosquitoes and get rid of the places they breed as a means of stopping the disease's spread. West Nile Virus is rarely fatal -- in fact, up to 80 percent of the people who contract it never know they have it. But the disease can be serious, especially in people with compromised immune systems.
A new report shows a large number of bird strikes at BWI airport. Almost one-thousand bird strikes have been reported there since 2000 -- 45 of those collisions were not only fatal to the birds, but also damaging to aircraft. BWI officials are looking for ways to keep the birds away, including firing off loud noise cannons (via our wire service and the Washington Post).
Baltimore business owners are expressing mixed responses to this year's Grand Prix. Some merchants said customers were reluctant to visit because they were blocked. One restaurant owner claimed he lost 50-percent of his business over the weekend (via our wire service). Immediately after the Grand Prix ended Sunday night, crews began the process of clearing the streets in time for this morning's commute. Workers spent their timeremoving fences, safety barriers and getting the streets back open. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is expected to be back to normal in time for Thursday night's game against the New York Yankees (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
And in sports: the Orioles are now one game away from first place in the American League East. This after the O's beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4 to zero last night, and the first place Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays. The O's take on the Blue Jays again this evening.
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