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A Proposed Surcharge To Pay For Power Grid Upgrades, A Proposal To Let The MdTA Suspend Vehicle Registrations Over Unpaid Tolls, and More On "Question 7"
October 4, 2012
A task force formed by Governor Martin O'Malley is recommending that a fee of a dollar or two be added to energy bills to improve system reliability (via our wire service, the Baltimore Sun, and the Washington Post).
The Maryland Transportation Authority wants to be able to suspend the vehicle registrations of people who don't pay tolls. The head of the Authority told the state's Board of Public Works yesterday that it's drafting legislation to let it do so; the measure would permit 50-dollar citations whenever a toll is unpaid for 30 days... and after three citations, the vehicle's registration would be suspended. Over the last five years, about 650-thousand drivers have skipped paying tolls by using EZ-Pass lanes, without the necessary transponders -- and then not paying the bills when they come (via marylandreporter.com).
Governor Martin O'Malley is attacking the ads that attack "Question 7," the ballot measure that would expand Maryland's casino gambling program (via the Baltimore Sun).
Baltimore officials have cancelled a series of public meetings about the future of Patterson Park. A spokesperson for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says that the meetings will be postponed until a working group puts some plans together; that working group could be formed by the end of the month (via the Baltimore Sun).
A probing investigation of Baltimore's purchase of a new phone system is raising warning flags at city hall. WYPR’s Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith comments in his weekly essay.
Maryland health officials say there have been two confirmed cases of meningitis in the state, including one that resulted in death. The cases are among what appears to be a multi-state outbreak of meningitis. The state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is not releasing any information about either state victim, only saying it likely came from a spinal injection in each case. The nationwide cases have been traced to people who received spinal injections of the drug Solumedrol, which has been recalled by the manufacturer (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
The potentially fatal West Nile Virus has shown up in Frederick County. Two cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported there in recent weeks -- and they were severe enough to send their victims to the hospital. There have been 35 cases of West Nile Virus in Maryland this year; only 19 cases were reported last year. Three of this year's cases have resulted in death (via the Frederick News Post).
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is warning of a computer virus that is targeting state residents (via our wire service and the Arbutus Patch).
The Maryland State Police is getting a 300-thousand dollar federal grant to fight Internet predators. The funds will support Maryland's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program (via our wire service; more here from the office of Senator Ben Cardin).
Baltimore's spending panel has approved an agreement that officials say will keep the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum open to the public into the future (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
There's a big sinkhole in Little Italy -- it's the size of a car and at least 15-feet deep. The hole is on Albemarle Street, between Styles and Fawn streets. A spokesperson for the Department of Public Works said repairs should be finished by lunchtime today (via our wire service).
And in sports: the Orioles fell 4 to 1 to the Tampa Bay Rays last night. The O's now head to the post-season... they'll play the Texas Rangers tomorrow in the American League's Wild Card game. If they win that, they'll take on the New York Yankees on Sunday.
IN FOCUS TODAY
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:41am
More than 17,000 Baltimore students miss 20 or more days of school a year. Many of these...
Friday, May 17, 2013 - 4:37am
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about changes to the horse racing industry in Maryland...
Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 7:00am
Attorney General Doug Gansler may run for governor in 2014, but he's moving toward a decision...