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Same-Sex Marriage, The Audit Of Baltimore Schools, Meningitis, A Voter ID Proposal, and O'Malley At The Vice Presidential Debate
October 11, 2012
The fight over Question Six, the same sex marriage referendum on Maryland’s November ballot, began heating up this week as both sides unleashed television ads. WYPR’s Joel McCord reports.
In related news, the Chief Diversity Officer of DC's Gallaudet University has been suspended for signing a petition that helped put the same-sex marriage law on the November ballot. Dr. Angela McCaskill -- who lives in Prince George's County -- was put on paid administrative leave after some called her participation in the legislative initiative "inappropriate for a Chief Diversity Officer." Spokesmen from groups backing and opposing the same-sex marriage law are calling for McCaskill's immediate reinstatement, saying that the suspension violated her right to free speech (via our wire service, the Washington Blade, and the Baltimore Sun).
A draft audit of the Baltimore City School System has uncovered a range of deficiencies. The audit will officially be unveiled today. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake calls the school's financial problems as detailed in the audit "unacceptable" -- and is calling on City Schools CEO Andrés Alonso and the City School board to take immediate corrective action (via the Baltimore Sun).
WYPR Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith says the contents of the audit could put Baltimore's hope for state aid in a $2-billion school reconstruction project in jeopardy. Fraser comments in his weekly essay.
Governor Martin O'Malley will likely reprise his role as post-debate spin doctor tonight; O'Malley will be in Danville, Kentucky this evening for the Vice Presidential debate, and is expected to go on camera afterward in an attempt to shape the analysis of the debate. Governor O'Malley played a similar role following last week's Presidential debate; the Governor has been a prominent surrogate for President Obama in recent months (via the Baltimore Sun).
Another case of meningitis has been confirmed in Maryland -- bringing the state's total to 9 -- as part of a statewide outbreak, connected to the injection of a steroid created by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy that is used for back pain. State health officials say around 15-hundred Maryland residents might have been exposed (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Prince George's County Delegate Tiffany Alston has been suspended from the legislature, without pay or benefits. Yesterday, the General Assembly's lawyer says that Maryland law automatically removed the Delegate from her post when a sentance was announced. Earlier this week, Alston reached a plea deal on a misconduct in office charge. Delegate Alston claims that she has not been permanently removed from office -- and that she expects to be reinstated if the judge expunges the finding of guilt. Alston says she'll challenge the General Assembly's lawyer's interpretation of the law (via our wire service, the Washington Post, and the Gazette).
Frederick County could have a voter identification requirement in the 2014 election, under a proposal being advanced by Board of Commissioners President Blaine Young. The pilot voter ID proposal Young is proposing would need approval from teh General Assembly... and Delegate Kathy Afzali -- who's sponsored voter ID bills in the legislature for the past two years -- says she's not optimistic that Young's plan will move forward (via the Frederick News Post and the Gazette).
A new study from the Maryland Public Policy Institute indicates that the proposed expansion of casino gambling in Maryland will not lead to the revenue growth that supporters are predicting. Voters will decide whether to allow a new casino in Prince George's County and whether to allow table games at all state casinos on Election Day; the matter's on the ballot as "Question Seven" (via our wire service and the Baltimore Business Journal).
A Baltimore City Council committee has given preliminary approval to a bill requiring the fire department to hold public hearings before it closes any fire, medical care or truck company (via the Baltimore Sun).
And in sports: the Orioles fell 3 to 2 to the New York Yankees in the 12th inning of yesterday's American League Divisional Series game. The Yankees now have a 2-1 lead in the best of five Series, which either continues or conclues tonight (let's hope it continues!) -- the first pitch is scheduled for a little after 7:30pm.
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...