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Yesterday's Ravens Rally, Leopold's Trial Concludes, and Issues Facing The General Assembly
January 29, 2013
The Baltimore Ravens are now in New Orleans, gearing up for Sunday's Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers. Yesterday, Ravens fans gave their team a send-off, at a raucous pep rally at the Inner Harbor. Among those fans: WYPR’s Joel McCord; he brings us this report.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Govenor Martin O'Malley will both be in New Orleans to see the big game; they'll be paying for their tickets with their own personal funds (via the Baltimore Sun).
Closing arguments are scheduled for today in the misconduct trial of Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. Leopold chose a bench trial over a jury trial, so Circuit Judge Dennis Sweeney will decide his guilt or innocence after today's closing arguments (via our wire service, the Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun).
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has formed a new unit within his office designed to protect the privacy of Internet users (via the Washington Post).
Longtime Baltimore city Delegate Hattie Harrison has died at the age of 84. Harrison was Maryland's longest serving member of the House of Delegates. She began serving in the legislature in 1973, and was the first African American woman to be a chairman of a legislative committee (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Baltimore's 10-year school facilities plan was the topic of discussion last night in Annapolis, as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City School CEO Andres Alonso met with legislative leaders to try to drum up support (via the Baltimore Sun).
Maryland House Minority Leader Anthony O'Donnell is urging a delay on the Red Line transit project in Baltimore and the Purple Line project between Montgomery and Prince George's counties (via the Baltimore Business Journal).
Maryland lawmakers are considering a bill that would raise the annual fees for liquor licence holders in Baltimore City. The proposal comes from State Senator Nathaniel McFadden; it's aimed at raising up to a half million dollars for the city's Liquor Board -- which would allow it to hire more inspectors and sqitch to a paperless information system (via the Baltimore Business Journal).
Lawmakers in Annapolis will again consider a bill that would decriminalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. This year's measure, sponsored by Democratic Delegate Cheryl Glenn, would require the state department of Health and Mental Hygiene to adopt regulations for the use of medical marijuana and establish a Medical Marijuana Advisory board (via the Gazette).
The speed limit on the Intercounty Connector could go from 55 mph to 70 mph, under a bill moving through the General Assembly. The measure, sponsored by Democratic Delegate Aruna Miller and Republican Delegate Neil Parrott, would allow the maximum speed limit on all Maryland's interstates and expressways go up to 70 mph. A separate bill would allow the limit on the ICC to go up to 60 mph; its sponsor, State Senator Jennie Forehand says it's unlikely that the Maryladn Transportation Authority would agree to raise the limit to anything higher than 60 mph (via the Gazette).
The State Highway Administration is warning of delays while some emergency roadwork is done on the Baltimore beltway. Beginning at 8:00 tonight, crews will patch lanes on the outer loop of I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) between MD 295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway) and MD 170 (Camp Meade Road). Tonight, they'll be working on the center lane, while shifting motorists to the right lane. Crews will work on the right lane on Wednesday night while traffic is directed to the left. The work zones will be lifted by 5 a.m. each morning (via our wire service; more here from the SHA).
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is proposing a special honor for Congressman Elijah Cummings; she's calling on the City Council to name the South Baltimore Greyhound Bus Station the Elijah E. Cummings Greyhound Bus Terminal (via our wire service and the Baltimore Business Journal).
The Baltimore City Council is also considering legislation that would make so-called "aggressive panhandling" illegal. The bill, proposed by Councilwoman Rikki Spector, would make it illegal for people to ask for money along street shoulders, medians, and in traffic (via the Baltimore Sun).
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