St. Mary’s County has become the first municipality in Maryland to designate parking spots for veterans injured on the battlefield. SSGT Justin Skotnicki (Ret.) and Jason Link, co-founders of the Purple Heart Initiative, joined the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County to debut the first Purple Heart parking spot on the Governmental Center campus in Leonardtown.
The commissioners unanimously approved a resolution on July 22 designating the spots for Purple Heart recipients. Approximately 50 signs will be installed at various locations around the county, such as county office buildings, museums and parks. All spaces will be located adjacent to existing handicapped parking space(s). The total cost to install the signs will be $2,000. Purple Heart Parking donated the signs.
Gov. Martin O’Malley has directed a state-run jail in Baltimore to comply with federal requests to hold immigrants beyond their release date only if there is probable cause that a crime has been committed, a decision praised by the American Civil Liberties and Casa de Maryland on Friday.
The policy creates an additional layer on restrictions for detaining people that the Democratic governor outlined in April, when he narrowed reasons for honoring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers to people who were considered threats to public safety.
The updated policy — outlined in a letter dated Wednesday from the governor to the head of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services — comes after O’Malley received an opinion from the Maryland attorney general’s office this month about detainers. That opinion concludes “if a local law enforcement officer does not have probable cause to extend custody over the subject of an ICE detainer, the continued detention likely constitutes a violation of the Fourth Amendment.”
The Baltimore metropolitan area is one of the most affluent in the U.S., but it sits in the shadow of stacks of cash around the Washington, D.C., beltway.
A new study by The Business Journals ranked the Baltimore-Towson metropolitan area as the 18th most affluent among the country’s 942 metropolitan and micropolitan areas. Narrow the field to only look at large metropolitan areas — those with 1 million or more residents — and Charm City still leads a charmed life, ranking sixth out of 51.
Banks are taking a bigger bite out of checking accounts.
The average monthly maintenance fee through June increased by 15 cents, to $12.69, compared to the end of December, according to a mid-year survey by MoneyRates.com. That’s an annual ding of just more than $150.
“Since the financial crisis, banks have been grappling with a combination of higher regulatory costs and lower returns, and many banks have responded by increasing fees and minimums,” the survey says.
After the recession wiped out millions of jobs, the American labor market has at least partially recovered. So far this year, the United States has added roughly 1.6 million jobs. And in the 10 years through 2022, the BLS estimates that employment will grow by over 15 million jobs, or by 11%.
Some jobs are expected to better capitalize on economic, demographic, and workplace trends than others. For example, industrial-organizational psychologists are expected to grow 53.4%, the fastest in the nation, and occupations in the health sector are also anticipated to disproportionately grow. Based on estimated employment figures and projections for 2012 and 2022 published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for more than 1,000 occupations, 24/7 Wall St. identified the fastest growing jobs in America.
Lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would make California the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.
SB270 cleared the Senate on a 22-15 vote Friday. It was approved by the Assembly a day earlier.
Senators who had previously opposed the bill, including incoming Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, this time supported the measure after protections were added for plastic bag manufacturers.
... on farms
Virginia Governor McAuliffe was joined key cabinet members, state legislators, and agricultural and environmental representatives August 25 at a dairy farm in Weyers Cave to launch a new program aimed at reducing pollution from agricultural while providing agricultural producers in the program nine years of “safe harbor” from having to meet future state water quality regulations.
Referring to his administrations slogan, “Growing a new Virginia economy,” McAuliffe said that both agriculture and tourism, the top two economic drivers in the commonwealth, would benefit from the new program.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s staff has concluded that the government needs to tighten smog rules by somewhere between 7 and 20 percent.
In its final recommendation in a 597-page report, the agency staff agrees with EPA’s outside scientific advisers that the 6-year-old standard for how much smog is allowed needs to be stricter, saying it will save a significant number of lives and cut hospital visits. An earlier version of the report came to a similar conclusion.
Industry representatives criticized the recommendation as way too costly, while environmental activists hailed it as a public health measure.
U.S. military operations in Iraq, including airstrikes and surveillance flights, have cost about $560 million since mid-June, the Pentagon said Friday.
Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the average daily cost has been $7.5 million. He said it began at a much lower rate in June and escalated after the airstrikes in northern Iraq began this month.
After he spoke, the U.S. Central Command announced four additional airstrikes, bringing the total since they began on Aug. 8 to 110. Central Command said Friday’s missions by U.S. fighter and attack aircraft destroyed four armed vehicles and three support vehicles in the vicinity of the Mosul Dam. One armed vehicle was damaged, it said without providing more details.
Maryland Democrats and Republicans were equally unenthusiastic overall about voting in June’s primary. That has the gubernatorial campaigns of Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Republican Larry Hogan focusing on getting supporters to the polls in November.
Hogan campaign spokesman Adam Dubitsky says enthusiasm is increasing, now that there are two very different candidates in the race. Brown campaign spokesman Justin Schall says voters can expect to see a massive get-out-the-vote effort from the Brown campaign and state Democratic Party.
Several Montgomery County School kids have come down with pertussis, also known as whooping cough, and county officials are worried the illness could spread to other students.
Dr. Ulder J. Tillman, health officer for Montgomery County, says they are aware of three confirmed cases and nine suspected cases of the respiratory disease at four county schools and a couple private schools.
Tillman says the students affected range in age from 9 to 18 years old.