Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Charles teachers return to classroom for high-tech lessons
Gretchen Phillips ― Maryland Independent

Teachers became students last week in a training workshop dealing with computer science.

Through a three-year partnership with, Charles County Public Schools is incorporating computer science in more classrooms from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Representatives from the organization and school system staff hosted last week’s workshop at the College of Southern Maryland La Plata campus.

Sammy 12:31 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Town council mulls mail-in ballots for Indian Head election
Rebecca J. Barnabi ― Maryland Independent

The Indian Head Town Council is looking into the possibility of conducting mail-in local elections by conducting a survey of residents.

At a work session Monday, the council agreed to create a survey to gauge interest and possible participation.

“I think all of this is doable by next election, if we want to do it,” Vice Mayor Ed Rice said.

Sammy 12:29 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Plug In at the County Tech Showcase

Test drives and rides available in featured electric vehicles

Are you a fan of electric vehicles (EVs) or have an interest in learning more about this green mode of travel? Have you wanted to learn more about different makes and models of electric vehicles (EV)s?  Join us for the 2014 Tech Showcase in the parking area of Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf (11765 St. Linus Dr.) on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 3 p.m.  Ride or drive in a selection of EVs provided by local dealers, including a plug-in from Ford’s Energi line, a Chevrolet Volt, a Toyota Prius plug-in, and a BMW i3. Meet EV owners (LEAFs, Volts, Teslas, and other models) who will discuss the thousands of dollars saved each year on fuel costs, how long it takes to charge their EV, how far they can go on a charge, and where you can find charging stations in Charles County.

The Tech Showcase is just one of several featured highlights of the 2014 Green Expo and Tech Showcase on Saturday, Aug. 9.  Inside the stadium, the Green Expo will feature eco-friendly products and solutions. Gates open at 5:35 p.m. Tickets are required to access the Green Expo vendors inside the stadium. In the stadium parking area, a secure document shredding event will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. where you can bring up to five boxes of personal documents for shredding and recycling.

Sammy 12:16 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
EPA regulation hearings draw interest groups to Pittsburgh
Madeline R. Conway and Don Hopey ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hundreds of people from environmental organizations and the coal and electric power industries are scheduled to testify at federal hearings in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday about controversial proposed regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from coal-burning power plants.

And in the meantime, a host of interested groups is clamoring to get their views out early and publicly.
The public can also submit comments on the proposal to EPA through Oct. 16. The agency has received almost 300,000 written comments so far, according to its website.

Sammy 12:12 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Cellphone users hit for ‘hundreds of millions’ in bogus charges: Senate study
Diane Bartz ― REUTERS

U.S. mobile phone users have likely paid hundreds of millions of dollars in unauthorized charges “crammed” onto their bills, according to a report released by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday ahead of a hearing on the subject.

The cramming often originates with small companies that provide celebrity gossip, ring tones or similar services.

But the money is collected by cellphone providers, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile US Inc or Sprint, owned by SoftBank Corp, which typically keep 30 to 40 percent of the revenue, the staff report found.

Sammy 12:07 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Hopkins scientists: Blood test may predict suicide risk
Daily Record

A gene tied to negative thoughts and impulses may lead to a blood test predicting suicide risk, according to researchers who said such a tool could help prevent a leading cause of death.

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore discovered that a mutation to a gene, called SKA2, appeared to prevent the brain from responding normally to stress hormones. An analysis of brain tissue from people who had killed themselves found depleted levels of SKA2.

The finding, published online today in the Journal of Psychiatry, adds to recent genetic discoveries in psychiatry that promise to advance treatment and diagnostics in the field. Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While there are known risk factors, such as mental illness, drug abuse or distressful life events, there is no consistent way to predict suicide, researchers said.

Sammy 12:02 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Md. board pursues criminal checks for MD licensees
Daily Record

The Maryland Board of Physicians is reversing its opposition to criminal background checks for medical license applicants.

The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting in Baltimore includes discussion of a legislative proposal the board is developing to enable it to conduct background checks.

The reversal follows a revelation that Dr. William Dando, a family practitioner licensed in 1996, was convicted and imprisoned for raping a woman at gunpoint in Florida 10 years earlier.

Sammy 12:00 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Lawyer sues GM on behalf of 658 plaintiffs
Daily Record

A Texas lawyer has filed a lawsuit against General Motors on behalf of 658 people who were injured or killed in crashes allegedly caused by faulty ignition switches.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in New York City names 29 people who were killed in crashes and 629 who were hurt. All the crashes occurred after GM emerged from bankruptcy protection in July of 2009. That makes them exempt from GM’s efforts to shield itself from claims due to crashes that occurred before the bankruptcy, attorney Robert Hilliard said in a statement.

Hilliard also said he will ask judges for permission to file another 248 cases from before the bankruptcy, including 21 deaths.

Sammy 11:58 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Unanswered Cove Point expansion questions to be addressed

The League of Women Voters of Calvert County will bring together experts in an informal setting to answer questions regarding Dominion Cove Point’s proposed Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) expansion. The meeting, on Thursday, August 14 from 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM at the Calvert Library (located at 850 Costley Way, Prince Frederick, MD), is free and open to the public.

Topics will include: safety, proximity to local neighborhoods, evacuation plans, emissions, traffic and environmental concerns as well as economic benefits.

Sammy 11:50 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
More than 100 unaccompanied minors enrolled in Montgomery County schools

Kids and teenagers who have crossed illegally into the United States on their own have been coming to Maryland and Montgomery County steadily over the last year. And in a briefing before the Montgomery County Council, school officials explained that a total of 107 unaccompanied minors, most of them of high school age, were enrolled in Montgomery County schools.

So what does next year look like?

“You know, we’re waiting to hear at this point; we don’t know what the numbers will be for the next school year,” Montgomery County Public Schools’ Spokesman Dana Tofig said after the briefing.

Sammy 11:45 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Delaware casinos still squeezed by competition

Delaware officials say competition from casinos in neighboring states continues to squeeze revenues at Delaware’s three casinos.

The Delaware State News ( ) reports that the Video Lottery Advisory Council met for the second time this year to discuss the state of the gambling industry.

Sammy 11:44 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Maryland State Highway Administration

Scenic Byways Support Tourism, Preserve History and Culture

“Let’s take the scenic route” are words that lead through bucolic pastures, majestic mountains and quaint towns as well as discoveries of historic places and great restaurants, recreation and shopping. Across the state there are many roads that provide beautiful vistas, especially the 18 National and State officially designated and signed Scenic Byways from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic coastline that offer a taste of Maryland’s scenic beauty, history and culture.

“The scenic byways provide our residents and visitors with a gateway to all that Maryland has to offer. They increase economic activity by encouraging travelers to learn more about our valuable history and to visit longer in our communities while eating at nearby restaurants and staying at local hotels,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Together, our state agencies are working to preserve more of these historic roads in every corner of our state, while also driving up tourism and economic activity for local economies.”

Sammy 11:33 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
HS science center opens with fanfare
Gretchen Phillips ― Maryland Independent

Former Charles County School Superintendent James E. Richmond said Tuesday that words could not express how excited he was to see his vision of a science center complete with a digital classroom come to fruition.

The James E. Richmond Science Center at St. Charles High School in Waldorf officially opened Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The center, which has a science on a sphere — a large interactive globe that can show hundreds of data sets, including real-time satellite images — was part of a vision for a planetarium and “futures center” Richmond had for Charles County students.

Sammy 07:44 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
September Declared “Forget-Me-Not” Month

On Tuesday, July 22, the Charles County Commissioners proclaimed September as “Forget-Me-Not” month. The proclamation recognized and supported those who have fought for our country in military service. During September, the Charles County Disabled American Veterans will conduct the annual sale of simulated Forget-Me-Nots to honor those who served in our wars for the maintenance of freedom. The blue flower received after giving a donation is a symbol of love, hope, and remembrance for those who have suffered or have been lost in war.

Sammy 07:23 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Public Hearing: Revised and Restated Docket 90

Notice is hereby given that the Charles County Commissioners will hold a Public Hearing on proposed Revised and Restated Docket 90 on September 9, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. in the County Commissioner’s Meeting Room located in the Charles County Government building, La Plata, Maryland.

Docket 90 Order which (1) rezoned 7,030 acres of land from R-1, C and I to Planned Unit Development (“PUD”) subject to specific land use regulations and other conditions, and (2) established a process for the submittal and approval by the County Commissioners and Planning Commission of village and neighborhood plans has been amended from time to time since its initial enactment in 1972.

The purpose of creating a Revised and Restated Docket was to create a streamlined document that can be efficiently consulted to determine the terms of the Docket 90 Order, as amended by removing provisions that have been repealed, superseded or fully performed by the current developer, St. Charles Community, LLC (“St.Charles”), or its predecessors.

Sammy 07:18 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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