It was a nail biter for some, especially for Del. John F. Wood Jr. (D-St. Mary’s, Charles), but all four of St. Mary’s County’s state legislature members weathered Tuesday’s anti-incumbent storm and held on to their seats.
Wood came closest to losing his District 29A seat on Tuesday, hanging on to victory over Republican challenger Matt Morgan by a mere 164 votes. The count of absentee and provisional votes began Thursday, when it remained mathematically possible that those results could change.
“Johnny is a hard guy to beat,” Morgan said Thursday, noting that if he chooses to challenge Wood again, he would have to take a long, hard look at the GOP’s local ground game. “The Republican infrastructure is just simply not there. … There’s a severe lack of guidance… There’s no doubt in my mind that we need better infrastructure.”
Md. official says ‘slim’ chance if case reaches court
The Charles County commissioners won’t get more than a written conclusion from the state’s Open Meetings Act Compliance Board, but there is the possibility — albeit a slim one — that a circuit court could reverse the commissioners’ decision to shutter the county’s economic development department.
If a court finds a public body failed to comply with certain rules for open meetings, “it could void the final action of the public body, theoretically if it found willful violation, but I don’t know how it would interpret ‘willful,’” said William Varga, assistant attorney general and counsel for the Open Meetings Act Compliance Board.
And the theoretical legal action has caught the attention of at least one former employee of the department.
“I’m aware of it …” former chief of business development Marcia Keeth said. “My husband, John O’Loughlin, an attorney, is looking into it.”
Fresh faces now must begin transition process
The 23 candidates who ran for a seat on the Charles County commissioners’ board entered the 2010 race armed with promises, money and in many cases the endorsements of well-known local groups.
This group represented the variety of colors, careers and concerns of area residents, but when the dust cleared Tuesday night, every last one of the five victors was a Democrat.
Unofficial results from the state and local boards of elections show 50.1 percent, or 45,087 of the 89,989 registered voters, in Charles County participated in this general election.
“All the candidates, they went out and actually worked the streets,” Charles County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Albert Coleman said. “We went door knocking, made telephone calls, sent out literature. All of the candidates worked together to get everyone elected. It wasn’t an individual effort, we worked as a team from top to bottom and that’s how we won.”
Hennessy wins register of wills
Political newcomer Loraine Davies Hennessy knocked off longtime incumbent Susie C. Bowles in the register of wills contest in a major upset for the Republican Party.
Bowles was the only Republican county official, and her loss leaves the GOP entirely shut out of Charles County government.
Hennessy (D) secured 24,069 votes, 56 percent, whereas Bowles had 19,106 votes, 44 percent, according to the unofficial results with all 44 precincts reporting.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Unit is actively searching for Nathan Ellsworth Proctor, 27 of Indian Head, who is wanted in connection with multiple drug violations, violation of probation, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and non-support of a child.
Proctor is 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 165 lbs., and has numerous tattoos. Currently, there are six open warrants for his arrest. Charles County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to his arrest.
Board Docs - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting - TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2010
1.03 [11:30 a.m.] Preliminary Review of the Board of Education FY 2012 CIP Request to State/IAC Letter (Ms. Deborah Hudson & Mr. David Eicholtz, Fiscal & Administrative Services/ Mr. Chuck Wineland, Charles County Public Schools
An Oklahoma Muslim filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday to block a state constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters that would prohibit state courts from considering international law or Islamic law when deciding cases.
The measure, which got 70 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, was one of several on Oklahoma’s ballot that critics said pandered to conservatives and would moved the state further to the right.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, seeks a temporary retraining order and injunction to block the election results from being certified by the state Election Board on Nov. 9. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges the ballot measure transforms Oklahoma’s Constitution into “an enduring condemnation” of Islam by singling it out for special restrictions by barring Islamic law, also known as Sharia law.
Michael Coburn of Allen, Texas, has been a RE/Max agent for 23 years, so when a license plate with the company’s red, white and blue balloon logo became available at the end of last year, he bought one for himself that reads MRREMX and one for his wife, Debra, MSREMX.
Facing another year of budget cuts, some cash-strapped states are looking at corporate logo license plates as a way to add dollars to their coffers.
Texas became the first to sell corporate license plates last November, says Kim Drummond, spokeswoman for My Plates, which produces the plates for the state. Legislators in Illinois and Florida have proposed similar programs, and Virginia is looking at a program of special plates for business fleets registered in the state.
More private animal shelters are not accepting strays as they fill up with animals abandoned because their owners cannot afford to keep them.
No one tracks how many shelters do not take strays, but “we are seeing more of it, especially with the economy,” says Pam Burney, vice president for community initiatives with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Non-profit shelters are looking at the resources they have available.”
The shelters are reaching capacity because more people who are losing jobs or homes are abandoning their cats and dogs, Burney says. Animals are dropped off by the owners or picked up on the street by the public or animal control officers.
It is not as easy to prevent those with ill intent from accessing personal information in social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr than those sites would have users believe, according to a new online study.
Following the recent creation of easily-accessible social network hacking tool “Firesheep,” Digital Society, a “digital think tank,” released a report card Thursday, giving scores to these sites among others.
Google got a “C,” Yahoo and Amazon got a “C minus,” Hotmail and Flickr both got a “D minus” and Facebook and Twitter received an “F.”
Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits. ~Thomas Jefferson
The number of people seeking jobless benefits jumped sharply last week, after two straight weeks of declines.
The increase undermines hopes that unemployment claims, after falling four times in the previous five weeks, were on a sustained downward trend. That would signal layoffs were slowing and hiring was picking up. Instead, claims remain stuck at an elevated level.
The report comes a day before the Labor Department is scheduled to release the jobs figures for October. With claims dropping only modestly over the past month, economists aren’t expecting much progress. They forecast that the jobs report will show employers added a net total of 60,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate remained 9.6 percent for the third straight month.
Related USA Today article: Upside surprise: Employers add 151,000 jobs in October
Anticipating a surge of newly-covered customers swamping general care physicians, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield said Thursday that it was opening its health care provider networks to nurse practitioners.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing. Under state law, they are allowed to provide a broad range of medical services such as prescribing medication and ordering lab work and x-rays without physician supervision.
The change means nurse practitioners will be able to bill the insurer and be considered a primary care network provider.
Chamber prepares to tackle taxes, insurance, transportation in Annapolis in ‘11
The issues that Maryland businesses face in the legislative session that starts in January won’t be much different from ones seen in recent years: taxes, health insurance and transportation.
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce plans to spend a lot of time lobbying state lawmakers again on those familiar issues, said Ronald Wineholt, vice president of government affairs for that organization, which held its annual Business Policy Conference last week at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor in Oxon Hill.