Friday, November 12, 2010
McDonough investigates suspected hit list in student’s journal
GRETCHEN PHILLIPS ― Maryland Independent

School administrators and resource officers are notifying Maurice J. McDonough High School parents whose students were named on an alleged hit list found in a student’s journal.

Katie O’Malley-Simpson, Charles County Public Schools spokeswoman, said administrators were made aware Thursday of a possible hit list.

Schools were closed Thursday for Veterans Day.

On Friday morning, administrators and school resource officers met with the 11th-grade student suspected of creating the list and his parent.

Sammy 08:15 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson arrested
Jeff Clabaugh ― Washington Business Journal


According to court documents, Johnson is accused trying to hide or destroy the proceeds from a bribe from a local developer who he allegedly helped get federal funds for projects in the county. The developer was not identified.


According to an affidavit, FBI agents knocked on the Johnson’s home door at 10:10 a.m. Friday. A wire tap allegedly detected Jack Johnson telling his wife over the phone not to answer the door and told her to destroy a $100,000 check from a developer and to leave the house with $79,600 in cash in her underwear, the affidavit said.

Pauleen Brewer 07:08 PM | (4) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Jack Johnson charged with witness tampering
Ruben Castaneda and Avis Thomas-Lester ― Washington Post

Prince George’s County Executive jack B. Johnson and his wife Leslie have been charged with tampering with a witness in connection with a criminal offense destruction of evidence in a federal investigation. Each offense carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The offense occurred today, according to the judge in the case.

3:29 p.m.
Jack and Leslie Johnson are scheduled to have an initial appearance at U.S. District Court in Greenbelt before U.S. Magistrate Judge William Connelly at 4:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively. Charging documents will be unsealed at the hearing.

Pr. Geo.‘s Jack Johnson taken into custody

2:10 P.M. UPDATE

Spokespersons for Jack Johnson and the Prince George’s County Council delivered statements to the press Friday afternoon at the County Administration Building.

“Federal authorities executed a search warrant at the County Administration Building,” Johnson spokesman Jim Keary said. “Since that time the county government has been cooperating fully. We do not know what the nature of the investigation is or what the allegations are.”

Pauleen Brewer 05:06 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink

New Life Church would like to request the presence of as many people as possible to line the front of the New Life Church property and the front grassy area with participants carrying American flags on Monday before and after the funeral (500 American flags will be provided). Parking assistance would also be appreciate…d for the funeral on Monday. If interested in participating with these requests on Monday, please note the following schedule:

Monday, November 15th
8:30 a.m. Participants meet in the Garage Church Building for refreshments and instructions.
9:00 a.m. Proceed to assigned outside areas.
10:00 a.m. Funeral will hopefully be televised in the Garage Church Building for interested participants.
After Funeral: Participants remaining will line the church exit route waving American flags.

This is in honor of Lance Corporal Terry Honeycutt. Please maintain dignity and show respect!


Jennifer Abell 04:44 PM | (7) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Fly ash plan trashed
ERICA MITRANO ― Maryland Independent

Residents object to traffic from Mirant proposal

No one objected to the principle of recycling coal power plant waste into concrete at a public hearing Wednesday night. The traffic that it would entail was another matter.

All three people who testified before a representative of the Maryland Public Service Commission commended Mirant Mid-Atlantic for seeking to do something positive for the environment. The Nov. 10 hearing at American Legion Post 238 in Hughesville addressed a proposal to recycle “fly ash” at the Morgantown Generating Station.
PSC hearing examiner Robert McGowan noted that another hearing will be held Dec. 13 but doubted that the record would remain open after that. He suggested that the new board draft a letter to the PSC.

Sammy 02:44 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Board of appeals OKs Chaney wash plant move
MEREDITH SOMERS ― Maryland Independent

Weekend hours restricted, review will be in 25 years

The Waldorf sand and gravel wash plant owned by Chaney Enterprises got the go-ahead Tuesday to move its operations across the street, but it won’t be without a few restrictions.

In a 3-2 vote, the members of the Charles County Board of Appeals approved a special exception application that allows the plant to relocate from a heavy industrial zone to a rural conservation zone on the east side of Mattawoman Beantown Road.

“I don’t feel like this is Chaney’s doing. In business you need to be on your toes, not on your heels,” board of appeals Vice Chairman Luke Hannah said. “I believe the new location is in a better location than it is now.”

Board member Jean Schappet wrote a lengthy opinion, which included her view that to operate the plant “with all its noise, dust, vibration and perpetual light in the peaceful setting that should be characteristic of the rural conservation zone” would adversely affect the area, which was one of the reasons she voted against the special exception.

Sammy 02:42 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Illegal meeting draws lawsuit
MEREDITH SOMERS ― Maryland Independent

Ex-employee sues county to reopen development office

Less than a week after the Charles County commissioners were slapped with two Open Meetings Act violations in connection with their elimination of the county’s economic development department, the former chief of business development in the department has taken legal action to regain her post.

On Nov. 3, Marcia Keeth filed a circuit court lawsuit to void the commissioners’ decision to disband the department.

In the petition, Keeth asked that her position, salary and benefits be restored and she be compensated for lost payment and legal fees.
In the conclusion, the compliance board ruled that the commissioners violated the open meetings law May 13 by voting to disband the county economic development department behind closed doors, saying the action was not covered under the personnel exception to the act, which the commissioners said applied to the meeting.

Roughly a week later the commissioners again violated the law by barring residents from entering a public meeting that was held in a room of limited size.

Sammy 02:38 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Pr. Geo’s Jack Johnson taken into custody
Ruben Castaneda ― Washington Post

Two law enforcement sources say Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson was taken into custody Friday morning by federal authorities. Neither the FBI nor the U.S. attorney’s office would immediately confirm.

Two sources say his wife was also taken into custody.

Pr. Geo’s gov’t headquarters searched

Federal authorities are executing search warrants Friday at Prince George’s County government headquarters, a spokeswoman for the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s office said.

The spokeswoman, Marcia Murphy, said she was not authorized to provide further details.

Three sources said federal investigators are serving the search warrants at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.

Pauleen Brewer 01:10 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Survey: 1 in 10 kids have ADHD

A government survey says one in 10 U.S. children have ADHD, a sizable increase from a few years earlier that researchers think might be explained by growing awareness and better screening.

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, makes it hard for kids to pay attention and control impulsive behavior. It’s often treated with drugs, behavioral therapy, or both.

The new study found that about two-thirds of the children who have ADHD are on medication.

The estimate comes from a survey released Wednesday that found an increase in ADHD of about 22% from 2003 to the most recent survey in 2007-08. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interviewed parents of children ages 4 through 17 in both studies.

Sammy 08:02 AM | (10) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Medicaid managed care programs grow; so do issues
Phil Galewitz ― USA TODAY

HealthCare USA is one of dozens of private managed health care plans providing care to nearly half the nearly 50 million Americans on Medicaid, a state-federal program for the poor and disabled.

That number is increasing. Beginning in 2014, an additional 16 million people will become eligible for Medicaid under the health care law. People with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level ($14,403 for an individual or $29,326 for a family of four in 2010) will qualify. Currently, eligibility varies greatly by state. In many cases, Medicaid recipients will be required by their states to enroll in managed-care plans.

That represents a potential bonanza for companies such as Coventry, which covers 462,000 Medicaid enrollees in eight states — including 196,000 in Missouri — and wants to grow. Also likely to capitalize: big insurance carriers including UnitedHealthcare (UNH) (which runs the biggest Medicaid managed-care plan, with 3 million enrollees) and Aetna (AET), and companies that specialize in Medicaid, such as Molina Healthcare (MOH), Centene (CNC) and Amerigroup (AGP).

Sammy 08:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Police recruits screened for digital dirt on Facebook, etc
Kevin Johnson ― USA TODAY

Law enforcement agencies are digging deep into the social media accounts of applicants, requesting that candidates sign waivers allowing investigators access to their Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and other personal spaces.

Some agencies are demanding that applicants provide private passwords, Internet pseudonyms, text messages and e-mail logs as part of an expanding vetting process for public safety jobs.

More than a third of police agencies review applicants’ social media activity during background checks, according to the first report on agencies’ social media use by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the largest group of police executives. The report out last month surveyed 728 agencies.

Sammy 07:57 AM | (3) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - November 12, 2010

At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent. ~Barbara Bush

Sammy 07:54 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
You live in nation’s richest counties

The D.C. area makes plenty of Top 10 lists, and this one shows its residents make the big bucks.

According to a new report from Newsweek, seven of the nation’s 10 richest counties are in this region.

Virginia’s Loudoun County takes home the top spot, with its median household income exceeding $114,000 per year. Seventeen percent of Loudoun households make more than $200,000, while only 16 percent earn less than the national average household income of $50,000.
Maryland makes its entry onto the list with Howard County at No. 3. Thirty percent of its employed population earns six figures.

The rundown on the rest of this area’s well-to-do counties goes like this: Arlington County at No. 5, Montgomery County and its median household income of $94,420 at No. 6 and Maryland’s Calvert and Charles counties at Nos. 9 and 10.

Sammy 07:47 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Health law repeal seen as ‘unlikely’
Kevin James Shay ― Gazette

Survey suggests majority of Americans support keeping provisions of measure

Despite Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, major changes to the federal health care and insurance reform law — one that many Maryland business executives oppose — are improbable, medical officials and analysts said this week.

“Given the fact the Senate and White House are still Democratic, it seems repeal of any major part of the health system reform is unlikely,” said Gene M. Ransom III, CEO of MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society.

Moreover, a survey of Americans by the Kaiser Family Foundation released this week found that only about one-quarter of respondents want the entire law repealed. Most support keeping portions such as tax credits for small businesses that offer medical insurance, prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and financial subsidies to help low- and moderate-income Americans purchase coverage.

Sammy 07:44 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Prescriptions for Tylenol and Tums?
Kevin James Shay ― Gazette

New law requires them for flexible spending reimbursement

Come January, many workers who have been reimbursed for cough medicine and other over-the-counter drugs through their flexible spending accounts and similar tax-advantage programs will face a new roadblock, due to the federal health care and insurance reform law.

To be reimbursed from the accounts, which include health spending accounts and health reimbursement arrangements, they will have to take an extra trip to their physicians to get a prescription for the drugs they pick up at Target, CVS or Wal-Mart. That has some seeing a surge of additional traffic at already overcrowded medical offices.

Sammy 07:41 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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