Saturday, February 19, 2011
Senate leader: Md. will raise alcohol tax
Aaron C. Davis ― Washington Post

The powerful head of the Maryland state Senate said Friday that although he still personally opposes an alcohol tax increase, he expects that the state’s General Assembly will vote for a “modest raise” on alcohol and perhaps increases to other so-called “sin taxes” this year to help address the state’s $1.6 billion budget shortfall.

Under legislation introduced in the House of Delegates on Friday, the alcohol tax would be raised by a “dime a drink,” which would bring in more than $200 million annually to the state by increasing the tax from $1.50 to $10.03 per gallon for distilled spirits, from 40 cents to $2.96 per gallon for wine and from 9 cents to $1.16 per gallon of beer.


Sammy 09:29 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Rules change how you figure taxes on stocks
Matt Krantz ― USA TODAY

The IRS suspects investors are shortchanging it more than $11 billion a year. Now it has a plan to get some of that back.

New rules kicked in this year that require brokerages, for the first time, to start tracking how much investors paid for stocks and report this information to the IRS for the 2011 tax year.

Sammy 08:52 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Lawmaker Seeks to Crack Down on ‘Kingpin Poachers’
Southern Maryland Online

Maryland delegate intends to file a bill Monday that would add up to two years of jail time to a list of penalties for first-time rockfish poachers, a direct result of poaching finds by Natural Resources Police in the Chesapeake Bay this month.
Anchoring a net with weights has been illegal in Maryland since 1985.

Sammy 08:48 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County Sheriff’s Reports
Southern Maryland Online

LA PLATA, Md. (February 18, 2011)—The Charles County Sheriff’s Office today released the following incident and arrest reports.

Sammy 08:47 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Rockfish Poaching Reward Now Tops $30,000
Southern Maryland Online

Two citizens donate $8,000 towards reward; Gill Net Fishery Remains Closed

Thanks to extraordinary responses from stakeholders and private citizens, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now offering $30,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for attempting to steal 10 tons of rockfish off of Bloody Point in the Chesapeake Bay.
Maryland’s commercial striped bass fishery is managed on a quota system, in cooperation with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission; the commercial gill net quota for February is 354,318 pounds. When the illegally harvested striped bass confiscated by the NRP were deducted from the quota, DNR was forced to immediately shut down the fishery.

Sammy 08:45 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
P.G. County: 20 Homicides This Year Already
Southern Maryland Online

By Alexander Pyles

This year’s homicide count doubles the total from last year at this time. It wasn’t until April that the county reached 20 homicides in 2010.

Sammy 08:42 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
O’Malley Says Education Key in Keeping Md. Competitive Internationally
Southern Maryland Online


Whatever their questions or reasons, about 500 people—mostly high school students from around the state—crowded into the Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland Friday to hear O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown riff on education, job creation and sustainability, all in the face of looming state budget cuts.

“These are things their grandparents did not have to confront,” O’Malley said after spending about two hours with the students. The teens were nominated by their teachers to attend the event, which was rescheduled from January due to a snowstorm.

Sammy 08:40 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Dry Conditions Increase Wildfire Danger
Southern Maryland Online

Critical fire weather conditions have spawned 21 wildfires in the past week that have burned 5,687 acres. It is critical that citizens take precautions to prevent any wildfire starts during these types of conditions stated Monte Mitchell, State Fire Supervisor. Debris or outdoor burning is the leading cause of wildfires in the state.

Sammy 08:39 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Maryland’s natural gas value: $5.9 billion to $49 billion
Daily Record

A study of natural reserves in western Maryland puts the prospective lifetime value at $5.9 billion to $49.1 billion.

University of Maryland Extension workers who crunched the numbers said Friday that Garrett County has about twice the production potential of neighboring Allegany County.

Sammy 08:36 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Lawmakers aim to strengthen hand-held cell phone law
Stephanie Mlot and Meg Tully ― Frederick News-Post

Bill would make talking and driving a primary offense

Maryland lawmakers are taking a look this year at strengthening a ban on using cell phones while driving.

The Maryland General Assembly passed a bill last year to prohibit drivers from talking on cell phones while driving without a hands-free device, but it is only a secondary offense—police officers cannot pull someone over solely for driving while holding a cell phone.

Sammy 08:32 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Social Security prepares for potential furloughs
Jolie Lee ― Federal News Radio

The Social Security Administration said it wants to start talking to the employees’ union about a potential furlough as House Republicans propose about $1.7 billion in cuts to the agency for the next seven months remaining in the fiscal year.
“If Social Security field offices are closed, claims will go unprocessed, a backlog of cases will pile up, and hard-earned benefits of our of seniors, widows and disabled workers could be delayed,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra D-Calif., the ranking member of the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee, in a statement. “Social Security didn’t get us into this mess and we must divorce it from the deficit reduction debate.”

Ways and Means Ranking Member Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) echoed the disapproval of a furlough, saying in a statement, “There are few budget cuts more irresponsible than those that fall on the backs of our seniors and people with disabilities, yet that’s exactly who this Republican proposal would end up hurting.”

Sammy 08:25 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Some parts of the Beltway are deadlier than others
Michelle Basch ― WTOP

Driving on the Beltway can be dangerous, and an analysis of traffic data from the past ten years shows that deadly accidents happen most often along one particular stretch of the highway.

There were 58 deadly crashes on the Beltway between 2007 and 2009. The vast majority, 50, happened on the eastern half of the road between the I-95 interchange to the north and the Wilson Bridge to the south.

Sammy 08:22 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Columbia Man Invents Stink Bug Trap
Sarah Arbogast ― Baltimore Sun


A Lancaster County man is taking on stink bugs. Andrew Strube of Columbia has invented a trap to get rid of the pesky pests.

It took Strube about a year to design the “Strube Stink Bug Trap.” He says he started working on the project because his own home was infested.

“They just came crawling out of the wood work, it was so bad you couldn’t even sit down and eat dinner, they were flying at your food,” said Strube.

Sammy 08:16 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
O’Malley seeks rail money spurned by Florida
Michael Dresser ― Baltimore Sun

Seeking to capitalize on Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to turn down $2.4 billion in federal stimulus funds for a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando, Gov. Martin O’Malley has asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to shift much of the money to projects in Maryland and other places along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

In a letter dated Friday, O’Malley urged LaHood to move much of that money to projects such as the estimated $1 billion construction of a new tunnel to replace the century-old B&P Tunnel just south of Penn Station. That tunnel is regarded as a critical bottleneck slowing trains on the Northeast Corridor.

Sammy 08:04 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - February 19, 2011

One who looks for a friend without faults will have none. Hasidic Saying

Pauleen Brewer 05:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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