Monday, October 31, 2011
Database of Pa. court records now available via mobile app
Chris Kirk ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A new mobile app allows smartphone users to search for crimes people have committed in Pennsylvania, from illegal parking to murder.

Docket In Your Pocket, which is available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices and sells for $2.99 on all platforms, allows users to search by name through a database of 32.5 million court records dating to 2000.

The records, drawn from the state judiciary’s database of court dockets, include information about minor offenses, such as traffic tickets and noise violations, in addition to robberies, drug charges, assaults, rapes and murders. The app’s inventor, Matt Haindfield, 40, said the app may be useful to singles for vetting dates and to parents for checking up on baby sitters.

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Sammy 08:12 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
World population hits 7 billion
Haya El Nasser ― USA TODAY

Today, you are one of 7 billion people on Earth.

This historic milestone is rekindling age-old debates over birth control, protecting natural resources and reducing consumption. It also has many wondering whether the Earth can support so many people.

About half were added just in the past 40 years, and 3 billion more are expected by 2100.

Global population has swelled in record time since 1987, when it hit 5 billion.

Sammy 08:06 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Rite Aid Recalls Cookies
The Bay Net

Working in consultation with the United States Food and Drug Administration, Rite Aid has initiated a voluntary chainwide recall of approximately 85,000 tins of butter cookies distributed by Rite Aid under the Rich Fields brand name because of the possibility of contamination with Bacillus cereus. This microorganism may cause diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting; however, the possibility of serious adverse health consequences is remote.

This recall affects only 12 oz. tins featuring either a decorative castle or Christmas designs and sold exclusively in Rite Aid stores. Affected products can be identified by the UPC codes 01249596519 and 88411804619 located directly beneath the bar code on the bottom of each tin. No other Rich Fields or Rite Aid brand products are affected by this voluntary recall.

Sammy 08:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Do your job!
Frederick News-Post - Editorial

While the special debt-reduction “supercommittee” continues to stumble toward its Nov. 23 doomsday deadline, we’re wondering whether two U.S. senators might actually have a better plan to end the fiscal insanity on Capitol Hill.

A recent bipartisan bill proposed by Sens. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., would require Congress to pass a budget resolution by April 15 or suspend its authority to consider and approve any legislation.

In other words, members of Congress would be suspended for not doing their most important job—which is to pass a budget.

In the real world the lawmakers would actually be fired for not doing their jobs. But at this point, we’ll take a suspension on the condition the bill is amended to ensure they don’t get paid and their health and retirement benefits are also suspended.

Sammy 07:59 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
ND farmers push for constitutional right to farm
BLAKE NICHOLSON ― WTOP

Doyle Johannes has worked land near the Missouri River in central North Dakota for 35 years, raising everything from corn to cattle. He’s not about to let someone from outside the state’s borders tell him how to go about his business.

Johannes and other farmers took notice last year when The Humane Society of the United States pushed a ballot proposal to abolish fenced hunting preserves. They’ve also followed efforts to pass animal welfare laws in other states, and they don’t want any unreasonable rules in North Dakota.
[...]
Many North Dakota residents consider activities such as farming and hunting _ centerpieces of society in the rural state _ to be basic rights and distrust outside groups they think might infringe on them.

But others say farmers and ranchers shouldn’t have unlimited control over their operations, and some say the proposal’s broad wording might actually hurt farmers by taking away their ability to protect their own property against everything from a neighbor’s livestock odor to the unwanted spread of genetically engineered crops.

Sammy 07:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
D.C. statehood advocates to begin new campaign
WTOP

A D.C. Councilmember is preparing to announce what he calls a “new, very aggressive” push to make the nation’s capital a state.

Councilmember Michael Brown will detail his plans this week. Brown’s office says the strategy involves asking state and local legislatures around the country to pass ceremonial resolutions supporting district statehood.

Sammy 07:45 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - October 31, 2011

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Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (3) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Major Nightmare On Jet Blue Flight As Passengers Stranded For 7 Hours
CHRISTOPHER KEATING ― Hartford Courant

The huge snowstorm that covered the East Coast led to a nightmare aboard a JetBlue flight as an estimated 200 passengers were stranded for seven hours Saturday at Bradley International Airport with no food, water, or working bathrooms.

The nightmare began when the flight could not land at Newark International Airport after descending low enough for the passengers to see that the visibility was zero. After circling the airport in New Jersey, the plane eventually flew to Bradley and landed before 2 p.m., passengers said.

Sammy 01:22 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
U.S. Supreme Court takes up treatment of pigs
David G. Savage ― Los Angeles Times

The National Meat Assn. challenges a California law that says slaughterhouses must remove and ‘humanely euthanize’ animals unable to walk.

The Supreme Court has decided plenty of cases concerning cruelty, inhumane treatment and executions, but until now, none was about pigs.

The case of the “nonambulatory pigs” involves a dispute between California and the pork industry over how to handle pigs unwilling or unable to walk when they arrive at a slaughterhouse.

The issue, which the justices will take up next week, has already gotten the Obama administration in trouble with the Humane Society of the United States, which faulted government lawyers for joining the case on the side of the pork producers.

Sammy 01:17 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Proposed limits on tax deductions for charitable donations…
Corilyn Shropshire ― Chicago Tribune

...worry leaders of nonprofits, philanthropy

For the next three days, more than 1,000 philanthropic leaders and nonprofit executives will gather at the Independent Sector Annual Conference in Chicago to exchange ideas on some of the toughest issues they face.

A hot topic on the agenda is the idea of limiting tax deductions for charitable donations. Current tax law allows individuals making more than $200,000 to take a 35 percent tax break on charitable gifts; the Obama administration has proposed reducing that write-off to 28 percent.

The idea deeply worries Diana Aviv, president and CEO of conference host Independent Sector, an industry group. The fallout would be devastating, Aviv contends, citing studies that estimate a $7 billion hit to nonprofits.

Sammy 01:11 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Coloradans face nation’s only statewide tax vote
IVAN MORENO ― Washington Examiner

The nation’s only statewide tax vote on the November ballot asks Colorado voters whether they want to temporarily raise taxes to generate $3 billion for classrooms and colleges — a proposal that has stirred fierce opposition because of the stagnant economy.

The vote could serve as a test of voters’ mood on tax increases and their frustration after endless rounds of education cuts in Colorado.

“If it should pass, it think it will get a fair amount of attention because no one is expecting anything with the words ‘tax increase’ to pass,” said Norman Provizer, a political science professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Sammy 01:02 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bullying a major problem in area schools
Lisa Gartner ― Washington Examiner

Half of students say teasing, intimidation an issue

School officials are trying to curb bullying in Washington-area schools, which persists as a major problem—from vandalized property to racial remarks—new school surveys show.

Fifty-six percent of Fairfax County Public Schools students said they had been bullied, taunted, teased or ridiculed in the past year, and half of the 49 percent of students who admitted to bullying or taunting said they did so more than just once or twice.

Sammy 12:49 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
PlanMaryland Revised Draft Plan

Maryland Department of Planning

September 2011

Sammy 12:38 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Rural Officials Urge Push Against PlanMaryland

[...]
Opponents gathered in the concert wing of an Annapolis tavern to denounce PlanMaryland as a power grab against local authority that will hurt economic development in rural parts of the state. They say Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration is moving too quickly to implement changes with huge implications across the state. They also are speaking out against a separate proposal to double or triple the state’s “flush tax” on sewer bills to fight pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

“The idea that Annapolis knows all and can tell us exactly how to do this, and how we should live, and where we should live, and how much carbon we can produce and how much nitrogen we can produce, every now and then you have got to say: ‘Enough is enough,”‘ said Sen. E.J. Pipkin, R-Cecil, who has described the initiatives as “a war on rural Maryland.”
[...]
Rich Josephson from the Maryland Department of Planning underscored that O’Malley’s proposal doesn’t force local governments to do anything they don’t want, and there has been a total of 180 days for public comment.

Read more...

Sammy 12:28 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
FY2012 Budget Transfer Request, $89,800, IT Salaries

Board Docs - Nov 01, 2011 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting

1.06 [9:30 a.m.] (VOTE) County Business: FY2012 Budget Transfer Request, $89,800, IT Salaries (Ms. Deborah Hudson, Director of Fiscal & Administrative Services)

FY12 BTR 89900 IT Salaries.pdf (568 KB)

Sammy 08:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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