Thursday, January 12, 2012
World’s Smallest Frog Found
Christine Dell'Amore ― National Geographic

Fly-Size Beast is Tiniest Vertebrate

Paedophryne amauensis is now the smallest known animal with a backbone.

The world’s smallest known vertebrate is a frog the size of a housefly, a new study says.

At an average of 7.7 millimeters long, the newfound Paedophryne amauensis is a hair smaller than the previous record holder, the Southeast Asian fish species Paedocypris progenetica, whose females measure about 7.9 millimeters.

During recent field surveys in southern Papua New Guinea, scientists found P. amauensis and another new species of tiny frog, Paedophryne swiftorum, which measures about 8.6 millimeters.

“I think it’s amazing that they’re continuing to find smaller and smaller frogs,” said Robin Moore, an amphibian expert with Conservation International, who was not involved in the study.

Read more...

Pauleen Brewer 06:35 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
30 years after Air Florida crash, skies safer than ever
Ashley Halsey III ― Washington Post

This month and next, more than 2,600 jetliners will thunder down the same runway by the Potomac bound for the balmy Florida sunshine.

If you are on board one of them, escaping Washington in winter, take heart that your departure is far safer than it was 30 years ago today, when a combination of blunders catapulted a plane from that runway into the 14th Street Bridge.

The indelible chronicle of that snowy late afternoon began even as Air Florida Flight 90 sank into the Potomac. A TV crew that had been stuck in traffic jumped out to film the horror and the heroism for which the day is remembered.

Sammy 05:21 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
CVS will pay $5M to end drug price investigation
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CVS Caremark says it will pay $5 million to resolve allegations that one of its subsidiaries understated the price of several drugs on a Medicare website.

The payment will be used to reimburse Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries who paid more than they expected for the drugs, and it ends an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. CVS Caremark Corp. says its Rx America business accidentally published incorrect drug price information on a site maintained by Medicare.

Sammy 12:39 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
WVU gets $34 million gift
Ann Rodgers ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Peters couple will donate $34 million to West Virginia University, the largest gift in the school’s history even before it is matched by an expected $11 million in state funds for research.

The announcement was made by WVU President Jim Clements at a Thursday morning press conference.

The money will go to WVU’s engineering school, which will be named the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in honor of the husband. Mr. Statler, a West Virginia native and 1973 graduate of the school, had a 30 year career with Consol Energy before founding PinnOak Resources LLC, a mining company that he sold in 2007. He is now co-founder and chief operating officer of Gulf Coast partners, a private investment firm.

Sammy 12:36 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Allegany, Garrett counties urge quick OK for safe gas drilling
Daily Record

Two western Maryland counties that sit atop the Marcellus Shale geological formation are urging the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley to quickly approve safe drilling for natural gas.

The Cumberland Times-News reports that all six county commissioners from Allegany and Garrett counties have signed a letter to O’Malley. It asks him to encourage a state advisory commission to expedite its safety review and to direct the Department of the Environment to authorize drilling.

Sammy 12:31 PM | (10) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
O’Malley Introduces Proposed Legislative Redistricting Map
The Bay Net

In accordance with Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution of Maryland, Governor Martin O’Malley today presented to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates his proposed map setting forth the boundaries of the legislative districts for electing members of the Senate and the House of Delegates.  As required by the Constitution, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House introduced the Governor’s plan as a joint resolution to the General Assembly.

The Governor’s map submitted today enhances minority voting rights, pays exceptional attention to respecting natural and political boundaries, and results in districts that are compact, contiguous, and protects communities.

“The map submitted today directly reflects the demographics of the State and the population trends that have occurred over the past decade,” said Governor O’Malley.  “Equally important, the map reflects the extensive public comments that members of the committee and I heard from hundreds of Marylanders in public hearings across the State and in numerous written comments.”

Sammy 12:26 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County Commissioners Meeting Video

Date:  01/10/2012

Agenda

Watch

Sammy 12:22 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County Planning Commission Meeting Video

Date:  01/09/2012

Agenda

Watch

Sammy 12:19 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Textbook Affordability Addressed at CSM
The Bay Net

“Textbook affordability is a key concern for many college students. They are searching for quality textbooks at affordable rates,” said Auxiliary Services Executive Director Marcy Gannon.

“We are offering students an option for lower textbook prices by renting textbooks through the College Store. Students can save up to 50 percent off the cost of a new or used textbook by renting a book for the semester,” said Gannon, adding that most college textbook rental programs apply only to new books. “At CSM, students can get the most value by renting a used book,” said Gannon.

In addition to lower prices, renting through the College Store saves time, shipping fees and errors, said Gannon. “Students get the right book at the right price at the right time—plus, re-using textbooks promotes recycling and encourages a green attitude,” she said.

Sammy 09:26 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Commissioners Okay Next Three Notch Trail Section
Dick Myers ― The Bay Net

The St. Mary’s County Commissioners have unanimously given the go-ahead for the next phase of the Three Notch Trail. The decision Tuesday came after several commissioners last month expressed concerns about that section, but also came after a full-court press by proponents of it at last week’s commissioner public forum.

The approved section is known as Phase VI and runs five miles from Route 5 to Route 236 (Thompson’s Corner Road). Commissioners Daniel Morris (R: 2nd) and Lawrence Jarboe (R: 3rd) had earlier noted some neighborhood opposition to the new five-mile section in Mechanicsville that will connect completed sections in Laurel Grove and Charlotte Hall.

But during a Power Point presentation from Recreation and Parks Director Phillip Rollins, Morris noted that his real concern was that the wishes of the citizens along the new section be heard and addressed. Rollins assured him that would be the case.

Sammy 09:22 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Historic Preservation Commission to Host Open House on Feb. 11

The Charles County Historic Preservation Commission is hosting an Open House in mid-February to provide an opportunity for residents to meet the members of the Commission and learn about their efforts. The Open House, which is a free event, will be held at Thomas Stone National Historic Site (6655 Rose Hill Road in Port Tobacco) on Saturday, February 11,* 2012, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

The Historic Preservation Commission was established by the Charles County Commissioners in 2009. The charge of the Commission is to recommend properties for local historic landmark designation, review exterior changes to locally designated landmarks, and support documentation of historic resources throughout the County.

The open house program includes a keynote address by the chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., on the topic: “Why Historic Landmarks Matter.” The keynote will be followed by the presentation of a Preservation Award for a local project. Finally, guest speaker, Liz Creveling Petrella, of the National Park Service Technical Preservation Services Office, will give a talk on federal tax credits and historic farm preservation. Also, residents will have an opportunity to learn more about landmark designation.

Sammy 09:18 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
David Jones Announces His Candidacy for U.S. Senate
The Bay Net

There are a great many issues facing America today. It will take a collaborative effort from all sides; a mindset that puts the well-being of the people first and foremost at the heart of the solutions. A reaffirmation of sensibility is needed. After much consideration, Mr. David Jones is pleased to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate to represent the great state of Maryland and to take on this responsibility.

Mr. Jones was raised near Towson, Maryland and has a working class yet entrepreneurial background.  He currently works as a carpenter in Charles Village while providing for his son as a single father - his greatest job ever.  David prides himself on his ability to see what lies ahead as he did when he owned and operated his own business flipping houses for investors during the housing boom.  In 2007 he saw the housing market fallout that was to come.  He folded his business in time to make the move into what he knew would survive the downturn - rentals.  David is blue collar and his philosophy, born of hard work and personal responsibility, will guide the country to where it needs to go.  It is with his son and future generations in mind that he now pursues another role; that of public servant to the hard working people from the state of Maryland.

Sammy 09:09 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Revised Animal Regulations Bill Passes
Andy Marquis ― The Bay Net

Revisions made to a heavily debated animal regulations bill were approved by the Charles County Commissioners, who passed the bill unanimously on Tuesday afternoon.  The commissioners commended county staff for making several changes to the bill after receiving feedback from the community.

The bill was first introduced in July, where residents fired back instantly over proposed “Breed Specific Legislation” involving pit breed dogs.  After the breed specific language was removed, regulations involving feral cats took center stage.  In the final draft, passed on Tuesday, the language involving ownership and feral cats was changed.

Sammy 09:06 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Justices refuse to limit eyewitness IDs
Daily Record

The Supreme Court declined Wednesday to extend constitutional safeguards against the use of some eyewitness testimony at criminal trials, despite concerns that eyewitness identification plays a key role in innocent people going to prison.

In a case dealing with a narrow slice of the issue of identifying a suspect, the court voted 8-1 to uphold the theft conviction of Barion Perry in New Hampshire state court. Perry argued that courts should be able to exclude eyewitness testimony when identifications are made under suggestive circumstances, even when there is no evidence of manipulation by the police.

Judges already can bar testimony when the police do something to influence a witness to identify a suspect.

Sammy 09:05 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
High court gives its blessing to the ministerial exception
Daily Record

Religious workers” can’t sue for job discrimination, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, saying for the first time that churches — not courts — are the best judges of whether clergy and other religious employees should be fired or hired.

But the high court tempered its decision bolstering the constitutional separation of church and state by refusing to give a detailed description of what constitutes a religious employee, which left an untold number of workers at churches, synagogues and other religious organizations still in limbo over whether government antidiscrimination laws protect them in job bias disputes.

It was, nevertheless, the first time the high court has acknowledged the existence of a so-called “ministerial exception” to anti-discrimination laws — a doctrine developed in lower court rulings. This doctrine says the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion shields churches and their operations from the reach of such protective laws when the issue involves religious employees of these institutions.

Sammy 09:00 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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