...Charles County Destination Guide Now Available
The Charles County Office of Tourism is pleased to announce that the Tourism Calendar of Events and Charles County Destination Guide is now available.
There are various ways to obtain your own copy:
* Print a free copy on the county website at www.charlescounty.org and click on Visiting.
* Order by phone at 800-766-3386.
* Pick up a copy from the Charles County Government Building, 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata, or the Crain Memorial Welcome Center at 12480 Crain Highway, Newburg.
For information or questions, contact Ms. Catherine Carroll, Tourism Marketing Coordinator, at 301-396-5819 or CarrollC@CharlesCounty.org. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
Elections officials in several states are concerned that the closing of mail-processing centers and post offices could disrupt vote-by-mail balloting this year, a potential problem that has led some members of Congress to call for a delay until after the November elections.
The U.S. Postal Service recently announced that it is moving ahead with plans to close at least 223 processing centers and thousands of post offices, adding to the 153 centers and 965 post offices that have closed since 2008. The moves are part of a wide-ranging cost-cutting strategy for an agency that estimates it will lose up to $18 billion a year by 2015.
Voting officials are raising a variety of concerns, depending on the circumstances in their states. Meanwhile, postal customers have security concerns about leaving ballots in their mail boxes to be picked up by postal carriers.
In California and Arizona, officials say the closing of processing centers could delay the delivery of mail-in ballots beyond the deadline to have them counted.
Big banks, facing declining revenues and a regulatory climate that leaves them fewer creative ways to make money, are quietly introducing or experimenting with fees that are sure to outrage customers.
Bank of America was shouted down by angry customers last fall when it tried to impose a $5 monthly fee for using a debit card. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo backed off plans to impose their own fees.
But the major banks have imposed or are testing other fees:
Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets fell $13.11 billion to $2.652 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, the Investment Company Institute said Thursday.
Assets of the nation’s retail money market mutual funds fell $2.72 billion to $920.11 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category fell $2.33 billion to $725.86 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets fell $390 million to $194.25 billion.
Meanwhile, assets of institutional money market funds fell $10.38 billion to $1.732 trillion. Among institutional funds, taxable money market fund assets fell $8.76 billion to $1.639 trillion; assets of tax-exempt funds fell $1.62 billion to $93.65 billion.
Planned closure of coal-fired facilities hailed by environmentalists
GenOn Energy Inc. will shut down eight power plants over the next three years, three of them old, coal-burning power plants in Western Pennsylvania: at Elrama in northern Washington County, Shawville in Clearfield County and near New Castle in Lawrence County.
The Houston-based power company announced the power plant deactivations Wednesday as part of its 2011 earnings report, blaming economics and federal environmental regulations requiring installation of pollution control equipment.
According to the company’s news release, which announced earnings before taxes, interest and depreciation of $622 million for last year, the “forecast returns on investments necessary to comply with environmental regulations are insufficient.Read more...
You already knew from the early “developer preview” of Windows 8 that Microsoft released in September just how radically different this version of the company’s ubiquitous operating system is from its predecessors. But now that Microsoft on Wednesday unleashed a more complete preview version of Windows 8 — which consumers can get their hands on — we really are on the threshold of a whole new era of personal computing.
The stakes for Microsoft and the entire computing ecosystem are enormous. This new era is built around tablets as much as traditional laptops and desktops, and multi-touch as much as the keyboard and mouse. At the same time Microsoft marches toward Windows 8, archrival Apple is revving up a new version of Mac OS X called Mountain Lion.
For its part, Windows 8 provides consumers the flexibility to go back and forth between touch and the keyboard and mouse. And this cloud based operating system — Windows 8 is tied into various Microsoft services online, including SkyDrive, where you can store and access documents and pictures — is designed to work on all types of hardware.
Facebook advertisers will now be able to distribute ads to fans of companies in news feeds, the right-hand column and in a log-out message. These ad forms — what Facebook calls “compelling stories” — will also hit the news feed on its mobile app.
To non-fans, the ads will only be targeted to the right-side column. Facebook had previously begun allowing brands to advertise to their fans’ news feeds.
Along with Premium, Facebook also launched new pages for businesses that include Timeline features.
...SUCCESSFUL END/MULTIPLE HANDGUNS RECOVERED
On March 1 at 9:17 a.m., officers responded to the 2700 block of Bismark Street in Waldorf for the report of a domestic-related argument between a father and his adult son. When officers arrived, they attempted to make contact with the son who was locked inside a bedroom. He refused to exit his room to speak with officers. As officers continued to try to establish a rapport, they heard the subject rack a shotgun. The officers quickly obtained positions of cover and confined the subject to the bedroom. A perimeter was established outside, neighboring houses were evacuated, and students at three nearby schools were kept inside. The CCSO Emergency Services Team responded and a negotiator established contact. At about 11 a.m., negotiators convinced the subject to surrender. He was taken into custody without incident. Inside his room, officers found a shotgun, 3 handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Inside the suspect’s vehicle, another .45 cal. handgun was recovered. The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital for an evaluation and later charged with possession of regulated firearms. The suspect also had an open warrant for violation of a protective order. The guns were removed from the house and the investigation is on-going.
AT&T is caving to complaints that it’s placing unreasonable limits on the “unlimited data” plans it offers smartphone subscribers.
The cellphone company says that from now on, it will only slow down service for its “unlimited data” subscribers when they hit 3 gigabytes of usage within a billing cycle.
Previously, the company had been slowing down service when subscribers entered the heaviest 5 percent of data users for that month and that area.
ANNAPOLIS — Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says senators are exploring a bill that proposes to repeal a Maryland tax cut approved in 1997 to help balance the budget.
Miller, D-Calvert, told reporters on Thursday that a bill sponsored by Sen. Roger Manno, D-Montgomery, is under consideration to help address the state’s $1.1 billion budget deficit. The bill would increase state income taxes by .25 percent.
However, Miller says senators have not settled on what the number would be. He says that’s because the ultimate outcome in tackling the budget deficit will be a combination of cuts as well as revenues.
The Maryland Senate and the House of Delegates on Thursday passed measures to repeal a Maryland law requiring poor defendants to have a public defender present when they appear before district court commissioners, who decide bail and whether a defendant is detained after arrest.
The Senate passed its version of the bill 45-1, and the House passed a measure on a 133-0 vote.
Lawmakers are working to address a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling earlier this year that defendants must have an attorney present during appearances before court commissioners. Compliance with the ruling could cost tens of millions of dollars, if the law isn’t changed.
Governor Martin O’Malley today, joined by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, signed the Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2012 into law. With the passage of this historic bill, Maryland now becomes the eighth state in the nation to legalize gay marriage. The Governor released the following statement:
“For a free and diverse people,… for a people of many faiths,… for a people committed to the principle of religious freedom,… the way forward is always to be found through greater respect for the equal rights of all; for the human dignity of all.
“The very reason for our State’s founding was for religious freedom. At the heart of religious freedom is the freedom of individual conscience.
“If there is a thread that unites the story of our people, it is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work; the dignity of family; the dignity of every child’s home; the dignity of every individual.
Charles County’s Board of Education heard from residents who would be affected by a redistricting proposal during a public hearing held at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf on Tuesday night. The message they heard was fierce and direct opposition to the proposed plans.
The plan would send children of residents in the Bennsville corridor to Matthew Henson Middle School from Theodore Davis Middle School, and would send children of Autumn Hills community residents to C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School in Waldorf, moving them from Berry Elementary School.
“Let me stay at Berry,” Berry Elementary School second grade student Ajaiya Thomas said.
“I watched a kid on Smallwood Drive light a joint right in front of me and my children,” Latoya Bowman of Waldorf said. “If my kid is sent to Barnhart, I’m going to have to move because I can’t afford to send my kids to private school and I won’t accept them having a subpar education.”
The Traffic Safety Division of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous traffic safety complaints of motorist passing in an area not designed as a passing zone. Specifically, motorists have reported that during evening rush hour traffic, drivers are violating traffic law by utilizing the northbound shoulder portion of Maryland Route 5 just prior to Bay Ridge Road to pass vehicles waiting for the traffic light at Maryland Route 5 and Maryland Route 246 to change green.
Maryland Transportation Article Sec. 21, Paragraph 304 Subsection C prohibits “Driving a motor vehicle off roadway while passing vehicle.” Motorist illegally passing on the shoulder of the roadway may receive a $110.00 fine and 1 point on their driving record. If the illegal passing contributes to a motor vehicle collision the penalty increases to a $150.00 fine and 3 points. A roadway is defined as “white line to white line.” The shoulder is not a designated as a travel portion of the roadway.
On February 27, 2012 the Traffic Safety Unit conducted a traffic initiative in the area of Maryland Route 5 and Bay Ridge Drive in Great Mills, Maryland from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The purpose of this operation was to educate drivers and enforce Maryland Traffic Law, specifically Article Sec. 21, Paragraph 304 Subsection C: “Driving motor vehicle off road while passing vehicle.” Sheriff’s deputies stopped 163 motorists who violated traffic law. A total of (56) fifty-six written warnings and (107) verbal warnings were issued.