..WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 2 PM EST
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS
ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW…SLEET AND FREEZING
RAIN… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 2 PM EST TUESDAY.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW…SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.
* ACCUMULATIONS…SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION 1 TO 3 INCHES. ICE
ACCUMULATION FROM FREEZING RAIN LESS THAN ONE TENTH OF AN INCH.
Several schools in Charles County are without power. Generators are working to provide emergency power to those schools.
School officials said Monday that the schools without power include La Plata High School, Mary H. Matula Elementary School, the F.B. Gwynn Center and others in various parts of the county.
NASA’s robotic rover on Mars has found signs that a vast and hospitable lake once spread over the now-desolate Martian surface, providing a potential home to past life for centuries or longer.
The shallow water body was roughly the
size of one of New York’s Finger Lakes, though not nearly so deep. Its waters boasted low salinity, just the right acidity and all the chemicals needed to support living organisms. Other than on Earth, the lake was the most life-friendly place in the solar system, according to a study published in the journal Science and announced Monday at American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.
Money grab, health concerns, or both? Absent guidance from Washington, states are pressing ahead with their own agendas on electronic cigarettes.
Heading into legislative sessions next year, policymakers, industry representatives, health advocates and tax wonks expect electronic cigarettes — or e-cigarettes for short — to be among the top issues at state capitols. Legislatures are expected to tackle how to classify, regulate and, perhaps most importantly, tax the relatively new products.
When insurance agent Kelly Fristoe recently spent 30 minutes helping a client pick a mid-level health plan and the federal marketplace website froze, he called the government’s hotline and tried to finish the application. But the operator refused to credit Fristoe as an agent on the application, meaning he wouldn’t get the commission or be listed as the follow-up contact if his client needed help again later.
The Wichita Falls, Texas, insurance agent is one of many brokers around the country finding frustration as they try to help customers navigate the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces while earning the commissions they’ve long built their businesses around. Some insurers and insurance agents are calling on President Barack Obama’s administration to allow them to bypass healthcare.gov and enroll consumers directly amid growing complaints about problems with enrollment information generated from the website.
Due to power outages at several schools, all Charles County Public Schools will be closing 90 minutes early today, Monday, Dec. 9.
The billable hour has long been the mainstay of law firms and their pay structure. But in recent years, firms have had to become more creative in how they get paid, as they compete for business with ever more cost-conscious companies.
Enter the “alternative fee arrangement.” Whether it’s a flat fee, a capped fee, a blended rate or some other variety, alternative fee arrangements are giving the billable hour a run for its money.
Federal agencies investigating food stamp fraud have begun bringing cases—and convictions—in a push that is likely to mean charges against more retailers that trade the federal benefit for cigarettes or cash.
According to the USDA, 47.6 million Americans get around $75 billion a year in food stamps, and an estimated $858 million is “trafficked” into improper uses.
That translates to around 1.3 percent of the program’s funds misspent annually. That’s down from estimated 4 percent loss rates in the 1990s, but up from historically low rates of 1 percent before 2009. The USDA attributes the uptick to an increase in the number of small- and mid-sized retailers who are accepting food stamps.
It is now known that generations of Americans were slowly poisoned by lead in the water, the air and in their houses, but at the time the effects were largely invisible. Although people knew that lead was poisonous, few people thought the small amount that leached into the water from the plumbing was enough to cause health problems.
In comparison, the average person today is exposed to a miniscule amount of lead. But as lead levels in the environment have plummeted over the past few decades, so too has the threshold that health authorities consider hazardous. In the 1960s, 60 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood was considered a dangerous reading for a child. In the 1970s, anything over 30 micrograms per deciliter was the official CDC definition for elevated childhood levels; in 1985 it dropped to 25, and in 1991 it dropped to 10. Last year, the CDC endorsed a recommendation to use a shifting definition that would be lowered every four years, stating it cannot pinpoint a particular level of lead that is “safe.”
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) is offering college scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year. Four high school seniors will be awarded $1,500 each. Students are eligible to apply if they live with parents or guardians who are SMECO customers. Seniors must be enrolled or plan to enroll full-time in an accredited college, university, or trade school. The deadline for students to apply for college scholarships is Friday, March 7, 2014. For more information, or to obtain an application, go to www.smeco.coop.
To be eligible for SMECO scholarships, students must have maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Four $1,500 scholarships will be awarded based on scholastic achievement, financial need, and community and school involvement. As part of the application process, students must submit an essay on “Why is a College Education Important to Completing My Lifetime Goals?” Scholarship finalists will be interviewed on Saturday, March 22, 2014.
Charles County Government offices will open two hours late today, Monday, Dec. 9, due to inclement weather. Charles County Government administrative offices will open at 10 a.m. County government employees scheduled to report to work at 10 a.m. or later should report to work at their scheduled time. Essential personnel and employees required to maintain operations during inclement weather are to report to work as scheduled.
The following facilities and services will open on a delayed schedule:
Black Ankle Vineyard in Mount Airy has become the latest example of a local wine-making business to employ alternative energy.
A 73.8-kilowatt roof-mounted solar system installed recently will offset 100 percent of Black Ankle’s energy usage. State and federal grants will cover 25 percent of the $180,000 project cost.
“What’s exciting is that the project will pay for itself in about four years,” said Ed Boyce, who owns the farm with his wife, Sarah O’Herron.
NASA and its 15 international partners are celebrating the station’s birth 15 years ago this month, and its growth into a research complex weighing more than a million pounds and stretching longer than an American football field.
Crews have lived there continuously for more than 13 years, with six-person expeditions now the norm.
Orbiting 260 miles above Earth, the station is now the centerpiece of the U.S. human spaceflight program, though it is just starting to tap its potential as a national laboratory and faces questions about its long-term future.
After years of success in Washington, the ethanol industry’s power may be slipping.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal last month to slash for the first time ever the amount of ethanol that must be mixed into the nation’s gasoline supply marked just the latest blow to an industry that until recently had seen consumption of the largely corn-based fuel soar. Experts say the growth helped mask underlying problems that now threaten to slow or even halt the industry’s expansion.
When the Air Force looked for ways to save money last year to deal with declining budgets, officials decided to halt work on a high-flying, long-endurance spy drone built in Palmdale, Calif., by defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp.
At a cost of $35,000 per flying hour, the Global Hawk Block 30 aircraft had “priced itself out of the niche, in terms of taking pictures in the air,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said at the time.
The Air Force planned to stop buying the Global Hawk and mothball 18 of those it already owned to save about $2.5 billion over five years. The high-tech drones, the military said, were not as capable as the battle-tested U-2 spy planes.