Regional Recap, February 11, 2011

| February 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

Program Helps Elderly Evaluate Driving Skills. With many senior drivers out on the roads, a program at a local hospital is working to help figure out when people should no longer be driving.Recently, a horrifying situation on a California highway brought attention to the issue. An 83-year-old man was caught on video going the wrong way on an interstate and crashed head-on into a concrete divider, causing a four-car pile up.Remarkably, no one was seriously hurt.Jan Crye is a certified driving rehabilitation specialist at Sinai Hospital who helps patients recovering from medical issues get back on the road. A good deal of her time is spent evaluating elderly drivers referred to her by their adult children.

Bills Look To Expand BPA. State lawmakers banned the chemical bisphenal-A, or BPA, from children’s sippy cups and baby bottles last year, and now they want to go even further by banning it in children’s food containers.The chemical has been linked to birth defects and death in some children, and studies have shown that BPA causes developmental and medical problems later in life.Bills to ban the chemical from containers are in both the House and Senate.”It’s hard enough to feed your kids and learn how to take care of them without wondering if there are toxins in the plastic that I don’t even know about,” said Crofton mother Jennifer Dangel, who testified in favor of the bills.

MD State Dems Eye Tax Package To Avoid Cuts. Maryland Senate Democrats are looking at combining tax hike proposals to leverage the political support needed to stave off major budget cuts.Sen. Paul Pinsky of Prince George’s County said Thursday that combining measures to increase the gas and alcohol taxes and tightening business tax rules could draw together enough supporters to pass a package out of the Senate.Sen. Brian Frosh of Montgomery County said that after meeting earlier this month with Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, Senate Democrats began talking about what combination of tax increases might work politically.

MD Death Penalty Protocols To Be Withdrawn. The co-chair of a legislative panel reviewing Maryland’s death penalty protocols said proposed rules will be withdrawn due to the lack of availability of a drug used in lethal injections.At the same time as that was being announced, death penalty opponents introduced legislation to repeal the law. Delegate Anne Healey, D-Prince George’s County, said Thursday that she was told by Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gary Maynard that he is withdrawing the protocols.Healey said that’s because changes in the protocols will be so substantive that the rules will have to be revised.

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