Regional Recap, March 24, 2011

| March 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

Education Union Proposes Solution To Pension Problem.  The Maryland State Education Association is proposing a solution to the pension problem that it says will put the system on a long-term path to sustainability while protecting educators’ retirement security.MSEA said it has been discussing the plan with state leaders and the O’Malley administration.The group said its solution preserves defined benefits for state workers, reduces unfunded liabilities, increases the system funding level and ensures sustainable pension funding. It also protects local schools by not shifting costs to the counties.

Baltimore Police Detective Charged With Sex Abuse. Baltimore police said a detective charged with sexually abusing a minor in Harford County has been suspended.Police spokesman Donny Moses said 44-year-old Detective Kevin Rowland has been on the force for 10 years. “We stand behind the fact that we’re going to hold our members accountable. We hold ourselves accountable. But again, this is an investigation done outside Baltimore. We’re relying on the information provided to us,” said police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld.Moses said Rowland has been suspended with pay pending the investigation of the charges.

Maryland Offering To Buy Back More Crabbing Licenses. Maryland natural resources officials said they want to buy back more crab licenses, and it might be worth waiting to see if the price goes up. The Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that it is offering between $4,000 and $9,000 depending on the type of license. State officials said they are hoping to retire another 400 to 500 licenses.After buying licenses offered at base prices, the state could offer between $5,000 and $12,000 if it has money left. Many of Maryland’s 6,000 crabbing licenses are not actively used, and the state began buying back licenses in 2009 to make it easier to manage the crab population.

Camden Yards Ivy Succumbs To Disease. The Baltimore Orioles won’t be hitting it in the ivy as much this year.That’s not because of a hitting slump, but because of a disease that attacked the ivy behind the centerfield wall, forcing groundskeepers to remove it.”Basically what happened was the soil had Phytophthora, which is a soil-borne fungus and it’s native in most soils,” head groundskeeper Nicole Sherry told WBALTV.com.Sherry likened the condition to having a virus.”You’re always going to have that virus but it’s only going to flare up when (there are other factors). The pathogens are always in the soil but it needs other factors to flare up,” she said.

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