Regional Recap, March 25, 2011

| March 25, 2011 | 0 Comments

Anne Arundel Police Probe Burglaries, Sexual Assault. Authorities are investigating three early-morning burglaries in which the victims said a man entered their bedrooms.Anne Arundel County officers were called just before 3 a.m. Thursday to the 7800 block of Centergate Court, where a 28-year-old woman said she awoke and found that a man was in her bedroom. She told police that she yelled at the man and that he fled the scene.Less than an hour later, in the 700 block of 204th Street, a 56-year-old woman told police that she awoke to find that a man was “touching her in a sexual manner.” The man fled the house, and the woman went to a neighbor’s home and called police.Officers canvassed both areas after the reports but weren’t able to find a culprit. Investigators did say they believe the cases are related.

Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill.  Maryland residents who can prove they have a doctor’s approval to use marijuana for medical reasons would have a new defense to avoid a $100 fine and a misdemeanor conviction under a measure approved 41-6 by the Maryland Senate on Thursday. Under current law, a person who uses marijuana for medical reasons can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $100 in Maryland. “What we’ve done is we’re going to say we’re going to give you a complete defense, an affirmative defense, where you have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that you were using it for medicinal purposes,” said Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery.

Program Helps Train People In Cybersecurity Field.  The cybersecurity industry is projected to grow 41 percent in the next eight years, and Maryland is preparing for thousands of those new jobs by using a new federal grant to train people.The state received a $5 million grant for a program called Pathways to Cyber Security Careers Consortium that gives people new skills in cybersecurity areas.On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger toured a new one-stop career center in Anne Arundel County that’s offering free tuition to people looking for better jobs that will help the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals.”As we speak, we’re being attacked on a regular basis — our Pentagon, our intelligence community, our banks, our businesses, our governments, by other countries and by bad guys,” Ruppersberger said.

House Approves Budget Bill, Senate Committee On Board. The Maryland House of Delegates has voted 97-42 for a $34 billion state budget. During debate Thursday night, Democrats praised the budget for restoring education funding during tough times. Republicans criticized the budget for a lack of fiscal discipline. The House bill raises more than $70 million worth of fees and makes a variety of cuts to Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget plan. The measure restores about $58 million of the $94 million O’Malley had cut to education. The bill changed the governor’s pension reform plan. It requires state employees to increase payments from 5 percent of their salaries to 7 percent for retirement benefits. O’Malley’s plan allowed employees to continue paying 5 percent for less retirement benefit.

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