Regional Recap, March 31, 2011

| March 31, 2011 | 0 Comments

Man Arrested After 8-Hour Standoff With Arundel Police. Anne Arundel County police said an eight-hour standoff with an armed suspect finally ended inside an Edgewater home Wednesday morning.Michael R. Beach, 44, of Edgewater, faces charges of assault with intent to murder, reckless endangerment and possession of a deadly weapon, among other charges.The situation unfolded at about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday when officers responded to Cassia Drive to serve a court order on Beach.Police said Beach displayed a sword and charged a deputy — who received minor injuries — and retreated into the home.

School Board-Imposed Property Tax Meets Resistance.  A bill giving local school boards the authority to impose a property tax to fund education is meeting stiff resistance from the Baltimore delegation.The House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony on the legislation Wednesday afternoon that’s considered to be a conversation starter on the issue.The bill says the proposed property tax would be in addition to the property taxes already in place. Bill sponsor Delegate Sheila Hixon said she believes if it’s successful, the measure would make paying for teacher pensions a local responsibility and not the state’s.

MD Senate Gives OK To Alcohol Tax Increase. The Maryland Senate has voted 27-19 to increase the state’s alcohol tax by 3 percentage points over three years to 9 percent.Eleven Republicans and eight Democrats voted against the bill on Wednesday. The measure now goes to the House of Delegates.Analysts estimate the increase would raise about $29 million in the next fiscal year.It would raise $58 million in the following year and $85 million in the third year.The measure would steer $9 million more in education funding to Prince George’s County and $12 million to Baltimore.Supporters said the extra money is a one-time adjustment to make up for shortfalls under state funding formulas. But critics question why those systems should reap so much from a statewide tax.

Maryland Schools Superintendent To Retire After 20 Years. Maryland’s first female schools chief announced Wednesday that she is going to retire.Superintendent Nancy Grasmick said she plans to retire on June 30 even though she has another year left on her contract.”I think, at a certain point, one has to make personal decisions because this job is tremendously demanding to do it properly,” she said. “I can’t even imagine July 1 what I’ll do when I’m not getting up at 5 a.m., getting in the car and driving someplace 100 miles away.” Grasmick said the time is right for her to retire because the school system is now stable enough to hand over the reigns.”You have to think about the junctures that will enable a new person to come in and to pick up and move us forward. I think we’re at that point,” she said.

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