Regional Recap, March 8, 2011

| March 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

Senate Passes Bill On Reading Texts While Driving. The Maryland Senate has approved a measure banning people from reading text messages while they are driving. The Senate passed the bill Monday night 35-11. Violators could be fined up to $500. Drivers also could not read a text message while stopped at a traffic light. The House of Delegates approved a similar bill last week. Current law prohibits a driver from using a hand-held device to send a text message while driving, but it still allows a driver to read one.

MD Congress Members Paid Big Bonuses last Year To Staff.  Millions of dollars in bonuses that were paid to congressional staff members are being highlighted as debate over deep budget cuts and the federal deficit continue in Washington. Maryland’s US Congressmen’s representatives paid the bonuses as part of a long-time “use it or lose it” practice that says if you don’t use the money you’re allotted to run your office, the money gets returned to the taxpayer, 11 News I-Team lead investigative reporter Jayne Miller said.According to an analysis by the Capitol Hill salary watchdog Legistorm, all eight of Maryland’s House of Delegates representatives took part, paying year-end bonuses that ranged from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, Miller reported.According to the website, Chris Van Hollen’s payroll was 33 percent higher in the fourth quarter of 2010 than in the third quarter, Dutch Ruppersberger’s was up 29 percent, Roscoe Bartlett’s was up 26 percent, and Frank Kratovil increased his fourth quarter payroll by 28 percent.

Program To Clear Fugitive Warrants To End.  A program that was a big help to police and nonviolent fugitives in clearing warrants in the Baltimore area last year is being eliminated.The U.S. Marshal’s Service told 11 News on Monday that the Safe Surrender program cleared hundreds and sometimes thousands of outstanding warrants for local and state police agencies, including those in Baltimore.Nearly 1,000 nonviolent fugitives turned themselves into authorities last year at the New Metropolitan Baptist Church over the course of a few days with the promise of a light punishment on-site.

Meet The 5 Finalists For Teacher Of The Year.  Meet the 2011 Anne Arundel County Teacher of the Year award finalists! The five finalists were selected from 15 semifinalists who are elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, high school teachers and an educator with the Community-Based Services division. The winner will represent the county in the Maryland State Teacher of the Year competition.  On March 29, a record group of 55 Anne Arundel County teachers will be honored at the 25th annual Excellence in Education banquet, at which WBAL-TV 11 News education reporter Tim Tooten will proudly serve as emcee.

 

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