US Naval Academy Midshipman Convicted Of Rape . A Naval Academy midshipman will be expelled after being found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting a female colleague.Patrick Edmond, 20, of Jackson, Miss., was convicted by a seven-member panel late Thursday in connection with the incident last October.Edmond claimed the sex was consensual.The panel did clear Edmond on charges of sodomy.
MD Gives Thumbs Up To Obama’s Offer To Waive Progress In Public Schools . Maryland is about to accept President Barack Obama’s offer to grant waivers to some of the state’s schools labeled as failing.The president’s proposal came during a White House press conference last week.11 News education reporter Tim Tooten said the new development comes on the eve of another state academic report that will show more schools are failing to meet what’s called AYP — adequate yearly progress.
Cherry Blossom Festival To Expand For 100th Year . Organizers of the National Cherry Blossom Festival are expanding the festivities next year to five weeks, and first lady Michelle Obama will serve as honorary chair of the event marking the 100th anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan. To mark the anniversary, the U.S. Postal Service has created a cherry blossom centennial stamp that will be issued in March 2012.Plans for the 2012 festival call for art and history exhibits across the city and the planting of more than 1,000 new cherry trees.Officials behind the springtime event announced plans for the centennial celebration Wednesday. The 16-day festival will be expanded to five weeks beginning March 20.
Texting At Traffic Lights Illegal Beginning Saturday . Police on the roads will be taking a tougher stance when it comes to distracted driving this weekend.Starting Saturday, reading a text message while sitting at a traffic light will be illegal.The law does not apply to the use of a GPS or a text-messaging device to contact a 911 system.Maryland State Police said the offense is punishable by a fine of $70 and one point on a person’s license. If the texting contributes to an accident, the fine is $110 and carries three points.