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Regional Recap, March 10, 2010

Regional News From WBAL-TVwbaltv

Senate Votes To Change Child Support Guidelines. Guidelines used to set child support payments would be changed for the first time in 21 years under legislation approved by the Maryland Senate. The Senate voted 43-2 on Tuesday to pass the measure. Supporters said the change is needed to update the guidelines to adjust for an increase in the cost of living, since the guidelines were last changed more than two decades ago. They also said it will direct more money to raising children.

Six School Systems Get Waivers Due To Snow. Students in six Maryland counties won’t go to school for 180 days this year, thanks to last month’s record-breaking snowstorms. Officials with the State Department of Education said Superintendent Dr. Nancy Grasmick has granted waivers to six counties: Anne Arundel, Charles, Frederick, Kent, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s. In Anne Arundel, Kent, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties, students will be in class for 175 days this school year. Charles and Frederick counties received three-day waivers, meaning they’ll have 177 instructional days.

New Reregulation Plan Could Bring Electric Costs Down. A Senate committee heard legislation on Tuesday designed to bring electric costs down, just as Baltimore Gas and Electric warned customers of sticker shock when March bills arrive after last month’s blizzards.Annapolis insiders refer to reregulation legislation as zombie bills because the issue never dies, 11 News reporter David Collins said. It comes up every session, but this year, supporters are trotting down a different path to passage — and with a message consumers will embrace.

USNS Comfort To Leave Haiti For Home Port In Baltimore.  he USNS Comfort, the Baltimore-based hospital ship that has been treating quake victims in Haiti, is coming home. The U.S. Southern Command said the ship is scheduled to leave Haiti on Wednesday and is expected to arrive in Baltimore on Sunday. The military said the need for the Comfort has dropped significantly as hospitals and other facilities in Haiti have taken on a greater role in treating earthquake victims.

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