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Regional Recap, March 24, 2010

Regional News From WBAL-TVwbaltv

MD House To Force Increase In Auto Insurance. Maryland drivers would likely see their car insurance payments increase under a bill backed by the state House. Maryland’s House of Delegates voted 97 to 36 Tuesday to raise the minimum amount of auto liability insurance required of drivers.Motorists would be required to have at least $30,000 in automotive liability insurance for bodily harm to an individual, up from a current minimum of $20,000.

Indictment Charges Man With Taking Girl For Sex. A Texas truck driver has been indicted on charges of transporting an 11-year-old girl from Maryland to have sex with her. Prosecutors said a federal grand jury indicted Elmer Zelaya-Robles, 41, of Grand Prairie, Texas, on Monday.Prosecutors said Zelaya-Robles worked for a Maryland trucking company and at times lived with a relative in Virginia. The parents of the girl from Prince George’s County reported their daughter missing on Feb. 13.

MD Bans Alcohol In State Parks. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources said it is banning alcoholic beverages from state forests. Maryland Forest Service Director Steve Koehn said Tuesday that the agency began phasing in the ban this month. Drinking in state parks became illegal last year. Koehn said alcoholic beverages will still be allowed at pavilions in the Green Ridge and Potomac-Garrett state forests with a permit that is currently free but will eventually cost $35.

Report: More Kindergartners Prepared To Learn. A growing number of Maryland 4-year-olds are showing up for kindergarten, and when they get there, they’re ready to learn, according to a new school readiness report.State officials said they expected the numbers to rise in part due to what they called “high quality” learning programs. Officials are giving a good bit of the credit to those programs where 4-year-olds are in school all day.

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