MD Board Backs $200M Contract To Purchase 5,000 Slot Machines. Maryland’s Board of Public Works endorsed a $200 million contract Wednesday to buy about 5,000 slot machines, after slicing $400 million from the deal for thousands of additional machines for sites not likely to become operational soon. State Comptroller Peter Franchot — who sits on the three-person panel with Gov. Martin O’Malley and Treasurer Nancy Kopp — pushed his fellow board members to delay purchasing up to 10,000 more slot machines until they know there is a place for them.
Ehrlich Officially Kicks Off Gubernatorial Campaign. Former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich kicked off his campaign Wednesday in a rematch with the Democrat who ousted him four years ago.The former governor said he wants to cut the state’s sales tax and help small businesses create jobs. He said Marylanders want a different direction in Annapolis.
BWI Ties Heat Record. High temperatures have broken or matched heat records at two airports.At Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, the high of 90 degrees on Tuesday tied a record set in 1929.At Dulles International Airport, the high Tuesday was 93 degrees, topping the record set five years ago by seven degrees. Dulles has records going back to 1962.
Report: Bay Health Improved, But Still Poor. The Chesapeake Bay’s health improved last year but it remains poor, according to a new Bay Barometer issued Wednesday in Annapolis.The report was done by the Chesapeake Bay Program, the regional partnership that has coordinated bay restoration efforts since 1983. The program rated the bay’s health at 45 on a scale of 100, up 6 percent from the year before. Highlights include improvements in water clarity, crab numbers and bay grass coverage.