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Regional Recap, July 20, 2010

Celebrity Cruises Pulls Out Of BaltimoreCelebrity Cruises said it is canceling fall and winter cruises from Baltimore in 2011 and 2012.Instead, the cruise line will add a tour through Australian and New Zealand waters.The 1,814-passenger Celebrity Century had been scheduled to run 12-night cruises from Baltimore. It will eliminate a total of 10 cruises.Port of Baltimore spokesman Richard Scher said the cancellations are regrettable, but said it’s part of the business.

Slot Machine Case Goes To State’s Highest Court.  A legal case involving Maryland’s largest proposed casino is going before the state’s highest court.The Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday about whether a zoning measure needed for the proposal is subject to a referendum on November’s ballot.Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Silkworth ruled that a local ordinance enacted to allow the casino is part of an appropriation package for maintaining state and local government and thus is not subject to a referendum.Alan Rifkin, an attorney for Citizens Against Slots at the Mall, contends casinos are subject to local authority and subject to a referendum.You can watch oral arguments, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., by clicking here.

State Trooper Charged With Child Porn Possession. Baltimore County police have arrested and charged a state trooper with possession and intent to distribute child pornography.Bruce Allen Tucker, 47, of Owings Mills, was arrested on Friday.Investigators said Tucker received and exchanged more than 3,000 images of child porn over a period of several months on a computer in his home along Esplanade Court.Authorities said many of the pictures showed adults involved in the activity, and the photos involved children ages 2 to 14.

Pollution’s Effects On Bay’s Food Chain To Be Studied.  The bottom of the Chesapeake Bay food chain is the focus of a new federally funded study.On Monday, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger issued a $100,000 check to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science to help researchers learn how the bacteria are affected by pollution.The federal funding kicks off a critical, unprecedented study of the bay in which new technology will allow scientists to sample the DNA of life in the bay and clone species you can only see under a microscope — all in an effort to diagnose how the environment has changed the food chain.

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