Cleanup Continues After Rain Pounds Maryland. Residents and businesses face cleanup efforts Friday after heavy rain flooded basements, parking lots and buildings.Gov. Martin O’Malley declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon because of the flood threat, calling 40 Maryland National Guard members to active service. The declaration also enables local emergency operation centers to access state resources if needed.”I have ordered state emergency personnel and resources to be available statewide as we safeguard Maryland against the effects of this heavy rain,” O’Malley said. “I ask Marylanders to monitor their local news outlets in the coming days for further information.”
US Naval Academy Expels Three More For Synthetic Pot. The U.S. Naval Academy has expelled three more students for using or possessing synthetic marijuana.The academy announced Thursday that the investigation is continuing. So far, 11 students have been expelled from the school since Jan. 20 for violating the academy’s illicit substance abuse policy.Synthetic marijuana, which is known as Spice, is considered a banned substance by the Defense Department and the Navy.The three recent students found to violate the policy were expelled March 8.Last year, a total of 11 midshipmen were found in violation of the Navy drug policy, including seven for Spice.
House Votes To Make Texting While Driving A Primary Offense. The Maryland House of Delegates on Thursday voted in favor of a bill that would make texting while driving a primary offense.The ban on texting is currently a secondary offense, meaning a person could only be cited for it if they were pulled over by a police officer for another offense.The House voted 91-40 in favor of the bill and sent the measure to the Senate, but not before an animated discussion.”What is the rationale if you’re stuck in traffic at a long red light or something? What’s wrong with simply talking on the phone at that time?” questioned Delegate Tony McConkey, R-Anne Arundel County.
MD Unions Worry Over Collective Bargaining Rights. As Wisconsin lawmakers continue to debate their governor’s plan to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, many in Maryland are wondering if it could happen here.Maryland has a big budget hole to fill. With a Democratic governor and a Democrat-controlled Legislature, it seems unlikely union-busting could soon happen in the state, but some at the Anne Arundel County local police union think differently.Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold signed into law Thursday a measure giving the county government more power over its public safety union. The County Council will now have the final say if a contract cannot be reached.