Saturday, March 22, 2014

In Case You Missed It: David Craig and Jeannie Haddaway in the News

Legislators find ways and means to attend Spacey eventBaltimore Sun 3.21.14
“On the Eastern Shore we’ve seen the benefit of the film industry, most recently with “Wedding Crashers” in St . Michaels,” Haddaway said.,0,3233520.story
Spreading the message
Monoblogue 3.21.14
A couple weeks ago I noted that David Craig was first on the radio with advertising buys in the Baltimore market. Apparently the ad buys have now gone pretty much statewide, but with a focus on rural areas like the Eastern Shore and western Maryland.
David Craig Remembers “Forgotten Marylanders”
Jackie Wellfonder 3.20.14
Yesterday, Republican gubernatorial candidate David Craig visited the Eastern Shore, specifically, Wicomico County.
David Craig Expands Ad Buy on Income Tax Cut
Citybizlist  3.1814
In the ad, the Harford County Executive says, “I’m David Craig.  My plan will lower, and put us on a glide path to do away with the state personal income tax.”
Pointing out and planning solutions
Monoblogue 3.18.14
David Craig has a grand idea: he called on incumbent Governor Martin O’Malley to push the Obama Administration to complete a final regulatory review to enable a facility in southern Maryland to export liquefied natural gas.
Craig campaign expands radio ad buy statewide
Quinton Report 3.18.14
The ad, on Craig’s income tax cut plan, was previously just running on news/talk stations WCBM and WBAL. The 30-second ad will now be aired on stations statewide and on multiple formats. (listen to ad here)
Notes from yesterday’s Craig-Hogan debateQuinton Report  3.15.14
“David Craig’s bold proposal to put the state on a glide path towards elimination of the income tax will create the next Under Armour and other innovative and iconic companies we have not even heard of yet.”
David Craig Rallies Political Support for Urgent Need to Export Natural Gas from Maryland
Citzbizlist 3.12.14
“Now is not the time for dithering and red tape,” said Craig.  “Maryland is on the verge of being only the second state in the country to export liquefied natural gas.”
SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
Washington Times 3.7.14
An even bolder plan was announced on the same day by a Republican gubernatorial candidate, Harford County Executive David Craig.
Craig launches paid media campaign with radio ad
Baltimore Sun 2.27.14
Republican gubernatorial candidate David R. Craig has launched what appears to be the first volley in what is expected to be a multimillion-dollar broadcast media war with an ad on Baltimore radio stations highlighting his proposal to phase out Maryland's income  tax.
Md. GOP gubernatorial hopeful David Craig to launch radio ad touting income tax cut plan
Wa shington Post 2.27.14
Craig’s 30-second spot touts his plan to reduce and eventually eliminate the state’s personal income tax, with the Republican hopeful telling listeners, “It’s time to vote yourself a raise.”
Craig Starts Running Radio Ads
WBAL Radio 2.27.14
Craig announced Thursday that the 30-second radio spot will run through March on Baltimore news talk radio stations. He says the ad highlights his proposal to reduce Maryland's individual income tax, with an eye toward eventually eliminating it.
Sauerbrey: Craig's tax plan would boost Md.'s economy
Baltimore Sun 2.27.14
Yes, of course a rate reduction allows higher income earners to retain more dollars because they pay so much more in the first place. These are the very people who are fleeing Maryland, denying the state the ability to tax any of their income

SPCA Eastern Shore ~ Helping Dale

FROM:  SPCA Eastern Shore Virginia

We have a new resident, Dale who is around 5 years old. Very friendly with people and LOVES a squeaky toy. Very comfortable jumping up on the chair to play wit...h his toy. Dale needs 2 teeth pulled and a tumor removed from his leg very soon. 

 Our Murphys Fund is very low and we could use your help! If you would like to donate for Dale's surgeries, please stop by the shelter Tues-Sat (10am-3pm) or you can donate securely on our website

Please Support the Murphy's Fund

Murphy’s Fund was created so we would have money in place for extraordinary medical needs here at the shelter. Most of the money in this account has been used to treat dogs who are positive for heartworms, making it easier for those dogs to be adopted.

Thank you!
26528 Lankford Hwy.
PO Box 164
Onley, VA 23418



1941.. Wartime Home Defense Corps now operating in Worcester County, plans "Zero Hour" blackout test; 1905.. Unexpected on-stage occurance during Hamlet performance in Crisfield; 1972.. President Nixon plans campaign strategy with top aids during weekend visit to Assateague; 1968.. Pocomoke City business and community leader remembered; 1893.. The woman who brought Parksley to life.

Although you may not find all of these items in a history book, they are a part of our local history and you can read more about it this Sunday right here at The Pocomoke Public Eye.

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two, or more if you wish. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

Worcester County Recreation and Parks ~ SOCCER

Worcester County Sheriff's Office Recent Arrests

Worcester County Sheriff's Office

 March 20, 2014 the Worcester County Sheriff's Office responded to the Worcester County District Court in Snow Hill in reference to a reported violation of a protection order. Deputies met with court security officials and determined a violation of a protective order was allegedly committed.

 Deputies located and arrested John Scott Edwards,  Ocean City, Md. later in the day in West Ocean City, Maryland.

 Mr.Edwards was transported to the Worcester County Sheriff's Office where he was processed and later transported to the District Court Commissioner's office where he was released on his personal recognizance pending a trial date.

March 20, 2014 at 2039 hours Deputies from the Worcester County Sheriff Office and the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation took a report of Child Abuse, at a residence near Snow Hill, Worcester County, Maryland.

 After an investigation, Deputies arrested Jermaine Ernest Schoolfield, 34 years old of Snow Hill.

Schoolfield was charged with 2nd degree Assault, and reckless endangerment of two minors.

 Schoolfield was taken in front of a District Court Commissioner and was held in the Worcester County Jail on a $75,000 dollar bond. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Suspect Identified In Harford County- Investigation Continues

Maryland State Police Press Release


(ABERDEEN, MD) – The burglary suspect who struck several police vehicles and injured a police officer before he was fatally wounded by police following a pursuit early this morning in Harford County has been identified.

The suspect is identified as Rajsaun A. McCray, 29, whose last known address was in the 3600-block of Horner Place SE, Washington, D.C. He was pronounced dead this morning at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. An autopsy will be conducted at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The preliminary investigation indicates that before 2:30 a.m. today, the Target security office notified the Aberdeen Police Department that a burglary was occurring at their store in the 1000-block of Middleton Road in Aberdeen. Target security provided a description of the suspect and his car, a Dodge Caliber with Maryland tags.

Officer Jason Easton, a nine-year-veteran of the Aberdeen Police Department responded and spotted the suspect attempting to flee. As Officer Easton pulled into the parking lot attempting to stop the suspect, he was struck by the suspect’s car. Officer Easton was injured and his car was disabled. The suspect fled the scene in his car.

Other responding Aberdeen Police Department officers saw the suspect vehicle and attempted to stop it, but the driver, later identified as McCray, did not stop. A pursuit ensued and Aberdeen officers were joined by Maryland state troopers from the JFK Highway Barrack. The suspect drove north on I-95 and traveled on and off various exits. He eventually turned onto southbound I-95, driving at speeds up to 100 mph. State troopers deployed stop sticks about five miles north of the Maryland House, which apparently deflated a right front tire, but the suspect continued to refuse to stop.

The investigation indicates McCray drove onto the southbound I-95 ramp entrance to the Maryland House rest area. He rammed multiple police cars as he exited. McCray’s vehicle then traveled off the side of the ramp and up an embankment before he turned it around toward pursuing police.

Preliminary information indicates the suspect’s vehicle stopped momentarily and troopers and officers exited their patrol cars to approach the suspect’s vehicle and take him into custody. As they did, McCrary accelerated his vehicle and drove directly toward the approaching police officers. In fear for their lives and the lives of their fellow police officers, three state troopers and one Aberdeen officer fired their agency-issued pistols at the suspect.

The suspect was wounded and first aid was administered. EMS personnel were summoned and he was flown by Maryland State Police helicopter to the UMD Shock Trauma Center.

Officer Easton was transported to Harford Memorial Hospital and treated for injuries to his arm. He was released from the hospital later this morning.

The Maryland State Police troopers who fired their Glock .40 caliber pistols are identified as Sergeant Edginel Torres, a 10-year veteran, Trooper First Class Daniel Rumaker, a five-year veteran, and Trooper Duane Freeman, a one-year veteran. All three troopers are assigned to the JFK Highway Barrack. The Aberdeen Police Department officer who fired his .45 caliber Glock pistol is identified as Sergeant Richard Clark, a 16-year veteran of the agency. The troopers and the officer have been placed on administrative leave by their respective departments, which is routine in police involved shootings.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is conducting the investigation, which is procedure in police involved shootings. The State Police Internal Affairs Unit will also conduct an investigation, as is procedure. Harford County State’s Attorney Joe Cassilly was kept informed by investigators and responded to the scene this morning. Upon completion of the investigation Homicide Unit investigators will forward the report to Mr. Cassilly for his review.

The southbound I-95 exit ramp to the Maryland House remained closed until about noon today. Maryland Transportation Authority personnel assisted with the ramp closure and detour.

Pocomoke City Police Department ~ "The Egg Hunt"

New Scam To Steal Your Gmail Info

There's A New Scam To Steal Your Gmail Info, And It's Hard To Catch

Warning: If you receive an email with the subject "Documents," and it directs you to a webpage that looks like a Google Drive sign-in page, do not enter your information.

It's likely a new phishing scam, in which a thief creates a fake portal that asks for people's private information and then steals it. (Netflix recently faced a similar issue.)

This one uses a fake Google Drive landing page to get your Gmail address and password, cyber security company Symantec's official blog reported last Thursday. You're meant to think that the documents you'll be viewing are on Google Docs and that you need to sign in to see them. Remember, though, it's all a scam.

"We've removed the fake pages and our abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again," a representative from Google tells The Huffington Post. "If you think you may have accidentally given out your account information, please reset your password."

Think you're smart enough to tell the difference between a fake Google Drive sign-in page and the real one? OK, which one of these two photos is of the real one?


The real Google page is the second, but be honest and admit you couldn't tell. You shouldn't be looking for something in particular on the login page, since those look different for different people and on various browsers. You should just be wary of emails from unknown email addresses and pages that ask for your password.

If you were to put your Gmail address and password in the fake login, your credentials would be stolen, but you'd be taken to a real document on Google Docs, so you might not even know you'd been scammed, Symantec says.

With access to your Gmail account, scammers can make purchases on Google Play, use your Google+ account, access your Google Drive documents and more.

As always, the easiest way to protect yourself from phishing scams is to not click on unknown links and not open emails from unknown senders. Also, don't type your password anywhere that you're not 100 percent sure is real.


VOTE For Pocomoke Area Chamber of Commerce

Voting continues daily through the end of March.




Contact:  Russell W. Blake, City Manager
   (410)  957-1333
 Pocomoke City officials have announced a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for their new clubhouse building at Winter Quarters Municipal Golf Course.  The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 5 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the clubhouse at the end of Winter Quarters Drive adjacent the Pocomoke River.  Mayor Bruce Morrison and City Council members will cut a ribbon to officially open the new clubhouse building which replaces the previous building that was flooded during  Hurricane Sandy.  The new building is approximately 1,200 sq. ft. with a private meeting room, outdoor deck, pro shop, snack bar, and restrooms.  The outdoor deck has beautiful views of the golf course and is adjacent to the putting green.  The snack bar and pro shop offers a variety of sandwiches, soft drinks, and snacks, as well as golf supplies including golf balls, tees, apparel, golf clubs, and cart rentals.  The new building was built by Three Guys Construction Co. of Westover, Maryland.  Coffee, donuts and other items will be provided for all attendees at the grand opening ceremony.  

 In order to celebrate the Grand Opening of the new building, the Mayor and Council have agreed to provide free golf for any area golfers on either Saturday, April 5 or Sunday, April 6.  Golfers may play one round of 18 holes on either day at no cost.  The purpose of this promotional weekend is to highlight the new clubhouse building and to show off our beautiful nine-hole course located adjacent to the Pocomoke River.  The golf course features bent grass greens, water hazards, sand traps, paved cart paths, and the occasional eagle flying overhead. 

Winter Quarters Golf Course Club House
Taken October2013
Winter Quarters Golf Course is available for fundraising tournaments at discounted rates for all non-profit groups in our area.  The City also encourages local groups and businesses to form employee leagues to enjoy golf at special rates in the late afternoon hours.  Golfers are asked  to call 401.957.1171  or 410.957.1333 to reserve a tee time for either Saturday or Sunday, April 5 or 6, and to reserve an optional golf cart. 

For general information about Pocomoke City or other upcoming events, please go to or   

POLICE SHOOTING: Pursuit Ends on I-95 Southbound Entrance Ramp to Maryland House Rest Area

Maryland State Police


(ABERDEEN, MD) -- A burglary suspect who rammed several police cars and injured an officer was fatally wounded by police after a pursuit that ended at an I-95 rest area early this morning.

Preliminary information indicates shortly before 2:30 a.m. today, a burglary was reported at a Target store in Aberdeen. Officers from the Aberdeen Police Department responded and spotted the suspect fleeing the store. The suspect refused to stop and rammed his vehicle into an Aberdeen Police patrol car, injuring the officer and disabling the police car.

A pursuit ensued throughout the area and onto both north and southbound I-95. Additional police cars from the Aberdeen Police Department and the Maryland State Police were rammed by the suspect during the pursuit.

The pursuit ended on the I-95 southbound entrance ramp to the Maryland House rest area when police fired at the suspect, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle. The suspect was flown to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he was pronounced deceased.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is on the scene conducting the investigation. The Harford County State's Attorney has been notified and will be reviewing the investigation upon completion.

The southbound ramp to the Maryland House is expected to be closed for several hours, due to extensive scene processing. Traffic on southbound I-95 is not affected.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. 

The investigation is continuing.


Back Row L to R: Lt. Elton Harmon, Capt. Kevin Kirstein,
 Cpl. Howard Caplan, Lt. Richard Moreck;
Front Row L to R: Susan Dickerson, Jennifer Albert, Jenna McGoogan
Ocean City Police Department
(March 20, 2014) – On March 19, 2014, three Ocean City Police Department public safety aides graduated from the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy’s Jail and Corrections Officer Academy. Public Safety Aides Jennifer Albert, Susan Dickerson and Jenna McGoogan each completed over six weeks of intense training at the Academy. McGoogan was recognized for completing the academy at the top of her class with an academic average of over 97 percent.

“We are extremely proud of the three graduates,” said Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro.  “All three employees have completed several weeks of training and will bring a new level of experience to the department.”

The Ocean City Police Department’s public safety aids are utilized as civilian support staff within the Patrol and Support Services division. While general duties of public safety aides can consist of parking enforcement and patrol operations, the recent academy graduates will be assigned to arrest and detention.  Their responsibilities will include processing and custody of detainees, safety and security of the Public Safety facility, interaction with the general public and liaisons between the District Court.

Next Launch From NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility

Antares rocket/2013
NASA Photo
Orbital Sciences announces May 6 target for launch of next commercial cargo resupply mission to the ISS

Orbital Sciences Corporation today announced that it is targeting a “no-earlier-than” date of May 6, 2014 for the launch of its next commercial cargo resupply (CRS) mission to the International Space Station. The mission will originate from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility located in Eastern Virginia. The targeted launch time for the Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft is 3:44 p.m. (EDT), which is at the beginning of a 5-minute launch window that extends to 3:49 p.m. (EDT).

This mission, known as Orb-2, will represent the third time Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft will have delivered cargo to the ISS, including the demonstration mission under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement that was completed in October 2013 and the first of eight CRS missions, Orb-1, completed in February 2014. At the completion of the Orb-2 mission, Orbital’s system will have delivered approximately 3,800 kilos (about 8,400 lbs.) of cargo to support the Expedition crews conducting research and living aboard the ISS. The Orb-2 mission will also represent the fourth launch of the medium-class Antares rocket in its first 13 months of operations, a significant achievement for a new rocket program.

More information about the upcoming mission will be made available by Orbital and NASA in the coming weeks, including details of the cargo and scientific experiments to be delivered to the Station by Cygnus.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

TIME MACHINE ... This Sunday's Preview

1941.. Wartime Home Defense Corps now operating in Worcester County, plans "Zero Hour" blackout test; 1905.. Unexpected on-stage occurance during Hamlet performance in Crisfield; 1972.. President Nixon plans campaign strategy with top aids during weekend visit to Assateague; 1968.. Pocomoke City business and community leader remembered; 1893.. The woman who brought Parksley to life.

Although you may not find all of these items in a history book, they are a part of our local history and you can read more about it this Sunday right here at The Pocomoke Public Eye.

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two, or more if you wish. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!


In less than 2 weeks the voters of District 3 in Pocomoke will choose their new Councilman at the election polls. 

I ask that you allow me to be your voice in City Hall. I have been a public servant my entire life; and I chose this area to start and raise a family that would not only serve God and work hard for what they have, but to take pride in our community. 

I am well aware of concerns within our district; and I, like you; realize that our district desires far exceed "downtown revitalization". Although much work is needed to continue in a forward motion, we must not forget what binds this community together, our citizens. 

During the last few weeks I have spoken to several of you who have voiced multiple concerns. Those concerns will be addressed when elected and you will see this community continue in a forward motion. 

I also plan to provide the district the opportunity to voice concerns in public forum during my tenure, so that I am able to stay on top of what you feel is important all the time; and not just when it is election time. After all, YOU are electing me to represent you. 

Additionally, I promise to work with the Mayor and other Council members and City Manager to attract new business to our area to allow for greater employment opportunities and revitalization will follow suit!

Candidate for district 3
Dale Trotter 

Ocean City Police Detectives Arrest Delmar Man


(March 19, 2014) – Earlier this month, the Ocean City Police Department’s Narcotics Unit and Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) received information of a wanted fugitive frequenting Ocean City.

  Through investigations initiated by detectives, the wanted fugitive was identified as Andre Rafel Johnson, 28, of Delmar, MD. Johnson had outstanding warrants for his arrest in Maryland and an extraditable warrant in Delaware.

On Friday, March 14, 2014, at approximately 11:25 p.m., detectives were able to locate and arrest Johnson without incident at a local Ocean City hotel. During the arrest, Johnson was found to be in possession of heroin and detectives seized over $3,500 in U.S. currency.

Johnson was charged by Ocean City police with felony and misdemeanor heroin charges. Johnson was transferred to the Worcester County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Community GiveBack For DASH Rescue

Help out the dogs at DASH Rescue by eating at Ruby Tuesday's
on Thursday, Friday or Saturday March 27th, 28th and 29th.
Please share with your friends and encourage them to do the same. 
Please remember you must bring a copy of the flyer with you in order for our rescue to benefit.

Fresh Pride In Parksley - CLOSED

WESR Photo
Fresh Pride is now no longer in Parksley.

Shoppers Tuesday arrived to find the doors locked with a hand written sign posted that the store was now closed. Tuesday afternoon the shelves appeared to be empty and the lights were off.

This leaves two Fresh Pride stores open on the Eastern Shore of Virginia on Chincoteague and in Exmore.

The chain, owned by a Norfolk based Camellia Foods once had stores as far North as Cambridge, Md. and Harrington, Delaware.

The company originally purchased the Meatland chain from a local entrepreneur, the late Nick Styke who purchased local stores from the Gaskill family.

Parksley was one of the original locations for Meatland which originally occupied the building vacated by Acme Markets but later moved to the site of the old Colonial Store.

In addition to Parksley location, locally Meatland had stores in Cape Charles, Exmore, Onancock, Parksley, Chincoteague, Parksley and Crisfield.

 All but the Chincoteague and Exmore stores have now closed.


Celebrate SPRING !!

SPRING officially begins at 12:57 p.m. ET today!
Photo Donna Clarke/2012

Coast Guard Medevacs 66-year-old Man From Cruise Ship

Coast Guard medevacs 66-year-old man from cruise ship off North Carolina coast

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard medevaced a 66-year-old man Wednesday from a cruise ship approximately 50 miles east of Wilmington, N.C.

Personnel aboard the 950-foot cruise ship Carnival Splendor notified watchstanders at the Fifth District Command Center at approximately 10:45 p.m. Tuesday stating the man was is in medical distress.

Coast Guard watchstanders launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to assist.

The helicopter crew arrived on scene at approximately 1:30 a.m., hoisted the man and took him to Wilmington International Airport.

An ambulance crew at the airport took the man to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. 

The man was listed in stable condition.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Maryland State Police

(LEONARDTOWN, MD) – Maryland State Police criminal investigators have charged a suspect in connection with an attempted murder-suicide that occurred earlier this week in St. Mary’s County.

James M. Young, 32, of the 22000-block of Washington St., Leonardtown, Md., was arrested on a warrant by troopers from the Leonardtown Barrack this morning upon his release from Medstar St. Mary’s Hospital. He is charged with attempted first degree murder, first degree assault, and second degree assault. Young is currently being held without bond in the St. Mary’s County Detention Center.

Young is charged with the attempted murder of his girlfriend, Lashawn M. Hurley, 34, with whom he lived. Hurley continues to receive medical treatment for her injury at the Prince George’s Hospital Center.

Troopers were called to the apartment Young and Hurley shared shortly after 8:30 p.m. on March 17, 2014. Hurley had sustained a stab wound in the back. Young was with Hurley when troopers arrived and was kept under guard while in the hospital. He told troopers he had ingested pills in an apparent suicide attempt.

Investigators consulted with St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Richard Fritz throughout the investigation. Advice was provided regarding criminal charges against Young.

The investigation is continuing.

Field Notes By Delegate Mike McDermott

Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities
By Delegate Michael A. McDermott
Week 10  March 10-16, 2014
Monday Evening Session:
Bills on Third Reader

Tuesday Afternoon Judiciary Hearings:
  HB 235    Del K. Kelly, et al Criminal Law - Death Penalty - Law Enforcement Officers and Correctional Officers
  HB 388    Del Carter, et al   Inmates - Life Imprisonment - Parole Approval
  HB 601    Del Stukes Crim Procedure - Explanation of Expungement Provsns Relating to Proposed Dispn of Charge
  HB 651    Del Impallaria    Courts - Aggravated Murder Court
  HB 680    Del Carter  Public Safety - DNA Samples and Records - Collection, Use, Storage, and Expungement
  HB 896    Del Rosenberg     Criminal Procedure - Expungement - Convictions
  HB 1109   Del Swain         Criminal Procedure - Search Warrants - Procedures
  HB 1166   Del Anderson     Maryland Second Chance Act of 2014 and Waldstreicher
  HB 1185   Del Parrott, et al Criminal Law - Crimes Against Property - Right to Defend Property
  HB 1189   Del Glass         Public Safety - Inappropriate Search of Minor by Public Servant - Penalties
  HB 1304   Del Carter, et al   Law Enforc Officers' Bill of Rgts - Interrogation Rgt to Counsel - Suspension  Period and Appt
  HB 1330   Del Swain         Task Force to Reduce Incarceration in Maryland
  HB 1341   Del Mizeur        Sexual Assault Survivors' Right to Know Act

There was compelling testimony on HB-235 which would restore the Death Penalty for the murder of a law enforcement officer or correctional officers when the crime happens while they are working in the course of their duties as such.  It was pointed out that it has become increasingly difficult to manage inmates serving life and there have been several attacks on correctional officers as a result of the death penalty elimination. No one testified in opposition to this bill.
There were several bills addressing Expungment issues. One would require the court to instruct folks about the Expungment process before accepting any plea in a criminal case.  It was claimed that many accept plea agreements without realizing that they may not qualify for an Expungment in the future. Some of the bills would allow for Expungement of actual criminal records if certain time requirements were met.
HB-1341 would require a law enforcement agency to provide specific information to the victim of a sexual assault to the victim regarding any evidence uncovered and collected from a Sex Assault Kit. There were also bills to address the collection and storage of DNA samples.
Wednesday Morning Voting Session:

Bills on Third Reader

Wednesday Afternoon Judiciary Hearings:

HB-1271 would allow government entities to be sued over lead based paint claims.
HB-1389 seeks to create a task force to study the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Wednesday Afternoon Judiciary Committee Voting Session:

Bills Moved Favorably

HB-79, HB-93, HB-116, HB-181, HB-286, HB-294, HB-397,  HB-410, HB-422,  
HB-599,  HB-656, HB-665, HB-667, HB-695, HB-697, HB-782, HB-807, HB-857,
HB-921, HB-957, HB-962, HB-985HB-1015, HB-1182, HB-1200, HB-1202,
HB-1212HB-1245, HB-1302

Thursday Afternoon Judiciary Hearings:

  HB 879    Del Mizeur          Maryland Marijuana Decriminalization Act
  HB 880    Del Anderson    Marijuana Control Act of 2014 (Jointly assigned to JUD and W&M)
  HB 889    Del Impallaria    Marijuana Laws - Full Disclosure of Legal Employment, and Health Risks
                                              (Jointly assigned to JUD and HGO)
  HB 1016   Del Dwyer         Cannabis Freedom Act
  HB 1371   Del Arora, et al   Crim Proc - Financial Crimes Against Vulnerable and Elder Adlts - Petition to Freeze Assets
  HB 1416   Dels Mitchell and Clippinger   Crimes - Gang-Free Zones - Penalties for Gang Activity             
  HB 1449   Del Jones         Criminal Procedure - Marijuana Diversion Program
  HB 1533   Del Dumais      Commission on Child Custody Decision Making -Extension

Today is Marijuana Day in Judiciary. The principle bills that were debated involved the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. An interesting mix of those testifying on these bills…a room full of those in uniform and those who probably have marijuana (THC) in their system at the time of the hearing.  HB-1449 would mandate some type of Marijuana Diversion Program statewide. This has a significant fiscal impact on local governments most of whom are already engaged in diversion programs for minor offenses which include marijuana possession.
The legalization or decriminalization bills received the bulk of the testimony that went on for several hours. We heard from the law enforcement community and State’s Attorney’s Association about how this was as bad idea. Of course we heard from those who seek to legalize and/or decriminalize (just turn it into a Civil Infraction with a fine) and a few folks who think marijuana is a cure all for every ailment under the sun. Chairman Vallario does not seem inclined to move any of the marijuana bills at this time.
Friday Morning Session:

Bills on Second Reader

Bills Voted on Third Reader

Contested Bills:

HB-727 is the “Prevailing Wage” bill which would require local governments to pay much higher wages for projects which receive state funding. This is mostly seen in school building projects. This bill will increase the cost of building schools by 11%-25%. There was a Task Force assigned to study this issue and provide a report to the General Assembly this year. The final report has been stalled and it appears this has been intentional since the report is not expected to support the idea of moving the current bill forward.

 The information that is available makes it quite clear that the prevailing wage would significantly increase the cost of school construction. This is a union sponsored bill and since this is an election year, the democrats were lining up and voting lock step for this terrible bill. Several good amendments were resisted that would have minimized the damage to many jurisdictions around the state.
HB-1168 would stop the Bay Wind Project from moving forward in Somerset County as it would place an impact ring moving out from the naval facilities at the Patuxent Naval Air Station to a distance of 50-miles. In that area, no large wind turbines would be allowed without the expressed approval of the Department of Defense and Naval Operations. The restrictions would remain in effect until any studies were completed on the impact of the land based wind turbines on the ground based radar operating out of the PAX River facility. There are people in Somerset on both sides of the issue. Many are concerned over the impact to wildlife and potential nuisance and safety issues for people. The effect of the turbines economically would be significant. Tens of millions would come into the county coffers as well as the individual land owners and energy generated would be fed into the local grid at a reasonable market rate. Many were concerned about the potential impact on secret testing projects that are conducted by the Department of Defense and private contractors in southern Maryland. While this is certainly a concern for all of us, the delays on the wind project mean another company who played by the rules in Maryland saw those rules changed after they had sunk millions into a project. The bill moves to the senate for disposition.
Friday Afternoon Judiciary Hearing:

HB-1552 would increase the salary for Orphan’s Court Judges in from the current rate of $6400 per year to $9500 per year.

Friday Afternoon Voting Session in Judiciary:

Bills Approved Favorable by Committee

HB-83, HB-183, HB-912, HB-1109, HB-1161, HB-1403.HB-1533, HB-1552     

Saturday Morning Session:

Bills on Third Reader

Debated Bills:

HB-298 would dramatically alter the method by which hospitals operate as a part of Obamacare. Many believe these changes will lead to rationing of care and the death of patients as a direct result since the delivery system is not in place to accommodate these changes.
HB-579 would require the Maryland Dept. of Labor to provide enforcement services to counties who have different Minimum Wage salaries than the state. If counties want to go their own way, they should pay for any enforcement actions in my opinion.
HB-1025would mandate the method and form of replacing certain contractual jobs within the state.
HB-1026 would expand parental leave required for businesses to provide their employees and would expand the perimeters where the leave could be applied.
HB-1314 would allow the Maryland Attorney General to be compensated for any cases he prosecutes and wins relating to salary and wage disputes with a business.
Saturday Evening Session:
Bills on Third Reader
Debated Bills:
HB-1181 eliminates the sunset provisions governing the Labor Relations Board for public schools. Proof once again that the sun never sets in the Maryland legislature.