Local News

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The Wicomico County School Board says it expects to fall short by just over $9 million for the fiscal year budget of 2018 to 2019.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the school system is now slated for a General Operating budget of around $194.4 million.

That’s an increase of just over $2 million.

But in order to fill that gap the board says that figure should $203 million.

The board will be finalizing its budget over the next several months and Superintendent Donna Hanlin says public input will be important in developing the spending blue print.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware prison officials are asking state lawmakers for more money but acknowledge that staffing remains a problem despite increased funding that was approved last year.

Gov. John Carney is asking lawmakers to boost the Department of Correction's general fund budget by $20 million next fiscal year. The bulk of that money would go toward increasing staffing and boosting pay for correctional officers, including hiring 28 more guards at the women's prison.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has passed a bill so Marylanders can keep taking state personal exemptions on their tax returns.

Senators voted 45-0 for the bill Tuesday. A separate bill is in the House.

The measure is part of state lawmakers' response to the federal tax overhaul approved in December.

Maryland state tax revenues are estimated to increase by about $730 million, if the federal law is determined to eliminate the state's personal tax exemption. Local government taxes would go up $490 million.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A bill proposed to the Maryland General Assembly would bar children from participating in tackle football and other contact sports on publicly funded fields until high school.

Sen. William C. Smith Jr., D-Montgomery County, who filed the bill, tells the Baltimore Sun it's not meant to undermine football. He says it's meant to show the state doesn't want to enable an activity that's developmentally detrimental.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - New restrictions being proposed on brewery tasting rooms have a special exemption for a major West Coast craft beer company that's making its East Coast home in Virginia.

The Roanoke Times reports that the General Assembly is considering legislation to require Virginia breweries with tasting rooms to brew at least 20 percent of all their beer on site.

Del. Greg Habeeb successfully had the legislation amended to Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery to operate a tasting room in downtown Roanoke without having to meet the 20 percent threshold.

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The Ocean City Town Council voted unanimously last night to reject the construction of offshore turbines where they could be seen along its 10 mile coast line

Mayor Rick Meehan told the council, “Let’s not go build something we’re all going to regret.”

The resort officials said they would support a project that was 26 miles out that could not been seen from the shore.

But Skipjack Offshore Energy LLC is looking to build 15 turbines off the Maryland coastline.

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Plans for a new Arts and Entertainment District will be heard in Princess Anne this afternoon by the Somerset County Commissioners.

Crisfield has already approved tax incentives for the new district.

City Manager Rick Pollitt told WBOC that there’s been a lot of interest with heavy attendance at meetings on the project .

Somerset County Commission President Randy Laird told the television station that he is on board with the plans.

But while there is support some have expressed skepticism that the district will be enough to revitalize the Maryland town.

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Efforts by two Anne Arundel lawmakers could strip the
Eastern Shore’s veto power over where a third Chesapeake Bay Bridge might be built.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that for years the counties affected by such a span could halt the project by a majority vote.

State Senator Edward Reilly said that where to build the bridge should be an engineering decision not a political one.

But Kent County Commissioner William Short told the paper that the legislation is an effort to keep the Eastern Shore from having a say in where the bridge is built.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin has filed for re-election, saying he always runs a very aggressive campaign on the issues and plans to do so again. This time it'll be against Chelsea Manning.

Cardin filed Monday to run for his third U.S. Senate term.

Manning, a transgender woman and former U.S. Army private who was convicted of leaking over 700,000 classified documents, filed last month to run in the Democratic primary.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are considering whether to put new restrictions on drones.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a state House panel has advanced legislation that would give people the ability to stop drone flights near their homes and bar sex offenders from taking pictures of people with drones.

A state senator is also pushing for drones to be regulated by the state aviation board, instead of only being regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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