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More motorists are expected to hit the roads this July 4th holiday.

Triple AAA Mid-Atlantic says in Delaware 97-thousand are expected to be on the highways out of 112-thousand expected to be traveling this year.

That’s up .9 percent over last year.

Meanwhile, in Maryland 870-thousand residents are expected to be traveling with 754-thousand hitting the roadways.

That’s an increase of 2.3 percent over last year.

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WASHINGTON (AP)- The Supreme Court will decide whether it was proper for a single federal judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging Maryland's 2011 congressional redistricting plan.

The justices on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from a group of Maryland residents who say their First Amendment challenge should have been reviewed by a three-judge panel.

Federal law requires a special panel of three judges to hear constitutional redistricting cases unless a single judge who initially considers the case decides it is frivolous or "obviously without merit."

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - New regulations are going into effect in Maryland and Delaware for a reduction in fishing for striped bass.

The two states have taken different approaches to recommendations for the fishing reduction.

Maryland is changing regulations for inland fishing and on the coast. Last year, anglers could catch two striped bass per day per person. This year they can only catch one per day.

Maryland Democratic Party Facebook

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Democratic Party has elected an interim chair.

The party's executive committee on Thursday elected D. Bruce Poole as interim chairman. He succeeds Yvette Lewis, who announced last month that she was resigning to spend more time with family.

Poole, a lawyer, is a partner at Poole & Kane, P.A. in Hagerstown. From 1987 until 1999, he served as a member of the House of Delegates, including 3 years as House Majority Leader.

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There's an afterglow from the Maryland Senate vote that unanimously approved the $40 billion budget.

The surprise outcome caught many members cheering as the final vote count went up on the board.

Capital News Service reporter Anjali Shastri was there and describes the scene and the issues for Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush. 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates is taking up the state's $40 billion budget.

Lawmakers are scheduled Wednesday to consider changes to the budget plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

A House panel voted unanimously last week to make room to add more money for education and to restore a 2-percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.

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Maryland and Delaware will not be participating in oil exploration off the Atlantic Coast.

But the state of Virginia will.

The Obama Administration recently announced that it is opening up the Atlantic Coast for off shore drilling – something that former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley came out against in a New York Times Op-Ed.

He said that the lessons of oil spills like the BP incident in the Gulf have been forgotten.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A sculpture of Harriet Tubman is now a part of the art collection at the Maryland governor's mansion.

Gov. Martin O'Malley unveiled a bust of the Maryland native on Monday evening in Annapolis.

Tubman was born in Dorchester County and spent nearly 30 years as a slave on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She escaped in 1849 and returned to Maryland's Dorchester and Caroline counties to help slaves escape through the Underground Railroad.

In 2013, President Barack Obama designated a Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland.

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Maryland's public health secretary is calling the state's revamped health-insurance exchange a success as the second enrollment period hits a milestone.

Thursday was the deadline for obtaining coverage starting Jan. 1. The enrollment period began Nov. 15 and continues through Feb. 15.

As of Tuesday, 30 days into the process, the exchange had enrolled about 61,000 in private plans. That's nearly five times the number of private-plan enrollments recorded during the first 30 days of the program's troubled launch last year.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov.-elect Larry Hogan says he remains committed to pursuing tax relief in his first year as governor, despite a projected budget shortfall of more than a half a billion dollars.

Hogan, a Republican, said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press that he would consider calling a special session next year to do more work on the state's finances, if that's necessary.

Hogan, who takes office Jan. 21, says he believes his election this month in the heavily Democratic state sent a message that has been heard.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers will be facing a shortfall of about $593 million under current projections when they work on the budget for the next fiscal year.

Warren Deschenaux, the Legislature's chief budget analyst, gave a briefing to the state's Spending Affordability Committee on Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - New federal data shows that reports of forcible sex offenses at the flagship public universities of Maryland and Virginia doubled last year.

The data shows that there were 19 reports at the University of Maryland in 2013, up nine from the year before. At the University of Virginia, there were 27 reports in 2013, compared to 11 the year before.

School officials and victim advocates say the numbers reflect a growing awareness of sexual assault on campuses across the country, rather than more dangerous campus environments.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland State Board of Elections says it has responded to some complaints from voters about voting units that displayed a candidate different than a voter's selection.

The board said Monday it has received reports that less than 20 units with touchscreens showed a different candidate than the one chosen. Early voting began last week in Maryland.

The board tested 12 of the machines, saying the issue cannot be repeated. The other units have been taken out of service.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland officials will require anyone considered to have high-risk exposure to the Ebola virus to stay home until it's confirmed they're Ebola-free.

That's one of the precautionary measures that state officials outlined Monday in their plan to monitor the potential for Ebola from people who come from three West African countries.

People considered to have high-risk exposure are those who've had known, unprotected contact with bodily fluids from someone infected with Ebola. They also would be required to have daily contact with health officials.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to come to Maryland to help Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's campaign for governor.

Brown's campaign announced Clinton is planning to attend a rally on Thursday to urge voters to the polls.

The event will be held at the University of Maryland, College Park, in Ritchie Coliseum -- five days before Election Day.

It's the second big rally recently for Brown in Prince George's County, his home base and a jurisdiction important to winning the race. President Barack Obama held a rally for him in Upper Marlboro last week.

campaign website and Change Maryland

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan have spent much of their second debate trading accusations and focusing on weaknesses.

The hour-long debate was held in Arlington, Va., at News Channel 8 on Monday morning. It was co-hosted by The Washington Post and WTOP Radio.

Brown, a Democrat, focused on an analysis presented by Hogan that claimed to be a roadmap for saving $1.75 billion in state spending. Brown says it's riddled with gaping holes and doesn't add up to anywhere near that amount.

dnr.state.md.us

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - Maryland wildlife managers are reporting an increase in mange, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites, among Maryland black bears.

The Cumberland Times-News reported Tuesday that the Department of Natural Resources has found the disease in six bears killed by vehicles or euthanized by the agency this year. Wildlife specialist Clarissa Harris says that compares with just one or two cases in each of the past five years.

The disease causes hair loss and weakens the animal's immune system. Its spread is often associated with dense animal populations.

MD Ranks High in Campaign Spending

Sep 24, 2014
Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Democratic primary race between two well-funded candidates propelled Maryland to the sixth-highest amount of spending on political television ads in state-level races in the 2014 election cycle through Sept. 8.

That's according to a state-by-state survey by the Center for Public Integrity released Wednesday.

Maryland also was noteworthy in the survey because about $14.1 million spent on state races came from funds raised by candidates or public campaign financing, instead of out-of-state interest groups.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Maryland court has weighed in on a dispute over the state boundaries of Virginia and Maryland along the Potomac River.

At issue was whether the state line between the states moved over time as the profile of the shoreline changed through natural erosion and growth.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals court ruled Friday that the low-water-mark boundary in the Potomac River moves and isn't fixed where the mark was when the boundary was established in 1877.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - Advocacy groups say hundreds of Maryland and Virginia voters may have cast two ballots, one in each state.

The Maryland State Prosecutor's Office is investigating an allegation made by two groups, Virginia Voters Alliance and Election Integrity Maryland. Those groups say there is evidence of double voting among some Maryland and Virginia residents.

Virginia Voters Alliance says it found that 164 people cast ballots in 2012 in both Maryland and Virginia, which is illegal under federal law.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nominee Anthony Brown is getting some fundraising help from Vice President Joe Biden.

Brown's campaign manager Justin Schall tells The Washington Post that Biden's appearance at a luncheon Tuesday in Georgetown should raise at least $300,000.

Biden is the second big name to assist the lieutenant governor in his bid to succeed Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley. Former President Bill Clinton headlined a fundraiser for Brown in May.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says Maryland lost 9,000 jobs in July.

The government says the state unemployment rate increased to 6.1 percent in July, up from 5.8 percent in June.

Some 5,500 of the jobs lost were in state and local government.

The state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation reports that the manufacturing sector added about 400 jobs.

The Daily Record reports that Maryland was one of 30 states have an increase in the unemployment rate for July.

Virginia

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SOLOMONS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the governor's race.

Incoming FOP president Vince Canales says the 20,000-member group endorsed Brown, a Democrat, at its convention Wednesday in Solomons. Canales says 60 percent of members must agree for the group to make an endorsement.

Brown is facing Republican real estate broker in the Nov. 4 general election.

Minimum Wage Bill

Apr 4, 2014
Don Rush

The Senate could take up the bill as early as Friday.

The measure phases in increases over the next several years, topping out at $10.10 in July of 2018.

It also freezes the minimum wage for tipped workers at $3.63.

An employer may pay an employee who is 19 or younger 85 percent of the minimum wage for the employee's first six months.

It includes a four-year 3.5 percent mandated increase for community service providers who work with the developmentally disabled to keep their pay above minimum wage.

maryland change website

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Republican gubernatorial hopeful Larry Hogan is celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a campaign swing through western Maryland.

Hogan has appearances scheduled Monday in Oakland, Cumberland, Hagerstown and Frederick.

He says it's his first trip to the mostly rural, largely conservative region since he formally announced his candidacy in January.

Hogan's schedule includes an afternoon keynote speech at the opening of a new Allegany County Republican Party office in Cumberland.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Some of Maryland's judges are proposing the state reduce the number of steps in the bail-setting process.

A judiciary task force recommended on Wednesday that the state bundle two separate bail hearings into a single conference before a judge. That would eliminate the role of court commissioners who currently assign initial bail.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The state of Maryland faces a second challenge to a gun-control law set to take effect Tuesday.

On Friday, a collection of gun shops, firearm associations and people with pending handgun permit applications filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. They're challenging a provision requiring prospective buyers to submit their fingerprints to obtain a handgun qualification license.

CNN

There was a face off on CNN’s Crossfire between Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Governor Rick Perry.

The Texas Republican has been running ads criticizing Maryland’s business environment and inviting businesses to move to the Lone Star state.

Perry charged that Maryland lost 47-thosuand jobs in July while Texas created over 18-thousand.

But O’Malley fired back noting that the state tops the nation for median income while Texas comes in at 25th.

ioag.state.md.us

Gansler

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) - Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is announcing plans to officially launch his run for governor.

Gansler's campaign announced Thursday he will start a statewide tour beginning on Sept. 24 with events in Rockville, Ellicott City and Baltimore.

After that, he will be making stops all around the state.

Gansler will be in southern Maryland on Sept. 25. He then heads to western Maryland the day after that. He also will be campaigning on the Eastern Shore on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates is scheduled to vote on a gun-control measure.

The House is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday.

Democratic lawmakers defeated Republican efforts to weaken the measure Tuesday night.

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