Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

Horror flash flooding in Maryland has transformed streets into raging, six-foot high rivers as torrential rain soaks much of the state.

Dramatic photos and video emerged showing turbulent torrents of brown water rushing down Main Street in Ellicott City, just outside Baltimore, on Sunday.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for the city in the afternoon and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency soon after.

‘This is a catastrophic and life-threatening extremely dangerous situation,’ the weather alert warned.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5777789/Maryland-hit-flash-flooding-torrential-rain-turns-streets-raging-rivers.html#ixzz5GkbnE1RS


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A new solar power station has enabled Columbia Association to complete its transformation to running facilities and services in Columbia, Maryland on 100 per cent renewable energy.

Columbia is an unincorporated city of nearly 100,000 people that was established in the 1960’s; part of the New Towns Movement in the United States. Its founder, James Rouse, sought to build a complete city that would respect the land and provide for the growth of people as well as making a profit.

Columbia Association (CA) is the nonprofit service corporation that manages Columbia. It operates a vast array of infrastructure, recreational, cultural and community services within the community; including fitness facilities, tennis clubs and dozens of swimming pools.

more: http://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/sunedison-columbia-solar-em5061/

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  • Tamika Cobb and Kendra Richard work as Baltimore correctional officers
  • They were allegedly filmed looting from 7-Eleven store during April’s riots
  • Now, they have been charged with theft and burglary over video footage
  • They have also been suspended from their jobs without pay, police said
  • 7-Eleven was among several stores damaged and looted during the riots
  • Thousands of people took to streets to protest over Freddie Gray’s death
  • Cobb and Richard remain in custody; bail has been set at $35,000 each


They are responsible for the supervision of suspected and convicted criminals.

But these two correctional officers in Baltimore, Maryland, have been charged with theft and burglary.

Tamika Cobb and Kendra Richard, who work at Baltimore City jail, were allegedly captured on video looting from a convenience store during last month’s riots over the death of resident Freddie Gray.

On Wednesday, they were both suspended from their jobs without pay, according to a statement released online by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS).


Charged: Tamika Cobb (pictured), who works, at Baltimore City jail, was allegedly captured on video looting from a convenience store during last month's riots in Baltimore over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray

Charged: Tamika Cobb (pictured), who works, at Baltimore City jail, was allegedly captured on video looting from a convenience store during last month’s riots in Baltimore over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray

Beaming: On Wednesday, Cobb and her colleague, Kendra Richard (pictured), were charged with theft and burglary in relation to the alleged looting. They have both been suspended from their jobs without pay

Beaming: On Wednesday, Cobb and her colleague, Kendra Richard (pictured), were charged with theft and burglary in relation to the alleged looting. They have both been suspended from their jobs without pay.


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The fat cats in Washington D.C. are living the high life, and they are doing it at your expense.  Over the past decade, there has been one area of the country which has experienced a massive economic boom.  Thanks to wildly out of control government spending, the Washington D.C. region is absolutely swimming in cash.  In fact, at this point the state of Maryland has the most millionaires per capita in the entire nation and it isn’t even close.  If you have never lived there, it is hard to describe what the D.C. area is like.

Every weekday morning, hordes of lawyers, lobbyists and government bureaucrats descend upon D.C. from the surrounding suburbs.  And at the end of the day, the process goes in reverse.  Everyone is just trying to get their piece of the pie, and it is a pie that just keeps on growing as government salaries, government contracts and government giveaways just get larger and larger.  Of course our founders never intended for this to happen.  They wanted a very small and simple federal government.  Sadly, today we have the most bloated central government in the history of the planet and it gets worse with each passing year.

If you were to ask most Americans, they would tell you that the wealthiest Americans probably live in cities such as New York or San Francisco.  But thanks to the Obama administration (and before that the Bush and Clinton administrations), the state of Maryland is packed with millionaires.  In particular, the Maryland suburbs immediately surrounding D.C. are absolutely overflowing with government fat cats that make a living at our expense.  Every weekday morning, huge numbers of them leave their mini-mansions in places such as Potomac and Rockville and drive their luxury vehicles to work in the city.  As the Washington Post has detailed, at this point approximately 8 percent of all households in the entire state of Maryland contain millionaires, and the rest of the area is not doing too shabby either…

In Maryland, nearly 8 out of every 100 households in 2014 had assets topping $1 million, giving the state more millionaires per capita than any other in the country, according to a new report from Phoenix Marketing International.


The rest of the Beltway isn’t lacking in millionaires either: The District and Virginia ranked in the top 10 among those with the highest number of millionaire households per capita in 2014. In Virginia, which was No. 6 on the list, 6.76 percent of the state’s 3.17 million households are millionaires. And in the District, which rounds out the top 10, 6.25 percent of its more than 292,000 households are millionaires.

And while not too many of them are millionaires, your average federal workers that toil in D.C. are doing quite well too.

Once upon a time, it was considered to be a “sacrifice” to go into “government service”.

Not anymore.

If you can believe it, approximately 17,000 federal employees made more than $200,000 last year.

Overall, compensation for federal employees comes to a grand total of close to half a trillion dollars every 12 months.

In fact, there are tens of thousands of federal employees that make more than the governors of their own states do.

Does that seem right to you?

If you want to live “the American Dream” these days, the Washington area is the place to go.  Just check out the following description of the region from the Washington Post

Washingtonians now enjoy the highest median household income of any metropolitan area in the country, and five of the top 10 jurisdictions in America — Loudoun, Howard and Fairfax counties, and Falls Church and Fairfax City — are here, census data shows.


The signs of that wealth are on display all over, from the string of luxury boutiques such as Gucci and Tory Burch opening at Tysons Galleria to the $15 cocktails served over artisanal ice at the W Hotel in the District to the ever-larger houses rising off River Road in Potomac.

And of course let us not forget the fat cats in Congress.

According to CNN, our Congress critters are now wealthier than every before…

The typical American family is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, but Congress is getting wealthier every year.


The median net worth of lawmakers was just over $1 million in 2013, or 18 times the wealth of the typical American household, according to new research released Monday by the Center for Responsive Politics.


And while Americans’ median wealth is down 43% since 2007, Congress members’ net worth has jumped 28%.

Not only that, there are nearly 200 members of Congress that are actually multimillionaires

Nearly 200 are multimillionaires. One hundred are worth more than $5 million; the top-10 deal in nine digits. The annual congressional salary alone—$174,000 a year—qualifies every member as the top 6 percent of earners. None of them are close to experiencing the poverty-reduction programs—affordable housing, food assistance, Medicaid—that they help control. Though some came from poverty, a recent analysis by Nicholas Carnes, in his book White Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policymaking, found that only 13 out of 783 members of Congress from 1999 to 2008 came from a “blue-collar” upbringing.


But even though almost all of them are quite wealthy, they don’t hesitate to spend massive amounts of taxpayer money on their own personal needs.

For example, according to the Weekly Standard, more than five million dollars was spent on the hair care needs of U.S. Senators alone over one recent 15 year period…

Senate Hair Care Services has cost taxpayers about $5.25 million over 15 years. They foot the bill of more than $40,000 for the shoeshine attendant last fiscal year. Six barbers took in more than $40,000 each, including nearly $80,000 for the head barber.

And in one recent year, an average of $4,005,900 was spent on “personal” and “office” expenses per U.S. Senator.

So the grand total would have been over 400 million dollars for a single year.

That seems excessive, doesn’t it?

And even when they end up leaving Washington, our Congress critters have ensured that they will continue to collect money from U.S. taxpayers for the rest of their lives

In 2011, 280 former lawmakers who retired under a former government pension system received average annual pensions of $70,620, according to a Congressional Research Service report. They averaged around 20 years of service. At the same time, another 215 retirees (elected in 1984 or later with an average of 15 years of service) received average annual checks of roughly $40,000 a year.

If you can believe it, there are quite a few former lawmakers that are collecting federal pensions for life worth at least $100,000 annually.  The list includes Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.

Of course the biggest windfalls of all are for our ex-presidents.  Most Americans would be shocked to learn that the U.S. government is spending approximately 3.6 million dollars a year to support the lavish lifestyles of former presidents such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

So does this make you angry?

Or are you okay with these fat cats living the high life at our expense?


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‘According to the group which identifies itself as Anonymous, the ISIS hack of the Pentagon’s Twitter accounts traces back to Maryland – home of the National Security Agency.

Twitter and YouTube accounts belonging to the U.S. military command that oversees operations in the Middle East were reportedly hacked by ISIS sympathizers earlier today, with messages being sent out for almost an hour before the accounts were temporarily shut down.

“American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back, ISIS,” the hackers posted on the U.S. Central Command Twitter feed.’

Read more: ISIS Hack of Pentagon Twitter Accounts Traced Back to Maryland

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‘Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley made national news last year when he fought to pass and signed a tax bill that levied a tax on Marylanders, businesses and churches for the amount of “impervious surface” they have on their property.

Though the O’Malley administration calls it a “fee,” it is commonly called the “rain tax” throughout the state. It is wildly unpopular and the promise to fight to repeal the tax was a large factor in Maryland electing Republican Larry Hogan governor this month.

Now Prince George’s County is offering a way for churches to avoid paying the tax, which is estimated to be an average of $744 per year for them — preach “green” to their parishioners.’

Read more: Churches Won’t Be Charged ‘Rain Tax’ if they Preach Global Warming

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(Ryan Sharrow)  Maryland shed 9,000 jobs in July, pushing the state’s unemployment rate over 6 percent for the first time since December.

Maryland was among 30 states to post unemployment rate increases from June, according to preliminary data released Monday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s unemployment rate in July rose to 6.1 percent, up from 5.8 percent a month before.


During July, government jobs in the state decreased by 5,500, while education and health services positions declined by 5,400. Professional and business services jobs fell by 2,000.

Some industries posted gains during the month. Construction jobs grew by 1,400 and manufacturing jobs rose by 400. Trade, transportation and utilities positions increased by 1,000, while financial activities jobs grew by 1,200.

As a whole, 2,610,200 people were on payrolls across Maryland in July, down from 2,619,200.

The number of people unemployed ticked up from 180,200 in June to 190,200 in July.

Despite July’s decline, Maryland has posted over-the-month job gains in four out of the seven months in 2014. Compared with July 2013, the state’s total jobs are up by 16,300 and the private sector has gained 18,700 jobs.

Maryland’s unemployment rate remains slightly better than the 6.2 percent U.S. average.


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Yesterday was the ATF raiding Ares Arms in California.

What never got reported was Tuesday’s massive highway roadblock and car to car searches by armed law enforcement officers in Maryland. Were there warrants for these searches? No. Was there reasonable cause to stop every commuter at 10a.m. on a Tuesday morning? No.

“When I saw a wall of police officers with automatic weapons approaching our cars, it was apparent that something serious was taking place,” one commuter told local media.

Rockville city, Montgomery County, and Maryland State Police blocked both lanes of Interstate 270 with more than 30 police vehicles, numerous dogs, helicopters, and officers going to car to car with weapons drawn as seen here:

What caused this open manhunt and dismissal of the citizen’s 4th Amendment rights? A bank robbery where the three suspects were believed to have driven their getaway car onto the freeway.

Motorist Carlton Higdon told local reporters there was, “a lot of yelling, a lot of orders being given… helicopters, dogs barking, sirens, police cars driving by”.

Traffic backed up for miles on the freeway for over an hour with no explanation from police. Commuters exiting their vehicles to see what was happened were met with hostility from police. As one woman leaned out of her vehicle to vomit she was yelled at by an officer to stay inside and close her door. I suppose she’s supposed to puke inside her car while they trample her rights.

During this encounter motorists were approached by armed officers and ordered at gunpoint to submit to warrantless searches of their vehicles. According to one witness police were just walking along, weapons drawn ordering people to “Pop the trunk! Pop the trunk!”. He overheard a man in a truck next to him call out to another motorist: The police are looking for bank robbers. Shortly after, about nine officers approached his car – including state police in tan uniforms, county police in dark uniforms and at least one plainclothes officer wearing a yellow tie.

Is it possible that there were consensual searches? Is anything ordered at gunpoint consensual? Reportedly not one person was brave enough (foolish enough?) to refuse the hostile violation of the 4th Amendment. Would you be?

Montgomery County Police Captain Paul Starks described the searches as an operation of “systematically checking the trunks and rear hatches” of the vehicles caught in the roadblock.

Rockville Police Chief Tom Manger remained defiant and unapologetic when he told local station WTOP, “For those folks that wondered how is that the police can just walk through traffic like that and get folks to show their hands, get folks to pop their trunks, between the exigency of the circumstances and the information that we had, it gave us the legal foundation to do what we did“.

The massive roadblock and 4th Amendment violations did net the bank robbers and the stolen $7,000 dollars. The robbers were found in their vehicle and did not resist when taken into custody. They were not found hiding in anyone else’s trunk.

Of course, by putting armed criminals into a miles long roadblock authorities made it more likely they would take someone hostage or commandeer an innocent bystanders vehicle. Some will say that the ends justify the means and as long as the robbers were arrested, the “operation was worth it”.

Was the roadblock worth it? Not if you believe in the principles of “liberty and justice for all”. The criminals were caught, but the innocent motorists were treated as part of the crime during warrantless searches by officers with weapons drawn simply because they happened to be on a stretch of highway going about their day.

Was this Maryland’s “Intro to Police State” class?

original link

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In the ten years following 9/11, the FBI and the Justice Department convicted more than 150 people following sting operations, though few had any connection to real terrorists.

Antonio Martinez was a punk. The twenty-two-year-old from Baltimore was chunky, with a wide nose and jet-black hair pulled back close to his scalp and tied into long braids that hung past his shoulders. He preferred to be called Muhammad Hussain, the name he gave himself following his conversion to Islam. But his mother still called him Tony, and she couldn’t understand her son’s burning desire to be the Maryland Mujahideen.

more here

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Some of the Fake Ingredients Added to Food May be DANGEROUS

In a predictable trend, food manufacturers are fraudulently diluting high-quality food with inferior quality items.

As ABC News reports:

A new scientific examination by the non-profit food fraud detectives the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), discovered rising numbers of fake ingredients in products from olive oil to spices to fruit juice.

“Food products are not always what they purport to be,” Markus Lipp, senior director for Food Standards for the independent lab in Maryland, told ABC News.

In a new database to be released Wednesday, and obtained exclusively by ABC News today, USP warns consumers, the FDA and manufacturers that the amount of food fraud they found is up by 60 percent this year.

In addition, 70% of all ground beef  was found to contain “pink slime”.

Butchers use “meat glue” to create “bigger” cuts of beef, chicken, lamb and fish, even though it leads to much higher levels of food poisoning:

more here with video

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New allegations in a lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries claim ministers not only covered up physical and sexual abuse of children but in some cases were perpetrators as well.

By Bob Allen

Five new anonymous plaintiffs have joined the three original litigants in a lawsuit alleging a cover-up of sexual abuse by a church-planting network with ties to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

New allegations in an amended lawsuit filed Jan. 11 accuse a co-founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries of physically abusing a female over a 25-year period spanning her childhood and young adulthood. The expanded complaint also describes a “pedophilia ring” on Sovereign Grace church and school premises, where perpetrators were not reported to police and went on to prey on additional children.

C.J. Mahaney

Sovereign Grace Ministries, which recently relocated from Maryland to Louisville in part to strengthen informal ties with Southern Seminary, responded to amendments added to a class action lawsuit originally filed Oct. 17, 2012, in Maryland’s Montgomery County Circuit Court with a statement requesting “patience as we continue to investigate these new allegations.”

“As we initially stated and continue to reiterate, SGM considers the mistreatment of any child reprehensible and evil,” Tommy Hill, director of administration for Sovereign Grace Ministries, said in the statement. “We grieve deeply for any individual who has been a victim of abuse. We want to minister the love, grace, and healing of God to every child we encounter who has suffered such horror.”


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English: MTA Maryland MCI D4500CTH #176C.

English: MTA Maryland MCI D4500CTH #176C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

City buses in Baltimore will begin recording the conversations of bus drivers and passengers this week in a security move that has upset privacy advocates and some Maryland lawmakers, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The first 10 buses will be expanded to 340 by next summer as a result of a decision by the Maryland Transit Administration.

The MTA says the move is aimed at helping investigate crimes, accidents and poor customer service, according to the Sun.

The conversations will be recorded by a locked “black box” that can store up to 30 days of audio and video information. It could be opened in the event of an accident, an incident involving a passenger or a complaint against a driver, the newspaper says.

The buses will be also marked with signs to alert passengers to the open mics.

David Rocah, a staff attorney with the Maryland chapter of the ACLU, says he is “flabbergasted” by the MTA’s decision, saying having a conversation recorded should not be a condition for riding a public bus.

The administrative ruling came despite the failure of the Maryland Legislature in three sessions to put forth bills specifically authorizing such surveillance.

But Del. Melvin Stukes, one of the bill’s sponsors and an MTA customer service investigator, says such legislation is aimed at eliminating bad language that often leads to violence.

“This is not your bathroom. This is not your bedroom,” he says. “… I’m just trying to clean up problems (and) provide a more congenial, more cordial ride.”

source link

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PALMER PARK, Md. – Many people find speed cameras frustrating, and some in the region are taking their rage out on the cameras themselves.

But now there’s a new solution: cameras to watch the cameras.

One is already in place, and Prince George’s County Police Maj. Robert V. Liberati hopes to have up to a dozen more before the end of the year.

“It’s not worth going to jail over a $40 ticket or an arson or destruction of property charge,” says Liberati.

Liberati is the Commander of the Automated Enforcement Section, which covers speed and red-light cameras.

Since April, six people have damaged speed cameras.


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‘School administrators in Baltimore, Maryland, have spent $500,000 in the last year and a half to party hearty on the taxpayers’ dime, according to a recent report in the Baltimore Sun entitled “City school credit, procurement cards show culture of spending.” They even spread the wealth at such noted educational establishments as Hooters.

Even more surprising, the Sun reported, school officials defend most of the spending, which includes expensive gifts, lunches, and dinners for employees. Still, some officials did admit that dropping nearly $300 in a “breastaurant” didn’t look good for the schools.

Read more: Baltimore School Administrators Party Hearty on Taxpayers’ Dime


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