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Maryland

Camden Line Delays, Alonso’s Benefits, and Misdemeanor Convicts Removed From Voter Rolls

A Sunday train derailment has led to significant delays on MARC’s Camden line today. Former Baltimore City Schools CEO Andres Alonso gets nearly $150-thousand for unused vacation and sick leave. Hundreds of Marylanders convicted of misdemeanors were incorrectly removed from the state’s voter rolls. A report on the future of the Senator Theater. Plus: gun violence in Baltimore, MD health insurance rates, utility pole inspection & replacement, Baltimore’s bad drivers, and more.

MARC Camden Line Delays: A train derailment yesterday (that resulted in no injuries) has led to significant delays on the Camden Line today. The MTA says that trains will be running 15 to 30 minutes late this morning, and delays have stretched longer than 30 minutes on some trains. The Penn Line was not affected by yesterday’s derailment – in which no one was hurt. The MTA reminds regular Camden line travelers that their tickets are always honored on the Penn Line. You can check on the status of your train here

Howard Street Closure Starts At 9am: Today will likely be the last morning for several weeks that Baltimore drivers won’t see major delays along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Starting this morning at 9, North Howard street will be shut down between North Avenue and Mount Royal Avenue. The closure is for water main work. There will be detour signs posted… but you might want to prepare for tomorrow’s commute by getting an alternate route ready. There’s more information here

Misdemeanor Convicts Wrongly Removed From Voter Rolls: Some 15-hundred Marylanders were improperly removed from the state’s voter rolls over the last five years. Those in question were convicted of misdemeanors; in Maryland, those people are supposed to retain their right to vote. The Baltimore Sun reports that the error was discovered by former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold, who got a letter in June telling him that his voter registration was going to be canceled. Leopold was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of misconduct in office earlier this year. State Judiciary officials say the problem was caused by a computer error; they’re working to reinstate voting rights to the people who lost them. 

Alonso’s Benefits: Former Baltimore City Schools CEO Andres Alonso has been paid nearly $150-thousand for unused vacation time and sick leave. One analyst tells the Baltimore Sun that Alonso’s benefits package “should have been scrutinized” when it was originally approved. Dr. Alonso resigned from the helm of the city school system in May after six years on the job; in doing so, he did not give the 90 days’ notice that his contract required… but the city school board waived that requirement without penalty. Recently, the Superintendent of the Anne Arundel County School System also resigned without giving the required 3-month notice; but Anne Arundel reaped $20-thousand in penalty fees for that.

Safe Streets: Like many cities in the US, Baltimore continues to struggle with gun violence. There have been more homicides and non-fatal shootings so far in 2013 than there were at this point last year. The problem is addressed in numerous ways every day. WYPR’s Mary Rose Madden brings us this report about Baltimore’s public health efforts to reduce violence.

Senator Almost Ready For Second Debut: The venerable Senator Theater on York Road in Baltimore has had its ups and downs over the years. WYPR Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith tells us that the new owners believe marrying the spirit of the past with the technology of the present will give it a solid future. 

Why Perez Is A Political Figure To Watch: WYPR's Fraser Smith and John Fritze of the Baltimore Sun talk about the fight to confirm Thomas Perez as U.S. Labor Secretary. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics

Health Insurance Rates: State regulators have released rates for what health insurers can charge for individual plans for 2014. On Friday, the Maryland Insurance Administration approved rates that are about 33 percent below what insurance companies had been asking for. But even though rates aren’t going up as much as insurers had wanted, they’re still going up; the rates that were approved are higher than last years. WYPR’s Joel McCord has more; there’s more here from the Capital Gazette.

Pole Inspection And Replacement: Baltimore Gas and Electric says plans to inspect some 36-thousand wooden utility poles this year, in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County. BGE says it plans to replace almost 18-hundred of them. The work will cost more than $15-million. Keeping the poles in good shape is an ongoing project. BGE tells the Baltimore Sun that it replaced more than 12-hundred poles last year. 

Baltimore’s Bad Drivers: Some of the worst drivers in the nation use Baltimore’s roads, according to a new ranking from Slate magazine. Baltimore drivers are reportedly the fifth worst in the nation. The Baltimore Busines Journal reports that the study looked at crashes including deadly accidents, DWI fatalities and accidents with pedestrians. It was the rate of collisions that put Baltimore into the top five. 

Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles lost to the Boston Red Sox yesterday; the score was 5 to zero. The O's are now five games behind first-place Tampa Bay in the American League East.