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Maryland

Another Guilty Plea In Prison Corruption Case, and The Brown Campaign Calls For Apology From Gansler

A second guilty plea has been entered in connection to the alleged smuggling operation at the Baltimore City Detention Center that saw 25 people indicted earlier this year. Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown’s gubernatorial campaign is calling on Attorney General Doug Gansler to apologize for comments he made at a meeting of volunteers last month. Baltimore’s Housing Authority has now paid all outstanding court judgments for lead poisoning. The latest installment of our “Rockets’ Red Glare” series – a report on the replica of the flag made to fly over Ft. McHenry. And much more.

Another Guilty Plea In Prison Corruption Case: A corrections officer has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in connection with the drug and contraband smuggling operation at the Baltimore City Detention Center, revealed by federal officials earlier this year. Jennifer Owens was one of 25 people indicted in the case, 12 other guards are facing charges. Owens’ plea yesterday follows a guilty plea last week by the alleged ringleader of the Black Guerilla Family Gang within the jail at the time, Tavon White. The Baltimore Sun notes that White and Owens are the only people charged who have entered guilty pleas; the rest have pled not guilty. Owens faces a possible 20-year prison term when she is sentenced in January.

Brown’s Campaign Requests Apology From Gansler: Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown's gubernatorial campaign is calling on Attorney General Doug Gansler to apologize for remarks made about Brown's race. Brown’s campaign manager says the Attorney General "used race to divide people" when, in a secretly-recorded speech to volunteers that was obtained by the Washington Post, Gansler called the lieutenant governor's record “thin” and said of Brown’s campaign: "Right now his, his campaign slogan is ‘vote for me, I want to be the first African American governor of Maryland’." Brown’s camp says that the comments “belittled” Brown’s record as an Iraq war veteran; Gansler’s camp says that the comments weren’t about Brown’s military service, but about his tenure as Lieutenant Governor. The Gansler campaign says the remarks do not require an apology, and that Gansler was emphasizing Brown's ideas, not his race. The Washington Post has more here and here; and there’s morehere from the Baltimore Sun.

Housing Authority Pays Lead Poisoning Judgments: Baltimore City’s Housing Authority has paid about $6.8-million in court judgments for lead paint poisoning incidents in six former residents. The Baltimore Sun reports that this marks the first time that the Housing Authority made such payments with funds it gets to operate public housing and to subsidize rents for low income families; the Authority needed federal approval to do that. Baltimore’s Housing Authority has now paid all outstanding court judgments against it for lead poisoning – but hundreds more lawsuits remain. 

Rockets' Red Glare: Two hundred years after Francis Scott Key glimpsed the stars and stripes in the aftermath of a famous battle, an exact copy of that flag will fly over Fort McHenry. And hundreds of us have had a hand in it. WYPR’s Fraser Smith reports, in this installment of our series Rockets’ Red Glare: The War, The Song, and their Legacies.

How Neuman Can Run On Task Force Findings: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Allison Bourg of the Annapolis Capital talk about the recommendations made by a task force that investigated the Anne Arundel County Police Department. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics

Mazda To Ship Through Port Of Baltimore: Fresh off the news that the Port of Baltimore moved a record amount of cargo in the last fiscal year comes news that it’ll see even more traffic in the years to come. Automaker Mazda tells the Baltimore Business Journal that it’s planning to ship 65-thousand vehicles a year from Japan to the Port of Baltimore; the cars will start coming in September. The five-year deal is expected to add 450 jobs.The Baltimore Sun notes that Mazda’s cars had been shipping through New Jersey’s Port Newark. 

Hogan Decides Not To Run For Reelection: Republican Delegate Frank Hogan says he’s not running for re-election. Hogan was 23 years old when he won first won a seat in the House of Delegates; now 34, Hogan tells the Baltimore Sun that he “never intended to make a career out of elected service.” The Frederick County lawmaker says he’ll focus on doing his job as a legislator for the final year of his term. 

Many MD Drivers Still Don’t Stop For School Buses: Many Maryland drivers are continuing to ignore the rules of the road – at least, when it comes to school buses. The state Department of Education has released its third annual survey of driver violations; in the most recent day sampled, nearly 34-hundred drivers violated the laws that require them to stop for school buses that are picking up or dropping off children. The survey was conducted in April, and as the first day of school nears, state officials are encouraging drivers to follow the law. The Baltimore Sun notes that drivers who don’t stop for buses can get three points on their licenses – and face fines of $570 dollars. 

Route 40 Bridge Construction Complete: Good news for motorists who take the Route 40 Bridge over the Patapsco River: the multi-year project to renovate the span is now done. The State Highway Administration says that all travel lanes can now be open, although temporary lane closures will occur as the project is finished up. The SHA says the work will extend the structure’s life by 30 to 50 years; the bridge is already 77 years old.

Ocean City Tourism: Tourism’s been down in Ocean City this year. The Baltimore Sun reports that the resort town has seen fewer visitors in 9 out of the 12 weeks that have passed since late May. Officials are blaming the weather – June set a record for rain, and while rain was below normal in July, temperatures were higher than usual, perhaps conspiring to keep people from the beach. A silver lining – tourism was up in Ocean City the first full week of August.

Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles lost last night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. After 11 innings, the final score was 4 to 3. The two teams play again this afternoon.

Baltimore Football: tomorrow, the Ravens hold their preseason home opener at M&T Bank Stadium; they’ll play against the Atlanta Falcons. As the game nears, the team’s reminding fans of new NFL restrictions on what they can bring to the game; the NFL has banned items including large purses, coolers, backpacks, brief cases, seat cushions, and camera bags. The Baltimore Sun has more