First Click -- Maryland
Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis
Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009:
Hundreds more state medevac flights than expected following crash, Maryland politicians commemorate Veterans Day, Baltimore bids to host World Cup, jury seated in mayor's corruption case.
Could Iraq service buoy Brown?
As the state pauses for Veterans Day, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown(D), the nation's highest ranking politician to have served in Iraq, continues a weeklong series of events with veterans. Brown's service has been lauded this fall by President Obama, and a recent survey suggested voters still trust politicians who have served in the military more than those who have not. A post-O'Malley gubernatorial bid could come for Brown as early as 2014. It may be early, but worth considering: Would Brown's military record play a role?
Medevac use on the rise after crash
Dr. Robert Bass, executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems told a panel of state lawmakers on Wednesday that Maryland State Police anticipate flying roughly 2,300 patients annually, following last year's deadly crash. That figure is up 600 from estimates last year, which included assumptions that restrictions on flights and additional safety measures would cut the MSP's annual number of flights to about 1,700. Bass also told lawmakers that patients the MSP is flying are sicker, on average, than they were before the crash. Thirty-five percent to 40 percent of those airlifted are released within 24 hours. That statistic brings Maryland closer in line with such rates in neighboring states. Prior to last year's crash, a higher 40 to 45 percent of patients were discharged within 24 hours,
Prince George's schools could owe millions in fines
The head of Prince George's County schools says that the district could be liable for as much as $26.8 million in penalties after Maryland's attorney general found that the county had failed to meet the state's minimum level of funding for education, writes Nelson Hernandez in the The Post. "When asked about the attorney general's opinion last week, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. had indicated that the county might not owe anything because of a decline in state aid. But when he looked into the issue, Hite found that aid had increased in some categories, leaving the county vulnerable, he said." Montgomery County has already indicated it may sue the state over its fees.
Jury set for Dixon trial amid a new allegation
"The jury of nine women and three men selected for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's criminal theft trial will begin work Thursday morning, but first a judge will weigh new allegations involving another batch of gift cards said to have been donated by a developer not previously named in the case," writes Julie Bykowicz and Annie Linskey of The Baltimore Sun. The newly named developer, Glenn Charlow, donated gift cards to Dixon to be used "in connection with her church activities," according to papers filed in court by the mayor's lawyers in an effort to block his testimony.
Baltimore pitched for World Cup
"State and city leaders charged with bringing World Cup soccer games to Baltimore in 2018 or 2022 traveled to New York Tuesday to pitch a blueprint for making the event a reality," writes Ryan Sharrow in the Baltimore Business Journal.
"Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium is one of 27 stadiums remaining on an original list of 70 vying for a shot to host FIFA World Cup soccer games if the U.S. is selected as the host country in either 2018 or 2022. That list is expected to be shortened to 18 in December, with 12 stadiums eventually being awarded games."
Magna seeks more time for bid
"Magna Entertainment Corp. is seeking to extend the deadline to provide an initial bid for Maryland's thoroughbred race tracks," writes The AP. " After the initial bid is announced, those who wish to bid against it have until Dec. 4 to submit a bid to Miller Buckfire, the New York firm handling Magna's assets auction. An auction for Pimlico Race Track, Laurel Park and the Bowie Training Center is scheduled for Jan. 8. Potential buyers must agree to keep the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown, in Maryland."
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