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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis

Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009:

Dixon verdict today?
Speculation is mounting about whether the jury weighing a potentially career-ending conviction of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon on theft charges will feel pressured to make a decision today -- before the long, holiday weekend -- or if they would return and continue deliberating into next month. After nearly a week and some 30 notes to the judge, the direction the jury may be leaning is perhaps less clear than at any point, although some court observers say the amount of time the nine women and three men are taking bodes well for the defense. Either way, we should know by 4:30 p.m. today.

O'Malley, Kaine criticize D.C. Archdiocese
"The governors of Virginia and Maryland say it would be wrong for the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to quit providing social services if the District of Columbia approves gay marriage," reports the AP's Larry O'Dell. "Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are both Catholics. They criticized the church's position on the district's gay marriage proposal Tuesday during a joint appearance on WTOP radio in Washington. The D.C. council is expected to approve gay marriage next month. If that happens, the archdiocese says it may end contracts with the city to run homeless shelters and provide other social services."

Baltimore votes to crack down on non-abortion pregnancy centers
"Crisis pregnancy centers in Baltimore must display signs stating they do not provide abortions or birth-control referrals under a measure approved by the City Council Monday night and thought to be the first of its kind in the nation, wrote Julie Scharper in The Sun. "Similar measures have failed in the legislature in several states, including Oregon and Texas, Meister said. A similar bill is being considered by the Montgomery County Council."

O'Malley says state funds shouldn't be used buy out coach of lackluster Terps
"Gov. O'Malley acknowledged rumors Tuesday about but told reporters that neither he nor his staff have intervened," writes The Post's John Wagner. "University officials are reportedly wrestling with whether to retain Friedgen or buy out the remaining $4 million of hishis involvement in the future of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen contract, possibly borrowing from the university endowment. The Terrapins are 2-9 this year. O'Malley said that he "would hope they would not use public funds to buy out the contract," but he declined to elaborate on what exactly would fall under the definition of 'public funds.'"

Maryland politicians make the cut for Obama's first state dinner
"Several prominent Marylanders made the guest list for the toughest ticket in Washington: [the] first state dinner of President Barack Obama's administration, honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh," writes Paul West at The Sun. Among those on the list: Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings, an early Obama supporter, and his wife, Maya Rockeymoorem and Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader.

Delinquent mortgage rate nearly doubles in Maryland
The number of distressed homeowners trying to renegotiate their loans has nearly doubled in Maryland in the past year, according to a new report issued by Citi Tuesday," writes Daniel Sernovitz at the Baltimore Business Journal.

MoCo delegation debating priorities for session
"Bills on speed camera revenue, voting rights for the student member of the county school board and wine sales at farmer's markets are among legislation that Montgomery County's state lawmakers are considering as they prepare to return to Annapolis for the General Assembly that begins Jan. 13," writes Sean Sedam in The Gazette. "The county's delegation to the House of Delegates will hold a public hearing on the bills at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Stella Warner Council Office Building in Rockville."

Maryland Politics Watch also notes that a group of 13 Montgomery County state legislators has written to the Governor asking him to select light rail for the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT).

Arundel slots action on Dec. 7
"Dec. 7 is shaping up as a pivotal day for a proposed slots casino at Arundel Mills Mall. A divided Anne Arundel County Council had already planned to take up two zoning bills that night -- one which would allow slots at the mall, the other which would not," writes Wagner. "Now comes word that the state commission awarding slots licenses will meet the same day, starting just two hours before the county council is scheduled to convene."

It's sugar, but don't lick it
"State Highway Administration officials plan to try out a fluid made from sugar beets to help fight snow and ice on Maryland roads this winter, according to The Capital. "A pilot project in Frederick and Howard counties will test the molasses-based substance, known as Ice Bite, for pretreating highways.

First Click will return on Monday. Have a safe and happy holiday.

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By Aaron C. Davis  |  November 25, 2009; 6:45 AM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , First Click  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: O'Malley: Not involved in future of Terps football coach
Next: Barve among leftovers for Obama state dinner

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