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Dwyer’s Drunk Driving Arrest, Baltimore Firefighters Approve A 3-Year Contract, and Baltimore Police React After 20 People Are Shot In 80 Hours

Dwyer’s Drunk Driving Arrest: Maryland lawmakers are reacting to yesterday morning’s drunk driving arrest of Delegate Don Dwyer. Police tell the Capital Gazette that the Anne Arundel County Republican was stopped shortly after midnight on Tuesday, after allegedly driving erratically; he was arrested after failing field sobriety tests. The Washington Post notes that Dwyer is also awaiting sentencing for a drunk boating charge after an boat collision last summer that injured seven people. The Baltimore Sun reports that GOP Delegate Ron George – who’s running for governor – has issued a statement calling on Dwyer to resign and get help. And House Speaker Michael Busch has issued a statement saying, quote, "Delegate Dwyer's conduct and indiscretion has put him in direct conflict with the laws of this state and unbecoming of a legislator.” Since the charges facing Dwyer are misdemeanors and not related to his duties as a Delegate, Dwyer cannot be automatically expelled from the General Assembly. Speaker Busch says Dwyer's future in the legislature will be "decided by his own conscience” and by the voters in his District. WYPR’s P. Kenneth Burns has more here.

Dwyer Attacked By Neighbor: Delegate Dwyer’s Tuesday morning arrest follows an unrelated incident over the weekend in which the Delegate was allegedly assaulted by one of his neighbors. Anne Arundel County police tell the Baltimore Sun that Dwyer suffered minor injuries in the attack; the neighbor is facing assault and drug charges. The Capital Gazette has more here.

20 Shot In 80 Hours: Baltimore police officials said they will be pulling officers out of administrative roles and putting them back on patrol as an alarming spike in shootings and violent crimes continues. WJZ reports that, in the city’s Pigtown neighborhood yesterday morning, a young couple was shot and killed in front of their infant child and two other people were injured when a man broke into their apartment and opened fire. The Baltimore Sun reports that, including those four victims, the city has seen 20 people shot in a period of just 80 hours.

Why Replacing Pipkin Is Big Deal For Maryland GOP: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Kate Alexander of the Gazette talk about how E.J. Pipkin will be replaced both as a state senator and as senate minority leader. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics

Firefighters Approve Contract: Baltimore’s two firefighters unions voted overwhelmingly yesterday to approve a new 3-year contract. As the Baltimore Sun reports, the long-negotiated deal will increase firefighters’ work week by 12.5% while increasing their pay by 16.5%. Extending the work week means the city won’t have to pay as much overtime; officials project the move will save the city some $72-million over the next nine years.

Baltimore County Ordered To Pay Police Department Retirees: Baltimore County has been ordered to pay more than a half a million dollars to some 400 people who retired from its Police Department between 1992 and 2007. As the Baltimore Sun reports, a circuit court judge yesterday said that the County owed the retirees refunds, for overpayments they had made on their health insurance premiums. The County has been fighting the police union in court over this issue since 2008, and it’s not yet clear whether the legal battle will continue. County officials say they strongly disagree with the decision, and argue that the court cannot force the county to pay the settlement. 

Dolphin Deaths: The Atlantic coast has seen an alarming number of deaths of bottlenose dolphins this year – more than 200 dolphins have washed up on beaches from Virginia to New York this year, and at least 25 dolphins were found dead over the last weekend alone. Baltimore's National Aquarium is part of the effort to learn what's going on, but officials there tell WJZ that it could be months before the cause of the dolphin deaths is found. 

OC Named Maryland’s eCity Of 2013: Ocean City’s small businesses do more with the Internet and social media than businesses anywhere else in Maryland. At least, that’s the word from Google, which has named Ocean City the state’s “eCity” of 2013. Google’s director of small business engagement tells the Baltimore Business Journal that cities around Maryland can “strive to replicate” the work of Ocean City’s businesses in selling goods online and using social networking to promote themselves. 

UMD Makes Campus Pride List: The University Maryland, College Park has made a list of the nation’s top 25 institutions for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. The list was compiled by the national advocacy group Campus Pride and the "Huffington Post." The rankings are based on colleges' responses to a survey that helps schools assess their LGBT-friendly campus climate. UMD College Park was ranked #9; it was the only Maryland school to make the ranking. The Baltimore Sun has more here

Oyster Recycling In Wicomico County: Wicomico County is looking to expand oyster recycling. The Daily Times reports that representatives from the Oyster Recovery Partnership met with the County Council yesterday, to talk about their program… which gathers oyster shells and cleans them, and then puts them into the bay for oyster larvae to latch on to. Maryland offers tax credits for oyster recycling.

Schools Getting Back In Session: Many Maryland students are returning to class this week. Today is the first day of school for kids in Washington County. Cecil County’s public schools open tomorrow. Schools in Prince George’s and Frederick counties opened earlier this week… and in Frederick County, new security measures are in place this year. The Frederick News Post reports that the system has instituted new staff training requirements, in an effort to keep school safe. The doors of Frederick County schools are now locked during the day; the only way someone can get in is by pressing a buzzer and announcing who they are. Other Maryland schools – including those in Baltimore City and Baltimore County – open NEXT week.

Baltimore Baseball: the Orioles lost yesterday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays; 7 to 4. The two teams wrap up their three-game series at Camden Yards tonight; the game starts at 7:05pm.


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