August 28, 2013

State Roundup, Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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POST-LABOR DAY SCHOOL: State lawmakers may consider a plan to delay the start of the school year until after Labor Day, which many other neighboring states have done. The change could generate $74 million in revenue, reports Kathleen Cairns for WBFF-TV.

STATE OF JUSTICE: Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM hosts a discussion on the Maryland Court of Appeals ruling last year that called into question the fairness of jury convictions before 1980, and led to the release from prison last week of five men who had been convicted of murder.

Dan Rodricks of WYPR-FM talks with Mark Farley Grant, who spent nearly 30 years in Maryland’s adult prisons before Gov. Martin O’Malley commuted his life sentence in March 2012. Now 44, Grant talks about adjusting to workaday life after prison and his claim, supported by the University of Maryland School of Law, that he was wrongly convicted.

NO ON ATTORNEYS’ FEES: A federal judge on Tuesday denied a bid by poultry producer Perdue and an Eastern Shore farmer to make the Waterkeeper Alliance pay more than $3 million in attorneys’ fees for its failed lawsuit alleging that the company and its contract grower were polluting a Chesapeake Bay tributary, reports Tim Wheeler in the Sun.

Waterkeeper ctivists brought the suit under the Clean Water Act after spotting severe water pollution near the Hudson family farm. They attempted to prove it was from the farm’s chicken production. A judge found in December 2012 the pollution was not from chickens, but from cattle, reports Pat Furgurson for the Capital-Gazette.

PSC DEFERS ON WIND PLAN: The Maryland Public Service Commission on Tuesday deferred for one week action on a request from Dan’s Mountain Wind Force LLC that its deadline to start building wind turbines be extended until Dec. 31, 2014, writes Michael Sawyers for the Cumberland Times-News.

MENHADEN RULES: Maryland watermen will have their chance to be heard in front of the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee at 2:30 p.m. today in Annapolis, reports Josh Bollinger for the Easton Star-Democrat.

SCOOP THE POOP: The state government wants Marylanders to become super duper pooper scoopers, blogs Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

Alex DeMetrick of WJZ-TV reports that Bob Summers, secretary of the state Department of the Environment, says that, “Pet waste is about 24% of the bacteria we find in our streams and rivers and in urban areas, so it’s a big source.”

COLBURN REIMBURSEMENTS: WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Jennifer Shutt of the Salisbury Daily Times talk about the large reimbursements state Sen. Richard Colburn receives from his campaign and how the state Board of Elections monitors campaign spending.

O’MALLEY ASSESSMENT: With the end of his tenure nearing, Gov. Martin O’Malley will launch a series of events Wednesday aimed at assessing how much progress his administration has made on key goals and what more should be done, John Wagner is reporting for the Post.

Maryland Food Bank leaderboard

O’MALLEY AT MLK ANNIVERSARY: Gov. O’Malley is scheduled to deliver brief remarks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday during the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington today, Erin Cox writes in the Sun. O’Malley was working Tuesday night to personally craft the two minutesof remarks he is scheduled to deliver, the Post’s John Wagner writes.

HADDAWAY SPEAKS: Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio talks with Center Maryland about joining the GOP gubernatorial ticket of David Craig as a candidate for lieutenant governor. She also addresses the Maryland Women’s Caucus and the challenges facing businesses in Maryland.

GOP INFIGHTING: The chair of Caroline Republican Central Committee is blaming the central committee in Queen Anne’s County for giving Gov. Martin O’Malley the power to choose the successor of Sen. E.J. Pipkin in District 36. And Del. Mike Smigiel, one of the two nominees, is asking the four county central committees to jointly interview him and Del. Steve Hershey to help break the tie and avoid leaving the choice to O’Malley, writes Daniel Menefee and Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

Caroline Republicans were upset that the Queen Anne’s central committee took a new vote in which it threw its support behind Del. Smigiel to replace Pipkin, who resigned his summer and moved to Texas, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun.

MOON TO RUN: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com writes that David Moon, the man behind the Maryland Juice political blog in Montgomery County, made it sort of official Saturday on the back patio of his Takoma Park home. He’s running for the House of Delegates, with a formal announcement to come later.

DEM REPLACEMENT: Here’s David Moon blog on recent Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee replacements plus an endorsement to fill the District 15 delegate seat.

JONES’ CASE TO COURT: An Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge will hear former County Councilman Daryl Jones’ case against the county on Sept. 9, reports Allison Bourg for the Capital-Gazette. Jones was removed from the council in January 2012 after receiving a five-month federal prison sentence for failure to file a tax return. He immediately sued the council, and the case made it to the Maryland Court of Appeals.

BERNSTEIN OPPONENTS: Defense attorney Russell Neverdon plans to run to become Baltimore City’s top prosecutor, and will use a streamed video today and press conference next week to kick off his bid. Incumbent Gregg Bernstein has already announced that he intends to seek a second term in next year’s election, and Marilyn Mosby, a former prosecutor, is also running, reports Ian Duncan in the Sun.