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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Congressman's 3 Grandsons Found In Mexico

Mom arrested after she and boys vanished in 2007; ex-husband is Rep. Miller's son

Police in Mexico have found the three grandchildren of a California congressman, nearly four years after their mother was believed to have abducted them.

Police in the border city of Tijuana said Thursday that they located the 11-year-old boy and 9-year-old twin boys and arrested Jennifer Dejongh. Police identified the mother by her maiden name, Jennifer Lopez.


Wedding Photographer Convicted For Not Turning Over Photos To Couple

This story is sweet justice for anyone out there who's gotten married and had to beg and plead just to get their photos back: a South Carolina wedding photographer was sentenced to two years of house arrest for not turning over the photos he took of a couple's wedding, even though they had already paid him $2,450.

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More Americans Favor New Teen Driver Requirements

A new survey conducted by Allstate Insurance finds that a majority of Americans, nearly six in 10, favor a national law that establishes minimum requirements for state graduated driver licensing (GDL).

That’s not all the survey finds, although the results may not be all that shocking. The survey of 1,000 American adults conducted in mid-July, which included 848 identified as having a driver’s license and at least driving occasionally, revealed that respondents are highly critical of teenage drivers. In fact, 81 percent of those surveyed rate teen drivers as “average” or “poor” drivers.

Why is this important? What do survey results like this mean? For one thing, the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act is currently pending in Congress. STANDUP is part of the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011, also known as “Mariah’s Law” for the Arkansas teen killed in a crash involving texting.


'Psycho Ex-Wife' Blog Starts Free-Speech Fight In Court

A man is trying to fight a judge's order to remove a blog that he used to talk trash about his former spouse for the past four years, citing his right to free speech.

Anthony Morelli started writing about the bitter divorce proceedings and child-custody battle between him and his wife in 2007 through a blog called

He said he was using the site as a medium to vent his frustrations, but soon his readers began to discuss the similar experiences they were going through on the site. As readership grew — Morelli said the blog received 200,000 views a month — he added forums and even sold ad space.


Central Bankers Race Toward Global Currency Solution

Central bankers are racing to shield their economies from fiscal tightening and lopsided currency swings that threaten a new global recession. In the 72 hours after a Group of Seven conference call on Aug. 7, the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates near zero through at least mid-2013, the European Central Bank intervened in bond markets and the Bank of England indicated it's ready to add more stimulus if needed. Japan signaled renewed concern about the yen and Switzerland yesterday stepped up its fight to curb an "overvalued" franc. ... While the actions aren't as directly coordinated, the push is one of the broadest since the Fed, ECB and four other central banks cut interest rates together in October 2008 to limit fallout from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s collapse. – Bloomberg


MIT Scientists Develop A Drug To Fight Any Viral Infection

Scientists at MIT are developing a new drug that may fight viruses as effectively as antibiotics like penicillin dispatch bacteria. The broad-spectrum treatment is designed to trigger cell-suicide in cells that have been invaded by any virus, thereby halting infection, while leaving healthy cells alone.

In lab tests using animal and human cells, the new therapy was effective against 15 viruses, including the common cold, H1N1 influenza, dengue fever, a polio virus, a stomach virus and several types of hemorrhagic fever. "In theory, it should work against all viruses," said Todd Rider, a senior staff scientist in Lincoln Laboratory's Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group at MIT, who invented the new technology.


Small Companies In China Feel The Squeeze

Formal banks won’t lend. The gray market charges 300 percent a year

Wenzhou-based Topsun Group makes diesel generators and runs hotels in China. Chairman Wang Chonghuan is a typical entrepreneur—hard-working, hands-on, ready to pounce on any opportunity, accustomed to bouncing back from difficulties. Yet he doesn’t sound very optimistic when he talks about the credit situation that China’s small business sector faces today. “I have been doing business for 30 years, and I have never seen such high interest rates,” says Wang. “Borrowing any money almost amounts to committing suicide.”

Small and medium-sized companies in Wenzhou are getting hit hard by the credit crunch, which the central authorities have imposed on companies to stem speculative investments and slow inflation. Middling-sized firms in exporting provinces such as Guangdong in southern China and the towns of the Yangtze River Delta are struggling, too. Many have already felt the pinch of higher wages, rising raw material costs, and the appreciating currency.


Why A U.S. Default Will Be A Good Thing

Now that Standard & Poor's has finally slashed its U.S. credit rating, it's more apparent than ever that a U.S. default is imminent.

So if you're at all panicked by S&P's decision to downgrade the country's top-tier credit rating - and the resultant freefall in U.S. stock prices - brace yourself: It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
    But make no mistake, it will get better.

    In fact, at this point, a U.S. default is the only conceivable remedy to our debt affliction.

    Here's why ...

    The Wrong Road

    The United States has been able to coast on its top -tier credit rating for far too long. The truth is, this country stopped being a AAA credit risk in early 2007.

    That's when the Bush administration's excess spending and military forays into the Middle East sent us down the wrong road and ultimately drove the fiscal 2008 federal deficit to more than $400 billion. That's despite the fact that the economy was at the top of an economic boom at the time.

    It's true that our fiscal position has grown substantially worse since then, but that's mainly because of the G reat R ecession of 2008-09.

    Even if an imaginary amalgam of Calvin Coolidge and Bill Clinton had been in the White House since 2008, inheriting the overspending already built into the system, the federal deficit still would have reached $700 billion to $800 billion over the last few years.

    Just the bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Chrysler would have added enough to the structural costs of recession to push the arithmetic off kilter.

    The Bush administration's additional spending in 2008, U.S. President Barack Obama's $800 billion-plus of "stimulus," and the g rotesque addiction that Congress continues to have to subsidies for farmers, ethanol, and idiotic "green" energy projects have all made the position worse. But they only account for about half of the annual deficit.

    Of course, while recent political decisions don't bear much responsibility for the current lousy U.S. position, our current crop of politicians have been - and will continue to be - ineffective in their attempts to emerge from it.


    Up-Skirt Marilyn Monroe Statue: Art Or Trash?

    Sesame Street Responds

    Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics...they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

    — STATEMENT on Sesame Street's Facebook page, in response to an online petition calling for Bert and Ernie to get married

    Debt: The Forgiveness Fix

    For overburdened countries and consumers alike, erasing unpayable debt is a necessary step toward renewed growth

    In America’s unenlightened past, men who couldn’t pay their debts were imprisoned. Languishing behind bars deprived them of any chance to repay their creditors, so the practice was stupid as well as cruel. During college, I came upon a trove of heartrending petitions to the Connecticut General Assembly from women seeking to have their debtor husbands released from jail. The petitions were, by and large, rejected.

    Society has come a long way since, but not far enough. There is still a presumption that blood can be squeezed from a stone. That’s true in the U.S. housing market, where banks continue to insist that they will be able to collect full repayment of wacky mortgage loans that they never should have made in the first place. And it’s true in Europe, where creditor nations and banks are dragging their heels on writing down the sovereign debt of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal.

    Why does this matter? Because debt—public and private, foreign and domestic—is the No. 1 issue of 2011. The perceived danger posed by debt dominates the political conversation in Washington and is the reason for the British government’s austerity program. In the absence of strong economic growth, debt burdens around the developed world will remain onerous for years to come—and yet while countries are single-mindedly focused on paying down their debts, it will remain harder for them to implement pro-growth policies. Getting the global economy moving again means accepting that some debts will never be repaid—and the sooner they’re forgiven, the better. “This will be the story going forward,” says Daniel Alpert, managing partner of Westwood Capital, a New York investment bank.


    Got Insurance?

    This pool installation. So simple and compact - ready to hook up when set in.

    GO HERE 

    Wandering Dog

    We have a dog that has shown up about dinner time the last two evenings. Very, very skinny pale yellow/white lab appearance - he/she has a collar on ? red 
    color - very skitish - runs from us - unable to get a picture.
    In the Pocomoke area - Buck Harbor Road - close to Stockton road/ballpark area. We hope the owner finds him/her - call me if I can do anything 410-422-4301.

    2 Roosters Found Off Waller Road

    Found 2 Roosters off of Waller Road near Hickory Mill Road.

    Contact # 443-859-2198

    Need A Job? Forget Benefits

    NEW YORK ( -- Providing benefits to full-time employees is an increasingly unattractive option for small businesses. As a result, they are hiring part-timers.

    "Everyone's focus right now is controlling cost," said Jo Heinz, owner of Staffelbach, a Dallas-based commercial architecture firm. Contractors and part-timers "are going to get the nod before the individuals who are looking for the full package," she said.



    The Ten Housing Markets That Will Collapse This Year

    The real estate market is already in the deepest depression in modern U.S. history. If you think it can’t get any worse, think again. In several cities, the real estate market is about to drop even more. Home values in many of those cities, such as Las Vegas, have already collapsed as unemployment has shot higher. And with no hope of quick recovery, housing prices are expected to continue to fall. 24/7 Wall St. identified ten housing markets that are expected to drop by at least another 10% by 2012.

    Methodology: We used data from the Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes, which track real estate activity in 380 cities. We selected those that are forecast to have the largest percent price drop between the first quarter of this year and the first quarter of next. We added several other pieces of information to our city-by-city information, including June unemployment levels, median household income, and when home prices are expected to reach their troughs in each market.

    Median household income in these cities tended to be near the U.S. median, and in some cases well below. We expected to find high unemployment in these cities. This turned out to be the case. In all but one of the cities we examined, unemployment was well above the national average. The rate was over 18% in two of the cities. This link between unemployment and expected future drop in home prices shows again how insidious the housing price problem is.

    Home prices fell from all-time highs in 2006. Home equity tapped by second mortgages had been a tremendous source of income then for families who used it for retirement saving, education, and simple consumer purchases. Three years later, many of those homes were worth less than their mortgages. A large population of homeowners still owed a second mortgage. The burden of those two home loans happened to come at a time when national unemployment rose from 4% in the mid-2000s to 10%. The mix of unemployment and high mortgage payments ripped the home market apart.

    The ten markets on the 24/7 Wall St. list of “Housing Markets That Will Collapse This Year,” and several other like them, may not see a full recovery in home prices for years. Inventories in these markets tend to be large. Demand tends to be low as the unemployed cannot be buyers. Finally, fear of further price drops all exacerbate the problem. No person or organization, including the federal government, has been able to help support the housing market, although the Administration has tried. Not a single plan has built even a thin net under home values, despite the best efforts of the best economic minds in the world.


    President Obama To Hold iftar Dinner: Five Facts About The Muslim Ceremony

    Continuing a tradition first started by one of the nation’s Founding Fathers, President Obama will host an iftar dinner Wednesday evening at 8:30 in the State Dining Room to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The president is no stranger to the sunset fast-breaking meal – he likely attended many as a boy in Indonesia – but Wednesday’s event comes with a star-studded guest list and an agenda: reaching out to an important, and often embattled constituency.


    This Dog Found In Heather Glen

    Found this dog in Heather Glen in Salisbury. Very friendly, male pit bull. Does not have a collar or tags on.




    Washington’s Blog with an article that shows that our leaders have had a desire to control the Middle East for over a decade. The plan was started by the Bush Neo-cons and continues today with the Obama Neo-cons. Another example of the two parties being interchangeable.

    Obama Is Implementing Plans For War Throughout the Middle East Created 10 Years Ago by the Neocons

    Politico reports:
    The U.S. has dramatically ratcheted up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, slapping new sanctions on key companies Wednesday as White House press secretary Jay Carney said the leader is guilty of “heinous actions” and the country would be better off without him.
    President Barack Obama and other administration officials have already said publicly that Assad has “lost legitimacy” and must begin the push toward democracy in Syria or step down. A few weeks ago, after months of protests on the streets of Syria and little progress from Assad without explicit U.S. calls for his resignation, administration officials began to consider calling for Assad to step down, CNN said.
    The new push from the White House, officials said, will make clear Assad is no longer a credible reformer and should give up his post.

    Ken's Steak House Increases Salad Dressing Bottle Size, Doesn't Charge More Or Brag

    Sometimes, companies reverse the famed Grocery Shrink Ray, and actually increase the quantity of their product without also hiking the price. Ken's Steak House recently increased the amount in a bottle from eight ounces to nine. Even more astonishingly, they didn't feel the need to brag about this on the bottle.

    More »

    Posts Every 15 Minutes from 7 AM to 12:00AM & More

    Today has been a big day for news. That's why we have posts every 7.5 minutes throughout most of today and then every 15 minutes from 5 PM to Midnight. Enjoy

    Update On Rufus

    Hi Joe,

    Got some bad news today,  the animal control officer got a call on a dead animal and it was Rufus.

    Thank you for posting his notice on your blog.

    Postal Service Proposing Cutting 120,000 Jobs

    Also wants union contracts, employee health and pension benefits changed

    The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is considering cutting as many as 120,000 jobs.

    Facing a second year of losses totaling $8 billion or more, the agency also wants to pull its workers out of the retirement and health benefits plans covering federal workers and set up its own benefit systems.

    Congressional approval would be needed for either step, and both could be expected to face severe opposition from postal unions which have contracts that ban layoffs.

    The post office has cut 110,000 jobs over the last four years and is currently engaged in eliminating 7,500 administrative staff. In its 2010 annual report, the agency said it had 583,908 career employees.

    The loss of mail to the Internet and the decline in advertising caused by the recession have rocked the agency.

    Only 1.2% Of American Spending Actually Ends Up In China

    For all the ballyhoo about how Chinese products have infiltrated our shelves, it turns out that only 1.2% of American spending actually ends up in their coffers. How is this?

    More »

    Wicomico County Sheriff's Office Press Release

    Incident: Handgun Violation
    Date of Incident: 10 August 2011
    Location: 400 block of Dorsey Lane, Salisbury, MD
    Suspect: Jamie T. Fagans, 17, Salisbury, MD

    Narrative: On 10 August 2010 at 12:08 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office
    responded to a complaint of a subject brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner in the 400 block of
    Dorsey lane in Salisbury. Upon arrival, the deputy met with three female victims who all advised they had
    words with Jamie Fagans over some alleged littering committed by Fagans. According to the three
    females, Fagans became enraged and threatened to retrieve a firearm which caused the three females to
    retreat into a nearby residence. Fagans allegedly approached that residence a few minutes later
    brandishing what the females described as silver revolver. Fagans repeatedly knocked on the door while
    brandishing the revolver in an aggressive manner.

    The deputy located Fagans later that afternoon and based on the investigation, took him into custody.
    Fagans was transported to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the
    District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Fagans in the
    Detention Center in lieu of $500,000.00 bond.

    Charges: Attempted First Degree Assault
    Second Degree Assault
    Reckless Endangerment
    Wear and Carry Handgun on Person
    Handgun in the Commissioner of a Felony
    Possession of a Handgun under 21 years of age
    Disorderly Conduct

    From JFK To Sept. 11, Conspiracy Theories Thrive

    DALLAS (AP) - In Dealey Plaza, with the white "X" painted on the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated, ask anyone about the grassy knoll and the second gunman.

    Conspiracy theories come with the territory here. And at Barbec's Restaurant on the other side of this sprawling city, six men sit on a covered porch and convene a meeting of the North Texans for 9/11 Truth group and talk about the government's lies about 9/11.

    The group has 50 active members; 200 on the mailing list. And they number among many thousands who, after years of investigations, don't believe the official version of how the World Trade Center collapsed, who was responsible or what the government knew and when.

    Politics doesn't have anything to do with it; two were once staunch, Bush-voting conservatives; two are progressives and two weren't even interested in current events until after the 2001 attacks.


    The “Our Capital Levels Are Adequate” Dance

    “Our capital levels are adequate.”  Perhaps it’s just me but It seems like every time the market sells off more than 10%, we end up hearing that phrase a lot.  Hmm, perhaps it has something to do with the huge amount of leverage still sitting on the balance sheets of the TBTF banks and their exposure to the global derivatives market?  We need banks in our society, but do we really need these banks?  Until the world finally realizes that the concentration of leverage that currently sits on the balance sheets of the world’s largest 15-20 banks is the source of our global instability and protecting these same banks is literally cutting off our nose to spite our face, we will continue to suffer huge bouts of “risk-on/risk-off” madness.

    Systemic risk will continue to grow and government instability will only increase once the final shoe, rising rates, finally drops.  In 2008, the market was not concerned about Greece.  And then rates rose.  Now they are a walking default and a threat to the TBTFs.  Look at Italy and Spain as well.  Italy especially is Too-Big-To-Bailout but with low rates, they can scrape by.  Hike rates by a few hundred basis points, however, and the endgame starts to unfold.  The same fate awaits the US.  Eventually.  We can get in front of the problem, take our pain now by nationalizing and breaking up the big banks, or we can wait until the crisis spirals out of control and threatens something much worse.


    Salisbury Police Department Press Release

    On August 10, 2011 at approximately 12:26 pm, Officers of the Salisbury Police arrested the below listed suspect on an outstanding warrant for a malicious destruction of property and theft that occurred on August 29, 2009. On that date, officers responded to the Oasis car wash on Hampshire Road for the report of a theft. Upon arrival the officers found that an unknown suspect had pried open several car wash fund collection machines to gain access to the U.S. currency contained inside. In the process of prying the machines open, the suspect had severely damaged the machines and had injured himself. The officers processed the machines for evidence and found several samples of blood inside of the machines. The blood was collected and was submitted to the Maryland State Police Laboratory for examination. In August of 2011, the officers received a confirmation from the laboratory indicating a match with the below listed suspect.

    ARRESTED: Ralph Wayne Jones, Jr., 24 years of age
    Salisbury, Maryland
    CHARGES: Theft (under $ 500) – 2 counts
    Malicious destruction of property – 2 counts

    DISPOSITION: Released to Central Booking

    New Congressional Panel Raises Doubts

    The lineup of Democrats and Republicans named to a new congressional panel charged with finding $1.5 trillion in budget savings is raising doubts about the prospects for a bipartisan compromise to address the national debt before next year’s elections.



    Bank of America’s back-door TARP

    August 10, 2011: 11:37 AM ET
    Taxpayer-owned Fannie Mae just bought the servicing rights to a bunch of bad loans from the struggling Bank of America. Where does it end?

    By Abigail Field, contributor

    FORTUNE — Taxpayers may not realize it, but they just bailed out Bank of America again, this time to the tune of more than a half billion dollars.

    The Charlotte, NC-based bank was one of the biggest recipients of bailout funds during the financial crisis. But Bank of America (BAC) continues to face deep problems related to its troubled mortgage portfolio and investors have battered the stock, which has plunged over 40% so far this year. That’s escalated concerns that the bank may need to raise more capital. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism has even started a BofA death watch.

    But apparently the federal government is determined to resurrect BofA: the Wall Street Journal reports the feds have just used Fannie Mae, which is controlled by the U.S. government, to infuse BofA with $500 million and ease one of the bank’s biggest headaches.

    Yesterday afternoon on CNBC, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan mentioned that five of BofA’s six businesses were making money. The one black spot was its massive portfolio of problematic mortgages and the liabilities flowing from it. Moynihan also mentioned that BofA had just sold some “mortgage servicing rights” as part of its balance sheet strengthening efforts, but he didn’t elaborate.

    According to the WSJ, Fannie Mae spent $500 million to buy the servicing rights to a big chunk of the “seven million loans still causing the most problems.” Although the $500 million is a paper loss to BofA, in that the rights were “originally worth more,” it looks like BofA is still getting a good deal because the portfolio’s “value is expected to deteriorate further.”

    In fact, the deal is worth much more than $500 million to BofA, because getting rid of those servicing rights lifts a huge cost burden off BofA’s shoulders. And if securitized loans are involved, which they most likely are, the sale also limits the BofA’s potential liability to investors for its current servicing violations. Finally, the $500 million is surely more than the servicing rights are worth in an arms-length transaction. How do we know? Beyond the comment that the loans are expected to “deteriorate further,” the goal of the intervention can only be to fix Bank of America’s capital structure, which is easier for the government to do if it overpays for the rights.

    In short, purchasing these servicing rights was another Troubled Asset Relief Program.



    Enjoy the stock market rally today, for the end is near. Charles Hugh Smith paints a bleak picture. There is no way to avoid the pain coming our way. The only choice is whether to willingly accept our bitter medicine or wait until the disease kills us. Nice choice. Tough sh!t.

    Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

    Welcome to the Age of Instability

    The phony fixes have failed, and the dam of toxic sludge and debt is leaking; instability will be the New Normal until the dam finally bursts and the financial Status Quo is swept away.

    If you liked the past two weeks, you’re going to love the next two years: welcome to the age of instability. As I explained yesterday, the quasi-religious belief in the stock market as a secure store of wealth has faded, and for good reason: The Junkie in the Pool and False Idols: Faith in Wall Street and The Fed Has Has Eroded (August 10, 2011).

    In a nutshell, the Federal Reserve and Federal government’s extend-and-pretend, mark-to-fantasy, paper over bad private debt with trillions in public bad debt “fixes” of the broken economy have failed, completely, utterly, miserably. Rather than drain the cesspool of impaired debt, risky bets gone bad and rampant abuse of the rule of law, the Fed and the Central State have poured trillions of dollars more bad debt into the fetid pool of sewage and sludge, which is now full to bursting.

    For a deeper explanation of why instability is now the norm, and destabilization is now inevitable, I turn to my new book An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times for this excerpt.


    Striking Verizon Workers Deny They Are Sabotaging Customers' Cables

    While Verizon staffers in several states and Washington, DC, continue to picket their employer, there are reports of an increased number of sabotaged Verizon phone cables and boxes — 20 in one 48-hour period alone. Facing allegations that the vandalism is being done by striking workers, accusations the union denies having anything to do with.

    More »

    'Drunk' Man Arrested For Urinating On Girl During Flight

    Be thankful if you weren't on this flight.

    An 18-year-old man allegedly urinated on a sleeping 11-year-old girl on a cross-country flight Tuesday, the New York Post reports.

    The girl was traveling with her sister and father aboard Flight 166 from Portland, Ore., to New York's John F. Kennedy airport when fellow passenger Robert Vietze, 18, stumbled down the aisle to empty his bladder.

    "I was drunk, and I did not realize I was pissing on her leg," Vietze, who told authorities that he had consumed eight drinks, was quoted as saying in the Post.


    My Ride Into Work This Morning 8-11-11

    Floating Mannequin Foot Spurs 10-Hour Lake Search

    ANTIOCH, Ill. (AP) - A boy fishing in a northern Illinois lake hooked _ and then lost _ what he thought was a human foot, but a search determined the appendage had belonged to a mannequin.

    The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald ( reports that divers and sonar teams spent nearly 10 hours searching Lake Marie, near Antioch, before they located the fake foot Wednesday evening.


    Fire Academy Inquiry Finds No 'Systemic' Cheating

    Discipline recommended for six instructors and supervisors

    An investigation into alleged cheating at Baltimore's fire academy did not uncover a "systemic" problem, the fire chief announced Tuesday, but six supervisors and instructors are facing administrative discipline as a result of the probe.

    As the department announced plans to address the issues raised by the cheating allegations and other management problems, some worried that the decision to close the emergency services portion of the academy could create logistical problems for firefighters.

    "I'm concerned that members of my union are going to have to go down to Ocean City to get recertified," said Stephan G. Fugate, president of the Baltimore Fire Officers Association.

    BREAKING NEWS: Bulls Back In Charge, Dow Posts 422-Point Gain

    A huge rally in financial and technology names helped propel the major stock-market averages to massive gains Thursday in what is now an historic week for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The blue-chip barometer for the first time in its history has seen four straight sessions with moves of 400 points or more.
    The Dow surged 422 points, or 3.9%, to 11142, the Nasdaq Composite index soared 111, or 4.7%, to 2492, and the S&P 500 rallied 52, or 4.6%, to 1172.
    From Fox News

    Shore Redistricting Hearing Set For QA's, Wicomico Counties

    Congressional and legislative districts to be redrawn

    ANNAPOLIS Two public hearings will be held on the Eastern Shore in September one of them in Queen Anne's County to collect information to be used in redrawing congressional and legislative districts in Maryland.

    The hearings are among a dozen being held statewide by the Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee, which is to draft a recommended redistricting plan to be submitted to the governor, who will, in turn, submit a plan to the General Assembly.

    Redistricting takes place in each state every 10 years following the federal census using information gleaned from the census to draw districts based on the principle of one person-one vote, according to the Maryland Department of Planning.

    The Department of Planning is the state agency that coordinates redistricting data with the U.S. Bureau of the Census.


    Microsurfacing Will Require Lane Closures In Sussex County

    Lewes -- As part of the Delaware Department of Transportation's (DelDOT) pavement and rehabilitation program, each year a number of roads are selected for a process called microsurfacing. The contractor, Asphalt Paving Systems Inc., will be placing notices on the doors of the affected residences and businesses informing them of the impending lane closures. The work will begin on Monday, August 15 and end on Friday, September 30, pending weather. Lane closures will occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    The following roads will be impacted:

    August 15 through August 26
    Broadkill Road between Route 1 and the end of Broadkill Road at Broadkill Beach

    August 22 through September 2
    Gills Neck Road between Route 9 and Hawkeye Subdivision

    August 22 through September 26
    Patriots Way between Avenue of Honor and Bethesda Road

    August 29 through September 30
    Lighthouse Road between Dew Drop Road and Hay Point Landing Road

    Microsurfacing is a thin, tough layer of asphalt emulsion containing aggregate (rocks), water and mineral fillers. It is used to seal cracks and prevent moisture from penetrating the road base. It is primarily used for preservation of existing hot-mix roadways, which is important as transportation officials look for cost-effective ways to stretch their pavement funding. Typically half a road is closed for microsurfacing at a time. The length of time the road is closed depends on air temperature and humidity and whether one or two passes of microsurfacing is applied. Once this material is applied to the road, plan on approximately an hour delay before it can be ridden or walked on.
    This process is often most effective when the existing hot-mix surface is 5-7 years old and showing minimal signs of distress. Residents may wonder why a road is being rehabilitated when it appears to be in good condition, but this is the ideal time to do a preservation technique that will further extend the life of the underlying pavement and decrease the maintenance cost over the lifetime of the roadway. If the roadway does exhibit signs of distress, patching and crack-sealing will be done prior to the microsurfacing layer. Microsurfacing is being used on roads throughout Delaware and provides a smoother road surface and less loose material than traditional surface treatment (a.k.a tar and chip). When a road is first microsurfaced, it may present an initial rougher driver surface. This somewhat abrasive surface creates a more skid-resistant surface, thus increasing the safety of the road itself. However, as cars travel over the road, the stones and materials become compressed and smoother, ultimately resulting in a road surface that is nearly as smooth as traditional asphalt hot-mix overlay, but still course enough to improve skid resistance

    The microsurfacing material is also being used to patch rutted roadways in Delaware. The material creates a smoother surface on the road without having to do a large scale and costly asphalt overlay project. In addition, this material is typically applied during daytime hours but can be applied during nighttime hours and on roads with high traffic volumes.

    Access to local residents and emergency response vehicles will be provided at all times.

    Why Are Moms Dressing Like Their Teen Daughters?

    (CNN) -- When Raquel Alderman, 43, picked up a medium-size tank top in Hollister while shopping with her 14-year-old daughter, Olivia, she said she didn't intend to mimic her daughter's style.

    The solid-color tank top was in Alderman's size and had no visible Hollister branding, so she said she saw no harm in purchasing it for herself.

    But Olivia wasn't having it."Mom, you are not shopping at Hollister!" Olivia remembered saying to her mother. "Moms don't shop at Hollister. You are too old for this store. OMG, I can't believe you are buying something here."

    What Nobody Dares To Say

    On August 11, 1965, the Watts riot began. South Central Los Angeles went up in flames for five days -- preceded by a night of rock throwing.
    Five days earlier, Lyndon Johnson had signed into law the Voting Rights Act, which set up Federal procedures to enable blacks to vote in the South, where state laws had made this difficult for all but the most dedicated and strong-willed blacks to do since 1877.
    The South was changed politically forever by this law and its updates. White politicians who had said "never" counted noses -- black noses -- and said, "soon." Within five years, the political issue was settled.
    The issues in Watts have not been settled.
    I remember Watts. I lived in Southern California. In 1959, I sometimes drove to Watts to photograph a track meet or watch a high school sporting event. It seemed safe.
    Today, I would not drive into Watts. Some resident would have to drive me. Watch Grand Canyon for a taste of what can go wrong. The ghetto today is far wider than Watts was in 1965. I went to kindergarten through the third grade in what is now referred to as "the hood."
    It all blew up in August 1965. That was one year after the Civil Rights Act was passed. That was a landmark piece of Federal legislation, which only a President from the South (Texas) with enormous clout could have rammed through. Johnson said at the time that it would forever cost the Democrats the South's votes. So far, he was right.
    The Civil Rights Act became law on July 2, 1964. New York City was hit by a race riot two weeks later. Here is an account posted on the site of the University Systems of Georgia, in a section devoted to the civil rights movement.


    Baltimore Sun Proposes Employee Buyouts

    BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Sun is offering buyouts to some employees.

    Baltimore Sun Media Senior Vice President of Marketing Judy Berman said in a statement Thursday that the company is bargaining with the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild over the terms of a voluntary buyout offer. She says this is the first voluntary buyout offer since 2008.


    Pedophile Priest Appeals Diocese Bankruptcy Plan

    DOVER, Del. (AP) -- A pedophile priest is appealing a Delaware bankruptcy judge's approval of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's reorganization plan.

    Kenneth J. Martin, identified by the diocese as a child abuser, filed a notice of appeal Wednesday.

    The diocese's bankruptcy plan is based on a $77 million settlement with nearly 150 alleged victims of child sexual abuse.


    BREAKING NEWS: EXCLUSIVE: Perry Running for President, Aide Says

    Top aide to Rick Perry tells Fox News exclusively the Texas governor will enter GOP presidential race.
    From Fox News

    Cambridge Country Club Fined $500,000 For Pollution Violations

    Horn's Point accused of discharging raw sewage into Choptank wetlands

    A Cambridge country club was ordered to pay an "extraordinary penalty" of $500,000 by a Dorchester County Circuit Court for discharging raw sewage into wetlands along the Choptank River that eventually flow into the Chesapeake Bay, according to a Thursday announcement from the state attorney general's office.

    BSJ Partners LLC, owner-operator of Clearview at Horn's Point, formerly known as the Cambridge Country Club, was ordered to pay a $485,000 civil penalty for environmental violations, a $15,000 penalty for failing to submit discharge monitoring reports for three years; and a $500 penalty for discovery violations.

    BREAKING NEWS: Stocks Holding Huge Gains, Dow Up 470

    With just under an hour left in Thursday’s  session, the major stock-market averages are maintaining huge gains. The Dow, Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 are all up better than 4% as Wall Street continues to grapple with the quickly changing market conditions.
    From Fox News

    Ocean City, Maryland: America's Most Affordable Fun City

    Ocean City comes in first in a nationwide ranking of Zip Codes with the best nightlife and the most affordable housing

    Ocean City, Md., a resort town about 70 miles south of Dover, Del., that attracts many visitors from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Wilmington, has long drawn large crowds with its beach, bay, and hundreds of dining and nightlife offerings. A popular destination for young singles and families, the town of 7,100 people swells to about 250,000 during the summer, according to city estimates. Surprisingly, living in the middle of all this action also can be affordable. Homes in the Ocean City area have a median price of $243,600, compared with the state median of $232,500, according to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate and real estate data provider Onboard Informatics.

    Ocean City—also known as OCMD to habitués—emerged as the country’s most affordable and fun city in a ranking by Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate’s Lifestyle Search. “”There are two or three ultra-cool cities that everyone wants to live in,” says Sherry Chris, chief executive of BHG Real Estate. “The problem is it’s very expensive to live in those cities, so that eliminates them as a possibility for many people.” As lifestyle and community are more important for “echo boomers,” or 18-to-34-year-olds, than older buyers, Chris says, identifying affordable places with active downtown areas and a cool atmosphere are key to attracting the current generation of home buyers.


    Refurbishing Of State House Dome On Schedule

    Restoration of the State House dome is on track and will be finished by late October, a state official said Wednesday.

    Sam Cook, Annapolis regional director for the state's Department of General Services, said he is amazed at how well the dome's centuries-old wood has resisted decay.

    "All in all, it is in good shape," Cook said. That's a bit surprising, he said, since "it was peeling (paint) so bad, you could see it from the ground."

    Work on the $787,000 renovation began in mid-April.

    "The slowest part of the project was erection of the scaffolding," Cook said.


    Gold Falls Most In Seven Weeks As Equities Jump, Margins Raised

    Gold futures fell the most in seven weeks in New York as equities rebounded and CME Group Inc. boosted margins to trade Comex contracts, prompting investor sales after a rally to a record topping $1,800 an ounce.

    The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose as much as 4.5 percent after a drop in U.S. jobless claims. CME Group, owner of the world’s largest futures market, raised margins on gold by 22 percent. The minimum amount of cash that speculators must keep on deposit for an initial account increased to $7,425 on a 100- ounce contract from $6,075.

    Foreclosed Cemetery Ruling Gives Families Relief

    Some families waiting to put loved ones to rest at a Calvert County, Md., cemetery facing foreclosure can finally move forward.

    Southern Memorial Gardens in Dunkirk had its license revoked by the state after legal problems with the cemetery’s former owner.

    A Calvert County judge ruled on Wednesday that those who pre-paid for a plot can proceed with burial plans, News4's Melissa Mollet reported.

    However, the complication for families is far from over. The cemetery is not allowed to help with the burial process in any way, and those who were not able to pre-pay for arrangements are left trying to figure out how to proceed with their loved ones’ remains.

    Rep. Peter King On Sony's Bin Laden Movie

    KING: There's a big made for Washington dust up tonight about a made for Hollywood real-life drama, the CIA raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

    The Obama administration is cooperating with Oscar winning moviemaker Kathryn Bigelow of "Hurt Locker" fame, on just such a project. And a Republican member of Congress is crying foul.


    Desperate To Drink, West Texas Turns To Wastewater

    Big Spring, Texas (CNN) -- Desperate times call for a tall, cool glass of creativity in this patch of West Texas where water is scarce and quickly disappearing.

    But a plan to pump millions of new gallons of drinking water into the system has many people across West Texas holding their noses.

    This week construction started on a $13 million water-reclamation facility. That's a fancy way of describing a treatment plant that will turn sewage wastewater into drinking water.

    "That's not something I even want to think about," said Eunice Thixton, a Big Spring resident. "It really doesn't sound too good."


    If At First ou Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again

    The Obama Administration is open to any ideas about how to get rid of all those foreclosed homes and turn them into rental properties. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Treasury Department, and Housing and Urban Development have released a Request For Information for how to best take those properties held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turn them into rental properties that could be managed by private enterprises, or sold. The idea is to make neighborhoods more stable while clearing the federal government's balance sheet.

    Enna Stephens Can't Stop Giggling After Undergoing Brain Surgery

    If you've ever gotten the occasional bout of giggles, you know how hard it can be to stop. But for one 7-year-old British girl, a weird side effect of brain surgery has made her unable to stop giggling for the last month.

    Enna Stephens underwent surgery to have a tumor removed from her brain, and as a result, suffers from pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a disorder caused by nerve damage that makes it hard to control emotional responses, The Daily Mail reported. As a result, she has frequent bouts of the giggles.


    Little Johnny

    Little Johnny comes downstairs crying. His mother asked, “What’s the matter now?”

    “Dad was hanging pictures, and just hit his thumb with hammer,” said little Johnny through his tears. “That’s not so serious,” soothed his mother. “I know you are upset, but a big boy like you shouldn’t cry at something like that. Why didn’t you just laugh?

    “I did!” sobbed Johnny.

    Steve Forbes: The Fed's "Trashing The US Dollar"

    (CBS News) The chief executive of Forbes Inc. railed on CBS' "The Early Show" Thursday against policies adopted by the Federal Reserve to try and stabilize the economy, saying the central bank "has got to stop trashing the U.S. dollar" and that its strategy will "hurt" private investment in the United States.

    Steve Forbes spoke to CBS News correspondent Rebecca Jarvis as Wall Street prepared for the fourth day of trading since Standard & Poor's downgraded the status of long-term U.S. debt from its highest AAA rating to AA+. The Fed reacted Tuesday with an announcement that its key interest rate will likely remain near zero through mid-2013, which would keep it at "exceptionally low" levels for a total of nearly five years


    The Hunt For Osama bin Laden Movie

    A movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden is already set for release in 2012, , the Associated Press reports. But not everyone is giving plans for the movie a thumbs up. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he is worried that the movie will release sensitive information about the mission and is asking for an investigation by the CIA and the Pentagon inspectors general. He said he wants to know how much information the Obama Administration has provided to filmmakers. However, the movie makers say the film is non-partisan, focusing on the cooperation between the Defense Department, the CIA and the collective efforts by the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.

    Quiet Riot: Insurgents Take On The Teachers' Unions

    Quick: which group consistently tops the list of U.S. political donors — bankers? Oil barons? The Koch brothers? Nope. Try school teachers.

    The two major teachers' unions, despite all the rhetoric about how teachers have no influence on policy, collectively spent more than $67 million directly on political races between 1989 and 2010.

    And that figure doesn't include millions more spent by their state and local affiliates and all kinds of support for favored (read: reform-averse) candidates.

    Toking Teens: 17 Top States For Marijuana Use

    How popular is pot? Among American teens, pretty popular. According to a nationwide survey conducted in 2009, 7 percent of eighth-graders reported using marijuana, along with 16 percent of tenth-graders and 21 percent of twelfth-graders.

    In addition to getting high, these pubescent potheads are heightening their risk for car accidents, respiratory problems, and possibly addiction.


    911 Will Soon Accept Texts, Photos, Video

    (Mashable) -- FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a five-step plan on Wednesday to update the technology that powers the 911 emergency response system.

    The plan will enable the transmission of text messages, voice calls, videos and photos, as well as automatic location information. The FCC hopes that such a plan will enable emergency responders to respond faster while also giving individuals more options for contacting 911, depending on the emergency situation.


    Teen Sentenced In Toddler Beating Death

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A teenager charged in the death of a 2-year-old last year pleaded guilty to second degree murder today.

    Kristen Fleckenstein with the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office says Timothy Height, 18, was sentenced to 30 years with all but 15 years suspended followed by 5 years probation for killing 2-year-old Amoir Turner.


    Mom Charged After Son, 3, Positive For Cocaine

    PITTSBURGH - A suburban Pittsburgh woman is facing charges after police say her 3-year-old son tested positive for cocaine.

    Swissvale police say the boy's foster parents planned to pick him up at Kathryn Forrest's home last week but got no response when they tried to reach her.

    Police say they found Forrest naked and unresponsive inside her filthy apartment and removed the preschooler. They say tests later showed the child had cocaine in his system.


    Pennsylvania Judge Gets 28 Years In 'Kids For Cash' Case

    State's top court tossed out thousands of convictions issued by Judge Ciavarella

    A longtime judge has been ordered to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive juvenile justice bribery scandal that prompted the state's high court to toss thousands of convictions.

    National Premium Is Coming Back Next Year, Says New Owner

    National Premium is coming back next year, says the beloved beer's new owner.

    Tim Miller, a 43-year-old realtor out of Easton bought the trademark last year and is now working to bring the beer back to the market. So far his revival is in its fetal stage: he doesn't have the formula yet, or a brewer to produce the beer, or investment partners.

    All Natty Premium's got to show for itself is a website, a Facebook fan page, and a twitter account, which Miller launched on Monday. But if he's successful, Maryland would have back at least one of its iconic beer brands..



    On August 4, 2011, at approximately 7:50 p.m., Ocean City Police responded to the scene of an assault at the Inlet Lodge located at 806 South Atlantic Avenue. Once at the scene, officers determined that this was in fact a robbery. The victim reported being robbed by two male suspects who stole the victim’s backpack, which contained a wallet and $150. During the robbery the victim was also assaulted by the two suspects.
    The victim told police that one of suspects had distinctive tattoos on his forearms with the wording Truly Blessed." The victim also was able to provide a good clothing description. Approximately five hours later OCPD officers stopped several subjects who were drinking alcoholic beverages in public in the 10 block of 6th Street.

    One subject from the group fled from the officers. The officers were able to stop the rest of the group and immediately recognized that one of the males had the tattoo "Truly Blessed" on his forearms. The 17-year-old male from Dover, DE was arrested. A search of the juvenile’s cell phone revealed that he recently acquired a room in the 8th Street area. Police went to search the 8th Street area and noticed a male matching the description of the second robbery suspect sitting on the property of the Ocean Lodge at 8th Street and Philadelphia Avenue. This was the male subject who ran from police during the initial encounter on 6th Street. The suspect had a bottle of alcohol next to him and when officers went to identify him to verify his age, he handed the officers the ID of the robbery victim. He also had the victim’s wallet in his possession. This suspect is also a juvenile male from Dover. The two suspects rented a room at the Ocean Lodge sometime after the robbery and paid for the room in cash with a $100 bill. The victim was robbed of a $100 bill.

    Both juveniles were arrested and transported to the Ocean City Public Safety Building and held pending parental and Juvenile Justice notification.

    *Because both suspects are juveniles, their names and pictures are not being released.

    Juvenile #1 was charged with:

    Juvenile #2 was charged with:

    Britain's Liberal Intelligentsia Has Smashed Virtually Every Social Value

    So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value.

    The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society.

    Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as Right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age.


    U.S. Deficit Tops $1T For Third Straight Year

    (WASHINGTON) — The United States' budget deficit has topped $1 trillion for a third straight year, adding pressure on Congress and the White House to make more progress a long-term plan to shrink the growing imbalance.

    The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the deficit through July totals $1.1 trillion. Three years ago, that would have been a record high for the full year.


    Is It Italian, Mexican, Or WHAT?

    I had been speaking to some friends about new places to go and eat and one of them recommended we try Tony Caruso's in Delmar.

    So, what the heck, we tried it. Once we walked through the door I thought, are we in the wrong place???

    There were two Hispanic cooks in the kitchen. CARUSO'S, isn't that Italian? I thought, well, I was told they have a good New York Style Pizza, does it really matter if its an Italian cooking it or a Hispanic person.

    We were seated at a table and the Waitress was very kind/polite. We ordered our drinks and knew right away what we wanted. We ordered a large cheese pizza and asked if they had any slices of their white pizza. She checked and said they had two slices, so we ordered those as well.

    Once everything was delivered I noticed my Wife using her fork to scrape off the toppings on the white pizza. When I asked why she was doing that she said it was like cardboard, the crust, that is. It was extremely dry and flat out, no good at all.

    The regular pizza we had ordered was ok, it just wasn't what you would call a New York Style Pizza. As we were sitting there eating the Waitress came up and asked if everything was ok. I told her the white pizza sucked and she immediately apologized and took it off the bill. I then said, can I ask you a question. Sure, she replied. I said, correct me if I'm wrong, (which I was not) but is that Mexican music playing on the stereo throughout the restaurant. She replied, we get that a lot. She added, most people ask why there are Hispanic cooks in an Italian Restaurant.

    All in all, it was not satisfying. I'd expect this kind of thing at the Laurel Flea Market, not a stand alone restaurant in Delmar. It is what it is.

    Gay Couples In Maryland Up More Than 50%

    Change over past decade reflects increased acceptance, experts say

    Catherine Kelly and Sue Heether began their relationship in 1994, when both were teaching at a Baltimore-area Catholic school, and felt they had to keep the arrangement closely guarded for years.

    But as same-sex couples became more visible over the past decade — and the women left the school, went into business together, started raising twins and discovered Kelly's breast cancer — they were ready to show their family to the world.


    Beautiful Dog Needs A Good Qualified Home

    This 3 year old St. Bernard is in need of a loving home. He has not been neutered as he comes from a show dog blood line, (so we're told). If you're interested you can call these numbers. The Owner is heartbroken but will make sure those interested in adopting him will be qualitied. 443-235-6265  or  410-677-0532

    Central Americans Driving Maryland's Hispanic Growth

    Central Americans now make up the majority of Maryland's Hispanic population -- the fastest-growing population in the state -- a growth primarily led by a large influx of Salvadorans over the last decade, new Census data shows.

    But unlike the 1990s, which saw large numbers of immigrants, growth in the Washington region in the last 10 years is mostly attributed to the children of immigrants, experts said. The shift has meant that organizations that serve Hispanics in Maryland, who are largely focused in the suburbs, are grappling with how to integrate the growing population while preserving their culture.