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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Store Proprietors Don't Know Powerball Winner

ELKTON, Md. - Proprietors of a family-run restaurant and liquor store in Elkton say they don't know much about the man who purchased a winning $125 million Powerball ticket there.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Maryland Lottery doesn't know the winner's name either. Someone called the store on Christmas morning to ask for the winning numbers, and when the clerk read them, the man said, "Looks like I am the winner" .

Baltimore May See Lowest Homicide Count Since '80s

BALTIMORE (AP) - The city known nationwide as a homicide hot spot thanks to TV crime dramas could record its lowest annual homicide total since the early 1980s. Through midday Friday, Baltimore has recorded 194 homicides this year, putting it on track to see fewer than 200 homicides for the year and the lowest homicide rate in more than 20 years.


Iran Reportedly Threatens to Cut Off Oil Flow Through Key Route Over Nuclear Sanctions

Iran is threatening to stop the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz – a key world oil route in the Persian Gulf – if the West imposes more sanctions over its controversial nuclear energy program.
The sanctions stem from a U.N. watchdog report that alleges the country may be developing nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the claims, stating that its program is for peaceful purposes, Reuters reports.
"If [the West] impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz," Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told Iranian news agency IRNA.
"Our enemies will give up on their plots against Iran only if we give them a firm and strong lesson," he added.

Governor O'Malley Press Release


ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 27, 2011) – On Thursday, December 29th, Governor Martin O’Malley will host an end-of-year press roundtable to discuss this year’s challenges, opportunities and successes with a preview of the year ahead.

WHAT:           Governor to host end-of-year press roundtable

WHEN:           THURSDAY, December 29th at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE:         Governor’s Reception Room
                        2nd Floor, State House
Annapolis, MD

More And More Women Embracing Gun Ownership

(CBS News)  
The face of the American gun owner is changing.
More women than ever are picking up rifles, shotguns, and handguns. And target shooting is one of the fastest-growing female sports.
But, looks can be deceiving. We're not talking "Dirty Harriet" here, notes "Early Show" contributor Katrina Szish.
Female participation in target shooting in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the last decade, growing to nearly five million women since 2001.

French Insurance To File Criminal Complaint On Breast Implants

France’s national health insurance agency will file a criminal complaint in a breast implant scandal, an official said Saturday, after authorities recommended that women with potentially faulty implants have them removed and agreed to pay for the procedure.
The agency will file the complaint for deception and fraud in the coming days, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing policy. It will most likely not name specific people or the company behind the implants, though specific targets could be added later.

Read More

Carlyle Group To Get A Man On The Federal Reserve Board

It's all about insiders when it comes to the Federal Reserve.

A White House statement says President Obama will nominate two former U.S. Treasury Department officials for the Federal Reserve Board.

Obama's picks are Jerome Powell, an attorney who was a Treasury undersecretary for former President George H.W. Bush, and Jeremy Stein, a Harvard University economist who has advised the current administration.

David Rubinstein is popping champagne. Powell from 1997 through 2005, was a partner at The Carlyle Group, where he founded and led the Industrial Group within the U.S. Buyout Fund.


Speak Out And You May Be Targeted, Warns Breached Security Firm Stratfor

Be careful what you say, or say nothing at all, advises hacked international intelligence and threat analysis firm Stratfor, after revealing hackers may be targeting members who offer public support for the company in the wake of a serious security breach. Stratfor was allegedly infiltrated Sunday night by hacktivist group Anonymous. Anonymous announced on Twitter that it had stolen thousands of credit card numbers as well as the personal information of Stratfor’s clients, posting links to some of that information Sunday and again on Monday.

Read More

Home Prices Drop For 2nd Straight Month, Survey Shows

WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices fell in most major cities for the second straight month, further evidence that the housing recovery will be bumpy. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday showed prices dropped in October from September in 19 of the 20 cities tracked.


Egyptian Court Rules Against Virginity Tests

Cairo (CNN) -- An Egyptian administrative court issued an order Tuesday banning virginity tests for female detainees, months after several women alleged they were subjected to such examinations following a March protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The ruling comes in the case of Samira Ibrahim, a 25-year-old marketing manager who took the country's military led-government to court in August, alleging she was among those subjected to the test after her arrest during the March 9 protest. She said she faced death threats after bringing the case.


Neighbor Chopped up Missing Indiana Girl With Hacksaw, Police Say

A babysitter and trusted neighbor has confessed that he bludgeoned a 9-year-old Indiana girl to death with a brick then dismembered her, hiding her head, hands and feet at his home and dumping the rest of her remains nearby, police said Tuesday.
Allen County sheriff's investigators said in an affidavit that 39-year-old Michael Plumadore admits he killed Aliahna Lemmon on Thursday.


Sears - Stock Price (SHLD) - Drops 27%

Sears announced closure of 100 stores today. The stock price - (SHLD trading symbol) - ended the day down 27%.
Click here for more:

Powerful New Painkillers Have Addiction Experts Worried

Drug companies are working to develop a pure, more powerful version of the nation’s second most-abused medicine, which has addiction experts worried that it could spur a new wave of abuse.
The new pills contain the highly addictive painkiller hydrocodone, packing up to 10 times the amount of the drug as existing medications such as Vicodin. Four companies have begun patient testing, and one of them — Zogenix of San Diego — plans to apply early next year to begin marketing its product, Zohydro.

8 Health Stories To Watch In 2012

These events captivated the American public in 2011 — and they may matter even more in 2012. Keep an eye out.
If you flew on a plane this year, you were probably asked by an agent at airport security to assume the position — hands up, feet apart. Across the country, the U.S. government has installed full-body scanners, which are designed to generate detailed, three-dimensional contours of the body, so that security agents can more easily spot any weapons, from ceramic knives to explosives, that may be hiding under clothing and would be missed by metal detectors. Sounds like a good idea, but the problem lies in how the machines do their duty.

Read More

Congress To Fund Massive Expansion Of TSA Checkpoints

Congress is set to give the green light on funding for a massive expansion of TSA checkpoints, with the federal agency already responsible for over 9,000 such checkpoints in the last year amidst increased fears America is turning into a police state following the passage of the ‘indefinite detention’ bill.

The increase in funding has nothing to do with the TSA’s role in airports – this is about creating 12 more VIPR teams to add the federal agency’s 25 units that are already scattered across the country and responsible for manning checkpoints on highways, in bus and train terminals, at sports events and even high school prom nights.


The NDAA Repeals More Rights

Little by little, in the name of fighting terrorism, our Bill of Rights is being repealed. The 4th Amendment has been rendered toothless by the PATRIOT Act. No more can we truly feel secure in our persons, houses, papers and effects when now there is an exception that fits nearly any excuse for our government to search and seize our property. Of course, the vast majority of Americans may say, "I'm not a terrorist so I have no reason to worry." However, innocent people are wrongly accused all the time. The Bill of Rights is there precisely because the founders wanted to set a very high bar for the government to overcome in order to deprive an individual of life or liberty. To lower that bar is to endanger everyone. When the bar is low enough to include political enemies, our descent into totalitarianism is virtually assured.



The story below is happening across the country in every township, municipality, and county in America. It will take years to play out. The implications of the largest housing bubble in history, created by the Wall Street criminal syndicate, are far reaching and will affect the country for a decade. It is now five years since the bubble popped and prices are still falling. The false MSM storyline of housing recovery is growing stale. The false boom created by the criminal Wall Street banks led to massive inflows of property taxes and transfer taxes into the coffers of localities across the land. The boneheaded bureaucrats who run your towns believed these tax revenues were permanent and would keep flowing in forever. They built new municipal buildings, built bridges to nowhere, bought more cop cars and fire engines, while signing gold plated union contracts with their teachers and municipal workers.


Percentage Of Voting Population Doesn’t Guarantee Seats In Legislature

The African-American witnesses at Thursday’s hearing on the proposed legislative redistricting map consistently made the case that there should have been 14 predominately black Senate districts out of 47, not the 12 proposed. But the decision by a three-judge federal court the next day on the congressional districts maps undermined some of these arguments based on the percentage of the population.


The New Republican Primary Rules Make It Possible For The Republican Establishment To Steal The Nomination From A Candidate They Don't Like

New Republican primary rules are going to make it basically impossible for any candidate to wrap up the Republican nomination very early in 2012. In fact, the new Republican primary rules make a "brokered convention" much more likely and they also make it much more likely that the Republican establishment will attempt to steal the nomination away from a candidate that they do not like. How exactly they would do this will be discussed later in the article. The key is that most Republican primaries and caucuses will now allocate delegates using a proportional system rather than a "winner take all" system. Back in 2008, John McCain did very well in early "winner take all" primaries and wrapped up the Republican nomination very, very quickly. Nothing like that will happen in 2012. In fact, if the field remains crowded it is going to be very difficult for any candidate to accumulate more than 50 percent of the delegates by the time the Republican national convention rolls around. As will be discussed later on in this article, that would move the power into the hands of the Republican establishment.

First, let's try to understand what these new changes are. Sadly, it appears that even most Republican voters do not understand how things have changed.

The following rule was adopted by the Republican Party back in August 2010....

"Any presidential primary, caucus, convention, or other meeting held for the purpose of selecting delegates to the national convention which occurs prior to the first day of April in the year in which the national convention is held, shall provide for the allocation of delegates on a proportional basis."

This new rule means that delegates will be apportioned to candidates on a proportional basis in Republican caucuses and primaries that are conducted prior to April 1st. One notable exception to this rule is Florida, which got approval to remain a "winner take all" state. So Florida will be very important.


Legal Online Gambling May Be On The Way, Courtesy Of Justice Department

Online poker and other forms of non-sports internet gambling could become legal, thanks in part to a recently released U.S. Department of Justice opinion on a 50-year-old law.


Gay Couples Lose Big On Tax Breaks Because Their Marriages Aren't Recognized

Gay couples whose marriages aren't viewed as legitimate by the federal government have to pay heavily due to the indignity. Same-sex couples reportedly pay as much as $6,000 more a year in taxes because they aren't allowed to file jointly.


FTC Wants Your Input

The Federal Trade Commission is exploring ways to develop new facial recognition technology and it wants your input. The FTC explored the future commercial applications of facial recognition technologies at a recent workshop. It's asking for public comment to answer questions that came out of that meeting. Those include: how consumers can benefit from the technologies?; what privacy and security might arise?; and what are best practices for providing consumers with notice and choice with these new technologies? The deadline for filing comments is Jan. 31, 2012. (FTC)

Tracking Santa

North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, set new records in its annual Santa Claus tracking exercise. NORAD, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., received more than 100,000 phone calls, up from 80,000 last year. Facebook likes rose to nearly a million. Twitter followers jumped to 89,000. NORAD's Elf-Toss smart phone app logged 700,000 downloads. NORAD has been tracking Santa's yearly trek since 1955. Meanwhile, a National Science Foundation interview with one economist shows U.S. consumer Christmas spending ranks only 20th among nations.

The Agriculture Department To Stop Publishing Several Reports

The Agriculture Department is reversing a decision to stop publishing several periodic reports. The agency estimated it could save about $10 million by eliminating or reducing the frequency of 14 crop and livestock reports. Two months later, USDA says it will reinstate the reports for categories including catfish and trout, fruits and vegetables, and bees and honey. The move comes after farmers complained they were left guessing how much to produce and when to sell. USDA says efficiencies in other operations will let the department reinstate the reports.

Federal Pay Safe, For Now

Federal pay and benefits are safe in the two-month payroll tax cut extension signed by the president just before Christmas. House Republicans passed the bill before the benefits expired at the end of December. The legislation buys time for talks early next year on how to finance a year-long extension. That fight promises to be contentious. For now the stop-gap bill renews the expiring payroll tax cuts for every worker, extends unemployment benefits for millions of Americans and prevents doctors from absorbing cuts in Medicare payments

Ron Paul: The NDAA Codifies Obama's Power Grab

Another Blow To Krugman: Consumer Confidence At 8 Month High

The Conference Board reports that its Consumer Confidence Index rose almost 10 points to 64.5, up from a revised 55.2 in November.

The surge builds on another big increase in November, when the index rose almost 15 points from the month before.

Krugman-like Keynesian analysts were scorched again. They had expected the index would come in at 59.

Consumer confidence isn't my favorite indicator because it will be slow in detecting tops in the business cycle. But strong confidence at the beginning of an upturn in the Fed created boom-bust cycle suggests that individuals will be lowering their desire to hold cash balances, which points to accelerating price inflation.

Thus this is a double-whammy to NYT Keynesian economist Paul Krugman, who only weeks ago said we remain under depression coniditions and who believes that inflation is under control.


Had To Happen

Sears And Kmart Closing More Than 100 Stores

Sears Holdings reports a sharp drop in holiday sales compared to a year ago, and says that means it will have to close 100 to 120 Sears and Kmart stores.



WHO: Wicomico County Executive Richard M. Pollitt, Jr.

WHAT: Annual State of the County Speech Distribution of “Report to the People”

WHERE: Government Office Building Council Chambers

WHEN: Wednesday, 12/28/11 – 10:00 A.M.

2011 Christmas Lights- Thank You Troops And Veterans! Thanks For Your Votes!

Bay Bridge Revenue Up 25 Percent

After increase last month, bridge traffic dips 2 percent

New, higher tolls on the Bay Bridge netted the state about $739,000 more last month than during the same month in 2010, according to preliminary statistics released by the Maryland Transportation Authority.


Wicomico County Sheriff's Office Press Releases 12-27-11

Incident: Attempted Burglary
Date of Incident: 23 December 2011
Location: Jackson Road Fruitland, MD
Suspect: Melissa S. Pond, 30, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 23 December 2011
, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported suspicious person on Jackson Road in Fruitland. An investigation revealed that the suspect, Melissa Pond, appeared to be intoxicated and was attempting to enter a residence. The occupants of the residence did not know Pond. Pond also damaged a flower pot at the residence. Pond was placed under arrest, and charged with the below offenses.

The deputy transported Pond to the Central Booking Unit where she was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner placed a $10,000 bond on Pond.

Charges: Attempted Burglary
Malicious Destruction of Property

Incident: Possession of CDS
Date of Incident: 21 December 2011
Location: Beaglin Park Drive Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Michael J. Dryden, 18, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 21 December 2011
a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a subject possessing contraband. During the ensuing investigation, the deputy located a smoking device containing suspected marijuana residue, in the back pocket of the suspect, Michael Dryden.

The deputy transported Dryden to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner placed a bond of $10,000 on Dryden.

Charges: Possession of Marijuana
Possession of CDS Paraphernalia

Daily Times Blog Article Yesterday Was Bogus

A reader sent in the following.

In the Oregon case the Federal judge - Marco Hernandez has gone way beyond his scope of authority in that he has re-written the 1st Amendment - Freedom of Press. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he himself has opened up a case against himself - for his attempt to circumvent our US Constitution.

This case is perfectly set-up to be challenged on appeal - and that is exactly what I predict will happen.

Publisher's Notes: I find it ironic that the Daily Times would publish such information, almost as if they were sending a warning shot over the bow. The hilarious part about the article is the fact that I have personally been challenged three times referencing this matter and they never once sited my victory all three times.

Am I supposed to get so scared I'll just stop blogging? Then they interview Jonathan Taylor in which he says he always consults an attorney before he published anything. YOUR TAX DOLLARS HARD AT WORK FOLKS. The man doesn't even have a job and lives off of disability and entitlements from YOU the taxpayers, yet he can afford an attorney before he published articles.

The Daily Times is publishing CRAP any more. Fear messages that are supposed to create an image, they must be stopped or challenged. Well, I say, bring it on. They had to go to a case in OREGON? Yet they already had case law from Tilghman vs. Albero, right here on the Eastern Shore?

Anything to discredit Salisbury News as we continue to grow, AND THEY KNOW IT TO BE A FACT. Don't you think for a second that the Daily Times isn't completely aware of how fast we continue to grow and how they are quickly falling apart.

Nice try Boys.

Very Cool Holiday Message

Sears, K-mart - Could This Be The Beginning of the End

A few days ago SBYnews released the latest sales tax collection data for Wicomico County.
2003 - $55,487,221
2004 - $60,701,335
2005 - $68,168,174
2006 - $76,160,447
2007 - $76,254,189
2008 - $75,892,624 - (Sales tax rate increased from 5% to 6%)
2009 - $74,451,792
2010 - $70,996,975
Moments ago - Sears stock value had declined by almost $11/Share and is now trading at its 52 week low $34.80.
SBYnews has been predicting that one or more of our areas local big box retailers could fold as a result of our deepening recession. Stay tuned - because the ride could prove to be very interesting.

Land Of The Freebies, Home Of The Enslaved

A Letter To The Editor 12-27-11

Can you help me remove a dead deer from the roadside on Pemberton Road?

If you have driven on Pemberton Road during the last month, you have noticed a dead deer, just across the street from the daycare center, just west of the Williams market, about 40 feet from the state road. It’s easy to spot, it now also has a Christmas wreath that someone placed on the site recently.

I know that the animal didn’t choose to be killed on the state road then dragged into the field. A more respectful place might be the right answer for this dead
animal, do you think?

I have a truck, a trailer, and a tarp needed to remove this deer. I need someone to help me remove the dead deer, should only take a half hour of your time. My cell number is 443.690.9299.

Thank You
R. Turner

PS – When you throw the fast food trash out your window, it will draw hungry wildlife onto the road. Please put trash in a trash can.

Today's Survey Question 12-27-11

Will NASA eventually find another planet that could sustain life like Earth?

Whose Country Is It, Anyway?

Half a century ago, American children were schooled in Aesop's fables. Among the more famous of these were "The Fox and the Grapes" and "The Tortoise and the Hare."

Particularly appropriate this Christmas season, and every Christmas lately, is Aesop's fable of "The Dog in the Manger."

The tale is about a dog who decides to take a nap in the manger. When the ox, who has worked all day, comes back to eat some straw, the dog barks loudly, threatens to bite him and drives him from his manger.

The lesson the fable teaches is that it is malicious and wicked to deny a fellow creature what you yourself do not want and cannot even enjoy.

What brings the fable to mind is this year's crop of Christmas-haters, whose numbers have grown since the days when it was only the village atheist or the ACLU pest who sought to kill Christmas.

The problem with these folks is not simply that they detest Christmas and what it represents, but that they must do their best, or worst, to ensure Christians do not enjoy the season and holy day they love.


Doing A Background Check On CNN

Since CNN broadcasters seem so intent on looking back decades into promo letters and newletters put out by one of Ron Paul's organizations,when everyone admits Ron Paul did not write the letters, lets take a look at the background of some of those affiliated with CNN. It's as elitist as you can get, with strong ties to the CIA recruiting ground, Yale University.

CNN is owned by Times Warner who's CEO Jeffery L. Bewkes is a director of the Council on Foreign Relations and also serves on the board of Yale University.

Also affiliated with Yale and CNN are Anderson Cooper and David Gergen.

Anderson Cooper spent time interning, during his summer breaks in his sophomore and junior years at Yale, at the CIA.

Cooper is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt and the great-great-great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt. It was J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller and Vanderbilt who developed Jekyll Island, where the Wall Street elite developed the plan to launch the Federal Reserve.

Cooper is also a member of the Manuscript Society (aka The Wrexham Foundation). The Manuscript Society is a secret society at Yale University, like Skull & Bones. The society holds an annual gathering in its tomb on Halloween.

CNN senior political correspondent, David Gergen, is also a member of the Manuscript Society and was a presidential advisor who served during the administrations of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton.


Montanans Launch Recall Of Senators Who Approved NDAA Military Detention

On Christmas Day the US Senate voted 86 - 14 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 which allows for the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. Now, Montanans have announced the launch of recall campaigns against Senators Max Baucus and Jonathan Tester, who voted for the bill, reports

Montana is one of nine states with provisions that say that the right of recall extends to recalling members of its federal congressional delegation, pursuant to Montana Code 2-16-603, on the grounds of physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of certain felony offenses, according to SNC.

Montana law requires grounds for recall to be stated which show conformity to the allowed grounds for recall. The draft language of the Montana petitions, "reason for recall" reads:

The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees all U.S citizens:

"a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed..."

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA 2011) permanently abolishes the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, "for the duration of hostilities" in the War on Terror, which was defined by President George W. Bush as "task which does not end" to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001.



“Though the Federal Reserve policy harms the average American, it benefits those in a position to take advantage of the cycles in monetary policy. The main beneficiaries are those who receive access to artificially inflated money and/or credit before the inflationary effects of the policy impact the entire economy. Federal Reserve policies also benefit big spending politicians who use the inflated currency created by the Fed to hide the true costs of the welfare-warfare state.” – Ron Paul

Ernest Hemingway and Ron Paul never met. Ron Paul was completing medical school in 1961 when Hemingway committed suicide at his home in Idaho. I think they would have hit it off. I stumbled across the quote from Hemingway above. Those words could have come directly out of the mouth of Ron Paul. Both men spent their whole lives seeking the truth and presenting their ideas in a blunt straightforward manner. Hemingway is one of the most renowned writers in American history, with classics such as A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Sun Also Rises to his credit. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. He constructed a new literary style characterized by lean, hard, sparse dialogue. He influenced literature and young authors for decades. As a teenager I was immediately drawn to his gritty realistic novels. There was no nonsense to his novels. They always involved man’s struggle against death and hardship. Most of his best work was done in the 1920s and 1930s, but he produced one of his finest works in 1951 towards the end of his life. Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for his story about an epic battle between an old man and a great marlin.

Ernest Hemingway was bigger than life. Hemingway’s real life reads like a Stephen Spielberg Indiana Jones movie. He was an ambulance driver in World War I, where he was seriously wounded. He had four wives. He lived in Paris during the 1920s associating with other famous “Lost Generation” writers. He was a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War and World War II, while also joining in the fighting. He survived two plane crashes and multiple car accidents. He battled alcoholism and mental illness, eventually taking his own life, just as his father, brother and sister had done before him. His novels reflected the pain, struggle and inevitability of death that permeated his own life.


Governor’s Challenge – Which Team will Take The Cake, Or Pie?

Salisbury, MD – For years, the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center has brought high school basketball players together in competition over the holiday break. In 2010 Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley placed a unique spin on this tradition by issuing a challenge to Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell. The wager: a Maryland Smith Island Cake to a Delaware Peach Pie. The inaugural Governor’s Challenge Basketball Tournament was born as a result, bringing with it a new level of excitement to the holiday basketball tradition seen on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The tradition will continue this year at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center from Tuesday, December 27 through Friday, December 30, 2011 as teams from Delaware, the reigning champions, go up against teams from Maryland in the M&T Cup. Tip-off for dual games played simultaneously on two NCAA 94’ regulated courts in the main arena will take place at 2pm Tuesday through Thursday, while play on Friday will begin at 12:30pm.

This year, as the competition continues to evolve, coordinators announced the addition of two new cups. The Dr. Pepper 10 will bring some of Maryland’s best teams head-to-head against one another including local favorites James M. Bennett and Wicomico. Games for the Dr. Pepper 10 will kick-off on Tuesday, December 27th at 8pm. Play will continue throughout the week before the final games on Friday, December 30th beginning at 3:30pm.

The East Coast Challenge has pulled together four of the region’s top-seeded high school basketball teams to compete including nationally ranked St. Frances Academy (MD), Red Lion Christian Academy (DE), St. Johns College High School (MD) and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (MD). The competition will be intense as each team competes for the win over the course of the week beginning Wednesday at 8:00pm. The winner will be declared during the final spotlight games on Friday, December 30th at 6:30pm and 8:00pm.

The Governor’s Challenge is open to the public for daily admission. Students (with ID) are $5 while adults are $10. Tickets will be sold at the gate. For a complete team list, schedule and more information visit Teams and/or schedule may change as the competition nears.

Ocean City Should Investigate Chief DiPino's Command, Policies

I have lived in Ocean City for 30-plus years and seen three police chiefs. The tenure of Chief Bernadette Dipino has been controversial.

Ocean City Police Department has been sued by officers many times; there were Fraternal Order of Police votes of no-confidence and too many whispers and rumors of misconduct by command staff.

FOP leaders seem to leave sooner than they should. One ex-FOP leader seems doomed to be a sergeant until retirement.

Jim Hall did the right thing by getting the Town Council to instruct DiPino to offer Earl Campbell money for the dog's medical bills. The K-9 got a Hollywood ending, but what about the officer who sacked his career? He was barred by OCPD rules from going public; OCPD is a paramilitary organization with a strict chain of command. If the officer filed a grievance, would he last as long as our ex-FOP presidents do?

The Salisbury blog that festers political controversy commented that the Campbell incident set a record in responses. I think people should sign their comments, but the alleged police commenters had no choice but to hide their names. I have heard DiPino travels too much. Instead of padding her resume, she could be more hands-on. I have heard more than once that favoritism and grudges dictate promotions.

Let's ask our council to create a panel to look at the Campbell incident and OCPD's command staff. Grant officers immunity to speak candidly -- outside the chain of command. If DiPino or anyone else needs to be fired, now is the time. We don't need all these lawsuits from police officers.

Rob Greenebaum

Ocean City


Recruiting Tightens Race For Control Of Senate

Just six months ago, Senate Republicans seemed poised to march to victory in 2012 and easily retake control of the upper chamber of Congress, but some successful Democratic recruiting and some unintentional help from the tea party in recent months have made next year’s overall contest more competitive.

Numbers alone mean the Democrats still face very tough odds, since they are defending 23 of the 33 Senate seats up for election next year, and few seats held by Republicans are considered competitive races for now.

Republicans must pick up just three or four seats to retake the chamber, depending on who wins the presidency, and the economy and President Obama’s sagging poll numbers aren’t likely to do Democrats any favors on down-ballot races.

But in recent months, Democrats have bolstered their position by amassing early campaign cash and fielding a handful of candidates whose campaigns have caught fire and are positioned to run hard against Republicans.

Here is more

'Hanukkah Miracle' Nixes Likely Terror Attack

An observant IDF soldier may have prevented a major terrorist attack in a large Israeli city, in what soldiers and commanders called a “Hanukkah miracle.”

An Arab terrorist who may have been on his way to the town of Har Bracha in central Samaria, was nabbed Tuesday morning when an IDF soldier arrested him, finding two large pipe bombs on his person.

What attracted the attention of the soldier was the unusually large bag the Arab was carrying. The soldier stopped the Arab, who was climbing up a hill that leads to Har Bracha, located near Shechem. The soldier grabbed the 18-year-old Arab's bag, and found in it not only the aforementioned pipe bombs, but also a molotov cocktail and ammunition. The Arab was immediately arrested and questioned. A search of the area by troops yielded a second bag with similar contents.

It should be noted that the spot where the Arab was arrested is mere meters away from the former location of the Hawara checkpoint, which was removed at the orders of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Arabs who attempted to smuggle weapons were routinely caught at this crossing, into and out of the Shechem area.

Samaria Council chairman Gershon Mesika phoned the commander of the brigade that arrested the Arab and thanked him for his and his soldiers' efforts.

“We salute the IDF for its work in preventing this attack, which could have been carried out against a major community in Samaria, or perhaps even a large city in the center of the country. Your soldier's awareness prevented this attack.

"But we cannot rely on miracles. I call on the government yet again to restore the Hawara checkpoint. Dozens of terrorists were caught there, and with its closure a terrorist can easily leave Shechem and reach the center of the country. We are blessed with wonderful soldiers who are doing holy work, and the government must give those soldiers the tools they need to stop terror."