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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rare Color Pics From WWII‏

An unidentified US pilot stands up in the cockpit of his plane on the tarmac on Midway Naval Base, Midway Islands, 1942.

A group of American soldiers inspect heavily damaged and abandoned German armor, Italy, May 1944.

A group of Curtiss P-40 Warhawks escorted a pair of Consolidated B-24D Liberators on a flight near the Aleutian islands, Alaska, 1944.

Wisconsin Assembly Passes Junk Food Limits and Drug Testing for Food Stamp Recipients

Any attempt to limit welfare spending sends liberals into an apoplectic rage. Unfortunately for them, in at least one state,welfare recipients are now going to be limited on what they can buy, and will also have to undergo drug testing in order to receive benefits.

Public aid recipients in Wisconsin would be limited in how much junk food they could buy and forced to take mandatory drug screenings under two bills passed by the state Assembly on Wednesday.

“With help from the government comes responsibility,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in a news conference prior to debate.

Republican supporters say that they want to ensure that beneficiaries of public programs are eating health food and staying drug-fee–two things that supporters say will make them more employable.

Under the junk food bill, food stamp recipients would be required to use at least two-thirds of their monthly benefits to buy nutritional foods such as beef, chicken, pork, potatoes, dairy products, fresh produce, and food available under the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program. It would also prohibit users from using the money to buy crab, lobster, shrimp, and other shellfish.

Because the federal government funds food stamp benefits, the limitations posed under the bill would require a federal waiver that no other state has ever proposed.

Democrats have argued that the measure is a gross overreach and grocery stores have also been wary of the proposal as they would have to install software to track spending by food stamp users–something that could cost up to $55 million.

The bill passed a 60-33 vote, with all Democrats voting against it and all Republicans–save for two–in favor of the measure.


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Here’s What Happened When Two Cops Walked Down the Street Armed With ‘Free Hugs’ Signs

A pair of Delaware police officers were recently dispatched for a special assignment: walk down streets with signs reading, “Free Hugs #HugACop.”

 Newark Police Department Officers James Spadola and Aaron Olicker were a conspicuous sight in the town that’s home to the University of Delaware — and for the most part, didn’t need to coax too much:

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Just Deserts: MSNBC Ratings Getting Worse by the Day!

The worst major cable “news” network is proving to be the far left-wing MSNBC. No, not just in my opinion, but according to the network’s constantly failing ratings.

The Ed Show is one of the network’s worst ratings disasters, too. This month the show hit an all time low of only 30,000 viewers. Let’s put it this way–we have tens of thousands more than that every day who come to RightWingNews!

MSNBC is struggling mightily to draw the coveted 25-54 demo. Not only did it draw a fifth the total number of viewers in that demographic than Fox News Wednesday, it reached a 10-year low average viewership in the demo for the total day.

The cratering network drew an average of 49k viewers in the 25-54 demo Wednesday, third behind Fox News and CNN, who drew roughly five times and twice as many viewers respectively. That’s the lowest average for MSNBC since July 20, 2005, when the network pulled in only 45k for the total day.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving network.

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Ellen Gives Military Family A New Car

What's Wrong With This Delmar Picture?


Rt. 50 Accident Update

Type of Incident: Motor Vehicle Collision - Fatal
Date and Time: 05/16/2015 at approximately 1819 hrs
Location: US 50 W/B @ Bell Rd, Worcester County , MD
Vehicle(s): Vehicle #1 1999 Maryland Registration 133M433 GMC Yukon
Driver/passengers(s)/pedestrian: Michael Edward Morrissette, 54 from Berlin Maryland
Victim(s)/Injuries: Driver pronounced at scene

Narrative:

On 5/16/2015 at approximately 1819 hrs, Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack responded to a motor vehicle collision in the area of US 50 W/B @ Bell Rd, Worcester County, Maryland.

The preliminary investigation indicates the 1999 GMC Yukon operated by Michael Edward Morrissette of Berlin was traveling US 50 W/B @ Bell Rd. Evidence and witness statements indicate that the driver left the left side of the roadway into the median and struck a tree at which time the vehicle came to rest.

The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was pronounced deceased upon arrival of medical personnel. Notification has been made to the family by Maryland State Police. The deceased has been sent to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy.
U.S. Rt. 50 W/B was closed from the time of the collision until approximately 2030 hours. The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Berlin Fire Department and Maryland State Highway administration assisted with the incident.

Exelon-Pepco Holdings Merger Approved by Maryland Public Service Commission

Obamacare Exchanges on Life Support

At a recent White House science fair celebrating inventors, a Girl Scout who helped design a Lego-powered page-turning device asked President Obama what he had ever thought up or prototyped. Stumbling for an answer, he replied:
“I came up with things like, you know, health care.”

Ah, yes. “Health care.” Remember when the president’s signature Obamacare health insurance exchanges were going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, the remote control, jogger strollers, Siri, the Keurig coffee maker, driverless cars and Legos all rolled into one?

The miraculous, efficient, cost-saving, innovative 21st-century government-run “marketplaces” were supposed to put the “affordable” in Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Know-it-all bureaucrats were going to show private companies how to set up better websites (gigglesnort), implement better marketing and outreach (guffaw), provide superior customer service (belly laugh), and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse (LOLOLOL).

You will be shocked beyond belief, I’m sure, to learn that Obamacare exchanges across the country are instead bleeding money, seeking more taxpayer bailouts and turning everything they touch to chicken poop.

Wait, that’s not fair to chicken poop, which can at least be composted.

“Almost half of Obamacare exchanges face financial struggles in the future,” The Washington Post reported last week. The news comes despite $5 billion in federal taxpayer subsidies for IT vendors, call centers and all the infrastructure and manpower needed to prop up the showcase government health insurance entities. Initially, the feds ran 34 state exchanges; 16 states and the District of Columbia set up their own.

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Sitting In Traffic In OC


OCPD TO HOST RAAM ID TRAINING SESSION ON JUNE 4

The Ocean City Police Department will be hosting an identification training session as part of the department’s Reducing Availability of Alcohol to Minors (RAAM) Program at the City Hall Council Chambers (301 Baltimore Avenue) on June 4. The session will begin at 9 a.m. and end at approximately 11 a.m. This free training session are designed for alcohol retailers, restaurant servers and bartenders.

For those that are unable to attend on June 4, video of the training session will be made available on the Ocean City Police Department’s YouTube Channel on June 5. Ocean City restaurants and alcohol retail establishments are encouraged to include this training opportunity in to their new seasonal employee orientation and training. No registration is necessary and there is no cost to attend this training.

The RAAM Program is a community policing initiative that began in 1995 and addresses underage drinking in Ocean City. An essential component of this program is the partnership formed with local alcohol retailers, restaurants and bars. The Ocean City Police Department continues to strictly enforce underage drinking and is committed to the ongoing relationships with the Ocean City business community.

For more information about the RAAM Program and the upcoming training session, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at 410-520-5395.

North Carolina Woman Being Evicted From Her Own Land For Living in Tent

An overstep and abuse of power by the city/county authorities

Ingred Larson received an eviction notice from the county today. Why? For living in a tent on her own property. Yes. Really. She is being evicted for living in a tent on her own land.

10 years ago the city sewer line flooded her home with 10,000 gallons of raw sewage. There was a settlement, however the city/county wants her to hook back up to the county sewer system, but Larson does not want to, and would rather hook up to the septic tank system on her property. The county doesn’t want that, and is forcing her to hook-up to the city sewer.

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NRP Steps Up Patrols As Boating Season Gets Underway




With the Memorial Day holiday approaching, Maryland Natural Resources Police officers will be stepping up enforcement of state maritime laws as part of National Safe Boating Week, May 16-22.

Late May begins the annual boating boom and the four-month stretch in which the majority of boating accidents in Maryland occur.

Last Memorial Day weekend, the state recorded eight boating accidents and two fatalities.

West Bound Rt. 50 Shut Down

There's been a bad accident west bound rt 5o just past Whayleyville. Take another route if you can, like old Ocean City Rd.

China’s Secret Space Weapons Targeting U.S. : “Soon Every Satellite Will Be at Risk”

Theoretically, space and the orbit around Earth is a peaceful place, and the world wants to keep it that way

But in practicality, it is the subtle front of modern warfare, where exotic weaponry and high tech gadgetry are used to operate systems on the ground, and assert dominance over the spheres of the planet. And tensions are running high.

The Pentagon has issued an alarming new report to Congress that identifies several secretive and publicly unknown projects under development in China that it perceives to a be an attempt to militarize space and undermine U.S. military and strategic interests.

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Plans For ‘Innovative Library’ In Berlin Discussed

BERLIN – Plans for a new library in downtown Berlin continue to move forward.

Worcester County Library officials provided the latest details regarding a new Berlin library this week as they sought funding assistance from the Town of Berlin.

“We’re really looking forward to working with you,” said Jennifer Ranck, deputy director of the Worcester County Library. “An innovative town like Berlin deserves an innovative library.”

Ranck said library officials were hoping the town would contribute $75,000 toward the new facility, which is expected to cost just under $5 million. The donation, she explained, could be broken up and given over three years and would be used to get a $150,000 grant from the Humphrey’s Foundation.

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Ancient Antarctic Ice Shelf Nearing Complete Collapse

In 2002, two-thirds of the Larsen B Ice Shelf, located along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, collapsed in a span of less than six weeks. According to a new NASA study, the remains of this ancient structure, which has existed for over 10,000 years, are likely to disintegrate completely before the end of the decade -- an event that would significantly contribute to global sea level rise.

“These are warning signs that the remnant is disintegrating,” Ala Khazendar from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who led the study, said in a statement. “Although it’s fascinating scientifically to have a front-row seat to watch the ice shelf becoming unstable and breaking up, it’s bad news for our planet.”

Several recent studies have spotted an uptick in the melting of Antarctica’s floating ice shelves, which act as doorstops and hold back its glaciers and ice sheets from spreading outward into oceans. In some regions, the thickness of these shelves has fallen by as much as 18 percent over the past 18 years -- a process that has accelerated over the last decade.

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The unexpected twist after son of fallen deputy is outbid for his late father’s cruiser

Tanner Brownlee had a plan: Raise some cash so he could buy his dad’s old patrol car at a charity auction on Wednesday in Greeley, Colo.

The 19-year-old’s father, Weld County Sheriff’s Deputy Sam Brownlee, died in the line of duty in 2010. And that old Dodge Charger the deputy drove was more than just a car to Tanner and his brother, Chase, 16. Tanner has a few of his father’s mementos, including a motorcycle jacket, given to him the day his father died. “Just everything I can get means a lot to me,” he told WKBW.

So the brothers launched a GoFundMe campaign, raising $3,340 so Tanner could try to buy the Charger.

But the bids went far beyond Tanner’s means, as WKBW reported. Local rancher Steve Wells made the winning bid of $60,000, much higher than the Kelly Blue Book value of $12,500.

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in The Shade


Governor Larry Hogan To Re-Open Annapolis State Police Barrack And Add 100 Troopers

Essential Public Safety Measures Take Priority Over Discretionary Funding For The Maryland Hall For The Creative Arts

ANNAPOLIS, MD –
Governor Larry Hogan today announced the administration’s plan to re-open the Maryland State Police barrack in Annapolis and add 100 new troopers to the force. The announcement follows the General Assembly’s failure to approve the necessary funding to enhance the capabilities of the Maryland State Police though a second supplemental budget introduced by Governor Hogan on April 2nd.

During the legislative session, the Speaker of the House declined to formally introduce Governor Hogan’s Supplemental Budget No. 2 for consideration and debate by members. This amendment to the budget contained funding mechanisms for additional state troopers and the re-opening of Barrack “J” in Annapolis.

“We are going to move forward with our plan, despite the Speaker of the House’s refusal to introduce a supplemental budget that would have put more State Troopers on Maryland’s highways and funded the re-opening of the Annapolis barrack,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state troopers were an essential element in the restoration of order in Baltimore last month and their exemplary work in the city is evidence of just how much we need these new positions. It is unconscionable to deprive our state capital of a State Police barrack and the troopers necessary to ensure public safety or respond to an emergency.”

To offset the expenditure associated with the State Police action, Governor Hogan will line item veto a single item in the Maryland Consolidated Capital Bond Loan of 2015, also known as the Capital Budget. This veto eliminates $2 million in state funding for renovations to the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, also based in Annapolis. The remainder of the capital budget is unaffected and will pass into law without the Governor’s signature.

“I am a huge proponent of the arts and the First Lady is a former member of the Anne Arundel County Arts Council. But in the current environment, a State Police Barrack in our state capital and adequate funding for public safety in Annapolis must be the priority,” said the Governor.
Under the administration’s plan the authorized size of the Maryland State Police would grow from 1,556 men and women in uniform to 1,656 – a level not seen for more than a dozen years. The state has also initiated work to reopen the Maryland State Police “Barrack J” in Annapolis that was closed by the previous administration in 2008. The barrack is on track to re-open in the fall of 2015.
The Maryland State Police as a component of public safety and crime control:
In 2014, Maryland state troopers made more than 19,000 criminal arrests and recovered almost 2,000 illegal guns.
The Regional Automated Property Information Database coordinated by the Maryland State Police assisted in the arrests of more than 1,700 criminals and the recovery of $6.7 million worth of stolen property in 2014.
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command completed its transition to the new helicopter fleet ahead of schedule and last year flew 2,200 patients to lifesaving care. It also helped to find 123 lost or missing people in 2014.
The internationally accredited Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division Crime Laboratory analyzed 21,139 cases last year, 72 percent of which were for local police departments in the state.

Commissioners Trim Non-Profit Funding Allocations; County Cuts $65K To Record Meetings

SNOW HILL – County leaders expressed concern over growing funding requests from local non-profits at a budget work session this week.

As the Worcester County Commissioners began tackling the county’s $22 million budget shortfall — going through the budget proposals from most county departments Tuesday — several questioned the $791,000 set to go to local social service organizations.

“I think we need to take a serious look at all of them,” said Jim Bunting, president of the commissioners.

Originally, local non-profits, considered “Other Social Services” by the county, requested $843,807 for FY 2016. A committee of county staff tweaked that request, bringing it down to $791,028. That included flat funding for all organizations except the Worcester County Developmental Center and the Cricket Center, both of which were to receive slight increases. The proposed grant for the developmental center was $223,000, or $2,000 more than last year’s grant, while the Cricket Center was set to receive $12,000, about $3,500 more than it received last year.

Bunting pointed out non-profits had all been started by people committed to fundraising to support a cause.

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And The Lawsuits Keep Piling In


Gentlemen:

I do not want to create extra work for you, but I would respectfully request forwarding your clients a copy of this draft Complaint.  I have given this matter thought over the weekend, and I would like to give the City of Salisbury one opportunity to resolve these matters quietly, globally and confidentially. 

From what I hear this latest incident was really bad.  I have pictures of my clients’ injuries and I can provide them to you upon request.  I cannot believe that this Officer continues to be supported by the SPD.  Currently, I am aware of the following incidents:

1.       12/30/13 (Jennie Davis)(racial slurs, excessive force)
2.       1/1/14 (Roadie Joe’s incident)(pepper spray while handcuffed)
3.       5/4/14 (Curtis Adams, et al)(excessive force, altering police reports)
4.       Summer 2014 (Kushner workplace and phone “harassment”)
5.       8/11/14 (Francois, et al)(excessive force while handcuffed)
6.       8/24/14 (Smith, et al) (racial profiling, guns drawn)
7.       4/9/15 (Hampshire)(racial slurs, excessive force, pepper spray while handcuffed, guns drawn)


As you know, Aita has lost every contested court case—neither judges or juries find him to be credible.  We cannot ignore this reality.  Also, the fact that this misconduct keeps happening should surprise no one.  The similarities are fairly unmistakable.  If the City is interesting in resolving these matters I would suggest reaching out to me quickly. As someone who works and lives in Salisbury, I would like to get this behind us, privately. The alternative will be a very public response by my clients.  We are ready to move forward in that regard, and I have a feeling this case will be of national interest.    

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Luke Rommel

RIDE TO SCHOOL WITH THE SHERIFF

RIDE TO SCHOOL WITH THE SHERIFFAs part of a fundraiser at their school, a ride to school with the sheriff was one of...

Posted by Queen Anne's County Office of the Sheriff on Friday, May 15, 2015

Professor, Christians: Reports of Faith Dying in US 'Just Not True'

The Christian faith in the United States is not dying despite studies that say otherwise, adherents say.

A Christian Post article refutes claims made in a recent Pew Research Center study that showed Christianity is on the decline and Islam is on its way up in terms of followers.

"There's a story some people want to report — that religion is on life support — but it's just not true," said Baylor University professor Byron Johnson, the founding director of the Institute for Studies of Religion, in the Christian Post piece.

Johnson countered claims that Americans are leaving the Christian faith by saying many of those people are instead either attending non-denominational churches or deciding to not attend mass for a few years.

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, told the Christian Post the Pew numbers indicate Christianity is no longer "normal" — and that's not a bad thing, he said.

"Christianity isn't normal anymore. It never should have been. The increasing strangeness of Christianity might be bad news for America, but it's good news for the church," Moore said. "The major newspapers are telling us today that Christianity is dying, according to this new study, but what is clear from this study is exactly the opposite: while mainline traditions plummet, evangelical churches are remaining remarkably steady.

"The churches that are thriving are vibrant, counter-cultural congregations that aren't afraid to not be seen as normal to the surrounding culture," Moore added. "This report actually leaves me hopeful."

More here

Adorable Surprise While Blowing Out Candles For Her 102nd Birthday

Tea Party Lawyer Mitchell Rips Congress for Inaction on IRS Scandal

It's been two years since an inspector general's report revealed the IRS had targeted tea party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny – but the lack of action since then also illustrates "Congress's inability to exercise its constitutional oversight responsibilities," lawyer Cleta Mitchell charges.

In a blistering op-ed commentary in the Wall Street Journal Thursday night, Mitchell, who represents many tea party and conservative groups, says it's time both the Obama administration and Congress do something to rectify the inaction.

"Lying to Congress is a felony," she writes. "But the Obama Justice Department has not lifted a finger to prosecute anyone responsible for the IRS scandal, including top brass who repeatedly gave false testimony to Congress."

But "neither has Congress done much about being lied to by the IRS," she adds.

Mitchell says a report issued last December by California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa – then chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform—"details numerous instances in which senior IRS officials, including former Commissioner Doug Shulman, Acting Commissioner Steven Miller and Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner lied to Congress, denying and covering up the targeting of tea party and conservative groups before the inspector general’s May 2013 report."

She also lashes out at IRS commissioner John Koskinen for telling Congress in June 2014 that there were multiple unsuccessful efforts to recover a trove of mysteriously missing emails to and from Lerner.

"All the while the emails were sitting on an off-site server in West Virginia," she writes.

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Charlie Cook: Don't Count on Polls to Predict 2016 GOP Nominee

When it comes to predicting who will be the winner of the Republican nomination, polls will not be a reliable indicator, said the National Journal's Charlie Cook.

In a column, Cook makes the case that polling results vary widely even when the question is the same.

"The field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is as flat as any in modern memory — pretty remarkable for a party that usually has a fight but almost invariably ends up nominating whoever's turn it is," he wrote.

"The flatness of this field combined with a system awash in money — with just a single billionaire able to keep a candidate in the race — should make for an exceedingly volatile Republican campaign, one that is absolutely impossible to predict."

More here

NORTH SALISBURY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NAMED A 2015 NATIONAL SCHOOL OF CHARACTER

North Salisbury Elementary School and Wicomico County Public Schools are thrilled to announce that Tuesday, May 12 Character.org, a national advocate and leader for the Character Education movement, named North Salisbury Elementary a 2015 National School of Character. The Schools of Character program recognizes North Salisbury School as a school that has demonstrated its use of character education and development to drive a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and North Salisbury School’s climate.

The Schools of Character application process provides an opportunity for schools to receive feedback as well as recognition for growth and excellence in the area of character education as measured by Character.org’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education framework. North Salisbury will hold its designation of National School of Character for five years and will be showcased at the national conference in October.

North Salisbury School, a grades 3-5 school on Emerson Drive in Salisbury, has 450 students in its traditional school and its magnet program. North Salisbury was the Eastern Shore’s first EGATE Award winner for Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education, and it has also been honored as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. The school has been working on character development for more than six years, and had previously been honored at the state level for outstanding work in character education.

Fate of Four Captive Americans Hangs Over Iran Talks

As a June 30 deadline approaches for a nuclear deal with Iran, the fate of four Americans imprisoned or missing in the Islamic Republic hangs over the talks and has provoked a debate on Capitol Hill.

Three — a former Marine, a pastor and a journalist — are accused of espionage or undermining Iran’s national security. Their families tell a different story: one was visiting his elderly grandmother; another was supporting Christian churches in private homes and an orphanage; the third is a reporter for The Washington Post.

The fourth, former FBI agent Robert Levinson, 67, was reportedly on a CIA fact-finding mission when he went missing in 2007 on Kish Island off Iran’s coast. In 2011, his family in Florida received photos from Afghanistan showing him in an orange jumpsuit.

Their representatives in Congress call the men hostages. Iran doesn’t recognize the three imprisoned men as Americans because their fathers were Iranian and denies any knowledge of Levinson.

Their plight has set off arguments between lawmakers who insist that the U.S. should demand their freedom as part of any deal limiting Iran’s nuclear capabilities and others who say the four shouldn’t be treated as bargaining chips.

Many Republicans say freeing the men must come first.

More here

Israeli Government to Refugees: Go Back to Africa or Go to Prison

HOLOT, Israel — As Europe struggles to stem a spring flood of migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to cross a deadly Mediterranean Sea, Israel has begun to toughen its stance toward refugees, telling unwanted Africans here they must leave now or face an indefinite stay in prison.

Israeli authorities are sending letters to the first of 45,000 Eritrean and Sudanese refugees, informing them they have 30 days to accept Israel’s offer of $3,500 in cash and a one-way ticket home or to an unnamed third country in Africa, or face incarceration at Saharonim prison.

Israeli leaders have proclaimed that their tough approach — building a fence along its border, denying work permits for illegal migrants, forcing them into a detention center in the desert — may ultimately save lives by dissuading migrants from attempting a perilous journey. Critics of the Israeli policy counter that a country built by refugees should be more accepting of those fleeing war, poverty and oppression.

But these days, even liberal Europe is considering a more muscular approach. The European Union began a push Monday for U.N. authorization to deploy military force in the Mediterranean to stop migrant smuggling ships.

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SPD Meets With Communities About Off Road Motorcyles

SPD meets with Doverdale/Church St community off rd m/c concerns..flyers #crimesolvers #cashtips http://t.co/JVB6miA4OB

Posted by Salisbury Police Department on Friday, May 15, 2015

Temporary, teen and sibling housing sought

There are many types of services provided to children by the Worcester County Department of Social Services and many local children need every kind – and then some.

Just 21 homes, with one more coming online before July 1, are available to provide temporary or foster care to the 28 children and young adults currently in the system. Geography counts, especially in Worcester County, because the troubles that could lead a family to avail themselves of foster options are universal, according to Jami Truitt of Worcester County Social Services said. Cities and towns within Worcester are not, Truitt said, using the differences between Ocean Pines and Girdletree as an example.

“My pie in the sky is there is a home on every block in every neighborhood that has been licensed to foster children,” she said.

As it is, besides parents and extended family members, Truitt said social services would explore “fictive” bonds between people, in order to retain a measure of stability in an unstable time. A coach, friend’s parent or close neighbor could potentially step in as a foster parent to preserve school attendance, social circles and as much of a daily routine as possible, Truitt said.

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Governor Hogan Meeting Some Of The Horses At The Preekness Stables


Meeting some of the horses this morning at the Preakness Stables!
Posted by Larry Hogan on Saturday, May 16, 2015
This man never stops. I don't think he has had a day off since before he was elected!

Op-Ed: ​Controversial US Military Exercise Stokes Fears of Martial Law

(IsraelNationalNews) For over a decade, the United States has conducted a stealth experiment in stealth war-fighting, with profound consequences for its military strategy and self-governance.

Since 9/11, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) have become parallel spying and war-fighting machines that operate around the globe.

Technologically advanced quick-strike night raids in hot battlefields such as Iraq and Afghanistan, targeted killings in Yemen and spy operations in Iran would become JSOC trademark.

In contrast, the CIA had "more expansive authorities" due to its specialty in running covert actions that the government does not acknowledge publicly.

This summer, the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) will conduct an unprecedented multi-state exercise “to train US Special Operations Forces to further strengthen their working relationship for future deployments and to respond to an international crisis".

From July 15 to Sept. 15, about 1,200 special operations personnel will be involved and move covertly among the public. They will use military equipment to travel between seven Southwestern states from Texas to California.

Code-named Jade Helm 15, the operation is a covert, off-base military training exercise in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, California, and Nevada.

USASOC has conducted multistate training exercises before, but Jade Helm 15 will become the largest training operation done by the US military in response to what it calls the evolving nature of warfare.

On a map released by USASOC to show the fictitious battlefield of the Jade Helm 15 training exercise, Texas, Utah and California are labeled as “hostile” states.

More here

Mosby Aims High with New Program Promising Jobs & Education in Lieu of Convictions

Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, announced a new pilot program Thursday aimed at reducing Baltimore’s recidivism and unemployment rates. Mosby’s Aim to B’more launched May 4th. Mosby’s pilot program is open to 30 eligible participants, who are non-violent— first time— felony drug offenders. Each participant will have their record expunged after successful completion of the program.

Deborah Spector, Deputy Director of Crime Control and Prevention, spent the last four months building the program under the direction of Mosby. Spector was recruited to the office in January, and is a former public defender who spent nearly 20 years representing the poor in Howard County and Baltimore City.

Mosby’s Aim to B’more is modeled after a nationally successful program model that is proven to both reduce recidivism rates and save tax dollars. After her win in last year’s Democratic primary, Mosby visited District and State Attorney offices around the country including: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Experts lauded Attorney General Kamala Harris’ (D- CA) version of the program in California as a holistic approach to solving systemic issues within the criminal justice system.

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Amtrak Train May Have Been Struck Before It Derailed, Officials Say

PHILADELPHIA — An assistant conductor on the Amtrak train that derailed on Tuesday believes she heard the engineer tell another regional train operator in a radio transmission that the train had been struck by something just before the accident, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

At a news conference on Friday, Robert L. Sumwalt, the safety board official who is leading the investigation, said the F.B.I. had been asked to examine what he described as a fist-size impact area found on the lower left side of the train’s windshield. Officials said that the F.B.I. had been called in because it has the forensics expertise needed for the investigation, but that it had not yet begun its analysis.

Mr. Sumwalt said investigators had interviewed all three crew members, including the engineer, whom they said was “extremely cooperative” and displayed good knowledge of the proper procedures and speeds for the rail line. He said the engineer had not been fatigued and was not ill.

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First look: New Mississippi paddle wheeler American Eagle

Thinking about a river cruise on the Mississippi? You'll want to take a stroll through our latest Cruise Ship Tour, in the carousel above, which offers a deck-by-deck look at American Cruise Lines' newAmerican Eagle.

Christened last month in New Orleans, the 150-passenger vessel is only the second new paddle wheeler designed for overnight travel on America's rivers in the past two decades.

As can be seen in the tour, the American Eagle features a traditional early-American riverboat design while offering all the creature comforts of a modern vessel including large cabins with balconies.

Created by veteran cruise writer and ship photographer Peter Knego and designed as a research tool for vacationers considering a voyage, the American Eagle photo tour is the 128th in our ongoing series of ship and riverboat galleries. For previous photo tours, click on the links below.

Click HERE to see the American Eagle photos above in larger format.

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IRS Drops Asset Forfeiture Case Against NC Business Owner After Media Scrutiny

Federal prosecutors have dropped an attempt to seize $107,000 from a North Carolina small business owner using asset forfeiture laws following several weeks of media scrutiny.

According to the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm, the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department moved Wednesday to voluntarily dismiss their case against Lyndon McLellan.

Last summer, IRS agents seized $107,000 from McLellan, who owns a small convenience store in rural North Carolina, using civil asset forfeiture laws. McLellan had unknowingly violated so-called “structuring” rules that prohibit businesses from making deposits less than $10,000. He was not charged with a crime, but his entire bank account was seized.

Structuring rules are intended to stop businesses from using small deposits to avoid triggering federal reporting requirements by banks, but civil liberties advocates such as the Institute for Justice say the IRS has used the obscure rules to seize the bank accounts of small business owners without charging them with a crime.

The New York Times reported on McLellan’s case, as did many other news outlets.

“I’m relieved to be getting my money back,” McLellan said in a press release from the Institute for Justice, which is representing him. “What’s wrong is wrong, and what the government did here is wrong. I just hope that by standing up for what’s right, it means this won’t happen to other people.”

The Institute for Justice said the IRS was violating policies announced last November that were supposed to prevent the agency from pursuing structuring cases against small business owners except in cases where it has probable cause that other criminal activity is occurring.

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Student Absolutely Flummoxed by College Adviser’s Reaction When He Walked Into Her Office: ‘Oh My God’

Kennesaw State University student Kevin Bruce had a couple of questions for his exercise science adviser, so he dropped by her office at the Georgia school Wednesday despite not having made an appointment.

Once in the office, Bruce said he was told his adviser was busy and that he should complete a form and come back in an hour. When Bruce said he’d rather wait, Abby Dawson was summoned.

Bruce’s reaction? “Oh my God.”

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GOP Senators Ambush NLRB

Senate Republicans grilled the nation’s top labor regulators for undermining long-standing labor laws to benefit unions on Thursday.

Mark Gaston Pearce, chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and Richard Griffin, the NLRB’s general counsel, appeared before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday to lay out the agency’s budget request. Griffin touted the board’s high caseload and efforts to “preserve industrial peace” to justify a modest uptick to its budget request.

“Without sufficient funding employees and employers will lose,” Griffin said.

Republican senators were more interested in probing the two men about controversial new regulations and rules emerging from the agency that threaten right to work laws and an unbiased election process.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, asked Pearce about a call for briefs the agency issued in April exploring whether unions should be able to charge non-members fees.

Right-to-work states are protected by the National Labor Relations Act, which allows states to adopt laws saying that employees cannot be compelled to pay unions as a condition of employment. Half of all states have passed such laws, including Sen. Alexander’s native Tennessee.

“Does that law sound permissible under the National Labor Relations Act?” Alexander asked.

More here

HISTORICAL COMMENTS BY GEORGE CHEVALLIER 5-16-15

Car Games

Back in the days when families took family vacations in their cars, things were a lot different from what they are now. Travel was much slower because there were no super highways, and most of the roads required speeds, either mandated by law or dictated by conditions, which were far below the 70 mph+ that are attained today on the Interstate Highways. Also, there were no seat belts, and the children in the back seat usually spent most of their time hanging off the back of the front seat. This was a serious impediment to the concentration of my father who was trying to drive.

We used to play a game called “counting cows”. Since there were two of us, my sister and I, in the back seat, this made for the perfect arrangement for playing the game. She got all the cows that were in a pasture on her side, and I got all the cows on my side. The problem for anyone playing came about when you passed a graveyard. When you passed a graveyard, you lost all your cows, certainly a far cry from the modern electronic devices used to entertain the children of today. Vehicles of today have VCR’s in them and the children can watch their favorite movies. Or they can play any number of hand-held games-just as entertaining, but not quite as good for the formation of social interaction as the games of old.

Another thing we did was count Fords. Since my father was a Ford man, he was the final judge when we would spot one. Of course, as children, we had to point out with our fingers every one that we spotted. The little hands flying in front of his face sometimes caused him to halt the game as we became more animated. There were many variations to counting Fords. We would go by car colors or different makes sometimes. It was possible to identify the different makes in those days because they all didn’t look alike as they do now. A lot of cars now are only identifiable if you know the symbol of the car manufacturer, and not many of us know them all. Many of us can remember when the Labor Day weekend was the time when car manufacturers broke out their “new line” for the coming year. It was a much anticipated occasion for the men of the world. Women didn’t have much to do with cars in those days.

Spotting license plates from all over the country was usually a community effort by everyone in the car. We always thought that a car from theMidwest had come a very long way. To us, someone who had come from Wisconsin or one of the Dakotas was always met with comments that they had really traveled a long way. Now, people just hop on a plane and travel half way across the country in just a few hours.

The car games we played helped pass the time and also allowed us to see a lot of new geography. Coming from the flat Eastern Shore, we always marveled at the mountains as we were going throughPennsylvania. There was even a restaurant in Pennsylvaniathat seemed to be on the precipice of a very steep drop. We stood in amazement at the sheer height. Of course, it didn’t take as much to amaze us in those days. Times change.

On Landmark Demolition, Property Owner: ‘It’s Sad To See Another Historic Building Get Torn Down, But The Times Move On’

OCEAN CITY — After two fires in the span of a little over a month this winter, the old Melvin’s Steakhouse and most recently de Lazy Lizard Brew Pub building was torn down on Wednesday.

On Feb. 10, a major fire occurred at the historic building on the corner of 1st Street and Philadelphia Avenue, injuring four, including two Ocean City firefighters, and displacing 13 residents who lived in the apartments on the upper levels. A little more than a month later, a second, smaller fire was reported at the vacant building.

Early Wednesday, crews began demolishing the old building with a pair of bulldozers that clawed away at the historic building. A couple of hours later, all that remained of the structure was a huge pile of wood, glass, concrete and other materials on the site that held memories for so many locals and visitors to the resort over the years.

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Gowdy: State Dept. Blocking Clinton Benghazi Testimony

The chairman of the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, said Thursday that he can't set a date for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to testify before his panel because the State Department has been slow in producing needed documents.

In a letter Thursday to Secretary of State John Kerry, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., complained that the department has delayed providing emails and other documents involving Clinton, a former secretary of state.

"Simply put, the committee must have the records of communication requested more than six months ago before the secretary's appearance can be scheduled," Gowdy wrote.

The State Department pushed back, saying the department has provided 300 emails from Clinton, 19 witnesses and more than 4,000 pages of documents from the initial State Department investigation.

The Benghazi committee "doesn't know how to take 'yes' for an answer," said State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach.

Gowdy had initially called for Clinton to testify next week on the attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, but he told Kerry that no longer appears possible.

Democrats have complained that Gowdy and other Republicans are drawing out the Benghazi hearings in order to disrupt Clinton's presidential campaign, but Gowdy said the State Department is to blame for any delays. The committee must have a complete record before lawmakers can effectively question Clinton, Gowdy said.

"The only thing standing between the committee and the former secretary being able to discuss her tenure as secretary of state as it relates to Libya and Benghazi is the Department of State's failure, in more than half a year, to produce a single, solitary email responsive to our request and subpoena," Gowdy wrote.

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Pearl Harbor Declassified

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Calls for Amnesty for Rioters, Looters in Baltimore

Rioters caused $9 million in property damage during Freddie Gray protests

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly and the Bmore United Coalition are calling for people arrested during violent protests in Baltimore to be released.

According to the Rev. Cortly “C.D.” Witherspoon of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the protesters will march from McKeldin Square through the Inner Harbor demanding amnesty for those arrested during the Freddie Gray protests.

A Facebook page titled “Massive Protest Amnesty 4 All Arrestees – Drop the Charges – Baltimore’s Youth Are Not Thugs – Release all those arrested” announces the protest will be held Saturday, May 16 at 3:00 PM EST.

The Baltimore People’s Power Assembly admits the call for amnesty is for those who looted stores and destroyed private property.

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Housing by the Numbers: Something is Weird

Homes are selling at a faster clip this spring, but something still isn't quite right in housing.

Thanks to the epic real estate crash of the last decade, market watchers and reporters now have a whole cottage industry of data providers to track every move in home sales and mortgage financing. But looking at all those numbers now, something doesn't add up to a "normal" housing market.

Mortgage rates are rising, up pretty significantly in just the past two weeks from an average 3.6 percent on the 30-year fixed to just over 4 percent. In the first three months of the year, rates were lower, prompting a refinance "boomlet."

Lower rates, however, did not translate into more mortgages to purchase a home. In fact, purchase loan originations were down 25 percent in the first quarter from the previous quarter and up only 1 percent from a year ago, according to new numbers from RealtyTrac.

"The purchase loan market remained largely missing in action despite tepid growth from a year ago. The prime buying season still remains ahead, providing some hope that first time homebuyers and other traditional buyers relying on traditional financing will come out of the woodwork in greater numbers in the coming months," said RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.

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Field To Fork Dinner!

This Event is Selling Out Fast!
Sobo's On The Road will host a special FIELD to FORK dinner 
event at Allen & Marshall Auctioneers property in Parsonsburg, Maryland.Tickets are on sale now at Sobo's! Only $65.00 each! Includes 5 course market dinner w/ Layton's Chance Wine or Evo Beer. Tax & Tip included
.  

Thursday, May 28th ~ 6:00pm
Call for tickets... 410.219.1117

www.SobosWineBeerstro.com

A POEM THAT WAS US

 
         A little house with three bedrooms,
         One bathroom and one car on the street
         A mower that you had to push
         To make the grass look neat.

         In the kitchen on the wall
         We only had one phone,
         And no need for recording things,
         Someone was always home.

         We only had a living room
         Where we would congregate,
         Unless it was at mealtime
         In the kitchen where we ate.

         We had no need for family rooms
         Or extra rooms to dine.
         When meeting as a family
         Those two rooms would work out fine.

         We only had one TV set
         And channels maybe two,
         But always there was one of them
         With something worth the view.

         For snacks we had potato chips
         That tasted like a chip.
         And if you wanted flavor
         There was Lipton's onion dip.

         Store-bought snacks were rare because
         My mother liked to cook
         And nothing can compare to snacks
         In Betty Crocker's book.

         Weekends were for family trips
         Or staying home to play
         We all did things together –
         Even go to church to pray.

         When we did our weekend trips
         Depending on the weather,
         No one stayed at home because
         We liked to be together.

         Sometimes we would separate
         To do things on our own,
         But we knew where the others were
         Without our own cell phone.

         Then there were the movies
         With your favorite movie star,
         But nothing could compare
         To watching movies in your car.

         Then there were the picnics
         at the peak of summer season,
         Pack a lunch and find some trees
         And never need a reason.

         Get a baseball game together
         With all the friends you know,
         Have real action playing ball --
         And no game video.

         Remember when the doctor
         Used to be the family friend,
         And didn't need insurance
         Or a lawyer to defend.

         The way that he took care of you
         Or what he had to do,
         Because he took an oath and strived
         To do the best for you.

         Remember going to the store
         And shopping casually,
         And when you went to pay for it
         You used your own money?

         Nothing that you had to swipe
         Or punch in some amount,
         And remember when the cashier person
         Had to really count?

         The milkman used to go
         >From door to door,
         And it was just a few cents more
         Than going to the store.

         There was a time when mailed letters
         Came right to your door,
         Without a lot of junk mail ads
         Sent out by every store.

         The mailman knew each house by name
         And knew where it was sent;
         There were not loads of mail addressed
         To "present occupant.”

         There was a time when just one glance
         Was all that it would take,
         And you would know the kind of car,
         The model and the make.

         They didn't look like turtles
         Trying to squeeze out every mile;
         They were streamlined, white walls, fins
         And really had some style.

         One time the music that you played
         Whenever you would jive,
         Was from a vinyl, big-holed record
         Called a forty-five.

         The record player had a post
         To keep them all in line
         And then the records would drop down
         And play one at a time.

         Oh sure, we had our problems then,
         Just like we do today
         And always we were striving,
         Trying for a better way.

         Oh, the simple life we lived
         Still seems like so much fun,
         How can you explain a game,
         Just kick the can and run?

         And why would boys put baseball cards
         Between bicycle spokes
         And for a nickel, red machines
         Had little bottled Cokes?

         This life seemed so much easier
         Slower in some ways
         I love the new technology
         But I sure do miss those days.

         So time moves on and so do we
         And nothing stays the same,
         But I sure love to reminisce
         And walk down memory lane.

         With all today's technology
         We grant that it's a plus!
         But it's fun to look way back and say,
         HEY LOOK, GUYS, THAT WAS US!