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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Illegal Indicted For Identity Fraud, Vote Fraud and Possession of Firearm

Missouri Man Indicted for $12 Million Tax Refund Fraud, Voter Fraud, Illegal Reentry and Felon in Possession of Firearm
Allegedly Stole Public School Employees’ IDs
A federal grand jury sitting in St. Louis, Missouri, returned a superseding indictment today charging a St. Louis resident for his role in a sophisticated stolen identity refund fraud scheme and other federal offenses, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Carrie A. Costantin for the Eastern District of Missouri.

The superseding indictment charges Kevin Kunlay Williams aka Kunlay Sodipo, a Nigerian citizen, with mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, voter fraud, illegal reentry and being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the indictment, Williams and others stole public school employees’ IDs from a payroll company and used them to electronically file more than 2000 fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking more than $12 million in refunds. He also allegedly stole several Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs) that he used to secure bank products allowing him to print refund checks and direct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to send refunds to prepaid debit cards. The indictment alleges that Williams had refund checks issued in the names of the stolen IDs, and blank check stock and debit cards sent to his residence.

The indictment further alleges that Williams previously entered the United States from Nigeria under the name Kunlay Sodipo, but was deported in 1995. According to the indictment, in 1999, Williams illegally returned to the United States from Nigeria using the last name Williams. In 2012, Williams allegedly registered to vote in federal, state and local elections by falsely claiming that he was a U.S. citizen and is alleged to have voted in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. On the day of his arrest in February, Williams is alleged to have been illegally in possession of a firearm.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, Williams faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud, a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft, a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the illegal reentry, a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for each of the voter fraud counts, and a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the felon in possession of a firearm. The defendant also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and monetary penalties.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and Acting U.S. Attorney Costantin commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service as well as the Dothan Alabama Police Department and Alexander City Alabama Police Department, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Michael C. Boteler and Charles M. Edgar, Jr. of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting this case with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Eastern District of Missouri and Middle District of Alabama.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

The New Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung just unveiled two new phones and a slew of accessories. Here's everything we know.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is finally here.

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus phones -- and a variety of accessories -- at a press event at New York City's Lincoln Center earlier today.

The big news is as follows:

Samsung Galaxy S8: The company's newest flagship phone boasts a wraparound edge-style 5.8-inch display with superslim top and bottom bezels (but the all-screen design means the fingerprint sensor moves to the rear). It'll be the first phone with Samsung's new Bixby AI assistant (in some regions) and the first with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip. Iris scanning and facial recognition are on board, too. It otherwise retains the familiar features from the Galaxy S7, including a 12-megapixel camera, water-resistant body, wireless charging and -- yes -- a headphone jack.


Study Of Ponds A Key Piece To Berlin Park’s Future

BERLIN – Scientists spent this week taking samples from the ponds at Berlin Falls Park.

Since the town purchased the 60-plus acre former industrial property last year, residents have been eager to see it redeveloped into a public space to serve a variety of interests. Officials have been quick to point out that the extensive parcel will require plenty of thought and careful planning. They have, however, acknowledged that the three ponds on the property have proven to be one of the property’s major points of interest. In an effort to determine the state of those ponds, the town has partnered with Thriving Earth Exchange to test for bacteria.

“That’ll help us best understand how to go about remediating the ponds,” Town Administrator Laura Allen said.


Motorists and Farmers Can Share the Road Safely

Agriculture Secretary Encourages Motorists to be Patient and Cautious

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Spring is here and the planting season is starting throughout much of Maryland. That means motorists traveling Maryland highways and rural roads may find themselves sharing the road with the large, slow-moving farm equipment from one of Maryland’s 12,300 farms.
“Farmers are legally allowed to operate farm equipment on public roadways and there are times when farm vehicles must operate on highways to move between farm and field,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder.  “I encourage all motorists to be patient when traveling on roads near Maryland farms and drive with caution to ensure the safety of motorists and farmers.”
A farmer understands that your trip is being delayed, so he or she will pull off of the road at the first available safe location to allow you to pass. Do not assume that the farmer can immediately move aside to let you pass. Road shoulders may be soft, wet or steep, and this can cause a farm vehicle to tip, or the shoulder may be unable to support a heavy farm vehicle.
The following tips will help ensure the safety of motorists, passengers, and operators of slow-moving equipment:
  • If a farmer has pulled off the road to allow you to pass, or if he or she cannot pull off the road and you feel you must pass, do so with caution.
  • Be watchful of vehicles behind you that may also try to pass.
  • If you must enter the oncoming lane of traffic, do not pass unless you can see clearly ahead of both you and the vehicle you will pass.
  • If there are any curves or hills ahead that may block your view or the view of oncoming vehicles, do not pass.
  • Do not pass if you are in a designated “No Passing Zone” or within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevation structure, or tunnel.
  • Do not assume that a farm vehicle that pulls to the right side of the road is going to turn right or is letting you pass. Due to the size of some farm implements, the farmer must execute wide left-hand turns. If you are unsure, check the operator’s hand signals and check the left side of the road for gates, driveways or any place a farm vehicle may turn.
For more information about agriculture in Maryland, visit

Senator Eckardt Legislative Update - March 29, 2017

Senator Adelaide Eckardt, District 37
Legislative Weekly Update
March 29, 2017
Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the Women's Caucus on Maryland Day!

Photo Credit: ©heathercrowderphotography
The General Assembly passed Governor Hogan’s $43 billion FY18 operating budget this week. The revised budget maintains the Governor’s commitment to fund education with almost $6.4 billion dollars allocated to public schools. The proposed budget also achieves the Spending Affordability Committee’s dual goal of leaving a fund balance of at least $100 million and reducing the structural shortfall in fiscal 2018 by at least 50%. Additionally, the budget includes a total of $10 billion, which allows the State to provide Medicaid coverage to almost 1.4 million of Maryland residents. Dedicated funding ($16.5 million increase) to respond to the opioid epidemic was also included in this year’s operating budget. Finally, a 3.5% rate increase is included in this budget to fund providers serving the developmentally disabled.
SB 717 passed the Senate earlier this week with amendments that expand the task force to include additional rural areas in Western and Southern Maryland, Harford, Frederick, Carroll Counties and the Eastern Shore. Members of the task force will 1) assess current internet-broadband, wireless, cellular and landline service connectivity’s; 2) evaluate to see if there are any redundancies and gaps in the current service connectivity’s; and 3) evaluate any federal funds applied for in response to previous broadband studies in the State.

The Rural Maryland Council will chair this initiative, with members from the General Assembly, industry representatives, and local regional council members. An examination of these services and an assessment of which type of services would be most effective in these areas will be included in a report submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly by November 2017. This task force will help address the service concerns of constituents in District 37 and throughout rural Maryland.
The unveiling of the Sharptown seal in the Eastern Shore Delegation Room.

SB 1190 has been introduced and would allow for counties and municipalities that upgraded a wastewater facility to Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) before July 1, 2013 to be awarded a grant, on a first-come, first-serve basis, from the Department of Environment within the funds from the Bay Restoration Fund. Counties and municipalities that are eligible for this grant must have: (1) not received a grant for the upgrade from the Bay Restoration Fund and (2) their customers, of the wastewater facility, pay the Bay Restoration Fee.

The introduction of SB 343 sparked conversation among counties and municipalities that have already completed the Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrade. SB 343, which passed the Senate, expands the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) eligible costs to include 100% BRF grant eligibility for secondary wastewater treatment plans that are upgrading to Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) technology. As a result of this discussion, SB 1190 was drafted to aid local counties and municipalities that completed the upgrades before July 1, 2013.


The Maryland Department of Commerce today announced the launch of the Maryland Defense Network, an interactive online tool that maps defense spending in the state. Maryland is typically among the top 10 states in the nation for defense spending, ranking 6th for fiscal year 2016. The Maryland Defense Network helps companies expand and diversify their customer base, identify opportunities to partner with prime contractors, and gain information on expiring Department of Defense (DoD) contracts.

“The defense sector is an important component of Maryland’s economy, with the Department of Defense awarding more than $13.4 billion to Maryland companies in 2016 alone,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “The Maryland Defense Network is a valuable tool for defense contractors, companies interested in competing in the defense community – and for economic developers and policy makers – and helps our businesses stay in sync with evolving defense priorities.”

Created with input from regional focus groups, including economic development professionals, industry partners, and defense contractors, the Maryland Defense Network is accessible through a secure website, Registering with Maryland Defense Network offers several advantages, including:


THE TIME IS NOW: The Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Act Of 2017

Important Legislation Holds Impaired Drivers Accountable and Makes Travel on Maryland's Roads Safer

“Our new ‘Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Act of 2017’ will help ensure that moving forward we have more tools at our disposal to hold these offenders accountable for their crimes, while also helping to protect future potential victims of repeat drunk drivers.” - Governor Larry Hogan, January 12, 2017

Hogan Administration Calls On Lawmakers To Pass A Clean Version Of The Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Act Of 2017

The Hogan Administration Is Calling On The Legislature To Pass A Clean Version Of The Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Act Of 2017; Attempt To Hijack Legislation By Adding Punitive Damages Jeopardizes Passage Of This important Bill.

Governor Hogan’s Repeat Drunk Driving Act Of 2017, As Introduced Is A Strong Proposal To Make Marylanders Safer

The Governor’s Proposal Targets Repeat Offenders Of Drunk Driving And Creates A Felony Offense, Punishable By Up To 10 Years For Anybody Who Has Been Convicted Of Causing A Death Or Life Threatening Injury And Has A Subsequent Drunk Driving Offense, As Well As Anyone Convicted Of Drunk Or Drugged Driving After Three Previous Violations. “A person who violates any provision of § 21–902 of this article is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both if the person has previously been convicted of: Three or more violations of any provision of § 21–902 of this article; or A violation of § 2–209, § 2–210, § 2–503, § 2–504, § 2–505, §2–506, OR § 3–211 of the criminal law article.” (“House Bill 371,” Maryland General Assembly, 1/25/17)

The Time Is Now For Legislators To Work Together To Ensure That This Important Public Safety Legislation Passes

OC Police Record More Arrests After Drug Buys In Delaware

OCEAN CITY — Continuing a recent trend in the attempt to stem the flow of heroin into Ocean City, resort police officers last week made several arrests at a known open-air drug market in Sussex County.

Some Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers are routinely sworn in as fully-vested law enforcement officers with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office giving OCPD narcotics detectives full powers in the county. Over the last several months, OCPD narcotics detectives have been working with the Criminal Enforcement Team in conducting proactive enforcement targeting individuals obtaining and using heroin and bringing it back into the resort area.

The operation has focused on the Polly Branch Road area in nearby Selbyville, Del. that has long been known as an open-air drug market where individuals obtain heroin and bring it back into Worcester and the resort area. Last week, OCPD officers made a handful of arrests of individuals allegedly purchasing heroin.


WashPost Prints Op-Ed: 'NPR and PBS Don't Need Tax Money Anymore'

The Washington Post published an op-ed on Sundayheadlined "NPR and PBS don't need tax money anymore." Manhattan Institute vice president Howard Husock is uniquely qualified on the topic: he's a former producer for Boston PBS superstation WGBH and now serves on the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Some of Husock's argument is familiar, especially the change in the media landscape since the emergence of a public broadcasting system in the "Great Society" Sixties. What's eye-opening is how PBS and NPR sell themselves to underwriters as having an audience loaded with wealthier and more educated customers:

All this might matter less if it were clear that public media was a preferred choice of a broad cross-section of the American public. Doing so was part of the original mission. Instead, public media today looks far too much like a niche programming service for a left-leaning, upmarket urban constituency.

Of the top 10 most popular NPR affiliates, only one (Atlanta) is found in the South or Southwest. The major, “producing stations” of television programming — locals that provide the lion’s share of content broadcast on smaller affiliates — are based in liberal bastions Boston, New York and Washington. NPR, in data expected to appeal to financial underwriters, boasts that some 58 percent of NPR listeners are college graduates, and that its listeners are “74 percent more likely to earn more than $100,000.” (One NPR slide deck boasts that its programming reaches “cultural connoisseurs” likely to drink four glasses of wine per week.) The appeal makes a virtue of its elite demographics, noting NPR “attracts an audience most notably distinguished by its educational excellence and professional success.” In 2014, Pew Research found that “The clear majority of audience (67 percent) is left-of-center.” Nothing wrong with that, of course, unless your statutory mandate is to reach and inform the American citizenry broadly.


Baltimore Area Retailer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Food Stamp Fraud

Defendant Received Over $3.5 Million from USDA for Food Stamps Traded for Cash; Defendant Exploited Fact that the Program Relies on Trust

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Muhammad Sarmad, age 41, of Nottingham, Maryland, to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to illegally redeem food stamp benefits in exchange for cash. At the sentencing on March 27, 2017, Judge Bennett also ordered that Sarmad pay restitution of $3,550,662.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William G. Squires, Jr. of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region; and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The food stamp program can be exploited by criminals like Muhammad Sarmad, who take advantage of the fact that the Department of Agriculture trusts retailers to actually provide food in return for taxpayer money,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Important Legislation Gives Courts More Tools to Prosecute Repeat Sexual Offenders

“The first part of our plan is the Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2017. This is a bipartisan measure modeled after Senator Brochin’s Prior Bad Acts bill. It will allow a court to admit evidence of a defendant’s prior history of sexual assaults, during prosecution for subsequent sexual offenses.” - Governor Larry Hogan, January 12, 2017

The Time Is Now For Legislators To Act On The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act Of 2017

The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act Of 2017 Has Not Been Moved Out Of The Senate Or House Committees In Which A Hearing Was Held. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee And The House Judiciary Committee Have Not Taken Action On This Important, Bipartisan Legislation. (“Senate Bill 316,” Maryland General Assembly, 1/25/17; “House Bill 369,” Maryland General Assembly, 1/25/17)

The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act Of 2017

Governor Hogan's Proposed Legislation, The Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2017, Would Allow A Court To Admit Evidence Of A Defendant’s Prior Sexually Assaultive Behavior During Prosecution For Certain Sexual Offenses Under Specific Circumstances. “The court may admit evidence of sexually assaultive behavior if the court finds and states on the record that: The evidence is being offered to: Prove lack of consent; or Rebut an express or implied allegation that a minor fabricated the sexual offense; The sexually assaultive behavior was proven by clear and convincing evidence; and The probative value of the evidence is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.” (“Senate Bill 316,” Maryland General Assembly, 1/20/17)

Governor Hogan’s Proposed Legislation Is Bipartisan; Has Received Support From Lawmakers, Law Enforcement, And Sexual Assault Survivors

Recreational Crabbing Season Opens April 1

Crabbers Can Get Cracking on State’s Signature Catch

It’s crabbing season in Maryland!

Recreational fishing for the state’s most iconic aquatic species begins April 1 in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries as well as in the Atlantic Ocean, coastal bays and their tributaries, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

“We are pleased to offer multiple opportunities for anglers of all ages to catch Chesapeake Bay blue crabs,” Fishing and Boating Services Director David Blazer said. “We wish everyone an enjoyable, safe and successful crabbing season.”

Crabbing in Maryland waters can be done a variety of ways, with or without a license depending on the equipment used, amount of crabs harvested and location.

Obama's rule changes opened door for NSA intercepts of Americans to reach political hands

As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage ofrules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned.

Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible. Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Some intercepted communications from November to January involved Trump transition figures or foreign figures' perceptions of the incoming president and his administration. Intercepts involving congressional figures also have been unmasked occasionally for some time.

The NSA is expected to turn over logs as early as this week to congressional committees detailing who consumed reports with unmasked Americans' identities from their intercepts since the summer of 2016.


Baseball Team Combines Krispy Kreme Doughnut, Hot Dog, Bacon & Jelly To Create Our Nightmare

Delaware’s minor league baseball team partnered with Krispy Kreme to debuted a doughnut-hot dog hybrid today.
Last year, San Diego County Fair vendor, Charlie’s Chicken, introduced the world to the triple cheeseburger on Krispy Kreme buns. While just looking at photos of the sandwich made our arteries cry for help, a minor league baseball team in Delaware is giving the restaurant a run for its money by taking consumers’ other favorite summer food, hot dogs, and creating the Krispy Kreme Donut Dog.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the Wilmington Blue Rocks partnered with Krispy Kreme to construct what basically amounts to a pork-flavored jelly doughnut.

The Krispy Kreme Donut Dog (not its permanent name) is comprised of a ballpark hot dog nestled inside a donut, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly.


Maxine Waters Fires Back: Is This Racist?

As crab season beckons, some watermen hope for new rules to bolster their harvest

Joel Hayden's investment, tens of thousands of dollars' worth of yellow-painted wire cages, is spread across his lawn in neat stacks. Just beyond the water's edge, his paycheck is burrowed in the mud.

It's the eve of blue crab season for watermen like the 28-year-old Hoopers Island native, and he is sparing no expense to prepare. After all, here at the southern edge of Maryland's share of the Chesapeake Bay, there is only a short springtime window before the biggest crabs head north to fresher waters.

Next month, Hayden will begin scattering hundreds of the handmade crab pots around nearby creeks. If there are as many of the blue-legged crustaceans as watermen and scientists expect, it will be a busy start to the season.


Breaking News: Two White House officials helped provide intelligence reports about surveillance to the Republican leading the House Russia inquiry

A pair of White House officials played a role in providing Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.

The revelation that White House officials assisted in the disclosure of the intelligence reports — which Mr. Nunes then discussed with President Trump — is likely to fuel criticism that the intelligence chairman has been too eager to do the bidding of the Trump administration while his committee is supposed to be conducting an independent investigation of Russia’s meddling in the last presidential election.

BREAKING NEWS A repeal of North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” was sent to the governor

He’s expected to sign it despite criticism of the compromise.

Both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly voted in favor of a bill on Thursday that would repeal the controversial law affecting transgender bathroom use in public buildings, part of a compromise worked out earlier in the week between Republican legislative leaders and the Democratic governor.

But with anger rising over the compromise from groups on both the left and the right, it was unclear whether the anticipated signing of the new bill into law would extricate North Carolina from the roiling national controversy over the proper levels of legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Advocates, Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention Urge Maryland General Assembly to Act on Crime Victims’ Compensation Bill

New Victim Services Unit Would Increase the Collection and Enforcement of Restitution for Crime Victims

The Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention today called for the Maryland General Assembly to pass HB 1428, which would ensure that victims of crimes who are entitled to compensation receive it in a more efficient and effective manner. A hearing on the bill was held on March 7 in the House Judiciary Committee, but the bill has not yet received a vote.

This departmental bill, introduced by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention, would establish a Victim Services Unit in the Office to coordinate state responsibilities concerning compensation programs related to victims, including the collection of restitution and reimbursements for sexual assault forensic evidence examinations (SAFE exams) and other eligible expenses for cases involving rape, sexual offenses, or child sexual abuse. In addition, the bill would consolidate the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, and the Sexual Abuse Forensic Examination (SAFE) program from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and place them under the new Victim Services Unit.

“This bill is an integral part of the Justice Reinvestment Act passed last year and signed by Governor Hogan,” said Glenn Fueston, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention. “The bill has the potential to provide an additional $780,000 per year in federal funds that will go directly toward compensating crime victims.”

“House Bill 1428 is our number one priority for this legislative session,” said Roberta Roper, founder of the Maryland Crime Victims Resources Center. “We should do everything in our power to improve the woefully insufficient compensation of victims in Maryland, and we strongly urge passage of this bill.”

Council To Remain In Towing Business After Contractors Outline Concerns; Fees To Increase Significantly To Offset Expenses

OCEAN CITY — Resort officials did an apparent about-face this week and decided to stay in the towing business with the requested increase in fees after an impassioned plea from a couple of different sources to maintain the current policy.

Back in October, a unified private-sector towing industry approached the town’s police commission about a proposed across-the-board rate increase in the fee schedule that has been in place for nearly a decade. The town’s code currently sets the maximum rate for a standard tow at $150, a figure that has remained unchanged since 2008, but the towing companies that work in partnership with the town were seeking a graduated, across-the-board hike by as much as 100 percent in some cases.

For example, the current rate for a standard tow in Ocean City is $150. The companies tow vehicles when requested by private property owners, such as restaurants, hotels and condominiums, for example, and take them to the town’s impound lot at the public works campus at 65th Street. Those whose vehicles were towed then go to 65thStreet, pay the requisite fees and fines and collect their vehicles. The town collects the fees, keeps its portion and remits the lion’s share to the tow companies.


Pork in the Park returns to WinterPlace Park this April for 14th year

Salisbury, MD – Gather the family for a weekend full of pork, wings, hot air balloons and fun children’s activities at Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism’s 14th annual Pork in the Park Festival.

This year’s festival will be held Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, at WinterPlace Park, located at 6737 Blue Ribbon Road in Salisbury. The festival hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Free parking will be available on-site.

Admission is $3 at the gate for adults and free for children 12 and younger. A new Family Pack, which includes four ticket vouchers, two T-shirt vouchers, two wristband vouchers and a Gold Lot parking pass, is also for sale through April 14 for $50.

As part of Wicomico County’s 150 Year Celebration, there will be special promotions during the festival.

New this year will be additional activities for children, including an outdoor laser tag arena, a low ropes course and a rock wall, along with pony rides. Some activities at the festival have an additional cost, and age and height restrictions may apply.

The Rommel’s Ace Inflatable Park returns this year, offering a dozen bounce houses, slides and obstacles for children ages 12 and younger. The festival also hosts a Kids Corner with different children’s activities and performances. (Times vary for Kids Corner activities, please see full schedule of events on our website.)

“We’re excited to bring additional elements to the festival this year,” said Allen Swiger, a program director with Wicomico County Recreation & Parks. “Toddlers through teenagers will all have something fun to do while they’re here.”

And adults are sure to enjoy themselves, too.

NOI 3/29/17 Somerset Mobile Home Fire Joe Lewis Lane


Date:  March 29, 2017
Time:  9:09 p.m.
Location / Address:  Joe Lewis Lane, Crisfield, Somerset Co.
Type of Incident:  Fire
Description of Structure / Property:  12’ x 20’ vacant mobile home
Owner / Occupants:   Elisha Welton (Owner)
Injuries or Deaths: None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $500                     Contents: $0
Smoke Alarm Status:   Unknown
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status:  n/a
Arrests(s):  None
Primary Responding Fire Department: Crisfield
# of Alarms:  1     # Of Firefighters:  15
Time to Control:  30 minutes
Discovered By:  Passerby
Area of Origin:  Interior
Preliminary Cause:  Under Investigation
Additional Information:  Anyone with information is asked to call the Salisbury Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal at (410) 713-3780.

Support Our Congressman Andy Harris at his Town Hall! (TOMORROW)

WHEN: Friday March 31, 2017 5 PM - 8 PM
WHERE: Todd Performing Arts Center, Todd Performing Arts Center, 1000 College Circle,, Wye Mills, Maryland 21658

Congressman Andy Harris is holding a town hall meeting for his constituents on Friday, March 31st. Liberals are looking to disrupt the meeting and bring in people to try to make him look bad. We need to support our Congressman!

The meeting starts at 6 PM, but you should try to arrive at 5 to get a seat.

If you live on the Eastern Shore, please share this event with your friends and neighbors.


NOI 3/29/17 Wicomico Dwelling Fire Meadowbridge Road


Date:  March 29, 2017
Time:  3:58 p.m.
Location / Address:  4008 Meadowbridge Road, Fruitland, Wicomico Co.
Type of Incident:  Fire
Description of Structure / Property:   Two story wood frame single family dwelling
Owner / Occupants:   Lisa Pusey
Injuries or Deaths:  None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $180,000                     Contents: $70,000
Smoke Alarm Status:  Unknown
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status:  n/a
Arrests(s):   None
Primary Responding Fire Department:  Fruitland
# of Alarms:   2    # Of Firefighters:  55
Time to Control:   90 minutes
Discovered By:  Occupant
Area of Origin:  Rear porch
Preliminary Cause:  Under Investigation
Additional Information:  

How Truckers, Hotel Workers Can Fight Sex Trafficking

For most of his 20-year trucking career, Antoine Sadler figured if he saw something untoward at the truck stops, travel plazas and motels along his cross-country routes, the police would handle it.

But three years ago, Sadler, who drives for Wal-Mart, took a special training course for truckers, which taught him how to identify potential victims of sex trafficking: SUVs full of young girls in revealing clothing or someone at a rest stop clearly under the control of someone else. He realized that as a trucker, he was in a position to intervene by asking someone clearly in distress if they needed help or by calling the police.

“As drivers, we should be the front line,” said Sadler, 43, who lives in North Carolina and now educates other truckers about sex trafficking. “That’s the only way this epidemic will stop: if everyone’s watching.”

Some states are starting to agree with Sadler’s conclusion. Ohio in July began requiring that commercial truck drivers be trained in how to spot telltale signs of sex trafficking and how to report it. Last week, the Arkansas House approved a bill that would require training for truckers. Kansas, Kentucky and Texas also are considering similar bills — though the Kentucky bill goes a step further and would make it a crime for licensed truckers to use their rigs to facilitate trafficking, engage in prostitution or transport minors.


Illegal Alien With Long Rap Sheet Says It’s Unfair Trump is Deporting Him

If I hear the word “unfair” pass the lips of someone who has broken American laws, I’m going to throw a tantrum. You know what’s unfair? Sneaking into the United States illegally while there are masses of people who are waiting in line and doing it the right way.

But no, go ahead and complain that the President is finally enforcing our laws because you might actually have to pay for what you did.

From New York Daily News:

When Floyel Stapleton appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court for a routine hearing in his misdemeanor assault case, he was stunned to be met by federal immigration agents as he left the courtroom.

“I didn’t know they were there. They were in plain clothes. They had no badges and they arrested me when I was walking out of the courtroom. They just asked my name and they arrested me,” Stapleton, 39, who is from the Caribbean island of Nevis, told the Daily News from an immigration detention center in Hudson County.

“They are trying to deport me…The situation sucks.”


Report: North Korea on Verge of Major Nuclear Test

Satellite images taken this week suggest North Korea could be in the final states of preparations for a new nuclear test, US-based analysts said Tuesday.

The images, taken March 25, show up to four vehicles or equipment trailers continuously present at the entrance to the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, with communications cables likely laid on the ground.

"This equipment would likely be used to initiate the test, collect data from the explosion and process the data," said 38 North, a project of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.


At issue in Rockville, Annapolis: What do sex-assault victims’ actions mean?

WASHINGTON — The question of how victims’ actions are analyzed in sexual assault and rape cases is the topic of legislation in Annapolis, and part of a legal argument being made in a Montgomery County case that’s gotten national attention.

The attorneys for the two teenagers accused of raping a 14-year-old fellow Rockville High school student argue that what happened in a boy’s bathroom at the school was not a crime but a consensual act.

Andrew Jezic, the attorney for 18-year-old defendant Henry Sanchez Milian, told WTOP that the police affidavit contains no evidence of physical resistance by the victim: “There are no scratches; there’s no bruises.”


Michael Moore Claims Trump's Rollback Begins 'Extinction of Human Life'

Filmmaker Michael Moore lashed out at President Donald Trump's easing of Obama administration energy regulations – asserting it will trigger the "extinction of human life."

Moore's dramatic declaration came in a tweet storm following Trump'sorder Tuesday rolling back regulations to curb carbon emissions.

Trump has called global warming a "hoax" invented by the Chinese, and has repeatedly criticized the power-plant rule as an attack on American workers and the U.S. coal industry.

"Historians in the near future will mark today, March 28, 2017, as the day the extinction of human life on earth began," Moore tweeted, adding the Environmental Protection Agency has been prevented from focusing on "climate change."


Trump Slams 'Fake News' Media Amid More Questions About Russia

President Donald Trump questioned Tuesday why "fake news" organizations do not report about former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's alleged ties to Russia — praising Fox News for its coverage — or other issues related to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Trump took to Twitter:
Why doesn't Fake News talk about Podesta ties to Russia as covered by @FoxNews or money from Russia to Clinton - sale of Uranium?

In the post, Trump doubled down on two tweets he sent Monday alluding to a report by "Fox & Friends" that Podesta once owned stock in a company that was backed by aides with alleged ties to the Russian government.


Report: DNC Purges all Staff

All Democratic National Committee staffers have been asked to submit their resignations amidst party turmoil, according to a new report.

Narrowly elected DNC Chairman Tom Perez assumed the post in late February. Immediately after his election, staff were asked to submit their resignations by April 15, according to NBC News.

The report cited “multiple sources familiar with the party’s internal working” when it stated that Leah Daughtry, an adviser to disgraced outgoing chair Donna Brazile, made the request. Brazile has now admitted that while working for CNN during the 2016 presidential election she leaked debate questions to then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The establishment-wing’s Perez is the party’s third leader within months, as the party attempts to recover from a disastrous 2016 election for the Democrats. More changes are expected in “major staffing and structure changes,” according to the report.

December layoffs brought staff levels to a low point, according to the report.


Amazon will start collecting Sales Tax Nationwide April 1

No fooling - Amazon will begin collecting sales tax nationwide on April 1.

The mega-online retailer already adds sales tax to good shipped to 41 states - including Alabama,which began collecting and remitting an 8 percent sales tax on Amazon purchases late last year. CNBC reported Amazon will start collecting taxes in Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and New Mexico next month, completing its list of states. Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana and New Hampshire don't collect sales tax.

Brick and mortar retailers have long complained that online stores such as Amazon have an unfair advantage because they didn't have to charge sales tax unless they had a physical presence in a state.