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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Most of the $33 Billion in Remittances to Mexico Flow Via U.S. Govt. Banking Program

Though President Trump said he would block money transfers to Mexico to fund a much-needed border wall, Mexicans in the U.S. sent a record $33.48 billion in remittances last year and a big chunk of it flowed through a government program operated by the Federal Reserve. This means that, amid an onslaught of illegal immigration, the U.S. government is largely responsible for the billions in remittances flowing south of the border from illegal aliens. Figures released by Mexico’s central bank show that 104 million transactions were executed in 2018, nearly six million more than the previous year.

Uncle Sam facilitates the process with a program called “Directo a Mexico” (Direct to Mexico), launched by the Federal Reserve, the government agency that serves as the nation’s central bank, more than a decade ago. President George W. Bush came up with the idea following the 2001 U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity to provide low-cost banking services to illegal immigrants and facilitate the procedure for those sending money home. In its first year, 2005, remittances to Mexico topped $20 billion and the Federal Reserve reports “double-digit percentage growth for the past several years.” Remittances are transferred through the Federal Reserve’s own automated clearinghouse linked directly to Mexico’s central bank (Banco de Mexico). The Trump administration should eliminate it because it undermines our nation’s immigration laws and is a potential national security nightmare.

Back in 2006 Judicial Watch investigated the outrageous taxpayer-subsidized initiative and obtained government records that shed light on how it functions.

#RedforEd: Socialist Leading National Leftist Teachers Movement Has Not Passed U.S. Constitution Test

Noah Karvelis — the 24-year old Arizona music teacher who was credited with launching the national #RedforEd movement that spawned teachers’ strikes in Arizona in March 2018 and subsequently in other states around the country — holds just a “provisional” teaching certificate, having failed to complete the required coursework and pass tests on the U.S. Constitution and the Arizona Constitution.

This information about the #RedforEd leader is according to publicly available data on the Online Arizona Certification Information System (OACIS) website of the Arizona Department of Education.

In Arizona, public school teachers are granted “provisional” status for three years, after which they must pass a number of tests and performance reviews to achieve the more permanent “standard” status.

To gain “standard” status, “provisional” teachers must not be on a performance improvement plan and must complete coursework and pass two important tests — one on the U.S. Constitution and another on the Arizona Constitution.


Donald Trump Deeply Moved by Border Crisis Stories from Texas Landowners

President Donald Trump surprised reporters by inviting them into a roundtable with supporters to talk about the crisis on the Southern border during a campaign event in Texas.

The group of supporters met with the president in San Antonio, Texas, but agreed to speak to the media about the problems on the border.

Trump appeared deeply moved by stories about the border crisis after speaking with Texas landowners, who told him about migrants and illegal immigrants dying in the desert after smugglers dropped them off at the border.

One supporter explained how human smuggler “coyotes” preyed on illegals and migrants on the border sending them through brush country with a gallon of water toward cities too far away to survive.

“We have numerous people dying on these ranches, and people have been finding their bodies for a number of years,” he said.

He also spoke about coyotes driving their trucks through their fences after they were pursued by border patrol agents.

Other families, he said, were forced to leave their homes at times when the activity got too violent.

Trump expressed surprise by the stories.


Socialist Sanders: Capitalism Made Me a Millionaire!

“I wrote a best-selling book,” Sen. Bernie Sanders boasted in a recent interview with The New York Times. Then in an ironic twist, the die-hard socialist gave a plug for capitalism when he added, “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

Either Sanders is going senile or, as is the case with most hypocritical leftists, he sees no problem embracing the wealth and status he garnered for himself via capitalism, while at the same time condemning others for applying the same free-market system to earn their own wealth.

Back in the 1980s, Sanders infamously said that breadlines were “a good thing.” Asked about his support for the Marxist Sandinistas of Nicaragua, Sanders opined, “It’s funny — sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries, people don’t line up for food. The rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

His policies would yield the equivalent of breadlines.


Pollaganda: Why Americans Don't Think They Got a Tax Cut

Just yesterday, we rebutted the continuing Leftmedia narrative about tax refunds. Yes, refunds may be a bit smaller so far in 2019, but that’s because the vast majority of taxpayers paid lower taxes throughout 2018.

But some propaganda is really tough to combat. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll revealed that just 17% of Americans think their taxes will go down as a result of the 2017 Republican tax cut. Some 28% don’t know, while 27% say their taxes will stay the same, and a mind-numbing 28% think their taxes will go up.

NBC News says nothing at all to correct the record for an obviously misinformed public. At least The Wall Street Journal does tell readers “the reality”: “For 2019, 48% of households are getting a tax cut greater than $500. … Just 5.5% of households face tax increases greater than $100” [emphasis added].

The Daily Signal adds, “As a result of tax reform, 9 out of 10 taxpayers got a tax cut.” In fact, “The average American household paid about $1,400 less in taxes as a result in 2018,” and even better, “Over the next 10 years, thanks to a larger economy, the typical American will benefit from over $26,000 more in take-home pay, or $44,697 for a family of four.”


John Bolton Can’t Stop Laughing at Gillibrand’s Nuclear Weapon Gaffe

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton could not stop laughing when played a clip of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) discussing her opposition to "tactile" nuclear weapons on the campaign trail.

Bolton was played the clip of Gillibrand, which was caught by the Washington Free Beacon on Monday, during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt. Gillibrand twice refers to "tactile" nuclear weapons, saying the administration's embrace of them was reason enough for her to oppose the entire National Defense Authorization Act. Gillibrand was likely attempting to discuss tactical nuclear weapons.

Bolton, after collecting himself, said he is willing to take a meeting with Gillibrand to hear her thoughts on our nuclear arsenal.

Here's the video..

Victor Davis Hanson on Reparations: Democrats ‘Afraid Trump Is Making Inroads’ with Blacks

Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, spoke with Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Tonight and described Democrats’ push for “reparations” as a racial political strategy born from fear that President Trump is “making inroads” with black voters.

Reparations poll “about 25 percent support,” said Hanson. “It doesn’t even poll a majority of support among African Americans, so it’s not so much a serious issue as a campaign issue. It’s sort of like the Green New Deal or the 90 percent income tax or the wealth tax.”

Hanson continued, “These are all talking points, but I think the people who are serious in the Democratic Party must know that if any candidate emerges from their convention with those albatrosses around their neck, they’re going to lose. Everybody knows it’s unworkable. The contradictions just jump out at you.”

Hanson examined the arbitrary nature of defining parameters for who qualifies as “African American.”


Subject: Feds say high fuel prices will fall, but not for months

Gasoline prices won't stop rising through the Memorial Day holiday until finally peaking in June, when they will begin to fall, the federal government said Wednesday.

The Energy Information Administration released its weekly oil price analysis on Wednesday as the cost of gasoline reached nearly $4 per gallon in some parts of the country in the last week.

Gasoline retail prices have been tracking higher for months, with the cost of making a gallon of fuel reaching a 25-year high between February and March, according to the administration.

But that should level out beginning in the summer, as officials forecast gasoline prices lowering with the projected fall in crude oil prices, the "Week in Petroleum" report reads.

More here

Google Founders Have Skipped All Of The Company's 2019 Town Hall Meetings

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have yet to make an appearance at any of the company’s weekly “TGIF” town halls in 2019, BuzzFeed News has learned. Their absence from these meetings, the longest attendance lapse in company history, comes at a time when Google is wrestling with tough questions from its employees on a variety of issues, ranging from harassment to censorship.

The town halls give Google employees a chance to ask questions of leadership with no limitations, and are a key element of Google’s transparent workplace culture. They regularly feature an introduction from leadership, a presentation from a team, followed by time for employee questions. For years, Page and Brin have attended, either individually or together, and faced questions from Google’s rank and file about the company and its direction. Asked when their last TGIF appearance was, Google declined to comment.

More here

3 Cheers for Betsy DeVos

Logging on to the website of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, the first flashing headline that meets the eye attacks Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: “Betsy DeVos and Her No Good, Very Bad Record on Public Education.”

What perturbs the NEA is that DeVos sees her mission as education, which is not necessarily only “public education.”

Surely, Secretary DeVos’ new initiative, the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Ted Cruz and in the House by Rep. Bradley Byrne, has the teachers unions on edge.

Education Freedom Scholarships provides dollar-for-dollar federal tax credits to those who voluntarily contribute to state-controlled and administered “Scholarship Granting Organizations” to whom parents can turn for funds to send their child to any school of their choice.


The FDA Is About to Deal With CBD—and Wants to Hear From You

Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become wildly popular in recent years—and widely available, both online and in stores across the country. But despite the belief by some that the 2018 farm bill broadly legalized the cannabinoid, the truth is that federal agencies are still scrambling to determine their next steps.

Want a say in the process? Now’s your chance.

The US Food and Drug Administration oversees the nation’s food, pharmaceutical drugs, and cosmetics—three categories of products that have recently been overwhelmed by CBD and various claims about its benefits. As the FDA begins to craft regulations around CBD and infused products, the agency is asking for public comment on how to proceed.


Canada to reject refugees with claims in other countries

Canada intends to change the law to make it harder for asylum seekers rejected by countries like the US to file refugee claims at the border.

The move comes as thousands of asylum seekers have crossed the border after their claims were rejected in the US.

Amendments were introduced on Monday evening in the Liberal government's 392-page omnibus budget bill.

An influx of asylum seekers crossing at the US-Canada border has become a hot button political issue.

The law would allow immigration officers at the border to reject refugee claims if the asylum seeker has already made a claim in another country that has an immigration information-sharing agreement with Canada. The asylum seeker would no longer be entitled to an oral hearing and the claim could not be appealed to an independent tribunal.


Immigrants from 50 countries illegally entering US: Border Patrol official

Illegal immigrants from 50 different countries — including China, Bangladesh, Turkey, Egypt and Romania — have been caught crossing into the US from Mexico, a top Border Patrol official ­testified Tuesday.

“People are traveling across hemispheres to attempt to illegally enter the US, using the same pathways as the Central Americans,” Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch said at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.

The revelation came as President Trump said he would not relaunch his administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the southern border — but continued railing against the surge of Central American asylum seekers seeking entry to the US.


Blame Activists, Cartels for Crisis at Border, Not Trump

Securing the border is a critical mission. It was never something to be complacent about, and the situation there has demonstrably deteriorated.

So, it’s not surprising that the president decided to change leadership at the Department of Homeland Security. When President Donald Trump doesn’t get results, he shakes things up. That’s always been his way.

Kirstjen Nielsen is a tough woman who took on a tough job. She faithfully served her president and the nation.

I worked with Kirstjen for decades as part of the community of scholars and practitioners who advocated effective homeland security policies. We served together on the presidential transition team. Kirstjen gave the administration two years of dedicated service, working in a variety of roles. Every day she put the nation and the mission first. The president could not have asked for a more loyal and dedicated supporter.


AOC’s own constituents slam her over busted Amazon deal

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s own constituents say she blew it on Amazon.

A Siena College poll released Wednesday found that 58 percent of voters in her 14th Congressional District, covering parts of the Bronx and Queens, supported the deal that would have brought Amazon to Queens in return for $3 billion in subsidies.

Only 33 percent backed the congresswoman’s position opposing the online retail giant, which promised to bring 25,000 jobs in return for the government money.


*UPDATE- Subject Located* Gold Alert Canceled for Missing Delmar Teenager

Wilmington – The Delaware State Police are canceling the Gold Alert issued for 17-year-old Tackoma Toomey of Delmar who was reported missing on April 10, 2019.

JUST IN: Greg Craig, ex-Obama White House counsel, indicted for alleged false statements

Greg Craig, former White House counsel for then-President Barack Obama, was indicted Thursday on two counts of making false and misleading statements to investigators -- including Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team -- in connection with his work on behalf of Russia-backed former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

Craig is the first prominent Democrat to be indicted in a case arising from Mueller's now-completed probe into Russian election interference. Mueller's prosecutors referred the Craig case to prosecutors in New York last year after uncovering possible wrongdoing while they investigated former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's Ukraine lobbying work.

The Washington-based lawyer was indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for allegedly falsifying and concealing “material facts” and making false statements both to Mueller and to the DOJ National Security Division's Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.


Kamala Harris Touts Dog ‘Survivors’ Bill; Voted Against Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

After voting against cloture for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in February, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is now promoting a bill to protect "survivors" of dog fighting.

On Monday, Sen. Harris took to Twitter to declare dog fighting “a despicable crime” and promote her bill to help “survivors of dog fighting”:

“Dog fighting is a despicable crime. These animals bring us so much joy and we can and must do more so that survivors of dog fighting find their forever homes. My bill, the HEART Act, would help ensure this. #DogFightingAwarenessDay”

But, on February 25, 2019, Harris was one of 44 senators to vote against cloture for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S.331), which would require doctors to provide live-sustaining care to “a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion” – denying the bill the 60 Senate votes it required to end filibuster and proceed.

More here


Democrats are in a full-blown panic after Attorney General William Barr confirmed that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential race.

Prominent Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were furious over Barr’s remarks during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

“He is the Attorney General of the United States, not the attorney general of Donald Trump,” Pelosi said, adding that he’s gone “off the rails.”


Berlin Must Phase Planned Tax Hikes

The Town of Berlin must do better than imposing an unprecedented 29% tax increase on property owners in a single year.

The problems leading to the consideration of this huge hike did not arise overnight. Years of mismanagement and poor decisions caused the town’s present financial quagmire. The citizens should not have to fund the consequences of these mistakes in one year. Instead, the town should focus on crafting a three-, four- or five-year plan to fairly phase these increases to ease the burden on town property owners.

Under an incremental increase plan, senior citizens and others living on fixed incomes can have time to decide their futures. They can then evaluate a way to deal with the looming increased tax burdens or potentially sell their homes and relocate to less expensive locales. Those same decisions will surely be faced by many families.

There are two major issues facing Berlin’s finances — the town’s reserve fund is not healthy enough in the event of a disaster and three of the four town enterprise funds are not self-sustainable and have consequently been drafting funds from the operating budget. This poor practice has resulted in a major strain on the government’s budget.


18 States Offer In-State Tuition For Illegals... And Legal Residents Are Not Happy About That

The Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that colleges in Georgia are not required to admit illegal immigrant students.

The decision further sparked a national conversation about the rights of Dreamers, as well as the legality of offering them in-state tuition benefits, which usually allow students attending college in their home states to pay far less than their peers from different states.

Citing US Code 1623, which states that anyone who is not legally a citizen cannot be entitled to any benefit that is denied to a citizen of the United States, some have questioned whether those here illegally should be offered in-state tuition rates that aren’t available to other students who are citizens. Currently, 18 states, offer some form of a pathway for in-state tuition to those living here illegally.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states --- California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington --- offer in-state tuition to illegal immigrant students. Two more states --- Oklahoma and Rhode Island --- offer in-state tuition to illegal immigrant students, pending approval from the Board of Regents.


Twin Cities-area child sex trafficking sting nets 47 arrests during 'Final Four' weekend

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Nearly four dozen people are facing state felony charges after being arrested for attempting to solicit children for sex following a four-day sting operation conducted during the Final Four weekend of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament.
These sex trafficking arrests resulted from an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), with assistance from the following agencies:  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments, and 29 additional Minnesota-based law enforcement agencies.
Investigators with the BCA-led Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force conducted an operation April 4-8 in several Twin Cities communities. During this operation, suspects chatted on several social media platforms with undercover agents and investigators who posed as minors or as sex buyers. Authorities arrested the suspects as they arrived at a pre-arranged meeting place for an encounter.
All suspects were booked into Hennepin, Anoka or Ramsey (Minnesota) county jails; their cases will be submitted for charging. Most of those arrested are from the Twin Cities metropolitan area.  Following is a summary of the results of this operation:
  • 47 people were booked on probable cause felony solicitation of a minor or solicitation of prostitution under 16 years of age;
  • 11 people were booked on probable cause sex trafficking, promotion of prostitution; and
  • 28 victims were rescued from trafficking situations, including one minor.

Trump Says He Will Call Up More Military at US-Mexico Border

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would have to mobilize more of the military at the U.S. border with Mexico after listening to stories about migrants crossing the border from people attending a Republican fundraiser.

"I'm going to have to call up more military," Trump said.

The president said some of the people crossing the border were ending up dead from the journey on Americans' ranches. He interrupted his discussion with Republican donors to bring in reporters to listen to the stories about the border.

"Many, many dead people," Trump said, referring to migrants who he said had died after making the journey. "Also they come in and raid their houses, and it's very dangerous," Trump said, referring to locals affected by the influx of migrants.


Deputies surround burglar in Oregon home..........

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. (KATU) – Deputies responding to a 911 call for a "burglary in progress" at an Oregon woman’s home ended up catching the culprit – a robotic vacuum that was trapped in her bathroom.

The initial call came in from someone reporting that a stranger was in her bathroom, and that the person had the bathroom door locked, the sheriff's office said Tuesday in a post online.

She said she could see shadows moving under the door.

Within minutes several deputies surround the home, calling for a K9 team as backup. They say they could hear a rustling noise coming from the bathroom.


Deadly 'superbug' fungus spreads globally; cases confirmed in Md., Va., 10 other states

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) — A potentially deadly superbug fungus has been spreading in the United States and worldwide. The latest count from the Centers for Disease Control showed nearly 600 cases of the drug-resistant Candida auris in 12 states, including Maryland and Virginia.

Considered a “serious global threat,” cases have been confirmed in every continent in the world. In the U. S., most of the cases are in New York City, Chicago, and New Jersey.

Candida auris can cause different kinds of infections, including bloodstream infection, wound infection, and ear infection. Most cases occur in patients in hospitals and nursing homes who have weakened immune systems.

"Based on information from a limited number of patients, 30 – 60% of people with C. auris infections have died. However, many of these people had other serious illnesses that also increased their risk of death," the CDC said in a statement.


Subject: Racial bias claims hit Southern Poverty Law Center's status as arbiter of hate

As the Southern Poverty Law Center implodes over accusations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment, its legion of critics wants answers and a swift burial of the embattled organization’s status as the nation’s judge and jury on hate.

Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, took the lead with a letter to the Internal Revenue Service requesting an investigation into the tax-exempt status of the incongruously wealthy nonprofit group, which he blasted as a “racist and sexist slush fund devoted to defamation.”

“I’ve long been troubled by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s activities, which are centered on serial defamation of its opponents, not on civil rights litigation, as its founding charter says,” Mr. Cotton told The Washington Times.

“Obviously, the revelations that the Southern Poverty Law Center has engaged in systematic racial discrimination and sexual harassment at the highest levels is very troubling as well,” he said. “I think it bears on whether they should have tax-exempt status under our laws and benefit from the taxpayer subsidy.”


Abortion Reversal Hotline Seeing More Calls Since Pro-Life ‘Unplanned’ Movie Released

An abortion reversal hotline has witnessed an increasing number of calls from women wanting to reverse their abortions since the pro-life film Unplanned was released in late March.

The Options Line, which is run by Heartbeat International's Abortion Pill Rescue Network and offers guidance for women trying to reverse chemical abortions, has seen a 30 percent increase in calls, according to Catholic News Agency.

"We do believe that [the sudden surge] was attributed to Unplanned, specifically," Andrea Trudden, director of communications and marketing for Heartbeat International, said.

Trudden said calls have come from women seeking to reverse their abortions, and from others wanting to learn about abortion pill reversal.

More here

The Truth About How Much Americans Are Paying in Taxes

As Americans file their taxes this April, they might be in for a surprise: Most Americans got a tax cut last year.

It shouldn’t be a surprise given the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, but unfortunately, the media have produced a neverending deluge of misleading or inaccurate reporting on the issue.

Last year, The Heritage Foundation studied how the tax cuts would affect Americans in every congressional district across the country. We found that each of the 435 districts got a tax cut and that the average American household paid about $1,400 less in taxes as a result in 2018.



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Oversight Republicans introduced a House Resolution, sponsored by Representative Mark Green (R-TN), that directs Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to submit an official copy of the transcript of Michael Cohen’s testimony to the Department of Justice for investigation and potential prosecution.
“If Chairman Cummings fails to refer Mr. Cohen to the Department of Justice for perjury, it will forever mar the reputation of the Oversight committee and call into question the integrity of the entire House. Mr. Chairman, do what you said you’d do and hold Mr. Cohen accountable for lying before our committee,” said Representative Mark Green (R-TN).
  • On February 27, 2019, Michael Cohen falsely testified during sworn testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
  • On February 28, 2019, Ranking Member Jim Jordan and Representative Mark Meadows sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr referring Michael Cohen for investigation and potential prosecution.
  • On March 8, 2019, Ranking Member Jim Jordan and Representative Mark Meadows sent a letter to Michael Cohen’s attorney concerning contradictions between Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee and media statements made by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.
  • On March 13, 2019, Ranking Member Jim Jordan and Representative Mark Meadows sent a letter to Chairman Elijah Cummings urging him to refer Michael Cohen to the Department of Justice for perjury.
  • On March 14, 2019, Ranking Member Jim Jordan offered a Committee resolution to refer Michael Cohen to the Department of Justice for perjury.
  • On April 2, 2019, Ranking Member Jim Jordan and Representative Mark Meadows sent a letter to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Ranking Member Devin Nunes requesting access to transcripts of Michael Cohen’s closed-door testimony on February 28, 2019, and March 6, 2019.
  • On April 2, 2019, Dr. Green offered a Committee resolution to refer Michael Cohen to the Department of Justice for perjury.
Full text of the resolution can be found here.

OC Expects $1M Budget Hit Eventually With Minimum Wage Hike

OCEAN CITY — The Town of Ocean City is now grappling with the minimum wage increase approved by the General Assembly as it moves through the budget process.

During the General Assembly session that ended this week, state lawmakers approved a bill gradually increasing the minimum wage in Maryland to $15 per hour by 2025. Gov. Larry Hogan last week vetoed the legislation, but the veto was overridden by the House and Senate.

The current minimum wage in Maryland is $10.10 per hour and that will increase to an even $11 per hour on July 1. Over the next four years, the minimum wage will be increased on a graduated scale until it reaches $15. The deadline to reach the $15 rate is stretched out until 2028 for businesses with fewer than 15 employees, a measure included in the bill to insulate small businesses somewhat from the rather onerous increase.

However, as the resort’s largest employer, the Town of Ocean City will likely bear the brunt of the minimum wage increase the most at least locally. During budget work sessions this week, Budget Manager Jennie Knapp said the fiscal year 2020 spending plan anticipated the wage hike and included the next step in the lower end of the town’s pay scale, but there will be challenges as the minimum wage escalates in future years as outlined in the legislation.


Health Officials Eye Recovery Stations Program For Addicts; Public Meeting Set For Monday

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Health Department is seeking the community’s support to launch a pilot program that offers recovery stations to those seeking help for their addiction.

On Monday, April 15, the health department will host a public meeting with community stakeholders to discuss a grant-funded program that establishes recovery stations in Worcester County.

Jennifer LaMade, the health department’s director of planning, said the program allows those seeking help for addiction to walk into a fire station or police station and receive assistance.

“What we want is a place where individuals walk in, feel welcomed, have their needs met and then have our crisis response team and peer support workers help them start their recovery,” she said.


Boomstick Bomber Flies 2A Mission Over MD Statehouse!

The aircraft that flew this specialized Second Amendment combat air mission above the Maryland State Capitol is the AR-15 Boomstick “Liberator” Bomber, part of the 1776th Boomstick Bomber Command of the PATRIOT PICKET AIR FORCE.

For over 90 minutes on April 8, 2019 the Boomstick Bomber rained down the PATRIOT PICKET 2A freedom message “WE WILL NOT COMPLY” and the challenge “HOW ABOUT YOU LARRY?” upon Governor Larry Hogan, state legislators, their staff, visitors and the public in and around the historic Statehouse in Annapolis:

This pro-2A aerial mission to defeat the anti-gun owner bills and to restore MD liberty was viewed extensively on the ground and was widely reported in local and state news and shared in national social media:


Pentagon awards nearly $1B in border wall contracts

The Pentagon said Tuesday it has awarded nearly $1 billion in contracts to two companies for President Trump’s border wall — the first funds granted to build the barrier since Trump declared a national emergency in February.

SLSCO Ltd. was awarded a $789 million contract for “border-replacement wall construction,” which will be done in Santa Teresa, NM.

The work is expected to be completed in October 2020, according to a list of contracts published by the US Department of Defense.


Mnuchin has fiery exchange with Rep. Maxine Waters during hearing

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin got into a fiery exchange with U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters on Tuesday during a committee hearing with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

At the end of a three-and-half-hour testimony before the House Appropriations Committee and Financial Services Committee, which is chaired by Waters, Mnuchin interrupted the hearing to remind the committee of a prior agreement that he would be able to leave by 5 p.m.

Mnuchin said that he was scheduled to meet with a senior official from the Bahrain government. After running overtime, he said he would be willing to stay until 5:15 and return at a later date to testify before Congress.


Berlin Council, Citizens Continue Heated Tax Hike Talks

BERLIN – Residents continue to plead for an incremental tax increase rather than the 29% jump proposed by Berlin’s mayor.

At Monday’s meeting of the Berlin Town Council, dozens of residents urged elected officials to reconsider the 29% tax increase proposed by Mayor Gee Williams at last week’s budget work session. The suggested increase would raise the tax bill on a $300,000 home by $600.

“You can’t do this all at once,” resident Marie Velong said. “It’s unconscionable. You only have working people here. We didn’t get a $600 raise this year.”

At a work session last week, Williams suggested a 29% tax increase as well as water, sewer and stormwater rate increases. While the rate increases will end the utility funds’ practice of borrowing from the general fund, the tax increase is expected to gradually restore the funding depleted by the three utility funds during the past four years.


Three top Pugh aides placed on paid leave from City Hall jobs

Three top aides to Mayor Catherine Pugh have been placed on paid leave.

Gary Brown Jr., Poetri Deal and Afra Vance-White were suspended from their posts in the Pugh administration on Tuesday. A receptionist in the mayor's office said that none of the three employees were in on Wednesday.

Lester Davis, a spokesman for Ex-officio Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young declined to comment on the suspensions, calling it a "personnel matter." Davis referred calls to City Solicitor Andre Davis, who declined in an email to comment because it was a "personnel matter."


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested after Ecuador withdraws asylum

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was carried out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in the arms of British police and arrested Thursday, a dramatic scene that ended Assange's nearly 7-year stay at the embassy and left the world watching to see if the anti-secrecy site would retaliate.

Moments before the stunning arrest, Ecuador announced it had withdrawn Assange's asylum for “repeatedly violating international conventions and protocol.”

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno described the decision to withdraw Assange’s asylum as a “sovereign decision” because of his alleged repeated violations.


Illinois rolls out plan for Medicaid to cover gender reassignment surgery

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — Illinois’ Medicaid program will soon cover gender reassignment surgery.

The state proposed new coverage rules Friday.

Their proposed changes would have Medicaid cover genital and breast-related surgeries for people that are at least 21-years-old and that have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

“Surgeries that may have been prohibitive for them before are now going to be covered by Medicaid, so it gives transgender individuals an opportunity to opt for those surgeries if that’s something they want to do,” Phoenix Center Executive Director Jonna Cooley said.


At least one dead and 17 injured in North Carolina gas explosion

The wounded survivors of a 'catastrophic' gas leak in North Carolina on Wednesday were seen crawling away from the scene or being dragged out by emergency workers after the blast which killed one and left 17 injured.

The explosion happened in downtown Durham shortly after 10am. It was caused, according to police, by a contractor who was drilling in the sidewalk and hit a two-inch gas line.

At the time, fire fighters were evacuating workers from nearby buildings after receiving reports of a gas leak in the area less than an hour before the explosion.

The blast destroyed an entire building which houses a building technology company, a coffee shop and is next door to a psychiatrist's office.


It's $5.00 Half pound burger Day TODAY At Caribbean Joe's

Come see us in west Ocean City and enjoy a 1/2 pound burger for only $5.00. Wash it down with a $1.00 Natural Light beer. Yes, you can drink $1.00 Natural Lights all day and you do not have to buy a burger. We also have $1.50 Chicken and beef tacos today as well. For those who like a challenge, we also have a ONE POUND BURGER for $10.00.

We start serving burgers at noon and stop cooking at 10:00 PM. We're located right next to the Holiday Inn Express on Rt. 50 at the Alamo. Don't miss the Masters Golf Tournament that starts today.

Salisbury MSP Enforcement Efforts - March 2019

Governor Hogan Statement On Federal Environmental Executive Order

Governor Hogan Statement On Federal Environmental Executive OrderAction Jeopardizes Chesapeake Bay Restoration, Environmental Efforts
ANNAPOLIS, MD - Governor Larry Hogan, chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council, released the following statement in response to the announcement of a federal executive order regarding energy infrastructure:
"This top-down order threatens to undermine good environmental stewardship. It could seriously jeopardize our historic Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, including our regional partnership to reduce pollution and debris at the Conowingo Dam.
"From day one, our administration has worked with the federal government to ensure responsible environmental protections and safeguards when permitting dams, pipelines, and other infrastructure projects. State sovereignty should never be shortchanged under the guise of government streamlining.
“I will continue to fight to increase funding for the Chesapeake Bay and oppose attempts to erode states' rights under the federal Clean Water Act.”
Background on Hogan Administration Efforts
Since taking office, Governor Hogan has invested a record $5 billion toward wide-ranging Chesapeake Bay initiatives. These efforts are making a difference: the Chesapeake Bay is the healthiest it has been in recorded history. Governor Hogan has led the charge against the federal administration’s proposed cuts to Chesapeake Bay funding. In a letter to leaders of Congress, he pushed for an increase in federal funding for the Bay.
In April 2018, Maryland issued a comprehensive protection plan under the Clean Water Act to ensure water quality progress as the owner of the Conowingo Dam seeks a 46-year relicensing agreement. Revised federal rules and policies should not restrict the responsible use of tools governors can use under the Clean Water Act.
Since first running for governor in 2014, Governor Hogan has been vocal about the serious sediment build up at the Conowingo Dam. The Hogan administration (the Maryland Environmental Service and the Maryland Department of the Environment) awarded a $3 million pilot project to test the quality of sediment behind the Conowingo Dam and to dredge a portion of it to determine a possible reuse and market for the materials.
Governor Hogan is chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council. The council consists of the governors of the six Chesapeake Bay watershed states, and the mayor of the District of Columbia.

Thursday Morning Funnies

Maryland State Police- Berlin Barrack (Fatal Motor Vehicle Collision)

Free Trees for Somerset and Worcester County Backyard Buffers

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree seedlings to landowners in Somerset and Worcester counties who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream or other waterway on or near their property through the Backyard Buffers program.

Trees and shrubs planted along waterways help improve water quality by absorbing excess nutrients, lowering peak water temperatures, reducing sediment and stabilizing stream banks.

Each bag contains approximately 25 native bare-root tree and shrub seedlings, including bald cypress, river birch, serviceberry, spicebush and winterberry.

Maryland Forest Service staff will provide information on tree maintenance and planting techniques, in addition to suggestions of other suitable native species at the time of pickup.

Quantities are limited so reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Order deadline is April 26.

Somerset County landowners should call 410-651-2004 to order. Pickup will be 10 a.m. to noon April 27 at the University of Maryland Extension Office, 30730 Park Drive, Princess Anne.

Worcester County landowners should call 410-641-4314 to order. Pickup will be 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 27 at Stephen Decatur Park, Tripoli Street, Berlin.