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Prince George's Leader Backs County Worker Raises

UPPER MARLBORO, MD. (AP) — The top elected official in Prince George's County is recommending raises for county workers that could cost $12 million a year, despite ongoing budget problems.

County Executive Jack Johnson made a recommendation this month to increase pay by 2 percent for roughly 6,000 union and nonunion employees.

The county has had severe budget difficulties; school system workers took a day of mandatory, unpaid leave Friday and have several more furlough days scheduled. Other county workers have had 20 furlough days in the past two years.

Term limits prevented Johnson from running for re-election and he will have left office by the time the county would fund the increases.

Transportation Concerns are a Priority in Southern Prince George’s County

Many of the residents who drive in Oxon Hill have experienced what has become a very high volume, and somewhat dangerous daily commute during the evening rush hour.  How many times have we seen congestion along Indian Head Highway at the Wilson Bridge Drive and Livingston Road/Kerby Hill Road intersections? 

How many times have we seen the Oxon Hill Road main corridor congested with Rivertowne Shoppers as well as workers traveling home for the evening?  With the addition of the National Harbor, the BRAC re-alignment that is due next year, as well as growing communities in Oxon Hill, Fort Washington, Accokeek, and areas in Charles County, now is the time to address this matter. 

Maryland National Guard Member Sues Elections Board

(AP) A member of the Maryland National Guard is suing the state board of elections because he says overseas voters have not been given enough time to obtain and return ballots for the upcoming November election.

The plaintiff filed suit Thursday in U.S. District Court using the pseudonym John Doe. Doe says he is an officer in the Maryland National Guard on active duty in the U.S. Army who will be stationed in Iraq through January.

An organization that says it aims to protecting the voting rights of people in uniform has joined Doe in the suit.

The plaintiffs allege officials mailed overseas ballots listing candidates for federal office only by the deadline set in a new federal law designed to protect military voters. They say this prevents them from voting for state office candidates, including governor.

Maryland Cell Phone Ban Begins

Maryland residents and those residents who travel through Maryland need to know that on Friday, October 1, 2010 (this Friday) - cell phone use will become illegal while driving. The offense will be a "secondary" offense, meaning that offenders can only be cited with it if they are pulled over for another primary offense like speeding or running a red light.

Beginning on Friday, people who wish to make a call while driving MUST use a hands free device. The fine will be $40 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent violations of the law.

Texting while driving has been illegal for some time now and already carries a fine.

Maryland is following suit with several other states with cellular phone bans while in operation of a motor vehicle, but it is one of the only (if not the only) state to list the law as a "secondary" offense.

Prince George’s County will Benefit from $115 Million in Federal Stimulus to Boost Internet Speed

Prince George’s County’s elementary schools and other public buildings will soon have some of the fastest broadband Internet connections in the nation, thanks to a $115 million federal grant awarded to the One Maryland Broadband Network.

Over the next three years, the grant will enable the construction of high-speed fiber optic broadband connections to 115 County facilities, including every public elementary school and many libraries, fire stations, and other municipal facilities. The fiber network will also serve as a platform for private-sector companies to build “last-mile” connections to homes and businesses in areas of the County where residents are currently underserved.

Board of Education to Break Ground for New School

The new Greenbelt Middle School for 6th-8th graders will be the third Leadership in

Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) school in PGCPS.
Scheduled to be completed in 2012, the new middle school will feature classrooms

for science, art, technology, family and consumer science, ESOL, and special education. The school will also have a gymnasium, a cafeteria, and soccer, softball, and baseball playing fields.

A portion of the old school will also be renovated, modernized, and maintained as a
facility for learning and community access.

WHO: Judith F. Davis, Mayor, City of Greenbelt; Verjeana M. Jacobs, Esq. Chair, Board of Education; Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Superintendent of Schools; Dr. David Lever, Maryland State Department of Education; Architectural Designers and LEED Representatives

WHAT: Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Greenbelt Middle School

WHEN: Monday, September 27 • 10 a.m.

Police ID Woman Found Dead At Greenbelt Apartment Complex

GREENBELT, Md. (AP/WUSA) -- Authorities say a woman has been found dead at an apartment building in Greenbelt. Prince George's County Police have identified the victim as 49 year-old Jacklyn Ann Bass.

Prince George's County police were called to the scene in the 8500 block of Greenbelt Road about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday found the woman lying unresponsive in a hallway of the building. The woman was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Police spokesman Cpl. Mike Rodriguez said the woman had suffered some trauma to the upper body.