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Leslie Johnson Barred from Prince George's County Council Panel

Leslie Johnson Barred from Prince George's County Council Panel

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - The Prince George's County Council has barred newly elected member Leslie Johnson from serving on any committees while she is under federal investigation.

Council chair Ingrid Turner said Tuesday that the measure was taken "to avoid any appearance of impropriety."

Johnson will still be allowed to attend committee meetings and vote on bills. Council members say the county charter doesn't allow them to deny her all voting rights.

Johnson and her husband, former County Executive Jack Johnson, were arrested last month on charges including bribery, conspiracy and extortion involving real estate developers. Leslie Johnson was sworn into the city council Monday despite requests from five council members that she forgo the oath of office.

Maryland Governor's and Senate Race Projections

According to projections posted by The Huffington Post, it seems that democratic candidate Governor Martin O'Malley is ahead of republican candidate former Governor Robert Ehrlich.

O'Malley leads by 51.5% while Erhlich trails behind with 40.6%.

In the race for Senate, democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski has a steady lead against republican candidate Eric Wargotz.

Mikulski is projected to win with 56.4% compared to Wargotz's 36.2%

For more election coverage, watch WUSA9 or click WUSA9.com.

O'Malley/Brown Set-Up Underway

It's a gorgeous day on the Inner Harbor and a fantastic location at the American Visionary Arts Museum where the O'Malley/Brown team has just begun to set up shop for Maryland's gubernatorial race.

Today, Governor Martin O'Malley faces former Governor Robert Ehrlich in a heated competition.  With voter turnout in Maryland forming at a steady pace,The Baltimore Business Journal reports that both campaigns have turned to social media to spread the word and get residents to the polls.

O’Malley’s Twitter feed, @GovernorOMalley, started blasting tweets at 6:30 a.m. telling voters: “Polls open in a half hour. Are you ready to move #md4ward? #mdvote”

Natasha Pettigrew’s Mother Will Take Her Place as Green Party Senate Candidate

Kenniss Henry, mother of deceased Green Party Senatorial candidate Natasha Pettigrew, filed her certificate of candidacy Monday afternoon to fill the nomination left vacant by the death of her daughter last week. Pettigrew was bicycling along the shoulder of Route 202 in Prince George's County when she was hit early last Sunday morning by an SUV. She died last Monday night from injuries sustained in the accident.

The party's Coordination Council unanimously approved Henry's nomination on Sunday and has submitted nomination papers on her behalf. "The Maryland Green Party is grateful to Natasha's mother Kenniss Henry for filling the vacancy left by Natasha's untimely passing", said Brian Bittner, Co-Chair of the Maryland Green Party.

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.