Jan. 23 // Judges seek to streamline Md.’s procedures for setting bail and ensuring all have attorneys

A Maryland Senate panel heard testimony Wednesday on a proposal by the state’s judiciary that would streamline the system for setting bail while also guaranteeing that all defendants, including the poor, have access to an attorney from the beginning of the judicial process. But some members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee objected that while the Judiciary Task Force’s proposal would guarantee that all defendants would have an attorney at bail hearings, some defendants could still be confined in jail longer because a judge might not be immediately available to hear their case. (Wash. Post)

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Balto. Co. Council approves raises for council, executive

Baltimore County Council members approved Wednesday a $25,000 raise for the county executive, as well as an $8,500 boost for their own positions. All seven members voted in favor of the increases. The raises will take effect in December and bring the executive's annual salary to $175,000. Council members will earn $62,500 annually, with the council chairperson — who currently gets $60,000 — making $70,000. (Balt. Sun)

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General Assembly Looks At Ways To Cut Crime Behind Bars

The General Assembly is looking at ways to eliminate gang activity in the Baltimore City Detention Center. Proposed solutions offered in a hearing Wednesday include polygraph tests for people applying for jobs as correctional officers, the use of body scanners to detect contraband smuggled in body cavities, additional jail time for inmates and criminal penalties for anyone caught smuggling cellphones, and ways to eliminate the sex between officers and inmates. (WJZ-TV)

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Secret audit found city speed cameras had high error rates

Baltimore's speed cameras likely charged motorists for thousands more erroneous tickets than previously disclosed, according to data from a secret audit conducted for the city last yearand obtained by The Baltimore Sun. Consultant URS Corp. evaluated the camera system as run by Xerox State and Local Solutions in 2012 and found an error rate of more than 10 percent — 40 times higher than city officials have claimed. The city got those findings last April but never disclosed the high error rate, refusing calls by members of the City Council to release the audit. (Balt. Sun)

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Blimplike surveillance craft set to deploy over Maryland heighten privacy concerns

They will look like two giant white blimps floating high above I-95 in Maryland, perhaps en route to a football game somewhere along the bustling Eastern Seaboard. But their mission will have nothing to do with sports and everything to do with war. The aerostats — that is the term for lighter-than-air craft that are tethered to the ground — are to be set aloft on Army-owned land about 45 miles northeast of Washington, near Aberdeen Proving Ground, for a three-year test slated to start in October. (Wash. Post)

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In debate on medical marijuana, enter twins, age 3

Shannon Moore's twin boys had their first seizures at home, when they were just 4 months old. And at the hospital, where Moore and her husband hoped to find help for their sons, doctors couldn't promise any relief. However, a CNN report that mentioned marijuana's potential for calming seizures in children gave her hope that better treatments were possible. The only problem: There is no legal way for her to get medical marijuana in Maryland. (News-Post)

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Judge orders TV networks to turn over footage in Naval Academy case

A military judge has ordered CNN and CBS to turn over unaired footage of interviews with a Naval Academy midshipman who was the alleged victim of sexual assault at an off-campus party in 2012. Marine Corps Col. Daniel J. Daugherty ordered the TV networks on Wednesday to provide a portion of footage that he deemed was not duplicative of other interviews and testimony from the female midshipman. The footage is sought by attorneys for Midshipman Joshua Tate of Nashville, who is facing a March court-martial on charges of aggravated sexual assault and making a false statement. (Balt. Sun)

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Carderock residents look for answers from state on proposed cellphone tower

Some Carderock Springs residents are not getting the answers they want about a proposal to put a 180-foot cell tower near Carderock Springs Elementary School. “I’ve asked for information and either they don’t have it or don’t want to provide it,” said Christopher Roscetti, a resident who has a 4-year-old son. Roscetti said he has an email list of about 50 Carderock locals who are watching the issue closely and want some answers. “We’d like to see answers to the questions — Where are the other sites they looked at? Why did they reject those sites?” (Gazette)

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