Defense seeks dismissal of hate crime in U.Md. murder, cites First Amendment

Lawyers for the former University of Maryland student charged with murder and a hate crime in the stabbing of a black student who was visiting the College Park campus, have filed a motion seeking dismissal of the hate charge, claiming it violates their client’s First Amendment rights. Sean Urbanski, now 24, is charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime that resulted in a death, in the killing of U.S. Army Lt. Richard Collins III, who was 23 when he died on May 20, 2017. In their motion, which was filed last week but only appeared in court records Tuesday, Urbanski’s attorneys, William Brennan and John McKenna argue the “charge violates the First Amendment by impermissibly prohibiting or criminalizing protected speech.” (WTOP)

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Supreme Court denies Baltimore officers' appeal in case against Marilyn Mosby

The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal on Tuesday from five Baltimore police officers in a case in which they alleged they were wrongfully prosecuted for the death of Freddie Gray by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. The decision brings the case to an end, in Mosby’s favor. It leaves intact a May decision by a Richmond, Va.-based federal appeals court that blocked the officers’ lawsuit on the grounds that prosecutors have immunity from such charges. The officers appealed that court’s decision to the Supreme Court in October. (Balt. Sun)

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November 13 // Pilot program to teach Baltimore doctors, nurses the latest in diabetes care standards

About 140 Baltimore-area doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners will be among the first in the country to receive new training aimed at conveying the latest care standards for diabetes. Primary care providers will gather Tuesday at the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center in Towson for “Diabetes is Primary,” a sold-out conference by the American Diabetes Association that will touch on the latest treatments and technologies for diabetes. About 11 percent of Marylanders have diabetes, and the majority rely on primary care providers to manage the condition rather than seeing specialists, said David McShea, executive director of the American Diabetes Association’s Maryland chapter. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Health Connection Making It Easy To Sign Up For Health Insurance

How’s your health? Now is the time for the uninsured in Maryland to safeguard their health by making sure they get medical coverage. Here are some common questions, according to Michele Eberle of the Maryland Health Connection: “What’s it going to cost me for this plan? What am I going to have to pay out of pocket when I get this coverage? What coverages will it afford me?” Get answers to those questions and exercise your options provided by the Affordable Care Act through the Maryland Health Connection.“There are a lot of terms that are very confusing for people that aren’t in the insurance industry but we’ve got over 1,800 in-person assistors across the state to help,” said Eberle. (WJZ-CBS)

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At insistence of Vatican, U.S. bishops meeting in Baltimore won't vote on actions to address sex abuse crisis

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opened its conference Monday by saying that at the “insistence” of the Vatican, the American clerics would not vote as planned on steps to address a sex abuse crisis that has reached the highest levels of the church in the United States. In the weeks leading up to the Baltimore assembly of leaders of U.S. dioceses, the group’s administrative committee hammered out recommendations for discussion and planned votes on whether to approve them. (Balt. Sun)

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November 12 // Audit: Health Benefit Exchange could be compromised by significant internal control deficiencies

A legislative audit of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange that enrolls uninsured people in Medicaid and qualified health insurance plans found “significant deficiencies” in the program. This is a term in auditing standards meant to bring serious problems to the attention of the governing board and not just the executives in charge. (Md. Reporter)

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Anne Arundel County state's attorney-elect: Capital Gazette case will go to trial

Anne Arundel County’s new head prosecutor will lead on the Capital Gazette shooting case, she said Saturday, and predicts the case will go to trial. State’s Attorney-elect Anne Colt Leitess said she would prosecute the case following the departure of her predecessor Wes Adams, who has handled the case since the June 28 attack. “I expect it to go to trial,” Colt Leitess said, though the case might be delayed. (Capital)

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Sex abuse crisis tops agenda as US Catholic Bishops will convene in Baltimore Monday

As U.S. Catholic bishops gather for their national assembly next week, the clergy sex abuse crisis dominates their agenda amid calls from critics that church leaders finally bring about meaningful reforms to root out misbehaving priests. The three-day assembly that starts Monday in Baltimore comes after a series of abuse scandals this year that have been stunning in their magnitude and number. (AP)

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