Diplomas in a day

The city social services workers who sent dozens of local foster care youth to an unlicensed out-of-state religious school that hands out high school diplomas in exchange for a $500 fee and a single day of tests may have thought they were helping smooth the way to higher education or a job. In fact, they were perpetuating a cruel hoax by giving the youth the impression they met all the qualifications for college or a career when in fact they had not. (Balt. Sun)

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GOP Stronghold

Whatever it might say about Maryland’s Republican Party, the fact that two of the announced GOP gubernatorial candidates are from Anne Arundel tells us a lot about the county. This remains a Republican stronghold, a jurisdiction any GOP candidate with statewide aspirations must carry big. (Capital)

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Richard Cross: The walking dead of Maryland politics

In honor of my favorite TV show, here are my suggestions as to “The Walking Dead” of Maryland politics. These politicos cling to the spotlight even though their relevance has left them or is rapidly fading. (News-Post)

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William A. McComas: The hazards of edu-tech 

This fall, news broke that an unidentified male was targeting Baltimore private school students online. He reportedly used social media to engage in sexually explicit communications, including indecent videos, with a number of local teenagers. Several private schools sent out letters to parents, warning them of the threat and urging them to monitor their children’s online activities. That was the right response, but more should be done by website operators, legislators, parents, and schools to protect our children. (Daily Record)

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Jerry Shandrowsky: AACC must consider the cost of a police force

Recently, I saw a vehicle with the word “police” on its side. Considering the car didn’t match the style utilized by local law enforcement, I took a more curious look. To my surprise, the automobile belonged to Anne Arundel Community College. Now, I never recalled the Maryland legislature granting the necessary authority for the college to form a police force. Moreover, a quick glance at their public safety webpage confirmed such a move did not somehow escape my radar. (Capital)

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E.J. Fagen: Bitcoin and international crime

U.S. law enforcement officials have been shutting down giant illegal marketplaces that do business in "bitcoin" and are beginning to lay out plans to regulate such digital currencies — like we do any other kind of money — by requiring that money laundering controls be applied to the transactions. The virtual bitcoin currency is not backed by any central bank or government and can be transferred "peer to peer" between any two people anywhere. (Balt. Sun)

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Rodricks: Man racked up more than $13,000 in unpaid Maryland tolls, fees

Thousands and thousands of motorists will be paying millions and millions of dollars in highway tolls to get to Grandma's house in time for Thanksgiving, but Eric Gregory is no longer one of them. He sold his car a while ago. He's out of the driving-and-toll-paying life. And he's out of the driving-and-toll-paying life because he stopped paying his tolls. I'll explain in a minute, but before I do, a disclosure: I know about Gregory's story only because he contacted me for help. (Balt. Sun)

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Nov. 25 // Batts' mission

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts' long-awaited consultant's report on how to reshape his department and drive down crime comes to what sounds like an obvious conclusion: The city's police should focus on gangs, guns and violent repeat offenders. The 200-page document underscores the extent to which that is easier said than done — it includes dozens of recommendations for changing the department's structure, procedures and use of technology. (Balt. Sun)

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