Thanks to our teachers

While the field of candidates for Outstanding Teacher of the Year will be cut to eight this evening, a tip of the hat goes out to all the teachers nominated for this year’s honor, as well as the many other dedicated teachers who every day help shape the minds of Carroll youth. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Phyllis Wilson: Character, courage, commitment

Throughout the month of March, we celebrate the history of American women whose contributions blazed trails for women's empowerment and equality. We look to the past to commemorate their stalwart determination to break down barriers in the face of adversity; and we look to the future as we continue this legacy of our mothers and grandmothers. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come. (Balt. Sun)

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March 25 // Distracted driving should have consequences

We’ve all seen that car up ahead suddenly swerve onto the shoulder and then back onto the road as its driver responds to a text notification beep that demands to be checked. Some people saw that car swerve over the center line, and it was the last thing they saw. Educational programs and media coverage have spread the word about the dangers. There are no more excuses. We owe it to everyone else on the road to drive safely. Our legislators are to be commended for working to increase the consequences for people who harm others with their decision to use handheld phones while driving. A decision that kills someone shouldn’t be treated like speeding. (Star Dem.)

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Dutch Ruppersberger: Bill calls for end to NSA bulk telephone 'metadata' collection

As congressman of the 2nd District of Maryland, I am proud to represent the men and women of the National Security Agency. They serve and sacrifice for our country every day, often in dangerous situations, and I applaud them for their work. As the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, I am also proud to oversee the intelligence community on behalf of the American people as a whole, ensuring that our intelligence organizations get the tools necessary to keep us, and our allies safe, while ensuring the highest levels of civil liberty and privacy protection. (Balt. Sun)

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Annapolis stealth raise

Members of the General Assembly are poised to receive a significant pay raise — 15.7 percent total over four years. And the beauty of it, at least for them, is that they don’t even have to vote or in any way go on record favoring this raise. It was recommended by a state compensation commission and will take effect automatically. Unless, of course, legislators were to formally just say no to the raise. Don’t bet the ranch. According to Wbaltv.com, “The only legislative record of this stealth pay increase is a Republican resolution rejecting it, and that’s going nowhere.” (News-Post)

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Opening superintendent search has worked well before

As our story on Sunday showed, the Anne Arundel County school board is not breaking new ground in opting — at least thus far — to keep its search for a new superintendent of schools behind closed doors. Since 2012, Baltimore city and Harford, Baltimore and Prince George’s counties have all taken the confidential route. (Capital)

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Gene Ransom III: Putting doctors back in charge of health care

It's a fairly simple concept: When ill, you seek effective treatment from your doctor. Despite efforts by some Maryland health insurers to insert themselves into the middle of the physician-patient relationship, lawmakers are poised to make this simple idea — that doctors are the correct people to decide treatment for their patients — a reality for Maryland patients. Important patient protection legislation is working its way through the Maryland General Assembly after clearing key hurdles in both chambers and should soon end up on the governor's desk. (Balt. Sun)

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A universal hazard

Motorists on Maryland roads approaching a police or emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder with lights flashing are required by law to move over to the next lane or slow down to avoid the possibility of hitting anyone standing nearby. It's a sensible measure designed to protect law-enforcement and emergency personnel from becoming victims of the very traffic problems they are attempting to solve. But if you happen to be a tow truck operator assisting a disabled vehicle under similar circumstances, well, that's another story. (Balt. Sun)

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