Not Snow News (Demo)

It’s going to snow and I mean snow tonight and tomorrow.  That’s news you already know.  But did you know that Pre-K could be expanding, Surratsville High School’s graduation rates have experienced a BIG jump, the Water Suburban Sanitary Commission was raided by the IRS and FBI, and there are robbers on the loose in Lanham?
EDUCATION
Pre-K to expand in Maryland.  From Conduit Street: The O’Malley Administration introduced legislation to expand Pre-K offerings in Maryland this week. HB297, the Prekindergarten Expansion Act of 2014 establishes a Prekindergarten Expansion Grant Program to expand prekindergartern services to economically disadvantaged 4-year old children in Maryland. In an uncodified section, the bill also mandates a study to examine removing special funding for prekindergarten and instead incorporating prekindergarten students into the enrollment–based education funding formulas. County governments throughout the State provide a substantial portion of their budget to support K-12 education.
Graduation Cap 2High School graduation rates up in Prince George’s County.  Surrattsville High School shows marked increase in graduation, 9%.  According to the Maryland State Department of Education, the county’s four-year graduation rate increased 1.25 percent in 2013 from 2012.   Currently, 74 percent of high school seniors are graduating. Graduation rates for limited English students saw an increase of 5.5 percent while Hispanic and Latino students rose by 3.5 percent in the same time span.  The county’s dropout rate is down one percent but still  eighteen percent of its students aren’t finishing school.  News4’s Prince George’s County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reported Surrattsville High School has seen tremendous gains and had a nine percent increase in its graduation class. The school’s administrators use an early warning system to determine which ninth-graders have specific issues that are keeping them from graduating. Administrators look at their attendance and find out why they aren’t going to school. Once the students are at school, they look at what’s going on in their individual classes.  “When they come in here, they’re my kids. I’m the parent now, so now we need to figure out what we need to do to get there,” Principal Kristi Holden of Surrattsville High School said of the dropout rate
Prince George’s County Chief Academic Officer Duane Arborgast resigned to take the vice president of educational services position at the Children’s Guild, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that runs schools for children with special needs.  He also will be chief operating officer of the group’s charter schools. 
POLITICS
Anthony BrownWashington Post reported on Attorney Gansler/Lt. Gov. Brown disagreement regarding lowering the corporate income tax rate from 8.25% to 6%.  Lt. Governor Brown is not for this Republican plan proposed by some Maryland State Senators but Maryland State Attorney and gubernatorial hopeful Doug Gansler supports bringing the corporate tax rate on par with neighboring Virginia. Definitely I need to take a closer look at the Republican contenders Larry Hogan, David R. Craig, Charles Lollar, and Delegate Ron George, because the democratic ticket isn’t that appealing.  We need someone in office that will bring revenue generating business to Maryland and cut the fat.  It’s not likely that I’ll find that in these entrenched republican politicians either.  I better keep looking.  Dern.  Gansler, for weeks now, has been pouncing hard on Lt. Governor Brown for the unbelievably bad roll-out of the Affordable Health Care Act in Maryland, which he was responsible for.  Now it’s the Brown/Ulman ticket throwing blows at Gansler/Ivey for siding with Republicans on how to draw big business to Maryland.  Uuuurgh.  Can’t we all just get along?  Whoever has a proposal that will benefit the state and my county is alright with me.  From the Washington Post below.

The campaign of Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Anthony G. Brown on Wednesday attacked rival Democrat Douglas F. Gansler for backing a cut in the state’s corporate income tax rate, highlighting one of only a few major policy disputes that have emerged so far in the primary. The Brown campaign chose to act on a day in which Republican senators pushed a similar plan to reduce the corporate tax rate from 8.25 percent to 6 percent — the same as in Virginia — during a legislative hearing in Annapolis.  Justin Schall, the campaign manager for Brown, the state’s current lieutenant governor, accused Gansler of being “in lockstep with Republicans” in his support for a “corporate tax handout.” Schall said that Gansler, the state’s attorney general, “should come clean and explain which programs he’ll slash or which schools he’ll close to balance the budget.” The Brown campaign also released a video that showed footage of Gansler promoting his plan at seven different stops along the campaign trail in recent months. Gansler spokesman Bob Wheelock called the Brown video a “campaign gimmick” and said Gansler is pushing an idea that would improve the state’s economy. “He believes it’s the right thing to do,” Wheelock said, arguing that a lower rate would allow Maryland to attract and retain more businesses and increase the state’s tax base. Gansler is expected to release a broader economic plan as early as next week.
 

CRIME
WSSCWashington Suburban Sanitary Commission offices in Laurel, MD were raided by the FBI and IRS.  What were they looking for? A WSSC employee (God bless their tongue flapping heart) told the Washington Post that  FBI agents thoroughly searched two cubicles in the eighth-floor Procurement Department , which handles contracts and payments, and left with boxes of documents and downloaded computer records. The employee said the documents dated back six to seven years. The WSSC employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of not being authorized to speak publicly, said a half-dozen FBI agents dressed in suits arrived at the WSSC headquarters about 9 a.m. Tuesday and stayed until about 3:30 p.m. The agents interviewed employees in conference rooms on different floors, and word spread quickly throughout the 12-floor building as agents rode elevators between floors, the employee said. “It caught us all off guard,” the employee said. “They had things they wanted to see, like copies of contracts. . ..No one could figure out what they were looking for.”
The employee said it appeared no one at WSSC has been placed on leave or disciplined in connection with the search. About 600 people — about one-third of the utility’s 1,600 employees — work in the headquarters building.“Everyone is talking about it,” the employee said, “but they can’t say what started it or what [the FBI] was looking for.” It was unclear whether the investigation is focusing on the procurement department itself, specific contracts that the utility awarded or private companies working on WSSC contracts. Neustadt’s statement said, “WSSC has no reason to believe that the commission is a target of the investigation.” He said he was not aware of any employees being arrested or any charges being filed. Neustadt said he could not comment on whether any WSSC employees have been discplined in connection with the search, citing confidentiality rules about personnel issues. Jerry N. Johnson, the WSSC’s general manager, declined an interview. A spokeswoman for Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein declined to comment. The bicounty agency’s headquarters are on Sweitzer Lane but stand out along Interstate 95 near Route 198 as a glistening blue high-rise in the Prince George’s suburbs. Content from WPost.
Something in the WSSC water ain’t clean.
 
crimeDead body found inside trailer home in Brandywine.  A resident who lives near the 18100 block of Horesehead Road in Brandywine, where the fire took place,  alerted public safety officials that she could see the burned out shell of a trailer. The trailer is used as a home and normally occupied by an man said to be around  75-years-old.  Firefighters  arrived to find a trailer that sustained significant fire damage, but the fire itself had burned out. Firefighters found a deceased individual inside the trailer. The fire appears to have occurred overnight or earlier Tuesday morning and had gone unreported until later that day. The incident scene is located in a rural area and is in a remote location. Fire Investigators and Police Homicide worked through the night investigating the scene. The deceased individuals age/gender could not be identified. An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will be required in order to make a positive identification of the deceased. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Fire loss is estimated at $5,000.
Two groups of Lanham robbery suspects need to be turned in an stopped.  Please see the following video for robbery of a pizza place caught on camera. Surveillance video that shows three suspects walk into a pizza store on Annapolis Road in Lanham in early January. Once inside, they pull out a gun and rob a frightened employee. These same suspects are linked to several commercial armed robberies in the Lanham and Glenn Dale communities since November 2013. If any one of these suspects looks familiar, please call our CID Robbery Unit at 301-772-4905. If you would rather not give your name, please call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. There is a cash reward for info leading to an arrest and indictment.

Our second group of losers robbed someone of their shoes.  Suspects walked up to a teenager in the 9400 block of Annapolis Road in Lanham on February 7, 2014, and demanded his shoes. The victim had seen the suspects a few minutes before in a nearby business. Fearing for his safety, the victim gave up his shoes. The suspects then ran away.  Take a look at the photos below and please turn these little low-lifes in to the police using the same information noted above.  
Tennis Shoe Thieves Lanham

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