MARYLAND STATE — Curran sides with governor
The state attorney general, siding with the governor in a potential dispute with the legislature, has ruled that lawmakers cannot redraw the state's legislative districts without first receiving a redistricting plan proposed by the governor.
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr.'s opinion says the constitution "reserves to the governor the prerogative to take the first step in redistricting." No plan can be adopted until Gov. William Donald Schaefer submits one, Curran said.
However, lawmakers could pass their own plan and force the governor to challenge it in court.
As a result of the 1990 Census, the legislative boundaries will have to be redrawn to reflect population shifts. Lawmakers are expected to hold a special session in the fall to redraw congressional districts and some of them have expressed interest in considering legislative districts at the same time.
This would allow them to deal with a potentially contentious issue before the 1992 General Assembly session, and also could weaken one of Schaefer's most potent political weapons. Controlling the redistricting process provides the governor an opportunity to reward friends and punish enemies by apportioning constituencies among various districts.
The state constitution requires Schaefer to submit a plan no later than the opening day of the 1992 General Assembly. Lawmakers must adopt a plan by the 45th day of the 90-day session or the governor's plan automatically becomes law.
Sen. John A. Cade, R-Anne Arundel, requested an opinion on whether the legislature could write a redistricting plan this fall and whether it had to wait for the governor to submit a plan before one could be adopted.
Sinai Hospital gets NASA honor
Sinai Hospital has been inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame for its role in the commercial use of NASA technology.
The northwest Baltimore hospital was honored yesterday in Colorado Springs, Colo., for adapting microminiature circuits in the development of an implantable cardiac defibrillator in 1981.
Known as the AICD, the heart-monitoring device recognizes abnormal, life-threatening rhythms and automatically delivers electric shocks to the heart to restore it to normalcy. The &L; battery-powered unit is surgically implanted in the upper abdomen.
Now in use by more than 15,000 patients worldwide, the AICD has reduced expected sudden cardiac death during the first year of use from 30 percent to less than 2 percent.
The AICD was invented by the late Dr. Michel Mirowski, a cardiologist. He and Dr. Morton Mower spent 10 years developing the device and testing it on animals at Sinai.
The award was accepted by William Staewen, head of Sinai's department of clinical engineering, who helped adapt the circuitry to the AICD.
According to a statement from the United States Space Foundation, the Space Technology Hall of Fame honors individuals and companies responsible for practical application of space research.
"Components which ultimately led to the development of the AICD," the statement said, "were initiated by NASA in the 1960s when the agency's scientists developed microminiature circuits for spacecraft that had built-in microprocessor capability and the ability to communicate."
Sinai Hospital and a commercial firm that developed a lubricant for jet engines were the two winners out of 10 nominees.
'Tax Day' demonstration
Anne Arundel County
Protesters calling for changes in federal budget priorities are holding a "Tax Day" demonstration tonight outside the Post Office at Church Circle in Annapolis.
From 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., demonstrators will appear in costume to represent some of the causes they believe deserve greater funding, including environmental, housing, hunger, health care, alternative energy, crime prevention and drug treatment programs.
Protesters also will wear signs stating the percentage of the federal tax dollar that is spent on those programs and the proportion which goes toward military-related activities.
The demonstration is sponsored by the Anne Arundel County chapter of SANE/FREEZE, a grass-roots peace organization.
For more information, call 263-7409, or 268-4593.
Last day for early birds:
Today was the last day to receive an early bird discount for booth reservations for the Great Business Exchange in Anne Arundel County.
Sponsored by the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, the business exchange provides area businesses with the opportunity to introduce their products to the community.
The show will offer exhibits representing many area industries including health care, financial, retail, travel, hospitality and business services.
The business exchange will be held May 30, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Annapolis Holiday Inn on Riva Road.
For more information and to register for a booth, contact the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce at 268-7676 or the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce at 766-8282.
CRG green lights are attacked
New development approvals issued by the controversial County Review Group, a committee of two Baltimore County officials that reviews all new projects, are under attack on two fronts.
The People's Counsel, a county-paid but independent public advocate in the development-zoning process, has asked the Maryland Court of Appeals whether the Board of Appeals has been illegally limited in reversing CRG approvals.
People's Counsel Phyllis C. Friedman said she believes the statlaw that created home rule government for the county in the mid-1950s was violated by a 1978 charter amendment that allows the County Council to limit the board's authority.
The CRG is required to give conceptual approval of every new subdivision, as long as the project satisfies county technical standards. Once that approval is given, it has been impossible to reverse because the council enacted a law giving the decisions a presumption of legal sufficiency.
In addition to the court challenge, a bill proposed by Councilwoman Berchie L. Manley, R-1st, that is to be voted on by the council tonight would give protesting citizens a much better chance to reverse CRG approvals of new developments. But it is a long shot to pass the council.
Man kills teen, then himself
A man fatally shot a teen-ager during an argument outside a home in Carroll County, then took his own life, State Police say.
The incident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. yesterday in Hoot'N Hollow, a small community near Taneytown, police said.
According to police, Richard Earl Uphoff Jr., 17, of the 5000 block of Old Hanover Road in Westminster, and Matthew Leigh Frock, 24, of the 100 block of Old Westminster Road in Hanover, Pa., got in an argument in the 3000 block of Menges Mill Road.
Police said Frock produced a gun and shot Uphoff in the head then turned the gun on himself.
Uphoff was pronounced dead at the scene and Frock died at 10:20 a.m. at the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore, police said.
Carroll County officials will hold an information meeting tonight on efforts to upgrade the public water supply and sewage treatment for the Pleasant Valley, a community northwest of Westminster. The county is applying for federal money, through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program, to finance construction to upgrade the public water system and install a public sewer system.
The meeting is to be at 7:30 p.m. in the social hall of the Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Company, 2030 Pleasant Valley Road.
What next after high school?
Harford Community College and Edgewood High School are sponsoring a workshop to help high school students decide what to do after graduation.
The event is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. April 23 at the school, 2415 Willoughby Beach Road, Edgewood.
A panel of specialists is to discuss several options: community college, four-year college, technical schools, the military and other employment.
Parents also may attend the workshop.
For more information, call the college's admissions office at 836-4223 or the Edgewood High School guidance office at 676-3773.
Bike race sponsors sought
Howard County officials are looking for businesses to help sponsor next month's Tour Du Pont, a bicycle race featuring 126 world-class cyclists.
Kirk Fancher, a business liaison in the county's economic development office, said sponsorships are needed to cover the $50,000 cost of staging the event.
The money will pay for signs and banners, T-shirts, printed material and a media room for sportswriters covering the race, which will be broadcast to 88 countries around the world May 11.
Economic development officials will meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Oakland Manor in Columbia to discuss sponsorship. The county cannot underwrite the event, Fancher said.
He said the race could give businesses worldwide visibility and access to events.
The race, formerly the Tour de Trump, features Tour de France champion Greg LeMond and 14 professional and four amateur bicycling teams. There will be national teams from the U.S., Soviet Union, Germany and Canada. For more information, call 313-2600.