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Thousands more Fort Meade jobs

State officials are advising local governments to expect as many as 10,000 new jobs at Fort Meade within seven years as the military consolidates bases and boosts the ranks of the National Security Agency.

Md. reworks license system

Maryland and other states are rushing to meet a federal requirement to overhaul how they issue driver's licenses -- an effort that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars and create longer waits at motor vehicle offices.

More funds for inmate health care

The state Board of Public Works approved a 50 percent increase in spending for inmate health care costs, a move that could push the annual tab to $110 million as state corrections officials try to improve medical services for the state's 27,000 prisoners.

Telescope project in crisis

A billion dollars in projected cost overruns have thrown the $3.5 billion James Webb Space Telescope project into a crisis that could threaten its mission and hundreds of Maryland jobs associated with it.

Home prices up 21% in Md.

Gains in home prices in Maryland continued to outpace those in the nation in the first quarter, as low mortgage rates and limited supply further fueled demand in a hot real estate market. Prices in the state rose nearly 21 percent since last year's first quarter, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight reported.

Party leaders push early primary

State Democratic Party leaders are pushing to move the 2006 primary forward from September to June, altering four decades of tradition, so that their nominees for governor and U.S. Senate have extra weeks to prepare for Republican opponents.

Curran blocked from court challenge

The Ehrlich administration has blocked Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. from going to court to challenge new federal regulations that environmental groups say will hinder efforts to curb air pollution from power plants.

Rochambeau may face razing

The Archdiocese of Baltimore is seeking city permission to raze an apartment building it owns near the Basilica of the Assumption. Church officials hope a proposed prayer garden that would replace the apartments will enable people to better appreciate the renovated cathedral. Preservationists object to tearing down the nearly 100-year-old Rochambeau.

O'Malley-Jessamy budget deal

Mayor Martin O'Malley agreed to boost the budget of Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, a deal that may signal newfound harmony between the officials. The agreement will give the prosecutor's office about $600,000 more than the $2.2 million originally requested.

Geppi pitches pop culture museum

The Maryland Stadium Authority voted to lease space above the recently opened Sports Legends at Camden Yards to Orioles minority owner Steve Geppi for a comic book and pop culture museum. The General Assembly's Legislative Policy Committee must approve the 20-year lease.

Gun buyback program returns

Baltimore police began a $100,000 gun buyback program -- an initiative that Mayor Martin O'Malley criticized five years ago soon after taking office. However, a spokeswoman said O'Malley supports this program, in part because it is being paid for with assets seized from drug dealers.

Jamal Lewis leaves prison

Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis ended his four-month federal prison term Thursday, telling reporters how humbled he felt by his incarceration. Lewis will serve two months in a halfway house in Atlanta.

Gwynns Falls Trail opens

The $14 million Gwynns Falls Trail opened yesterday, a 14-mile paved path twisting through West and South Baltimore.

Wal-Mart continues expansion plan

Retailing giant Wal-Mart's plans to expand in Maryland are continuing, after the governor's veto of a bill that would have taxed the company if it didn't spend enough on employee health care. The company will meet deadline for next month to purchase land in Somerset County for a proposed distribution center that would bring 800 jobs to the area -- as an effort to overturn the governor's veto is getting under way.

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