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The Baltimore Sun

State taxes slow but don't reflect world economy yet

Maryland tax collections are slowing more than expected but don't yet fully reflect the economic downturn that is roiling the world, state officials said yesterday. Collections for the first three months of the budget year are above those from the same period a year ago, but nowhere near as much as once expected. A spending panel will vote next week on up to $400 million in budget cuts recommended by Gov. Martin O'Malley to bring the current fiscal year's budget into balance. According to figures released yesterday, personal income tax receipts are up 3.3 percent and corporate taxes are up 39 percent from a year ago. Income from sales taxes is up 14 percent after the rate was raised from 5 percent to 6 percent this year, but state lottery receipts are down 13 percent.

David Nitkin

Edgewood man, 19, dies driving into oncoming lane


A 19-year-old Edgewood man died Wednesday night after his car collided with a sport utility vehicle in Joppa, the Harford County sheriff's office said yesterday. Michael A. Pringle Jr. was driving a Toyota Camry at a high speed on Hanson Road when he crossed into oncoming traffic and hit the SUV, police said. He was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where he died that night. The driver of the SUV, Laurie Mause, 31, of Edgewood, was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center with serious injuries, police said. Her two children, who were passengers, suffered minor injuries. The Toyota Camry that Pringle had been driving was reported stolen in an armed carjacking earlier Wednesday in Baltimore City, according to authorities.

Police council hosts Public Safety Day today


The Baltimore County Police Community Relations Council will hold a Public Safety Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Security Square Mall on the parking lot next to Super Fresh. Activities will include examples of high-tech equipment for safety at home, work and play, K-9 police dogs, tactical and firefighting demonstrations, police marine and aviation displays, antique police and fire vehicles, a Smoke House fire display, rappelling and children's activities. Fire, law enforcement and related government agencies will be on hand with safety information. Information: 410-887-5901.

Residents need to register to vote by Oct. 14

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is reminding residents that they can register to vote in the presidential election at any MVA branch in the state. The registration deadline for the general election, or to change an address, is Oct. 14. Eligible voters include those who will be 18 by Election Day, Nov. 4. A voter registration form may be filled out at the MVA, which will forward it to the appropriate county Board of Elections. The Elections Board then mails the resident a voter's card. Residents also may register to vote at their local Board of Elections, state Department of Health offices and Department of Social Services offices.

Slots union concentrates on promoting referendum

Unite Here, a union that represents workers in gambling and other service industries, plans to spend at least $10,000 on efforts to pass the statewide referendum on slot-machine gambling in November, according to a filing made with the Maryland State Board of Elections. Roxie Herbekian, associate director of the union's Mid-Atlantic region, said yesterday that the money will be spent to rent transportation and print literature for a door-to-door canvassing operation to urge voters to approve the ballot proposal legalizing slots. She also said the union might send pro-slots mailings to members. It has 4,300 members working in Maryland, including at Laurel Park race track, which is expected to seek a slots license if the ballot proposal passes.

Laura Smitherman

Slots referendum debate hosts pro, con leaders


Har Sinai Congregation will host a debate on the statewide slots referendum at 10:30 a.m. Sunday in the temple at 2905 Walnut Ave., Owings Mills. Fred Puddester, chairman of For Maryland For Our Future, will argue for passage of the referendum and Aaron Meisner, chairman of Stop Slots Maryland, will argue against it. Audience members will be able to ask questions. Information: 410-654-9393.

Burch named chairman of UM Medical System


After recent strife that included the resignation of one-third of its board, the leaders of the University of Maryland Medical System this week unanimously approved a new chairman. The board voted for Stephen A. Burch, former president of Comcast Corp.'s Mid-Atlantic division, to take over the chairmanship from Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch, who had been named interim chairman when John C. Erickson resigned and other directors followed. The system, which oversees hospitals in Baltimore and throughout the state, had been beset by conflicts among doctors, the university and other stakeholders, and over Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision to appoint new members to the board without its input. Burch rejoined the board this summer after spending several years as CEO of British television and telephony company Virgin Media Inc.

Laura Smitherman

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