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Prince George's Council Members Vote to Raise Their Pay

The Gazette reports that the Prince George's County Council voted today to increase its $96,417 annual salary — the highest amount earned by council members in Maryland — despite sharp criticism from at least one presumptive councilman and two current members who said they should scale back the pay hikes.

"This is a really bad idea," said Mel Franklin, the presumptive District 9 county councilman, who is unopposed in the general election.

County Resolution 105, which was introduced and approved immediately by the council today after members agreed to suspend normal legislative procedure, sets new salary terms to start in December 2011 for the nine council members.

Prince George's County Bus Strike Ends After 5 Weeks

Upper Marlboro, MD (AP)- Bus drivers in Prince George's County have ended a five-week bus strike and are returning to work.

Tommy Ratliff, president of the union that represents drivers and mechanics, said union members approved a three-year contract with the bus operator Veolia Transportation on Monday. Ratliff says the union sought better job security and health insurance, higher wages and changes to a disciplinary policy.

The new contract includes a $1-an-hour pay increase, an additional holiday and continued pension contributions and health care options.

Valerie Michael, a spokeswoman for Veolia, says employees will start returning to work on Tuesday.

Veolia had run limited service for weeks. The company employs 136 full-time and 26 part-time workers in the county.

Man Files $1.5 Million Lawsuit Against Prince George's County Police

UPPER MARLBORO, MD. (AP) — A former Prince George's County police academy cadet has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking $1.5 million after he says he was dismissed for being outspoken about alleged cheating at the academy.

Attorneys for Steven LaPier filed the lawsuit Thursday. According to the lawsuit, LaPier was dismissed after a medical board declared him unfit for duty. Before being dismissed he had complained that instructors gave test answers to the cadet class. The lawsuit says the police department tried to "silence" LaPier as "retaliation for voicing his complaints."

The instructor denies wrongdoing, but an investigation is ongoing. A county spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

9NEWS NOW, Washington Post Bring You Maryland Gubernatorial Debate LIVE Thursday At Noon

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- A heated debate on Maryland's jobs, education system and, of course, the economy is expected for the debate between Governor Martin O'Malley and Former Governor Robert Ehrlich, today at The Washington Post building.

Ehrlich started off the fireworks Monday by accusing O'Malley, who he referred to as "gov" throughout the debate, of lying about how much money he had saved as governor in the past four years.

O'Malley struck back, by saying that Ehrlich raised taxes throughout his tenure at the state's executive.

Another hot topic for the two candidates in their last meeting Monday morning was education.

Magic Technology Upgrade

BLADENSBURG--Residents of Bladensburg's Autumn Woods apartment community have new technology to help them with homework, tutoring and even professional training.

All it took was a little bit of Magic.

NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson brought a technology upgrade Sept. 30 to Autumn Woods' Magic Johnson Foundation Community Empowerment Center. The Autumn Woods center, first opened in 1999, is one of 18 community empowerment centers across the country funded by the Magic Johnson Foundation. The center offers free classes ranging from basic math tutoring for younger students to resume writing and financial training for adults.

The upgrade was provided in partnership with Best Buy, whose technical support division, Geek Squad, supervised the installation.

Prince George's County Executives Clear Officers of any Cheating

LANDOVER, Md. (WUSA) -- The Prince George's County executive, along with the county's chief of police, have cleared all of their officers from any cheating or wrong doing.

In a news conference at the Prince George's County Police headquarters, county officials said that "no officer is guilty of cheating."

They said the similar test scores can be attributed to a "lazy instructor," coupled with inaccurate media reporting.

Police Chief Roberto Hylton said police and county officials will continue their investigation.

“Move Over” Law Now In Effect

On October 1st, a newly enacted law went into effect throughout the state of Maryland.  It has been referred to as the “Move-Over” law and is designed to increase the safety of first responders stopped alongside the roadways throughout the State. 

The purpose of this law is to provide an increased layer of separation between the law enforcement officer, fire/rescue personnel, and/or motorists stopped on the shoulder of a highway.  This is accomplished by motorists either safely moving out of the travel lane next to where the emergency vehicle - operating it’s emergency lights is, or if that is not possible, to reduce their speed while passing the stopped emergency vehicle.

 

Under Transportation Article Title 21, Section 405 (e):