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Local_news
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Gunman on loose after double-shooting near Elkton

ELKTON — A gunman or gunmen remained on the loose late Monday afternoon after shooting two people, including a teen, on the street of a Elkton-area neighborhood over the weekend, according to the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Saturday in the unit block of Willow Court in the Winding Brook neighborhood, which is off Fletchwood Road, a short distance southwest of the Delaware state line, reported Lt. Michael Holmes, a CCSO spokesman.

(That section of Winding Brook has been the site of other shootings, as well as drug arrests, in the past several years, according to Cecil Whig archives and police.)

Investigators identified the victims only as a 20-year-old man, who suffered two gunshot wounds to his upper torso, and a 17-year boy, who suffered a single gunshot wound to his upper torso. The elder victim lives in Winding Brook, and the teen is listed as an Elkton-area resident, police noted.

Holmes described their wounds as “non-life-threatening” and further reported that, after receiving treatment, both victims were discharged from Union Hospital in Elkton, where they had arrived separately in two private vehicles shorty after the shootings.

CCSO detectives started their investigation at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, after a spokesperson at Union Hospital contacted authorities and reported that emergency room doctors were treating two patients who had suffered gunshot wounds. (By law, medical practitioners must alert police whenever they treat a patient who appears to have been assaulted in some way.)

The victims told investigators that they suffered their gunshot wounds when an unknown person or people opened fire while they were standing in the unit block of Willow Court, police said. Neither saw the shooter or shooters, police added.

“They just heard gunshots. When they heard the gunshots, they started to flee. Then they realized that they had been shot,” Holmes said.

The victims were not forthright with detectives concerning the identities of the two people who drove them separately to the hospital and likewise concerning the sequence of events leading up to those rides, police reported.

As of late Monday, CCSO detectives still were trying to determine if the man and the teen were the intended targets, according to Holmes, who commented, “Several shots were fired in that area.”

During the on-scene investigation, detectives recovered a bullet that had shattered the front windshield of an unoccupied vehicle that was parked nearby, Holmes said. In addition, he added, investigators recovered a round that had struck a residence that was “behind where the victims were standing.”

Anyone with information that might help in this double-shooting investigation is asked to call CCSO Det. Kyle Pattman, lead investigator, at 410-392-2111.


Local_news
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Cecil Solidarity stays in public eye

NORTH EAST — Saturday, those in Cecil Solidarity silently marched through downtown North East in honor of the Black men, women and children that have been killed after an encounter with police. 

From North East Community Park, up Main Street and over to the North East Library on Cecil Avenue, they marched silently — signs in tow. Once in the shared parking lot of the police station, 150 demonstrators held signs as the names of Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, George Floyd, Anthony Hill, Trayvon Martin and 245 others were read by Rising Sun Middle School teacher Erinn Chioma over the megaphone. With each name called, their memoriam sign rose above the crowd. 

Mubrouca Ad-Din, who is with the Juneteenth Association and a resident of New Castle County, Delaware, also honored the names by pouring out water with a blessing. 

Others enjoying Saturday in the area stopped to raise a fist in solidarity — the renowned sign of unity and liberation now attached to the Black Lives Matter movement. Those driving by offered honks of love and store owners came to watch the silent parade through town. 

Though this isn't the first public display against police brutality, this time around, students led the crowd in spoken word. 

"It's their movement, their revolution," Chioma said, introducing Justice Allison, an Odyssey Charter School student, Elkton Middle School student Keiana Giersch and Edgewood High School student Kavon Brown. 

Brown, a 10th grader who was "revolutionary" even two years ago, shared his experiences as a young Black teenager. While attending Rising Sun Middle School, and the only person of color in Chioma's classroom, he got behind the Black Lives Matter movement and displayed a sticker on his laptop in school. He was told to remove the sticker or face getting written up — which is school age strike-system punishment. 

It was in second grade when someone first called him a n-----, these harassments would continue through high school. He said there wasn't a day that went by in school that comments were made "to break me" he said. 

"I'm tired of this," Brown said. "... We’re no longer putting up with this. I am tired of hearing every day that an African American has been killed by a police officer or someone that just hates African Americans.

"Our ancestors worked hard and long for us to be free; it’s like slavery never ended it was just remade," Brown said. 

Chioma also spoke on the American right of freedom and equality that the Black community has fought to claim for generations. Things have "festered", she said, but now it's the next generation's turn on the frontlines — as some have called the Black Lives Matter protests the "second Civil Rights Movement."

“We will not let the next generation of African Americans go through this anymore because we are all human," Brown said. "I would like to see justice for all African Americans that have died just because  of their color of their skin.

"I would rather die than let one of these twisted people break me," Brown ended his speech. 

Giersch, whose energy could be felt from across the North East pavillion, wrote “We Will Fight”: 

“They say all lives matter

But at this point, my heart is Shattered.

Why do black lives get treated like Batter?

All lives don't matter,

Until black lives matter.

We don't deserve to get killed,

So yes, we will fight,

Until we have more rights

So, don't tell me not to scream my rights!

We are not going to go down without a fight!

We will shout and march until its right!

We gotta win this fight,

Or it will never be right!

We gotta protest and show that it's not okay for someone with a vest

to press down on our necks!

We should not be laid down to rest

By the people that are supposed to protect

So be your best

And show that we should all be blessed,

With hope in our chest

That we all will be treated like the rest.

 SO, STAND UP AND PROTEST!”

Rescheduled twice due to heavy rain, protestors with Cecil Solidarity marched through downtown North East on Saturday as a belated celebration of Juneteenth. June 19, or Juneteenth, is a commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. In 1865, on June 19, Union soldiers arrived in Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free — this was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Chioma addressed the protesters on Saturday "as a patriot standing with other good Americans." 

"I am making American keep its promise of liberty and justice for all," Chioma said. 

She read Langston Hughes poem, "I, Too": 

"I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.


State_news
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Court case continues as state reopening proceeds

While Gov. Larry Hogan has issued orders slowly reopening the state following a series of closures due to COVID-19, the lawsuit filed against him and other state officials continues along two separate but related paths.

On May 20, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake issued a decision denying a preliminary injunction filed by several plaintiffs on May 2, including delegates Warren Miller (R-Carroll, Howard), Dan Cox (R-Carroll, Frederick) and Neil Parrott (R-Washington), as well as 10 pastors and other church representatives, two former members of the U.S. military, two businesses and the group Reopen Maryland, LLC, alleging a number of U.S. and Maryland constitutional violations against Hogan and his administration.

The day following that decision, the plaintiffs filed an appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and on May 26, filed an amended complaint in the original district court case. Both of those actions are now pending.

In the case before the Fourth Circuit the original plaintiffs, now appellants in that case, filed an emergency motion for an injunction or for a stay of the district court proceedings pending appeal on June 11 and the defendants/appellees filed a response to the motion on June 22.

In the emergency motion, the appellants argue that there is a difference of medical opinion regarding Hogan’s shutdown orders and that such shutdowns are causing “an irreversible mass casualty event.” In part, appellant’s cite a CNBC interview of the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said in that interview that “stay at home orders [are] causing irreparable damage.” They also cite to Dr. Scott W. Atlas who wrote that “isolation policies now have no basis in lowering risk of death from COVID-19.”

Appellants also cite to an article in Forbes magazine that reported that 600 physicians are saying that nationwide lock-downs are causing a mass casualty incident.

In their motion, appellants also argue that executive orders from county executives throughout the state are in conflict, with some counties implementing more restrictive measures than the governor’s executive orders. They further argue that the governor is violating the rights of reverends and congregants in the state by violating their free exercise rights.

Appellants finally argue the stay-at-home orders, large gathering and facial covering orders have no basis in either state statute or constitutionally based executive powers as well as arguments under the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause.

For their response, the appellees argue that the Fourth Circuit should deny appellant’s request in part because the orders they are seeking to enjoin are no longer in effect due to the fact Hogan has loosened restrictions throughout the state.

The appellees further argue that the state has a paramount interest in preserving lives during the COVID-19 outbreak and therefore the actions of the governor are constitutional. They also argue that the governor’s orders are neutral as they pertain to gatherings and do not violate religious liberty principles.

The appellees further argue that the governor’s orders met the test for permissible time, place and manner restrictions and the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses has a rational basis in protecting public health.

While the appeal is ongoing, the underlying case is still proceeding as well following the filing of the plaintiff’s amended complaint.

In the defendant’s motion to dismiss the amended complaint, they argue that the plaintiffs have “offered this Court nothing more of substance to support their claims…”

More specifically the defendant’s argue that Dr. Fauci’s comments to CNBC brought forward by the Plaintiffs is actually more balanced than the plaintiff’s portray them and that the “thrust” of Fauci’s comments actually describe precisely what Maryland is doing.

Many of the defendant’s other arguments effectively mirror arguments made previously in the district court case and before the Fourth Circuit.

In their response to the defendant’s motion in the district court case, filed Friday, the plaintiffs also make many of the same arguments they have made previously, but they also argue that the recent protests over the death of George Floyd, “where photos show hundreds of people are demonstrating without social distancing or masks, while at the same time banning churches, legislators and businesses from gatherings of more than 10 people, indicate his executive orders are mistreating churches, businesses and individuals…”


A sign in front of Hollywood Casino in Perryville directs families to the new entrance to Green Turtle that now welcomes all ages.


Local_news
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Police: Woman tried to spend $420 in fake cash at local Walmart

NORTH EAST — Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying a woman who allegedly tried to spend more than $400 in counterfeit money at the Walmart near North East, according to Maryland State Police.

The incident occurred at approximately 7:20 p.m. on June 23 at the Walmart Supercenter in the Northeast Plaza, where the yet-to-be identified woman handed a cashier $420 in twenty-dollar bills to purchase gift cards, police said. The cashier thwarted the transaction, however, after a marking test indicated that the money offered by the woman was fake, police added.

At that point, according to police, the woman walked out of Walmart’s front doors – where a store surveillance camera videotaped her – and management called authorities to report the incident. The cashier retained the gift cards that the woman had attempted to buy with the bogus money, police noted.

Responding troopers, who seized the counterfeit money as evidence during the on-scene investigation, were able to glean a photo of the woman from the surveillance footage, reported an MSP spokesman at the North East Barrack. Then they posted the picture on that barrack’s Facebook page, along with information about the incident and a request for the public’s help in identifying her.

“If anyone can help identify this person, please contact Troopers at the North East Barrack at 410-996-7800, reference case number 20-MSP-021538,” the end of that post reads.


Allen Authenreath, who resigned from the Rising Sun Board of Commissioners, said he hopes to be remembered for his role in bringing the Chester Water Authority interconnect to Rising Sun.


Sean McCandless and Jessica Klotz of the Stormwater Management Division helped a family of ducks on Tuesday afternoon.