Today in Maryland

Data confirms growing dead zone in Chesapeake Bay

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Maryland scientists have been warning of a growing "dead zone" in the Chesapeake Bay. Now the numbers are in, confirming their dire warnings were correct.

Natural Resources Department data shows an area with little to no oxygen spread to 2 cubic miles (8 cubic kilometers) by late July, making it one of the worst in decades. By comparison, July dead zones averaged about 1.35 cubic miles (6 cubic kilometers) for the past 35 years. The worst section includes the lower Potomac and Patuxent rivers and much of the Bay, from Baltimore to the mouth of the York River.

University of Maryland environmental scientists say heavy rains washed wastewater and agricultural runoff into the bay and produced oxygen-stealing algae. Scientists fear it could harm crabs, oysters and the state's seafood industry.

Maryland recalls 8,000 out-of-compliance driver's licenses

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration has recalled driver's licenses of 8,000 residents who they say missed multiple deadlines to get their identification in compliance with federal requirements.

News outlets report the affected licenses were found not to meet amended requirements of the Real ID Act, a law that tightened security for state-issued IDs.

To avoid having licenses confiscated, drivers must bring documentation such as proof of identity, residency and social security to a DMV to get their license up to standards.

MVA says another 780,000 drivers are also out of compliance. They staggered deadlines to provide Motor Vehicle Departments relief, but the 8,000 recalled this week are part of the first group that was told to file documents then missed the deadline.

Officials say more than half of Marylanders remain compliant.

Threats to Maryland synagogue charged in federal indictment

BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a man who prosecutors say made threatening telephone calls to a Maryland synagogue.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says in a news release that 64-year-old Stephen Lyle Orback made multiple telephone calls to an employee of a synagogue in Owings Mills, threatening to kill many members of the congregation. The indictment says the calls were made on May 12 and 13.

Orback faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison if convicted of making threatening communications. He's currently detained in Colorado on unrelated state charges.

It's not known if he has an attorney.

Maryland man finds newborn baby abandoned in woods

SILVER SPRING (AP) — Police in Maryland say a passerby found a newborn baby girl abandoned in a wooded area, and they've now identified the mother.

News outlets report Montgomery County Police responded to a call about a newborn baby found in Silver Spring, Maryland, Friday evening. In a statement , police said a man was out walking when he heard crying and found the baby not wearing clothes about 10 feet (3 meters) from the sidewalk in a wooded area. News outlets report medical personnel think the baby was born a few hours prior.

Police confirmed in a release Sunday the mother had been identified and was being treated. The baby was in stable condition at a hospital over the weekend and in child welfare services custody.

Police are investigating.

Authorities fighting Maryland brush fire find burned body

BOWIE (AP) — Authorities in Maryland say firefighters working to extinguish a brush fire off of U.S. Route 50 found the remains of a burned body.

The Washington Post reports Prince George's County police and fire officials say the body was found early Saturday in Bowie.

Police spokeswoman Cpl. Kyndle Johnson says authorities weren't immediately able to determine the person's age or sex. She says the death is being treated as suspicious and a possible homicide. A cause of death is pending an autopsy.

Information from: The Washington Post,

Police: 5 injured in Ocean City roller coaster incident

OCEAN CITY (AP) — Ocean City police say five people were taken to a local hospital as a precaution after a car on a roller coaster hit another car.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports that four children and one adult were transported to Atlantic General Hospital Friday night after the incident at Jolly Roger Amusement Park.

A police spokeswoman says one of the roller coaster cars failed to stop as it was pulling into the loading area and struck the rear of another car that was loaded with passengers.

The five were taken to the hospital for "precautionary reasons."

Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md.,

Supreme Court asked to take up 'Serial' podcast murder case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for a Maryland man whose murder conviction was chronicled in the hit podcast "Serial" are asking the Supreme Court to step into the case.

Lawyers for defendant Adnan Syed say in court papers Monday that the justices should order a new trial for Syed and reverse a Maryland court ruling against him. Syed claims his trial lawyer violated his constitutional right to competent representation because she failed to investigate an alibi witness.

Syed is serving a life sentence after he was convicted in 2000 of strangling 17-year-old Hae Min Lee and burying her body in a Baltimore park. Syed and Lee were high-school classmates who had dated.

In its debut 2014 season, the "Serial" podcast shined a spotlight on the case that led to renewed court proceedings.

Attorneys seek dismissal of Annapolis public housing suit

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys for the city of Annapolis, Maryland, are asking a federal judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit that contends the city has discriminated against people who live in public housing.

The Capital Gazette reports that attorneys say conditions of public housing aren't exclusive to African Americans, so there can't be racial discrimination.

The lawsuit relates to residents who live in public housing apartments that don't require city inspection or licenses.

Lawyers for the city were responding to allegations outlined in a federal lawsuit filed by attorney Joseph Donahue on behalf of 29 residents.

The tenants contend the city has lower health and safety standards for public housing. The lawsuit says those communities are primarily occupied by African Americans, because of polices of urban renewal that demolished many historic black neighborhoods.

Information from: The Capital,

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