Today in Maryland

Funeral scheduled for former Maryland House speaker

MILLINGTON (AP) — Gov. Larry Hogan will give the eulogy at the funeral of former Maryland House Speaker Clayton Mitchell.

The funeral is scheduled for Friday morning in Millington, Maryland.

Mitchell died last week at the age of 83. He was a Democrat who served in the House for 23 years. He was elected speaker by his House colleagues in 1987. He served as speaker until he retired in 1992.

Mitchell was a native of Chestertown, Maryland, on the Eastern Shore. He began his political career as a Kent County commissioner in 1966.

Scientists predicting record dead zone in Chesapeake Bay

COLLEGE PARK (AP) — Some ecologists at the University of Maryland are worried that a large spot of low oxygen in the Chesapeake Bay could harm the state's seafood industry.

News outlets report environmental scientists from Maryland and University of Michigan say they're predicting a 2-mile (3-kilometer) swath of low-to-no oxygen in the bay, making it one of the largest so-called "dead zones" in nearly 20 years.

This particularly damaging dead zone is thought to be caused by heavy rains the region experienced this year, which washed wastewater and agricultural runoff into the bay. The wastewater then produces oxygen-stealing algae.

The dead zones are especially harmful to key Maryland exports like crabs and oysters, even though other scientists say some smaller marine creatures can withstand the oxygen void.

Maryland regents OK scope of adenovirus review at university

BALTIMORE (AP) — The University System of Maryland Board of Regents has approved the scope of an independent review into a university's response to adenovirus on campus last year.

The board's action on Friday comes after Gov. Larry Hogan requested the review for how the University of Maryland, College Park, responded to the virus.

The review will be done by experts in specialties in areas of infectious diseases, public health and communication and facilities management.

It will focus on the university's actions and communications regarding the outbreak. It also will focus on the university's response to mold in campus residence halls.

The first case was reported Nov. 1. An 18-year-old died of complications from the respiratory infection in November.

Grant to help slash pollutants from entering Chesapeake

ELLICOTT CITY (AP) — Maryland's Howard County has been awarded a nearly $2 million grant to help protect a section of the Chesapeake Bay's vast watershed.

County executive Calvin Ball says the $1.8 million will be dispersed over years through the state's Clean Water Commerce Act grant. The money will be used to develop strategies to slash nutrient pollutants from treated wastewater entering the watershed.

The county's public works department has requested budget authority for $750,000 for the grant's first year.

Ball says the funding can help "ensure that we can all live healthier lives and better protect a treasured natural resource."

The Chesapeake Bay is the nation's largest estuary and has a roughly 64,000-square-mile watershed.

Arrest made in fatal shooting of Maryland rapper Tre Da Kid

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Police say they've charged a Baltimore man with murder in the fatal shooting of popular Annapolis rapper Tre Da Kid.

News outlets report 30-year-old James Esau Davis III was arrested Thursday. Investigators say they think he shot the 32-year-old rapper, whose real name was Edward Montre Seay, earlier this month.

Police say Davis shot Seay while driving through Annapolis. Seay's car then crashed and he died of his injuries.

The Capital reported in 2016 that Seay won a contest seeking the country's best freestyle lyricist. His prize was $10,000 and the opportunity to tour with a hip hop label's recording artists.

Police say Davis is being held without bond.

Information from: The Capital,

Retired U.S. Army colonel convicted in Haitian bribery scheme

BOSTON (AP) — A retired U.S. Army colonel has been convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to bribe Haitian government officials.

Federal prosecutors in Boston say 64-year-old Joseph Baptiste, of Fulton, Maryland was one of two men convicted Thursday. The other was 74-year-old Roger Richard Boncy, a dual U.S. and Haitian citizen who lives in Madrid, Spain.

Prosecutors say Baptiste and Boncy solicited bribes from undercover federal agents who posed as potential investors in a proposed $84 million port project in the Mole-Saint-Nicolas area of Haiti. Boncy and Baptiste told agents they would funnel the payments to Haitian officials through a nonprofit Baptiste controlled that purported to help impoverished residents of Haiti.

Baptiste is a dentist who served 23 years in the Army.

Sentencing for both men is scheduled for Sept. 12.

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