Today in Maryland

Insect-eating plant found in Maryland for first time

SNOW HILL (AP) — An insect-eating plant has been found in Maryland for the first time.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources tells news outlets that botanists recently confirmed the discovery of dwarf sundew, the smallest native species of sundew in the United States. It was found in open areas with wet, peaty sand near the Nassawango Creek in Worcester County. The department says this is the first record of the plant growing in the state, which has other species of sundew.

A department statement says the plant's paddle-shaped leaves form a rosette and are covered in sticky hair that attracts and traps bugs. The plant isn't in the same family as the Venus flytrap, but both are carnivorous. The department says Maryland is home to nearly 20 types of carnivorous plants.

State worker awaiting child porn trial abused scouts in 80s

BALTIMORE (AP) — A state government employee charged with viewing child pornography at work is the same man who pleaded guilty decades ago to sexually abusing four boy scouts.

The Baltimore Sun reports that 70-year-old Stephen Cormack was turned in by a co-worker, who told police in February that he saw Cormack viewing explicit images of minors in his Baltimore office.

Cormack is scheduled for trial Tuesday. He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.

The Sun reported that Cormack was sentenced to six months in jail and a year of home detention in 1996 for sexually abusing boys ages 11 to 13 between 1979 and 1984, when he worked as a Baltimore County recreation counselor and volunteered for the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts banned him thereafter.

Baltimore police chief vows to enforce overtime pay limits

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore's police chief says he'll tighten up on the department's overtime issues as it struggles to enforce the limit of 32 overtime hours per officer per week.

The Baltimore Sun reports some officers are working up to 70 hours a week and cashing in checks that are ranking them among the city's highest paid employees, sometimes exceeding $200,000.

Police commissioner Michael Harrison says the department lacks enforcement of overtime rules, posing financial, health and safety issues for the city.

Officers are paid time-and-a-half for extra hours and are required to log it via an "antiquated" handwritten system despite other available technology.

The newspaper says overtime costs have risen to almost $50 million for a department of about 2,500 officers. The say 2018 data shows seven officers even earned more than the mayor's salary of $178,000.

Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

Mistrial on murder and robbery charges in bartender's death

BALTIMORE (AP) — A judge in Maryland has declared a mistrial on murder and robbery charges in the shooting death of a Baltimore-area bartender.

News outlets report the jury could not agree on the harshest counts against 19-year-old Malik Mungo. He was accused in the death of Sebastian Dvorak, who was gunned down while walking back from his 27th birthday celebration in 2017. The jury deliberated for nearly four days and found Mungo guilty on eight counts related to drugs and gun violations. He was found not guilty on three burglary charges.

WBAL-TV reports state prosecutors say they plan to retry Mungo on the other eight counts, including first- and second-degree murder, robbery and gang charges.

Mungo maintained his innocence throughout the trial. He says he wasn't the one who pulled the trigger.

Maryland to honor Capital Gazette shooting anniversary

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — A memorial dedication, gun violence forum and moment of silence are among the events scheduled for the one-year anniversary of the attack on The Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland that killed five employees.

Police say a man with a history of harassing people at the paper shot and killed the journalists on June 28, 2018, in its Annapolis newsroom.

The Capital Gazette reports the attack will be formally remembered next week with a concert, the unveiling of a memorial garden, a forum on gun violence and a moment of silence. The events also coincide with Maryland's first statewide observance of Freedom of the Press Day.

At 2:33 p.m. June 28 — the time the gunman entered the newsroom — Tribune properties across the country will take a moment of silence for the victims.

Report: Feds probe sale of coach's home to prospect's father

BOSTON (AP) — A federal grand jury is investigating the sale of the Harvard fencing coach's suburban Boston home for nearly double its assessed value to a man whose son was later admitted to the school and joined the team, according to a newspaper report.

A subpoena reviewed by The Boston Globe ordered the town of Needham's Board of Assessors to provide documents and records about the property sold by longtime coach Peter Brand in 2016.

Needham Director of Assessing Chip Davis told the newspaper he received the subpoena in April and sent federal authorities the information they requested, according to a report published late Tuesday.

Brand received nearly $1 million in 2016 for the three-bedroom house on a quarter-acre (1,000 square meters) in Needham, which was assessed at the time at $549,300. The buyer, Jie Zhao, whose older son and wife also attended Harvard, never lived in the home and sold it for a steep loss 17 months later.

Harvard said in April that it had retained outside counsel to review the circumstances surrounding the sale.

The school said at the time that the allegations appeared to be unrelated to the sweeping college admissions bribery case , in which dozens of prominent parents have been accused of paying a consultant to bribe athletic coaches and rig test scores to get their kids into prestigious universities across the country.

Zhao, a Maryland businessman, has denied buying Brand's home to help his son get into the school. Zhao told the Globe in an interview in April that he bought it as an investment and as a favor to Brand.

Zhao's attorney said Wednesday that federal authorities have not contacted Zhao. Attorney William Weinreb said they have "no reason to believe he is under investigation."

"His children were admitted to Harvard entirely on their own merit," Weinreb said in an email.

A lawyer for Brand told the Globe that he is also unaware of any federal investigation.

"To be clear, coach Brand unequivocally denies any wrongdoing," Douglas Brooks said.

Both the FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Boston said they could not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.

Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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