MARYLAND BRIEFING

MARYLAND BRIEFING

Thursday, July 26, 2007

ENVIRONMENT

O'Malley to Seek Drought Aid

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said that he will seek a federal drought disaster declaration today to help struggling farmers in Southern Maryland and the state's middle and lower Eastern Shore.

If granted, the declaration would make available a variety of federal loan programs and change other policies to benefit affected farmers.

"Farmers have been particularly hard hit in Southern Maryland and the lower shore," O'Malley told reporters yesterday, adding that corn crops have been devastated.

The formal announcement today will coincide with a planned visit by O'Malley to Southern Maryland. He is declaring La Plata the state's "capital for a day" and plans a Cabinet meeting and several other events in the region.

-- John Wagner

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

Teacher Is Charged in Sex Abuse

A 31-year-old South River High School teacher has been charged with sexually abusing one of his students, authorities said.

Christopher Thomas Newman of Glen Burnie was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of sex abuse of a minor and two counts of fourth-degree sex offense. He was freed last week on $10,000 bond.

Newman taught a college prep course at South River in Edgewater where he had been a teacher since 2004, school officials said. After allegations of abuse surfaced in March, Newman was transferred to a position in the Anne Arundel County public school system's warehouse, according to court documents. Newman's employment with the school system ended when the academic year finished in June, school spokesman Bob Mosier said.


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