Maryland Briefing

Maryland Briefing

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


County: Revenue Is $70 Million Less Than Expected

Less than three weeks before County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) is set to release his spending plan for fiscal 2010, his budget writers told the County Council yesterday that the budget shortfall he confronts is even deeper than anticipated. Finance director Jennifer Barrett said revenue is $70 million less than expected because of declining income and real estate taxes from a weak housing and stock market.

Before the update, Leggett faced a projected $450 million gap, about 11 percent of the $4 billion budget. Leggett and the council have pledged not to raise taxes to balance the budget and have warned of deep cuts in government services.

"It's not going in the right direction," said Alex Espinosa of the county's Office of Management and Budget. "It just makes our problem that much more difficult to fix."

-- Ann E. Marimow


Suspect Flees -- Straight Toward the Courthouse

A suspect in a home burglary near Marlborough Country Club in Prince George's County almost delivered himself straight to court yesterday when he picked the wrong direction to attempt to flee from police, authorities said.

The man was one of four suspects that police said they spotted fleeing from a home in the 4900 block of Colonel Contee Terrace about 12:15 p.m. after officers responded to a 911 call reporting a home invasion, said Officer Evan Baxter, a Prince George's police spokesman.

Three of the suspects were caught within minutes, Baxter said, but the fourth ran almost a mile -- straight to the courthouse in Upper Marlboro. He was surrounded in the courthouse parking garage, Baxter said. Police did not immediately release his identity or say what charges he might face.

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