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Saturday, March 6, 2010

MARYLAND

Anti-slots group claims petition goal

A coalition opposed to a planned slots casino at Arundel Mills mall said Friday that it had gathered far more signatures than required to force a public vote that could sink the project.

The group said it submitted an additional 16,702 voter signatures to the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections. After the board certified a previous batch of signatures, the group was left with 5,654 to collect to meet a Monday deadline for 19,790 names.

If the board validates enough signatures in coming days, county voters will get a say in November on zoning legislation approved by the County Council in December that is needed for construction of Maryland's largest slots casino.

Cordish Cos., the Baltimore-based developer behind the planned slots casino, has sued the elections board, alleging "glaring and massive fraud" in the petition-gathering process.

-- John Wagner

VIRGINIA

Beltway drunk driver sentenced to 10 years

A drunk driver who drove the wrong way on the Capital Beltway and killed another driver in a head-on crash last year was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison by a Fairfax County judge.

Cristina L. Palese, 28, a mother of two young children, was driving home to Springfield after working at a National Harbor restaurant March 21. Travis J. Isaac, 26, of Woodbridge, who had not had a valid driver's license since 2002, somehow steered his Lincoln LS sedan into the eastbound lanes and into oncoming traffic, where he smashed into Palese's Nissan Sentra near the Van Dorn Street exit.

Palese was killed instantly. Isaac's blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.16, twice the legal definition of intoxication in Virginia. An empty bottle of Grey Goose vodka was found on the floor of his car.


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