Tag Archives: Maryland

Maryland students outraged after gun raffle held to pay for graduation party

From MyFoxChicago: Students at Brunswick High School in Maryland are upset that a raffle for guns was used to support a party for the graduating seniors.

The Frederick News-Post reports the Safe and Sane program at Brunswick High School raffled off guns in February. Tickets were $20 each for prizes that included hunting rifles and shotguns.

Chasidy Plunkard is a volunteer parent coordinator who organized the raffle. She says volunteers sold about 250 of the 1,000 available tickets. Seven winning tickets were selected.

Safe and Sane sponsors an alcohol-free party after graduation for high school seniors. Students said the decision to hold the raffle while promoting safety was counterintuitive.

Plunkard says the fundraiser was handled legally, including not selling tickets to people under 18 years old and requiring background checks.

According to the article from the Frederick News-Post, kids don’t want guns associated with schools. From their article:

“I understand that not all guns kill people,” Donoghue said. “And I understand that the raffle may have had background checks in place. But I think just the idea of selling weapons when you’re talking about high schoolers and you’re talking about high schooler safety is ridiculous and is completely ignoring the bigger picture.

Abigail Rohmiller, a junior, said she was concerned with the fundraiser because it associates guns with her school. The association is troubling to her given the number of high-profile school shootings, such as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February 2018, she said.

“At the same time we’re having to go through active shooter drills in school, we’re selling guns to raise money,” Rohmiller said. “What’s the message here? … There are tons of different ways to fundraise, and I don’t think we need to bring deadly weapons into the mix.”

Shall we talk about the bigger picture?

FACT: There were MUTIPLE system failures which led to the Parkland shooting: Broward Coward’s failure to properly respond, failing radio system, mismanagement of school safety funds, and – most noticeably – allowing the shooter to get away with criminal activities. Had those criminal activities been reported, he would not have been allowed to legally purchase a gun.

FACT: Many shootings have been committed by kids under 18 – also known as prohibited possessors.

FACT: Firearms are not allowed on school properties.

FACT: Mass public shootings keep occurring in gun-free zones: 97.8% of attacks since 1950. (Data from the Crime Prevention Research Center.)

I understand why kids may be concerned that guns are associated with schools. The main reason for that is because criminals do not follow the law. And that progressives do not want to face reality.

Maybe if school resource officers and teachers were armed, criminals would think twice about committing a school shooting as they would associate schools with guns that are used for safety, protection and self defense.

DCG

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Baltimore mayor Pugh resigns from university medical board after her book deal with them is exposed

From Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh has resigned from the board of the University of Maryland Medical System following a controversy involving a deal with the hospital system to buy her children’s books.

Last week, Pugh (demorat) and others on the health system’s board were criticized by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and top state lawmakers for the financial deals with the hospital system and possible conflicts of interest.

On a financial disclosure form, Pugh listed a $100,000 profit for one year from selling 20,000 copies of her self-published children’s book series “Healthy Holly” to the University of Maryland health system, which runs 13 hospitals including the state’s trauma unit in Baltimore and has connections with the state’s dental and medical schools.

Hogan described the financial contracts, which are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, as “appalling” and “unseemly.” Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) called them “self-dealing” and “a huge disaster.”

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel), who has been on the board for 16 years, said the unfolding scandal was the worst he’s seen in Maryland politics. He said he, Hogan, Miller and high-level staff from the hospital system will meet in Annapolis on Wednesday.

The deals were first disclosed last week by the Baltimore Sun, which reported that Pugh’s deals with the hospital board totaled $500,000 over several years, and were not fully listed on disclosure forms when Pugh represented Baltimore in the state Senate.

Other board members who had lucrative deals included former state senator Francis X. Kelly, who owns an insurance company and reported $1.6 million in revenue from deals with the hospital system.

Officials at the hospital system have said their contracts are legal. Legislation pending in the General Assembly would ban such arrangements.

In a statement put out Monday explaining her resignation, Pugh, who has served on the board since 2001, said she had “other pressing concerns that require my full attention, energy and efforts.” The Sun reported Friday that she had amended her state disclosure forms from her time in the Senate.

The system’s board members are appointed by the governor and the General Assembly’s presiding officers.

Hogan said Pugh’s resignation was “a step in the right direction. ” Last week, he called on board members with contracts with the health system to step down.

“We’re going to push for major reforms to make sure people either terminate their financial relationship or terminate them from the board,” Hogan said Monday. “One way or another, [we’ll] make sure that things like this don’t happen in the future.”

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Animals: MS-13 members stab 16-year-old 100 times for wanting out

Supposedly calling people “animals” is not a good thing. In this case, “animals” is too kind of a word.

From NY Post: Five MS-13 members stabbed a 16-year-old fellow gangbanger 100 times because he wanted out of his crew — and then drove his corpse to Virginia, where they torched it, the victim’s mother said.

Maryland cops identified the victim, Jacson Pineda-Chicas, after releasing a photo of a tattoo on his left arm, Fox News reported.

The teen’s mom told NBC4 in Washington that she and her son fled El Salvador after he was strong-armed to join MS-13 there.

When her son’s sadistic gang pals accused him of talking to cops, and threatened to kill his family, he offered himself up, the mom told the outlet.

“He had to take knives to defend himself, and screwdrivers,” she told the station. “He had razors and he told me, ‘Mom, I’m going to defend myself with them, but it’s not going to be enough.”

Police in Prince George’s County said Pineda-Chicas was killed in a home 60 miles away in Landover Hills, Md., that belonged to Jose Ordonez-Zometa, 29, the head of a Virginia branch of the MS-13, Fox News reported.

The teen’s body was dumped on the side of the road in Stafford, Va., March 9, cops said.

Ordonez-Zometa is also charged with participating in the vicious slaying. Police said the other suspects were Jonathan Castillo-Rivera, 20; Kevin Rodriguez-Flores, 18; Christian Martinez-Ramirez, 16, and Jose Hernandez-Garcia, 25, the report said.

“To hear somebody was stabbed 100 times … pretty much speaks for itself how violent the attack would have been,” Maj. Brian Reilly said at a Friday news conference.

DCG

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Montgomery County Public Schools to allow excused absences for protests

The speaker in this video, Matt Post, was a student member on the Montgomery County School Board. He is now a national field strategist for March for Our Lives.

From Washington Post: Skipping school to attend a protest is likely to get much easier for high school students in suburban Maryland beginning as early as January.

That’s when the school board in Montgomery County is expected to approve a revamped proposal to allow public high school students to take as many as three excused absences a year to participate in political protests and other forms of “civic engagement” during the school day.

The district’s proposal is considered to be one of very few in the country that would formally let students take an excused day off to join marches, lead protests, lobby leaders, campaign for candidates (can’t all this be done during non-school hours?) or otherwise partake in civic action. It comes in a year when high school students have been at the forefront of political protests across the country, particularly on gun violence issues but extending into political campaign matters including student debt, health care and abortion rights.

The push for the measure arose because parents and students in the county expressed concern that different schools had different approaches when it came to deciding whether a student could receive an excused absence for engaging in protests. They felt students shouldn’t be punished with an unexcused absence for taking part in demonstrations so directly connected to issues affecting their lives.

“We’re taught about how important it is to be engaged in our world and community, and to be aware of what’s going on and to be a responsible participant in the democratic process,” said Ananya Tadikonda, 17, a senior at Richard Montgomery High School and the student representative on the Montgomery County Board of Education. “This proposal gives students an opportunity to exercise civic responsibility without being penalized for it.”

When it was introduced in September, the proposal required parental consent, the approval of the school principal and permission from the organization sponsoring the political activity or protest.

Excused absences would not be approved for spontaneous walkouts or protests such as those that took place at schools across the country following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February. Students who leave campus without receiving approval would not receive an excused absence.

The goal of the policy is to ensure students and employees “are well informed and guided in their activities regarding the requirements of state election laws and their participation in civic engagement activities, political campaigns, partisan election activities, and distribution of political or partisan materials.”

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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MS-13 gang member sentenced to 40 years for brutal killing of 15-year-old girl

From Fox News: A female member of MS-13 was sentenced to 40 years in prison Friday in the brutal killing of a 15-year-old girl.

Venus Romero Iraheta, 18, was convicted of murder in January 2018 in the 2017 slaying of Damaris Reyes Rivas.

She pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, abduction and criminal street participation earlier this year at the court Fairfax County, Virginia.

Prosecutors said Iraheta was one of the 10 MS-13 members and associates who met Damaris at Lake Accotink Park in Fairfax County, seeking revenge for the murder of her boyfriend, Christian Sosa Rivas. Reyes Rivas was a student at Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Earlier this year, an interrogation video recorded on Valentine’s Day 2017 showing her confessing to the crime.

Through a translator, Iraheta said she told Reyes Rivas: “‘You’re going to remember me until the day we see each other in hell. Don’t forget my name.’ And I told her my full name and I told her my nickname. And I told it to her and I told her to never forget who I was. I told her, ‘Someday, we were going to see each other again.’”

When an officer asked what happened next, Iraheta replied in English: “I killed her.”

Iraheta said she stabbed Reyes Rivas about 13 times with a knife and sliced off one of her tattoos. The Washington Post reported another MS-13 associated stabbed her with a tree branch. The brutal slaying was recorded on a cellphone video and the court was shown the footage. Her body was eventually discovered after it was dumped under a highway overpass on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.

Maria Reyes, Reyes Rivas’ mother, told Iraheta in court Friday that the woman “destroyed” her life, the Washington Post reported.

“I want to say to this young lady that she destroyed my life. She destroyed the life of my daughter. She didn’t owe anything to you,” she told Iraheta through a translator. “My daughter is not in hell, as she said. She’s in heaven. She has shown me that in my dreams. . . . Hell will be lived by you, not by her.”

NBC Washington reported Iraheta cried in court, saying she would “give my life to bring her back. I am sorry.”

DCG

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High school football player’s National Anthem goes viral: “I’m proud of my country”

I predict a promising career for this young man.

From Fox News: A Maryland high school football player’s unique version of the national anthem is going viral.

Jackson Dean wowed the crowd last weekend by singing his country rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” while playing the guitar.

The defensive end played a stripped-down version of the anthem before his teammates burst through a banner at the end of the tune.

Dean plays for Arundel High School and said Saturday on Fox & Friends that the amount of attention he’s getting is “very awesome.”

Videos of the senior’s performance are racking up hundreds of thousands of views on Facebook and YouTube.

“I’m an American, and I’m proud of my country,” he said on Saturday.

Dean added that once he graduates from high school, he’ll be hitting the road and performing. “We’ve got some things in the pocket that have been working that I can’t really talk about,” he said.

DCG

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Progressive Baltimore: Guess the value of the school district’s maintenance backlog

Baltimore City Schools CEO Santelises: fighting a losing battle…

In March this year, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh authorized spending $100,000 to send 60 buses full of kids to the “March for Our Lives” anti-gun rally in DC.

Many noted at the time that the school district had a $130 MILLION budget deficit last year so the last thing they needed to be doing was wasting money to indoctrinate students against the Second Amendment. Yet the mayor persisted.

So along with a budget deficit, take a wild guess as to what the value is of the school’s maintenance backlog! Take a guess then guess again. Ready for the value?

According to the Baltimore Sun, the total value of the school district’s maintenance backlog is nearly $3 BILLION. That’s more than double the district’s annual operating budget.

More from the Sun’s report:

“We do have the oldest school buildings in the state of Maryland. That can’t change from a quip or from a magic wand,” says city schools CEO Sonja Santelises. Addressing the backlog in repairs, she says, is “not going to happen overnight.”

It’s become a back-to-school tradition for politicians and community members to decry the lack of adequate air conditioning in Baltimore classrooms. The conditions, which forced dozens of schools to close early during the sweaty first days of the school year, led Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot to demand that all city schools be outfitted with AC in the next few years. That’s meant funding for air conditioning has taken precedence over other pressing projects.

The Baltimore school board approved a report this month that lays out the city’s complex needs. The 2018-2019 Comprehensive Maintenance Plan is clear: After decades of underinvestment, the city school system needs a dramatic infusion of money before its school buildings have a chance at being up to par.”

Read the whole Sun story here.

Granted, this financial crisis didn’t start under CEO Santelises. According to Wikipedia, the crisis was first discovered in 2003 where it was believed they had a deficit of anywhere from $54 to 64 million. The district budget has been accused of having many errors and was not being monitored carefully.

And the school’s budget deficit has continued to climb to $130 million since 2003. This deficit, combined with the $3 BILLION maintenance backlog, equals a number that is more than the projected budget deficit of some 20 states.

Good luck Baltimore, you’re going to need it, along with some serious fiscal discipline.

DCG

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Trapped & defenseless: Baltimore home-invasion victims waited 14 minutes for police

Do tell gun grabbers: Why do you want to strip citizens of their Second Amendment right, leaving victims helpless while at the mercy of slow-responding police?

From Fox Baltimore: As Baltimore Police scrambled to the scenes of shootings early Saturday morning, two young females and a 2-year-old boy were trapped on a rooftop.

Shannon Gaasch says she had just gone to bed when she heard the sound of glass shattering.  Someone had thrown a brick through her friend’s door and were inside the house.

Immediately, the homeowner grabbed her son and ran to the room where Shannon was sleeping. Trapped on the second floor, the three had only a rooftop run to.

For nearly 15 minutes, Gaasch was on the phone with 911.

During the call, Gaasch said: “I keep telling the dispatcher, ‘They’re still in the house, they’re still in the house. Where are the cops? We need them here. We have nowhere to go.”’

At one point, Gaasch could hear sirens off in the distance. The dispatcher tells Gaasch they’re responding to another call.

While Baltimore police say an officer arrived to the house a minute after the call was dispatched, phone records show Gaasch was on the phone with 911 for 14 minutes. Online 911 data posted by the City of Baltimore shows an initial call received at 2:15 a.m. from the Highlandtown address.

FOX45 has yet to receive records requested from the City of Baltimore that could offer some insight on why it took 15 minutes to respond.

DCG

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Bloomberg foundation gives $5M to Baltimore to "fight crime"

jack young baltimore

Baltimore council president Jack Young


As of December 3, Baltimore had 322 homicides, with 280 of those caused by a shooting. This occurs despite having very strict gun laws.
And the shootings occur despite having over 600 cameras to “make a person think twice before they do something.” Apparently installing 60 more cameras throughout the city will somehow “bring out a lot of crime.”
I wonder why Bloomberg is throwing so much money at a cause that will have minimal results.
From MyFoxBaltimore: Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Sunday $5 million in funds to help fight crime. “I’m very grateful for Bloomberg Philanthropies for reading the Violence Reduction Plan, for understanding what we need in order to make this city safe,” Mayor Pugh said.
Bloomberg Philanthropies, a charity of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, awarded Baltimore the grant, which will fund 60 new CCTV “Citiwatch” cameras, 25 mobile licence plate readers and expand gunshot detection coverage by 10 square miles.
“It will make a person think twice before they do something. You see, people don’t think twice because there aren’t any cameras around,” William Goode of West Baltimore said. “It will help it a lot. It will bring out a lot of crime.
The city already has more than 600 Citiwatch cameras, according to Open Baltimore. BPD and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice will decide where those cameras will go.
“Five million dollars on cameras?” a man named “Tony” asked Fox45 Sunday. “You can put $5 million on so many things in this city that would help this city for real, and you’re gonna use cameras?”
In a press release, the grant was met with optimism from City Council President Jack Young.
“One of the most common requests I receive from my constituents is for more vigilance and more cameras in our neighborhoods,” said Council President Jack Young (a 21-year veteran of the council). “I’m extremely pleased to see the City directing resources to tools that have demonstrated success in keeping communities safe.”
DCG

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Sanctuary policy allows them in: MS-13 gang decapitate and stab victim 100 times, heart ripped out

ms-13
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, Montgomery County, Maryland is a sanctuary county.
MS-13 has a heavy presence in Montgomery County. Gee, I wonder why…
From NY Post: A man murdered earlier this year by the MS-13 street gang was stabbed more than 100 times, decapitated and had his heart torn out of his chest and buried with him, Maryland authorities said Wednesday.
Montgomery County Police said one of the alleged killers, 19-year-old Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego, was arrested Nov. 11 in North Carolina. Lopez-Abrego, known as “Timido,” has been charged with first-degree murder and was ordered held without bond after his first court appearance.
According to court documents, which cited interviews with a gang informant, up to ten MS-13 members planned to lure the victim to the Silver Spring park where he was killed sometime this past spring.
The documents allege that Lopez-Abrego helped dig the grave where the victim was found, and also used a walkie-talkie to alert the other gang members to the victim’s arrival. The informant also claimed Lopez-Abrego was the first to attack the victim, stabbing him with a 15-inch knife.
The informant led police to the grave on Sept. 5 and “detailed the choking, stabbing, decapitating and dismembering [of] the Victim’s body,” according to a police affidavit. The documents do not give a motive for the killing.
The victim has yet to be conclusively identified. Police describe him as a Hispanic male standing approximately 5 feet, 2 inches high and weighing approximately 126 pounds. He had short, dark brown hair and a missing lower tooth that may have been noticeable when he was speaking or smiling.
After the victim’s body was found in September, police released photos of the clothes and rosary he was wearing when he was killed. They included a sweatshirt with the words “First United Methodist Church Laurel, Maryland” written on the left chest.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Montgomery County Police Department’s Major Crimes Division at (240) 773-5070.
DCG

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