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City State: Morning Roundup

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Maryland House will begin debate today on Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed congressional-redistricting plan, after the Senate easily approved the plan Tuesday. The Democrat-controlled Senate approved the map Tuesday in a 33-to-13 vote, despite objections from Republicans that the governor's plan would unfairly redraw GOP Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett's 6th District for Democrats' gain and decrease the voting power of minorities in some districts. The map likely will face fiercer debate in the Democrat-controlled House, but Majority Whip Talmadge Branch, Baltimore Democrat, expects the votes will be there, writes David Hill of The Washington Times.

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown asked the General Assembly on Tuesday to pass a gas-tax increase during next year's regular session, and legislators acknowledged that support likely is increasing for a 15-cents-a-gallon hike, The Times reports.

A Virginia transportation subcommittee is weighing a funding shift that would chop state maintenance payments to local governments by more than 20 percent, drawing ire from Northern Virginia legislators, who already think they don't get their fair share of cash from Richmond. The move, under consideration by a Commonwealth Transportation Board subcommittee, would cut $76 million from the state's $364.6 million local maintenance funding, according to the Virginia Municipal League, The Times reports.

PREVIEW: The Virginia Court of Appeals has upheld a 2009 violent-crime conviction of a Bloods gang member, despite his argument that the party at which he was arrested was attended by some Crips members. So the night's activities were "Crips-related" and he shouldn't have been arrested for criminal gang participation, according to his defense, The Times' David Sherfinski is set to report today.

Human remains discovered Tuesday morning in a wooded area near Little Bennett Regional Park in Clarksburg, Md., are likely those of missing 11-year-old William McQuain, according to Montgomery County police. A canine team discovered the remains of a young black male about a quarter-mile west of Route 355. The boy had been missing since Sept. 30. His mother, Jane McQuain, 51, was found dead Oct. 12 in her Germantown apartment. Her estranged husband, the boy's stepfather, was arrested the next day in North Carolina in connection with her slaying, The Times reports.

The D.C. Council unanimously changed a law Tuesday that had allowed police officers to arrest motorists for driving with expired tags. The council's action makes driving without a valid registration for up to 30 days punishable by a $100 fine. A violation after 30 days will result in a $200 fine and the vehicle potentially being impounded. The change was prompted in part by news reports of arrests of a teacher, a Navy officer and a mother with a child in her vehicle, The Times reports.

Derrick Leon Davis, a Democrat, coasted to an easy victory Tuesday in the race to fill the Prince George's County Council seat vacated by Leslie Johnson. With all 26 precincts reporting, Mr. Davis had 4,004 votes to Day Gardner's 389. Mr. Davis, a former county school system official, is chairman of the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, and he tried twice before to win the seat. He faced Ms. Gardner, a businesswoman who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, according to The Washington Post.

Two men were killed Monday night in unrelated shootings in the District of Columbia, bringing to five the number of homicides in Washington since Saturday night, the Metropolitan Police Department said Tuesday, The Times reports.

Through four games, results in the form of victories were there for the Capitals, even if their play hadn't matched their perfect record. Some measure of history was on the line Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers, with this team seeking to be the first in the 37-season history of the franchise to start with five straight wins, The Times reports.

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