- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 8, 2007

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE

C-SPAN viewers irkedby baseball bump

Political junkies are crying foul over the bumping of the C-SPAN 2 cable channel in favor of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals when the two teams play at the same time.

Comcast has one channel slotted for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), which carries broadcasts of the two teams. When both play at the same time, Comcast uses the channel normally devoted to C-SPAN 2, which provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of the U.S. Senate.

C-SPAN said viewers have been sending e-mails to protest the decision, which affects Comcast subscribers who receive MASN in the Baltimore and Washington areas as well as parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Comcast said it selected C-SPAN 2 for the overflow channel because the Senate conducts much of its business during the day, while most baseball games are at night.

C-SPAN 2 is available without interruption on the cable service’s digital channel. Comcast officials said they will provide one digital converter to analog customers who request them.

BALTIMORE

Ex-NSA employeegets probation

A former National Security Agency (NSA) employee was sentenced Friday to two years probation for awarding more than $770,000 in contracts to companies in which he and his wife had financial interests.

Wayne Schepens, 37, of Severna Park, had faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to a conflict-of-interest charge. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake also ordered Schepens to serve the first six months in home detention with electronic monitoring.

The contracts related to a Cyber Defense Exercise, which Schepens created for the NSA. The annual competition involved teams from participating military academies who tried to protect their computer networks from attacks by teams of hackers, generally NSA employees and military reservists.

BALTIMORE

Tuition bill calledunfair to blacks

A veteran member of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus says in-state college tuition rates for illegal aliens will take seats away from black students.

Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. made the comments yesterday on the WBAL (AM-1090) “Kendel and Bob Show” hosted by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his wife.

Mr. Burns, Baltimore County Democrat, said the bill was unfair to those immigrants trying to enter the country legally, but he conceded that he disagreed with a majority of his fellow members of the Legislative Black Caucus.

The measure to allow Maryland students to receive in-state tuition even if they’re in the country illegally appears doomed because of a threatened filibuster by Republicans.

CUMBERLAND

State preparesto remove dam

Officials hope to begin removing a rock dam on the North Branch of the Potomac River this summer.

Work is expected to start by July 1, said Craig Hartsock, district manager for the Allegany Soil Conservation District in Maryland.

Officials want the dam removed for several reasons. For one, it’s broken on the West Virginia end, which creates rapids during high water. The dam also blocks fish from traveling upstream and forces recreational boaters to portage.

Removing the dam is expected to cost about $100,000, Mr. Hartsock said. Taking out the 220-foot structure, which stands 10 feet high, is expected to take about 10 days.

The dam was built to impound water used to make glass at a now-idle factory nearby.

VIRGINIA

HERMITAGE

5,000 turkeysdie in barn fire

More than 5,000 turkeys were incinerated Friday when a poultry barn caught fire in Hermitage.

Duaine Eye said his family had just finished loading the turkeys into his barn. At about 6 p.m., neighbor Beverly Alexander called 911 to report smoke from the barn.

Crews from New Hope volunteer and Augusta County fire companies put out the blaze, but the 14,000-square-foot barn and its contents were a total loss.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. Mr. Eye said the barn was built in 1970 and had propane stoves and electric lights running inside.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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