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This Hour: Latest Maryland and Delaware news, sports, business and entertainment

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MIZEUR RETIREMENT PLAN

Mizeur promoting state-run retirement savings plan

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Democratic Del. Heather Mizeur, who is running for Maryland governor, has proposed a state-run retirement savings program to help workers who don't have retirement plans from their employers.

Mizeur announced plans Wednesday for promoting the health, safety and security of Maryland's elderly population. She also wants to seek more funds for Alzheimer's research and create a registry of long-term care workers found guilty of abuse.

She estimates that the retirement savings program would become self-sufficient after a $360,000 start-up cost, and would have enough participants to make the user fees lower than alternative plans.

Participating employees would contribute at least 3 percent of their salaries through payroll deductions.

Del. Tom Hucker and Sen. Jim Rosapepe proposed a similar program this year, but their bills died in legislative committees.

MIZEUR-PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE

Mizeur calls for legal physician-assisted suicide

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Del. Heather Mizeur wants to legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients in Maryland.

Mizeur says her proposal would resemble laws in Oregon, Washington and Vermont. Doctors could prescribe drugs to patients who want to end their lives, but patients would have to administer the drug themselves.

Oregon's Death with Dignity law has been in place since 1997. Seventy-one state residents used it to end their lives last year.

The proposal is part of a plan Mizeur announced Wednesday to promote health and safety for Maryland seniors. She says the state should encourage seniors to decide on treatment wishes in case they end up in intensive care units. As the elderly population grows, she says people would benefit from living wills and establishing durable power of attorney.

HOME INVASION SLAYING

Man killed, another hurt in home invasion

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Maryland State Police say one man was killed and another injured in a home invasion in Salisbury.

Troopers were called to the home about 1 a.m. Wednesday. A man at the home said he had been assaulted with a blunt object.

Officer went into the home and found 72-year-old Donald Mariner injured. Paramedics pronounced him dead.

The other man was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Troopers would not say want kind of injuries Mariner suffered. His body was taken to the medical examiner's officer in Baltimore for an autopsy.

OAKLAND-PROPANE TRUCK

Half of Oakland, Md., evacuated after fuel mishap

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) - Officials in Oakland, Md., have ordered evacuation of about half of the western Maryland town while crews try to right an overturned propane tanker truck in the town center.

Garrett County Administrator Monty Pagenhardt says the order Wednesday extends for about a mile around the accident at a sharp turn on U.S. 219. The town of 1,900 is nearly 200 miles west of Baltimore.

Pagenhardt says no propane leaked from the 10,000-gallon tanker. He says electricity to as many as 120 customers will be cut while workers try to lift the truck off a sidewalk.

They'll then decide whether to transfer the propane to another truck before hauling the tanker away.

The evacuations included 45 county jail inmates who were sent to neighboring Allegany County.

BAIL ATTORNEYS

Concerns over bail model reflect misinformation

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The governor has said he may invite counties to rework their bail systems and try out a data-based risk assessment tool.

Gov. Martin O'Malley said this would involve an executive order. It would solve the problem of compliance with a Court of Appeals ruling requiring legal representation at all bail hearings. Legislators failed to agree on a solution during this year's session.

Lawmakers have sometimes argued the tool would turn critical decisions over to machines and could advance racial injustice by accounting for prior arrests. But a review of similar tools used in other states suggests these concerns are based on misconceptions.

A version Maryland may implement is simply a mathematical formula, developed through scientific research but not necessarily dependent on computers. It accounts for prior convictions but not arrests.

CARROLL-CRISIS COUNSELORS

Carroll school counseling cuts considered

WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) - A proposal to eliminate some counseling jobs in Carroll County public schools is running into opposition.

The Carroll County Times reports in its Wednesday edition that the proposed merger of crisis counselor and dropout-prevention positions at the county's eight high schools would save the school system $676,000.

Crisis counselor Jeffrey Shrader says the added workload could hamper a counselor's ability to respond quickly to students in crisis. Shrader says he works with students who are suicidal, being bullied or dealing with drug and mental-health issues.

Two recent graduates say crisis counselors helped them through difficult periods.

Chief Financial Officer Chris Hartlove says merging the positions isn't an ideal solution to the school system's budget crunch. But he says the proposal is partly intended to avoid cutting classroom teachers.

GANSLER PROSECUTOR PLAN

Gansler: Eliminate Md.'s special prosecutor office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Attorney General Doug Gansler, a gubernatorial candidate in the Democratic primary, says Maryland should do away with the state prosecutor's office, an independent unit that investigates public corruption.

Gansler says it has no legal authority that isn't covered by other state and federal attorney offices. He believes the state could save $1.2 million by reassigning its employees to other law enforcement agencies.

The state established the unit within the Attorney General's Office in 1977 to investigate election law violations, bribery, perjury and other offenses by public officials and employees.

Since 2008, it has brought embezzlement charges against former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and misconduct charges against former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold.

Gansler's suggestion was part of a plan he released Tuesday on how Maryland could eliminate unnecessary spending.

AG'S OFFICE-OVERTIME

Delaware AG's office target of overtime lawsuit

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Three men who worked as detectives in the Delaware attorney general's office have filed a lawsuit claiming that the justice agency and Attorney General Beau Biden have refused to pay them overtime.

Robert Durnan, Gerald Christian and Mark Forbes also allege in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that they were subjected to retaliatory reassignments or duty restrictions last year after their attorney sought payment for overtime accrued since November 2010. Payroll records show no overtime payments to the men in that period.

The lawsuit claims the men's duties, primarily returning fugitives to Delaware, were taken over by other employees who lacked the proper training, including Biden's former chauffeur.

A spokesman for Biden said officials had not been served the lawsuit, and that the office does not comment on pending litigation.

MARKELL-CLEAN WATER

Markell clean water proposal gains little traction

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of a panel that advises lawmakers and officials on drinking water and wastewater issues in Delaware are concerned that a clean-water initiative proposed by Gov. Jack Markell has failed to win much support in the legislature.

The chairman of Delaware's Water Infrastructure Advisory Council said Tuesday that he is disappointed with how Markell's plan has been received by state lawmakers. He encouraged members to contact legislators and urge them to support the plan.

Markell has proposed an annual fee on Delaware households and businesses to pay for a comprehensive plan to clean up Delaware's waterways. Administration officials say the fees, which would be indexed to inflation and collected through county property taxes, would generate about $30 million annually.

MARIJUANA GROWING OPERATION

Couple charged with growing marijuana

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New Castle County Police have arrested a couple after marijuana plants were found in a Wilmington home.

Officers were called to the home about 10:20 p.m. Monday for a reported domestic dispute. Officers went to the home and were given permission to search the home by a resident.

Police say they found three marijuana plants, three pounds of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and five guns.

Sixty-one-year-old Darlene Grocki and her husband, 57-year-old Robert Grocki, were both charged with drug and weapons offenses.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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