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TRANSGENDER KILLINGS

Transgender women's killings test police outreach

BALTIMORE (AP) - Four killings of transgender women in Baltimore in two years is highlighting the strained relationship between law enforcement and the LGBT community and sparking conversations about how to ease the tension.

Baltimore police say they are taking cues from other police forces around the country on ways to bridge the gap between the transgender community and law enforcement, including departments in Montreal, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington.

In the past two years, the department released its first LGBT recruitment video, and developed a cultural sensitivity training regimen for police officers. But LGBT advocates say there is still work to be done.

US-OBAMA-FEDERAL-PAY

Obama to raise federal, military pay by 1 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is offering civilian federal workers and members of the military a 1 percent pay increase in 2015, the same raise he offered last year citing efforts to keep government costs down during the economic recovery.

The new pay raises reflect what Obama proposed in his 2015 budget earlier this year.

Obama sent a letter Friday describing the raises to the House and Senate. The figure is lower than private sector pay increase and lower than what a government formula for raises would have provided. Obama can bypass that formula by informing Congress of his alternative plan by the end of August.

Federal employees operated under a pay freeze until January of this year when the current 1 percent pay increase took effect.

GRANT FRAUD

Morgan professor gets 3 years for grant fraud

BALTIMORE (AP) - A professor at Morgan State University has been sentenced to three years in prison for fraudulently obtaining research grants from the National Science Foundation.

Forty-seven-year-old Manoj Kumar Jha of Severn was also ordered to pay $105,726 in restitution at sentencing Friday in federal court in Baltimore.

According to trial testimony, Jha received $200,000 in grant funds for a highway project. Prosecutors say Jha falsely claimed on the application that a company Jha headed that would work on the project and had eight employees.

Prosecutors say Jha used the money to pay personal expenses.

GAMBLING EXPANSION-MARYLAND

Casino hostess banned from contact with ex-clients

BALTIMORE (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that one unlucky hostess accused of stealing a list of high-rolling clients from a Maryland casino where she used to work and using it to recruit business to another casino cannot contact the gamblers until further notice.

A federal judge on Friday imposed a preliminary injunction on Helena Wong, a casino hostess who used to work at Maryland Live Casino in Hanover and is now employed at the new Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore.

Wong sent an email earlier this month to roughly 20 Maryland Live customers offering free access and services at Horseshoe Casino. Maryland Live filed a lawsuit against Wong, alleging that the contact information for those clients is proprietary information.

Wong denies any wrongdoing, and says she cultivated the clients herself.

TOM CLANCY-HOUSE FIRE

Fire destroys house on estate of late author

HUNTINGTOWN, Md. (AP) - Authorities say two boys have been charged with setting a fire that destroyed an unoccupied house on the estate of the late novelist Tom Clancy.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal said in a statement on Friday that the two-story, wood-frame house in Huntingtown in Calvert County was burned on Aug. 22. Officials say a passer-by saw the fire and called 911.

No injuries were reported. Damage was estimated at $149,000.

The fire marshal says an investigation led them to two youths, ages 12 and 14. Authorities say the boys ignited combustible materials in the living room before leaving the property.

They are charged with arson and have been released to their parents.

Clancy, the author of such thrillers as "The Hunt for Red October," died last year.

RAPE QUILT-BALTIMORE

Sexual assault survivor quilt visits Baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) - A quilt memorializing survivors of sexual assault is making a stop in Baltimore.

The Monument Quilt, a brightly colored patchwork that includes 200 squares, will be spread out on Federal Hill Saturday afternoon. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will be joined by survivors of sexual violence, who will share their stories.

Hannah Bruncato, co-director of Force, the Baltimore-based group behind the quilt, says the project is about "demanding public space to heal."

The quilt has been displayed in cities across the United States.

WILMINGTON SHOOTING

Troopers investigate non-fatal shooting in Del.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police are investigating an early morning shooting that left a 25-year-old man wounded in Wilmington.

Police say the victim, who was inside a car, was shot at around 3:50 a.m. on Saturday in the parking lot of a Caribbean restaurant in Wilmington. Police say the suspect fired several rounds at the car before fleeing on foot.

The victim was taken to a local hospital, and is currently being treated for wounds to his torso.

WHOOPING COUGH-MONTGOMERY COUNTY

12 Maryland students show signs of whooping cough

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - Montgomery County officials are warning parents that 12 students at four different schools have shown signs of whooping cough.

County health officials say there have been three confirmed cases of the respiratory disease and nine suspected cases. Health officials strongly urge parents to have their children vaccinated.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is highly contagious. It begins with symptoms similar to a cold including coughs and runny noses. Then the cough worsens over weeks and becomes spasmodic.

School officials are urging parents to look for any symptoms.

Schools with confirmed or suspected cases of whooping cough include Robert Frost Middle School, Julius West Middle School, Cabin John Middle School and Cold Spring Elementary. Officials believe several of the children attended a summer camp together in Pennsylvania where they were exposed.

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

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