News Wrap: Winter Snowstorm; Ben Carson Apologizes
Winter’s Last Hurrah?
An all-snow event has blanketed Maryland, closing schools and shutting down businesses. Once the snowfall stops, bitter cold will take over with lows around 10 degrees. Baltimore health officials are declaring a “Severe Cold Blue” alert for the city through noon on Saturday, and the city is opening an additional homeless shelter space at the War Memorial Building. Health officials are confirming two more deaths related to the cold weather, which brings to eight the number of winter-related deaths so far this year in Baltimore, with 31 statewide.
Statewide Storm Response
Governor Larry Hogan is urging people to stay off the roads if possible, so that crews can work to clear the snow. He’s also asking residents to check on relatives, neighbors and friends during the storm. Maryland’s Emergency Management Agency is assisting local responders with a coordinated conference call at the National Weather Service. The effort involves more than 2,700 state and contract workers with salt and plows and about 2,400 pieces of equipment.
Amtrak has modified its schedule for today because of the winter storm, and a number of airlines are relaxing change policies for travel itineraries because more than 2,000 flights have already been canceled. There's no MARC train or commuter bus service today. In New York, Port Authority officials say two people are hospitalized with minor injuries after a Delta jet skidded off the runway this morning while landing at LaGuardia Airport.
Carson Backtracks on Statement that Homosexuality is a Choice
Dr. Ben Carson is apologizing for saying that being gay is a choice, and says he regrets that his words were hurtful and divisive. The former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon made the comments Wednesday during a CNN interview when he stated that homosexuality was “absolutely” a choice, “Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay.” Carson announced earlier this week that he is launching an exploratory committee for a possible 2016 presidential run. The committee will allow the Tea Party favorite to raise money for a campaign before becoming an actual candidate for office.
Possible Candidates Step Up
Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen is telling supporters that he plans to run for the senate seat being vacated by Barbara Mikulski next year. The Montgomery County Democrat becomes the first to formally join the race. The Baltimore Sun is reporting that former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend also is thinking about adding her name to that list of Democrats for a possible bid for the seat. Former Washington, DC TV news anchor Kathleen Matthews, wife of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, announced that she will run for Van Hollen’s seat.
Marion Barry Didn't Leave A Will
Former DC Mayor Marion Barry reportedly didn't have a will on file when he died last year. The Washington City Paper points to court documents saying that Barry left behind some $16,000 in assets and nearly $60,000 dollars in unpaid taxes, but did not stipulate an heir. Another undecided issue is who will receive the royalties from his memoir, Mayor for Life.