Briefly: The Metro Area

Article excerpt



Dad told to stay away from baby, Occupy site

The man arrested after his 13-month-old daughter reportedly was left alone in a tent at Occupy D.C. in McPherson Square was ordered by a federal judge Thursday to stay away from the toddler and not return to the park.

Park Police identified the father as Samuel A. Mack, 39, of Walters Lane in Forrestville. He was arrested on charges of attempted second-degree cruelty to children after officers found the child crying in the tent.

According to the charging documents, she was alone and dressed in minimal clothing, and there was no evidence that anyone was taking care of or supervising the baby in the near-freezing temperatures.

The court documents also state that when Mr. Mack returned to the tent, he told police he had left the camp to find food for the baby. He did not have anything when he returned, police said.

- Meredith Somers



Counties urge clearance for shale gas drilling

Two Western Maryland counties that sit atop the Marcellus Shale geological formation are urging the administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley to approve natural gas drilling.

The Cumberland Times-News reports that all six county commissioners from Allegany and Garrett counties have signed a letter to Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat. The letter asks the governor to encourage a state advisory commission to expedite its safety review and to direct the Department of the Environment to authorize drilling.

The commission recently submitted its first set of recommendations to the governor. More recommendations are due in August, followed by a final report two years later. Much of the concern involves the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process that forces water and chemicals underground to crack the rock and release the gas.

- Associated Press


O'Malley seeks $15 million to build affordable housing

Gov. Martin O'Malley announced a $15 million initiative Thursday to build affordable rental housing for families, senior citizens and people with special needs. …