Wandering Eye: The end of the '15-minute rule' in Baltimore, the sad backstory of the NSA shooting, and more

By next month, double-parking near a school—or leaving your car running while stopped in a traffic lane—could garner a $250 fine. The City Council passed a bill yesterday to suspend the "15-minute rule" on the blocks adjacent to schools, public and private, across the city. That means that police and traffic enforcers will be able to issue tickets as soon as they see someone's car stopped in the street. The bill was sponsored by 1st District City Councilman James Kraft, who said complaints from principals prompted it. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has pledged to sign it, Kraft said. "This law could be in effect as soon as the kids come back from spring break," Kraft told the council. The "15-minute rule" was put in place years ago to allow people living in hard-to-park-in neighborhoods to unload groceries and other things by double-parking in front of their homes. That policy remains in effect, except for school blocks and marked "emergency routes" 7-9:30 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


"The overnight tryst began in Baltimore, with three men, two dressed as women," begins former Sun cop reporter Peter Hermann's report in The Washington Post of the sad backstory of yesterday's NSA shooting. The two "cross-dressers" (WaPo's word, based on reporting) allegedly stole their "companion's" SUV and drove south on 295 and got off at the very wrongest exit. "What had first appeared to be an attempt to breach security at the listening post that eavesdrops on communications throughout the world now appears to be a wrong turn by two men who police believe had robbed their companion of his vehicle and perhaps didn't stop because there were drugs inside." One of the men in the car was killed; the other was reportedly shot and is in a hospital. ABC says that man is Kevin Fleming, 20 years old. The New York Times adds this detail: "Officials said they found cocaine and at least one firearm in the stolen Ford Escape S.U.V." (Edward Ericson Jr.)


Hear ye, hear ye! Gather round as I use this cliche lede to tell the tale of the Maryland Renaissance Festival staying put in its Crownsville location. And why doth we have this wonderous news? Local government code! In short, Anne Arundel County denied the festival's request to move to a new location in the southern part of the county because it bring lots of car traffic to a residential-agricultural area. As a festival attendee coming from the north, we're glad our trip hasn't been extended, and hey, we like the woody vibe of the current locale. The festival kicks off Aug. 29. (Brandon Weigel)

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