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2005, a year-in-review

2005, a year-in-review

January 01, 2006|By Tim Rowland

Jan. 1 - Seeking to end skyrocketing malpractice rates, Maryland physicians march on Annapolis, offering to provide delegates with free brain surgery.

Fresh from their new operations, Maryland lawmakers pass a tax on flushing the toilet.

Jan. 3 - Williamsport Councilman James McCleaf announces he will run for mayor under the platform of "Let's see if we can get through one meeting without gunfire."

Scandal breaks out in Annapolis when a female lawmaker is accused of trading her vote for malpractice reform in exchange for a new set of breasts. Meanwhile, West Virginia lawmakers report that they are in the unusual but welcome circumstance of having a $23 million budget surplus.

Jan. 5 - A Hagerstown man is arrested after taking off his pants at Wal-Mart.

West Virginia lawmakers spend their budget surplus on a new set of furniture for the capitol building's front porch.

Jan. 19 - Promising better roads, water and sewer systems and promising to lower the taxes that would pay for them, a team of six Republican candidates announces its candidacy for Hagerstown City Hall.

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The Washington County Commissioners extend an ongoing building moratorium that was passed in 2002 in response to a spell of dry weather.

A Hagerstown woman is arrested after failing to wear stretch pants at Wal-Mart.

Jan. 20 - The Washington County Commissioners ask state lawmakers to approve a plan that would allow them to raise their own salaries without making it look to the public like they were raising their own salaries.

With a number of crucial issues on the horizon, Hagerstown City Council members roll up their sleeves and get down to the difficult issue of deciding whether a field at Fairgrounds Park should be used for baseball or softball.

Jan. 21 - GST AutoLeather announces it will close its Williamsport tannery operations, spelling the loss of 3,000 cows to Mexico.

In Hagerstown, the baseball vs. softball wars heat up, when Councilwoman Penny Nigh accuses state Del. LeRoy Myers of inappropriately trying to influence the debate.

The county commissioners ask for legislation to make it look to the public like it hasn't been raining for the past two years.

Jan. 24 - In Hagerstown, 20 candidates line up to file for City Council under the unifying slogan of "How Could It Be Worse?"

A Martinsburg, W.Va., city councilman is arrested and charged with distributing narcotic patches and grabbing a police informant by the ears, leading Hagerstown council members to have T-Shirts printed up saying "That's How."

Jan. 25 - After much anticipation, the University System of Maryland welcomes its first students to the new downtown Hagerstown campus.

State and federal politicians respond decisively to the announced closure of GST AutoLeather by hiding under their desks and hoping no one will call on them to do anything.




Feb. 2 - Due to extreme shortages of vaccine, Maryland health officials announce that the only people eligible for flu shots will be those older than 65 or younger than 23 months.

Penny Nigh accuses LeRoy Myers of having an opinion.

Feb. 4 - Maryland health officials announce that flu shots will be limited to those who have yet to be born or are already dead.

Feb. 5 - In the annual State of the County address, Commissioners President Greg Snook says Washington County growth is "under control."

Feb. 20 - The ballfield wars enter their final phase when the Hagerstown City Council votes 4-1 in favor of softball. In a candidate profile, Penny Nigh calls this the greatest failure of her time in government.

Following the announcement that Fleetwood Travel Trailers will close its Hancock plant, idling 289 workers, Commissioners President Greg Snook announces that Washington County job growth is under control.

Feb. 21 - New state property tax assessments for Washington County skyrocket 36 percent, prompting Commissioners President Greg Snook to announce that disposable income growth is under control.




March 2 - Shunning his given name, a candidate for Mayor of Hagerstown files for office using his AOL screen name, "Charlie Baker."

To promote better communication, a Boonsboro group pushes the idea of a countywide council of governments, prompting the County Commissioners to say, "Washington County has other governments?"

March 3 - Candidates for Williamsport Town Council agree there is one major issue facing their town: Skateboarding.

Three more candidates file for Mayor of Hagerstown, including "Oh4Cool," SpockizGR8T" and "HunEthiiz."

March 7 - Hagerstown police warn residents to be on the lookout for members of the feared gang MS-13.

In Williamsport, James McCleaf defeats John Slayman for mayor after sticking a 360 ollie grab with major air on the half pipe.

March 11 - Proving the Washington County Commissioners' contention that there is no need for better communication in local government, the commissioners get into a spat with local lawmakers over excise taxes and property tax reappraisal.

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