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Maryland Cell Phone Ban Begins

Maryland residents and those residents who travel through Maryland need to know that on Friday, October 1, 2010 (this Friday) - cell phone use will become illegal while driving. The offense will be a "secondary" offense, meaning that offenders can only be cited with it if they are pulled over for another primary offense like speeding or running a red light.

Beginning on Friday, people who wish to make a call while driving MUST use a hands free device. The fine will be $40 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent violations of the law.

Texting while driving has been illegal for some time now and already carries a fine.

Maryland is following suit with several other states with cellular phone bans while in operation of a motor vehicle, but it is one of the only (if not the only) state to list the law as a "secondary" offense.

Live Nation Silver Spring Concert Venue Begins Construction

Looks like the Verizon Center, Jiffy Lube Live, and Merriweather Post Pavilion won’t be the only places to catch your favorite artists when they are in the D.C. Metro.

Local politicians participated in the ground breaking ceremony for Live Nation’s Silver Spring, Md. concert venue, “Fillmore Silver Spring.”

The music hall will be constructed off Fenton Street, near Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue. It will be open to the public in the fall of 2011.

The state of Maryland contributed $4 million to the project, but much of the remaining costs will be paid for by the public.

Efforts to get a live music hall in Silver Spring date several years, first with the county unsuccessfully trying to get Alexandria's Birchmere Music Hall to open a second venue in Silver Spring.

Montgomery County Council Members Meet Head-On with Pepco

Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen, Vice President Valerie Ervin and Council members Phil Andrews, Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, George Leventhal, Nancy Navarro and Duchy Trachtenberg are set to meet in Baltimore on August 17 with Pepco’s chief operating officer and senior officials as the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) performs “a proceeding to investigate the reliability of Potomac Electric Power Company’s (Pepco) electric distribution system and the quality of electric distribution service that Pepco is providing its customers.”

According to the Commission, Pepco’s response to power outages and their communication with customers has been far from superior with the recent summer thunderstorms that have occurred in the area.

The continual year-round power outages that occur in Montgomery County have made the need for a more trustworthy electric company a “top priority”, says President Floreen.