Maryland’s Best/Worst 2013, Part II -- Gazette.Net







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Pests of the year



Federal government shut-downs

The Redskins name debate

Lyme disease

Dennis Rodman


Surveillance drones

Gov. Rick Perry

Cellphones during air flights

Traffic lane “cutters”

Miley Cyrus

Copper thieves

Athletes on steroids

Target credit card hackers

Cruise ship norovirus


Obamacare’s religious mandate

Toilet-clogging “flushable” baby wipes

Most bizarre moments

• A Baltimore jury awards $1.42 million to a patient, Nadege Neim, whose doctor, Maureen Muoneke, mistakenly removed her right ovary instead of her left one. When Neim returned for a checkup a month after the surgery, Dr. Muoneke realized her mistake but did not tell Neim.

• Howard County police bust an “in-home” licensed child day care center that had a hydroponic marijuana growing operation in the basement.

• Public health officials warn of rabid raccoons attacking people and pets in Ocean City.

• When a Bethesda couple, watching TV, see a black bear walk by their window they call police, who, after a chase through the neighborhood, tranquilize it.

• Donald Pray, after getting drunk and arguing with his passenger, gets out of his car, lies down on Suitland Road and is struck and killed by a car.

• A Maryland Lottery employee pleads guilty to stealing 7,500 scratch-off tickets worth $90,000 and redeeming them for $67,000.

• When Baltimore scrap metal thieves steal numerous 54-pound backup traffic light batteries costing $428 a piece, the city padlocks and alarms traffic light facilities.

• A woman dressed in pink with a pink cellphone robs two P.G. County banks in December.

• A man wearing a fake Santa beard holds up a Laurel bank in December.

• Frederick police, investigating a possible break-in, are surprised when two burglars fall through the dry wall ceiling.

• A portable speed camera stationed outside Glenelg High School is set on fire by unknown vandals.

• After leading police on a 100 mph chase through Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, Dock Workman is arrested after ramming a state trooper’s car four times. He was seen lighting a cigarette between his strikes against the police cruiser.

• Ocean City police witness a man hijacking a taxi and pursue him up Coastal Highway, where the hijacker abandons the taxi and runs into the surf, where he’s arrested.

• Montgomery County pays Bethel World Church $1.25 million not to build a church on its environmentally sensitive 119-acre Germantown property.

• On New Year’s Eve, a Silver Spring mother has twins born three minutes apart but in two different years, one in 2013 and the other in 2014.

• Golfers attending Baltimore’s Scunny McCousker Memorial Elvis Invitation Golf Dinner are asked to “dress like Elvis or an actress from any Elvis movie.”

• Ralph Jaffe (D) files for governor with Freda Jaffe, his sister, as his running mate.

• Baseball star Cal Ripken Jr.’s mother Vi Ripken, who was kidnapped in 2012, is the victim of an attempted carjacking in October 2013.

• Bethesda resident Lois Lerner, who resigned after becoming the central figure in the IRS-Tea Party scandal, volunteers for a Montgomery County panel that screens applications for tax-exempt status.

• Police suspect a possible suicide when a College Park man locks himself in a portable toilet and sets it on fire.

• An Anne Arundel jury awards $800,000 to a woman who suffered hundreds of bites when she moved into a bedbug-infested Annapolis apartment. Her attorney, Daniel Whitney, specializes in bed bug lawsuits.

• A Virginia woman, represented by Daniel Whitney, sues for bed bug bites she suffered at a National Harbor hotel.

• A lactose-intolerant federal employee suffering from frequent flatulence is reprimanded by Baltimore Social Security Administration officials for “creating a hostile work environment.”

• A woman with a Cheshire cat tattoo on her neck slips a $1,200 Maltese puppy into her purse and flees a Rockville pet store.

• When Baltimore police arrest a prostitute at a BWI hotel they discover that her pimp, waiting outside in his car, is a Baltimore city policeman.

• After a 22-year-old woman driving across the Bay Bridge is rammed by a tractor-trailer, sending her car 40 feet into the water, she frees herself and swims ashore.

• When three of Frederick’s five county commissioners participate in a local call-in radio show, a political opponent complains to a state board, which rules it an “open meeting law” violation because, as a quorum, they discussed county business at a “meeting” without prior public notice.

• Montgomery County public employee unions boycott the county Democratic Party’s annual spring fundraiser because, they say, the county party has grown too conservative.

• Instead of endorsing either gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur, a lesbian, or Doug Gansler, the first state official to advocate same-sex marriage, Equality Maryland (the gay lobby group) endorses Anthony Brown.

• When a Silver Spring real estate agent turns her house into an extravagant Halloween display and invites hundreds of clients to view it, county officials take her to court for operating a business in a residential neighborhood. The judge, after three hours of testimony, permits the display for two nights.

• After being sworn in as Glenarden’s new mayor, Dennis Smith discovers IRS fines for $150,000 accrued by the outgoing administration for failing to file tax records.

• Diamonde Grant (aka Dimez) sues the Oasis club, where she’s an exotic dancer, for taking a portion of her tips and private dance money in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

• The St. Mary’s County school board bans hugs between children and any adult who is not their parent.

• Attorney General Doug Gansler says prison inmates should be issued free tablet computers to help further their education.

• A National Guard A-10 Warthog fighter jet inadvertently ejects an inert 500-pound bomb, which lands in a Queen Anne’s County tavern parking lot, leaving a 3-foot-deep hole and some shaken patrons.

Blair Lee is chairman of the board of Lee Development Group in Silver Spring and a regular commentator for WBAL radio. His column appears Fridays in the Business Gazette. His past columns are available at His email address is