Freed Cuban Prisoner Alan Gross Recognized by Maryland Senate
ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland state Senate gave a standing ovation to U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross on Friday for heroism he displayed while being imprisoned in Cuba for five years.
Gross was arrested in Cuba on Dec. 3, 2009, and 14 months later was given a 15-year prison sentence for facilitating communications between Cuba’s Jewish community and the rest of the world.
The Cuban government released Gross on Dec. 17, 2014, as part of a prisoner swap between the two countries.
Gross thanked the state senators for the recognition and said that he was going to now focus on the future. He even joked with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert, after Miller told him that he was an inspiration.
“Yeah, but you still have all your hair,” Gross said to Miller.
Educational Organizations Lobby Annapolis for Continued Funding
Meanwhile, a number of educational organizations on Friday visited the state Senate subcommittee on education, business and administration to lobby for continued funding in the next fiscal year. Representatives from organizations including the Maryland School for the Blind, the National Aquarium and Imagination Stage spoke to the senators of the benefits that funding has provided for their programs, including travel expenses and educational opportunities, and the need for that revenue to continue.
“This (funding) will help us bring our educational program to more students across the state,” executive director for non-profit organization Young Audiences Maryland Stacie Sanders Evans said.
McDonough to Run for Ruppersberger’s Seat
Delegate Pat McDonough, a Republican representing Harford and Baltimore Counties, has filed paperwork to run for Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District.
The seat is currently held by Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger, whom McDonough calls “Obama Dutch” because of his voting record.
McDonough said his main goals are boosting the economy, improving national security, strengthening the armed services, and curbing illegal immigration, which he says has worsened Maryland’s heroin problem and decreased economic opportunities for his constituents.
“Minorities are the major victims of illegal immigration and sanctuary policies,” he said.