WASHINGTON - Finance officials in Maryland, like their counterparts at state and local governments across the country, are closely monitoring conditions in the municipal bond market, hoping for an opportunity to sell debt.

For Phil Thompson, assistant finance director of the small Maryland county of Worcester, trying to get a handle on a tumultuous market that he's not sure "anyone has a handle on" has led him to postpone a $35 million deal that was scheduled to price tomorrow.

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