Politics

  • July 18 // Former senator Oaks’ bribery, corruption case ends in 3 1/2-year prison term

    Nathaniel Thomas Oaks, the disgraced former Democratic state senator from West Baltimore's 41st District, was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison Tuesday for taking $15,300 in bribes from an FBI undercover source in a political corruption probe. Oaks, 71, was sentenced in Baltimore by U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett, who imposed a term less than the eight to 10 years recommended in the federal sentencing guidelines -- between the 18 months recommended by the defense and 60 months sought by prosecutors. (Md. Matters)Read Full Article

  • Maryland Gov. Hogan to take No. 2 spot at National Governors Association

    Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to be elected vice chairman of the National Governors Association this weekend. The National Governors Association is a bipartisan group that represents the nation’s governors. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, is expected to be elected as chairman when association holds its summer meeting in Santa Fe, N.M., this weekend. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Blair to seek recount in Montgomery County executive race

    Montgomery County executive hopeful David T. Blair (D) is all but certain to request a formal recount of the June 26 primary, a contest he lost to Councilman Marc B. Elrich (D) by 79 votes. The county Board of Elections certified Elrich's win on Monday, nearly three weeks after voters went to the polls. In a letter to supporters Tuesday afternoon, Blair said, "We share the desire to have a nominee chosen in a timely manner so the party can come together and prepare for the General Election. On the other hand, we fully believe that participation in the electoral process is the hallmark of our democracy and it is imperative that all ballots are accurately counted." (Md. Matters)Read Full Article

  • Maryland Gov. Hogan criticizes Trump, calls Putin a 'thug'

    Gov. Larry Hogan added his voice to widespread criticism of President Donald Trump's Monday appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Trump "failed to stand up for our country." In a tweet posted Tuesday morning, Hogan wrote: “I remember when President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the evil empire. Not much has changed. Putin is a thug & his actions against our democracy are despicable. On this I agree with our intelligence community. President Trump failed to stand up for our country yesterday.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Aaron Tomarchio: How Kevin Kamenetz Steered Sparrows Point Toward The Future

    In 2010, during his first campaign for Baltimore County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz said something about Sparrows Point that seemed politically risky at the time: Maybe it’s time to think about a future beyond steel production. His words seemed prescient two years later when, after cycling through five owners in a decade, the steel mill closed, putting 2,200 men and women out of work.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Sandy Rosenberg: A Vision to Keep the Preakness in Baltimore

    Legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert wants the Preakness to stay in Baltimore. He told the Baltimore Sun, “To me, it’s magical in here. There’s something about it. I’ve been watching it since I was 10, 11 years old…There’s so much history here.”Read Full Article

  • Joseph (Jay) A. Schwartz, III: Senate Bill 30 ‒ The Pundits and Perhaps the Most Extraordinary Vote In General Assembly History

    The just concluded General Assembly Session was one that none of the pundits saw coming. So they said: It is an election year; there will be a lot of bills filed but nothing of substance will be enacted; partisan wrangling will be the order of the day; blah, blah, blah.Read Full Article

  • Tami Howie: Protecting Innovation Protects Patients and Our Economy

    Innovation is at the heart of Maryland’s economy and the wellbeing of patients in our state. New, groundbreaking cures and treatments save and extend the lives of patients, pushing the bounds of modern medicine, for the benefit of all. Innovative companies are able to leverage Maryland’s combination of technology know-how, business-friendly climate, and highly-educated, highly-skilled workforce to produce these cures and provide hundreds of thousands of Marylanders with well-paying jobs.Read Full Article

Business

  • July 18 // Has MASN dispute affected Baltimore's chances of hosting All-Star Game? Rob Manfred says no

    Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday sharply denied that the ongoing Mid-Atlantic Sports Network dispute over TV rights fees and ownership in the Orioles-operated network has affected Baltimore’s chances of hosting the All-Star Game. Speaking at a Baseball Writers' Association of America event Tuesday morning, Manfred opened his comments by remarking on the excitement of Monday’s Home Run Derby at Nationals Park, won by Washington’s Bryce Harper, and how the District has been a superb host of baseball’s midseason showcase event. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland reinstates suspended medical marijuana business after judge's ruling

    A Dorchester County medical marijuana company that had its preliminary business suspended in 2016 is getting a second chance to do business in Maryland. MaryMed LLC was among the 15 companies that received pre-approval from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission in 2016 to open up a marijuana growing business in the state. The company also won pre-approval to host cannabis processing and dispensing operations. But those pre-approved licenses were denied, as the majority owner of MaryMed faced a probe over potential violations of state cannabis laws. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Another rat, another market temporarily closed, this time in East Baltimore

    Just days after Lexington Market closed following a video of a rat crawling around a pastry case went viral, Baltimore's Northeast Market temporarily closed its doors Tuesday for a similar rat-related issue. A Facebook user posted a video of two rats running and jumping on the floor of the market Monday afternoon. It has since been viewed 83,000 times, as of Tuesday at 2 pm. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Developer of former Steamers site in Bethesda returns with bigger project plan

    Not much has happened at the former Steamers Seafood House site in Bethesda since last year, when the Montgomery County Planning Board approved the 58-unit Claiborne building for the spot. Now, it seems the redevelopment effort is heating up again. And it’s bigger this time. The updated proposal expands the Claiborne to three new parcels along Norfolk Avenue, adds about 20,600 square feet to the building size and increases the number of dwelling units to 82. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

Education

  • July 18 // UMES gets new president, coming from Texas

    The University System of Maryland announced the incoming president of University of Maryland Eastern Shore on Tuesday. Heidi M. Anderson will be the next president of UMES, effective Sept.1, 2018. Anderson replaces Juliette Bell, who stepped down July 1. Former Bowie State University President Mickey Burnim recently was appointed to lead UMES on an interim basis, according to a news release. (Daily Times)   Read Full Article

  • Court of Appeals sides with MCPS in whistleblower case

    Montgomery County Public Schools is not an entity of the state for the purposes of the Maryland State Whistleblower Protection Law, the state’s highest court has ruled. In a case appealed by a Richard Montgomery High School teacher seeking whistleblower protection, the Maryland Court of Appeals concluded the county public school system can be a state agency in one context, but a local county governmental entity for other purposes. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Carroll schools forming task force to tackle early elementary behavioral problems

    Carroll County Public Schools is forming a task force to study and investigate possible causes of elementary behavioral trends, after anecdotal evidence from educators suggests an uptick in early childhood struggles. Dana Falls, director of CCPS Student Services said the task force has been formed because of discussion over concerns of an at least perceived increase in elementary behavioral issues. (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • Parents group hopes to save school

    An advocacy group focused on saving Parkside Elementary School from potential closure, Parkside Pride, has been launched by a group of concerned parents.  “I was asked by some concerned parents if I would be interested in meeting with a group of like minded individuals to discuss how we might advocate for our beloved community school,” Emily Zumbrun said during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Allegany County Board of Education. (Times-News) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • July 18 // After Maryland challenges, FAA pulls out of discussions on airport noise

    The Federal Aviation Administration has halted discussions with Maryland airport officials and a citizens group after challenges were filed last month on behalf of residents seeking changes in flight paths because of noise. FAA officials said they could no longer continue talks on flight paths because of the pending legal action. The breakdown in communications marked a setback for Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who has sought to find common ground with the Trump administration on transportation and other matters. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Halfway to cleanup deadline, Chesapeake Bay hits goals for phosphorus, sediment, but misses nitrogen target

    Halfway to a 2025 cleanup deadline, the Chesapeake Bay is on track to meet goals for reduced phosphorus and sediment pollution, but has missed a target for nitrogen contamination. That’s according to a Chesapeake Bay Program analysis of pollution controls put in place since 2009 in Maryland and six other jurisdictions in the Chesapeake watershed. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Toll lanes? Transit? Md. study eyes ways to trim Beltway, I-270 congestion

    Maryland transportation leaders are suggesting 18 possible ways to reduce congestion on the Capital Beltway in the state and part of Interstate 270, and they want to know what residents think. The 19th option is to do nothing, but the Maryland State Highway Administration warn that would allow traffic to worsen. The ideas were unveiled Tuesday evening at a public workshop at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt. (WTOP) Read Full Article

  • Residents urge Howard County Council to freeze development around Ellicott City in response to flooding

    Ellicott City residents and shop owners are supporting a proposed County Council bill to place a yearlong freeze on development in the Tiber River watershed that some have blamed for worsening flooding in recent years. At a Monday night hearing, the council was urged to place longer and larger restrictions on development. Some people wore T-shirts and had signs that read “Protect Community,” the words in a logo scrawled under a rain-soaked umbrella. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • July 18 // Jim Burton: Reading the turnout tea leaves

    Last month's primary elections demonstrated Marylanders are not as energized as we have seen voters in many other states' elections since President Trump took office. Over the past 18 months, there have been multiple special, statewide and legislative elections around the country in which Democrats have turned out at much higher rates than in previous elections in those districts -- not only in general elections but in primaries, too. But in Maryland, enthusiasm and interest among Democratic Party voters appears tempered compared to Democratic turnout in other states. (Md. Matters)Read Full Article

  • Dan Rodricks: Oaks leaves his mark in the annals of Maryland corruption

    By now there have been so many cases of political corruption in Maryland, you can understand why the sentencing judge in the Nat Oaks case took a minute Tuesday to determine if there was something unique about it. Was history being made here? If not history, then at least trivia? Surely there must be something before the court besides an old-school pol who put his palm out for a cash bribe from an undercover FBI informant. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • $24 billion for single payer in Maryland sounds like a lot — until you consider how much we spend now

    You can feel the glee radiating from Gov. Larry Hogan’s re-election campaign at The Sun’s report Tuesday on a Department of Legislative Services estimate of what it would cost to implement a Maryland single-payer health care plan like the one Democrat Ben Jealous is proposing in this year’s election. The grand total — about $24 billion in new state spending, which is more than half of the entire existing state budget — sounds like an enormous amount of money, and it fits right in with the Hogan campaign’s efforts to paint Mr. Jealous as a wild-eyed tax-and-spend liberal, if not outright socialist. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Harris should join in calling on the president to honor Capital Gazette reporter

    Given the partisan times we live in, we cannot imagine a more important signature right now than that of U.S. Rep. Andy Harris. Harris, a Baltimore County Republican whose district stretches to the Eastern Shore, is the lone holdout on a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him to posthumously award Capital Gazette reporter Wendi Winters the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (Capital)Read Full Article