Politics

  • Baltimore County Council spending plan would cut some school funding and cost-of-living raises amid pandemic

    The Baltimore County Council is planning to cut more than $58 million from its fiscal year 2021 budget due to economic uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic. The council unanimously voted to adopt the reductions during a virtual meeting Thursday. The meeting was held before a Friday vote on County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.'s $3.9 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore will allow outdoor dining for restaurants with permits starting Friday

    City restaurants can reopen their decks, patios and sidewalk seating to diners on Friday — as long as they have the appropriate permits. Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young announced Thursday that restaurants with outdoor dining permits will be allowed to serve patrons seated outside starting at 5 p.m. on Friday. The news follows a Wednesday decision from Gov. Larry Hogan to further ease up on statewide restrictions implemented to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, while allowing local jurisdictions to set their own stricter parameters. (Balt Bus Journal)Read Full Article

  • Montgomery County to begin reopening June 1 alongside Prince George's

    Montgomery County will lift its stay-at-home order and begin to reopen some businesses starting Monday, moving in conjunction with neighboring Prince George’s County. County Executive Marc Elrich said Thursday that he will begin easing restrictions on residents and businesses at 6 a.m. on June 1. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced plans to begin moving the rest of the state further into reopening as the coronavirus outbreak slows. (Wash Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • Montgomery County may massively reduce development moratoriums

    Automatic prohibitions on new residential development could become a thing of the past across most of Montgomery County under a proposal backed by county planners that could pass later this year. The policy change would effectively end the development moratorium system put in place years ago, which requires freezes on new residential construction in areas with overcrowded schools and other infrastructure needs. The system has long been the bane of local business interests, as it has walled off attractive neighborhoods such as Silver Spring and Bethesda from development, but it’s popular among some parents concerned about school conditions. (Wash Bus Journal) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Toward a brighter Sun

    It’s as hard to imagine Baltimore without The Sun as a day without daylight. The newspaper’s motto, after all, is “Light For All,” an elegant and egalitarian expression of the desire to keep Baltimoreans and Marylanders as informed as good citizenship requires. Arunah Abell, the top-hatted founder of The Sun in 1837, charged only a penny for daily enlightenment. By the time his relatives and successors sold The Sun to a large media company 150 years later, it was worth a small fortune. (Dan Rodricks)Read Full Article

  • Venetoulis: Saving Private Biden

    To my friends in the media writing about Joe Biden’s allegation in an “impartial” search for the “truth,”  please realize that, unwittingly, you are doing Trump’s dirty work. No matter how it’s rationalized there is no conceivable journalistic concept of “impartially seeking truth” that can encourage taking down a decent man to allow the re-election of the most evil, cruel and corrupt president in our nation’s history. Read Full Article

  • Buckler: Dentistry in Unprecedented Times

    According to Merriam-Webster.com “common good” is defined as “the public good: the advantage of everyone.” Over the last many weeks, we’ve all been asked to perform a lot of “common good” for our friends, neighbors, communities, state, and country. As confirmed cases of and deaths from COVID-19 continue to mount, it’s a task that many of us accept willingly in the midst of one of the greatest health crises of our time. Read Full Article

  • The Do's and Don'ts of Face Coverings

    Researchers have recently learned that it is likely that asymptomatic (never having symptoms) and pre-symptomatic (developing symptoms later) carriers can spread the coronavirus (COVID-19) to others. This is why the CDC is now encouraging community members to wear cloth face coverings in public and why Governor Hogan is now requiring Marylanders to do so. Cloth face coverings are not the same as medical-grade masks – which need to be reserved for healthcare professionals who are treating patients. (GBMC HealthCare)Click Here to Read the Face Covering Guidelines 

Business

  • Visit Annapolis ousts Connie Del Signore as CEO, still under investigation

    Connie Del Signore will not be returning to Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. The former president and CEO was placed on unpaid administrative leave on April 27, Visit Annapolis acting chair Gary Jobson said Thursday. Jobson said he could not disclose the reason for her departure until the investigation is officially closed. “It’s in the hands of the attorneys,” Jobson said. “Connie won’t be returning to Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.” (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Cannabis firm Curio Wellness petitions state regulators to allow for second grow location

    Curio Wellness, a medical cannabis firm based in Lutherville-Timonium, is looking to open a second grow facility in Kent County. But first, it would need special permission from the state's cannabis industry regulators. Curio has filed an application with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), seeking permission to establish a new 40,000-square-foot greenhouse facility and 5,000-square-foot lab and research space on a site on the Eastern Shore. The second location would represent an expansion of Curio's existing 56,000-square-foot, $10 million facility in Baltimore County which opened in 2017. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • Maryland reports nearly 49K filed for unemployment last week

    Nearly 49,000 more people filed for new unemployment claims last week in Maryland, the state's labor department said Thursday. The numbers push total unemployment claims to more than 656,000 in the last 10 weeks in Maryland. Roughly 2.1 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. About 41 million people have now applied for aid since the coronavirus outbreak intensified in March, though not all of them are still unemployed. (Times-News) Read Full Article

  • McCormick & Co. extends hazard pay, continues hiring during pandemic

    McCormick & Co. will continue offering premium pay through June to employees who must come to work to run essential food supply operations, the global flavorings and spice maker said Thursday. Workers will continue to receive an additional $2 per hour. The Hunt Valley-based manufacturer said it has been hiring during the pandemic given its role in providing ingredients to the food industry. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • Maryland colleges and universities are making plans to reopen this fall, but will students come back?

    Maryland’s colleges and universities are fighting for survival as they try to balance the unknowns of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to reopen their campus buildings so students will decide to return in the fall. Reopening campus is crucial to the long-term stability of many colleges, school leaders said, because a significant portion of higher education budgets are built on student fees such as tuition and room and board. If students decide campus isn’t safe or that a mix of in-person and online classes isn’t worth full price, higher education leaders worry students could withdraw. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Boundary study evokes strong opinions, divisions among school board candidates

    A countywide analysis of school boundaries has elicited strong feelings both ways among candidates for the Montgomery County Board of Education. Some feel strongly that the analysis should be done and should lead to updates in school assignments. One candidate likened it to the U.S. Census — something to be done on a regular schedule as populations change. (Bethesda Beat)Read Full Article

  • Coalition asks MCPS to focus on black, Hispanic students’ needs when schools reopen

    A new coalition pushing for equity in Montgomery County schools has called on the district to begin planning how to help disadvantaged students when schools reopen. The Black and Brown Coalition for Educational Equity and Excellence, formed in October, recently released a list of eight tasks for the school district to work on now. The coalition says the tasks are necessary to ensure that students, particularly African American and Hispanic students, are not “left behind” after months of learning outside of the classroom due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Bethesda Beat)Read Full Article

  • Public schools face a fall with a lot more costs and a lot less funding

    As school districts consider how and when to get students back to classrooms, they are facing a financial riddle with enormous implications: Every back-to-school plan involves new spending at a time when states and districts are bracing for significant cuts. The needs are enormous. Students who fell behind this spring will require extra help. Counselors will be needed to help children who have lost family or suffered trauma. Nurses will be called on to assure students and staff are healthy. (Wash Post) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Maryland is easing more coronavirus-related restrictions Friday. Here’s what you need to know.

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced the further lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions as the state reopens, allowing jurisdictions to expand more services, including outdoor dining, beginning 5 p.m. Friday. In addition to outdoor dining, youth sports and camps, pools and drive-in movies are also able to reopen. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • $8M federal grant to help reduce bottlenecks for Baltimore train commuters

    A project to increase speeds for Amtrak and MARC trains currently slowed by aging rail infrastructure in Baltimore is getting a boost from an $8 million Federal Railroad Administration grant. The money, announced Wednesday by the agency, will help to rehabilitate and upgrade a five-mile section of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and allow trains to travel 50% faster, up from 60 mph to 90 mph. The improvements will take place between the north end of West Baltimore Station to Winans at the southern end of Halethorpe station, which serves both MARC and Amtrak trains. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • Laurel Park To Resume Live Horse Racing This Weekend

    Live horse racing can resume starting this weekend, the Maryland Jockey Club announced Thursday. The club has received approval from the Maryland Racing Commission to resume live racing at Laurel Park effective Saturday, May 30. The Summer 2020 meet begins with three days of live racing running through to Monday, June 1.The park will remain closed to the general public, and every employee, official, jockey and horseman must maintain social distance and isolation strategies at all times, both within and outside of the racing and training hours. (WJZ)Read Full Article

  • Maryland child care providers say they can’t afford to stay open with state restrictions

    Child care providers say current state rules limiting their class sizes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus will force some of them out of business and leave thousands of families without trusted child care. The gradual lifting of stay-at-home orders to get people back to work can’t be successful, child care advocates say, if the state does not find a solution soon. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Editorial: What’s lacking from Maryland’s COVID-19 test kits? A dose of transparency

    It was with considerable fanfare that Gov. Larry Hogan acquired 500,000 coronavirus tests from LabGenomics, a South Korean company, last month. There was a news conference in front of the State House. Some credit was graciously given to first lady Yumi Hogan for helping make the arrangements. There was much ado about “hiding” the testing supplies to keep the federal government from seizing and redistributing such a hot commodity. The purchase even got its own name, “Operation Enduring Friendship,” that made it sound like rather a big deal. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • MacKinnon: White people need to speak out against senseless killings of black people

    Baltimore is in the throes of an election of extraordinary consequence to the future of our city. While this type of proclamation is uttered during every election, this time it’s the absolute truth. The winners of the Democratic primary for the offices of mayor, City Council president, comptroller and City Council members are likely to also win the general election. The victorious will face challenging times as Baltimore grapples with a public health crisis, economic downturn and a host of policy uncertainties. This is quite the sobering moment. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Our Say: How do you pick a good judge? Here is some advice for Anne Arundel voters.

    Anne Arundel County voters are wrapping up their first experience with mail-in voting for the primary election that ends on Tuesday night. The most competitive race on the ballot is the one for four Circuit Court judgeships. Normally, the Capital Gazette Editorial Board would meet with candidates for judge, engage them in conversations about the job and their background — perhaps even get them to talk to each other — and then offer a recommendation to readers. (Cap Gazette)Read Full Article

  • Editorial: Give county credit for financial plan

    The Frederick County government is moving in the right direction to secure a line of credit in order to be prepared in case tax revenues are delayed later this year because of the pandemic. The Gardner administration is trying to quickly lock up a commitment from banking firm J.P. Morgan to have up to $100 million available to the county in case of a financial emergency during fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1. (News-Post)Read Full Article