Nearly 100 Employees of Motor Vehicle Branches Tested Positive for COVID-19; 3 Dead

At least 93 local employees of motor vehicle administration branches in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. have tested positive for COVID-19, according to public records obtained by the News4 I-Team. Three of the cases were fatal. A large concentration of cases, at least 28 of them, occurred at the MVA's Glen Burnie offices. (NBC Wash)

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Maryland, D.C., Fairfax officials urge voters to avoid mailing ballots, use drop boxes instead

With less than a week until Election Day, elections officials in Maryland and the District are urging voters to put mail-in ballots into drop boxes, saying that with U.S. Postal Service delays, it may be too late to return them by mail. “Delivery times continue to be considerably longer than normal,” Maryland Elections Administrator Linda Lamone said in a statement that encouraged voters to drop off ballots at any authorized drop box. “This will allow them to be confident their vote will be received and counted in a timely fashion.” (Wash Post)

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‘A tsunami waiting to happen’: Lawmakers, advocates say Maryland needs to fix help line for utility bill assistance

Maryland has $176 million set aside to assist eligible families who cannot afford their utility bills, but lawmakers and advocates are worried that many won’t be able to access the money as Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. and other utilities resume sending service turn-off notices. The Department of Human Service’s toll-free phone number is advertised as the best way to apply for Office of Home Energy Program funds. But it’s “nearly impossible” to navigate the system and get a customer-service representative, according to lawmakers who represent Baltimore. (Balt Sun)

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Hogan Signs Regional Compact to Promote Offshore Wind — But Md. Projects Move Slowly

The headline news is that the governors of Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia signed a compact on Thursday to collaborate and advance offshore wind projects and to promote the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast as hubs for the industry. In reality, it’s another twist in the tortured debate over bringing wind turbines to Maryland’s waters. The announcement by Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) of his pact with Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam (D) and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) was pure Hogan, on-brand with his oft-repeated message of bipartisanship and collaboration. (Md Matters)

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Howard County Executive Calvin Ball focuses on coronavirus response during State of the County address

In his State of the County address Wednesday evening, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced new coronavirus measures for the county more than seven months after the county saw its first confirmed case. Ball appeared in a prerecorded, 50-minute video on Facebook and YouTube to update county residents on the work his administration has done in the past year. The remarks were largely related to the pandemic. (Balt Sun)

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‘I’ve never thought of doing anything else’: Howard’s longtime elections director discusses historic voting season

The parking lot at Lake Elkhorn Middle School in Columbia is a microcosm of American life in 2020. The intersection of the upcoming election and coronavirus-induced, limited in-person school prompts the lonely and rarely used parking spots to feel the warmth of cars once more. Guy Mickley, 45, appears in the foggy haze on a recent Wednesday in October. He’s dressed casually in a black polo shirt and jeans, a lanyard with his ID draped around his neck, ready for another 16-hour workday. (Balt Sun)

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Gov. Hogan: Maryland fortunate to avoid spike in COVID-19 cases; team remains 'vigilant'

Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that even though Maryland isn't one of the 42 states dealing with a massive surge in coronavirus cases, this is no time to get complacent. "We have seen some slightly rising numbers in cases, in our positivity rate," Hogan said while visiting the Maritime Institute for Technology and Graduate Studies in Linthicum. "We're in much better shape than we were before. That doesn't mean it's not going to be a terrible crisis to deal with." (WBAL)

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Blown deadlines, late fees, fixes in flurry of financial filings from Baltimore council president candidate Mosby

Democratic Del. Nick Mosby has missed three of five campaign finance deadlines for next week’s election, amended reports to disclose spending long after it occurred, and been hit with more than $500 in reporting penalties in his bid for Baltimore City Council president. In a statement Thursday, Mosby called mistakes in his finance reports “regrettable but completely explainable.” Late Wednesday night, Mosby’s campaign amended its financial disclosure reports from May, August and Oct. 23, disclosing for the first time more than $86,000 spent in the runup to the June 2 primary. (Balt Sun)

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