Sept. 23 // After violent first year, Batts still pushing to remake city's police department

As he ends his first year on the job, Baltimore police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts is facing questions about whether he is taking too long to remake the agency and develop a crime-fighting strategy. But others say he is being candid about the city's problems and deserves more time to make progress. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Reginald F. Lewis Museum struggles with attendance, fundraising

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, which opened in Baltimore with great fanfare in 2005, has fallen short of attendance and fundraising goals — forcing the state to shore up its finances. During the past five years, annual attendance has averaged 38,000, well short of the 150,000 projected when the Lewis Museum opened, according to data supplied by the museum. Meanwhile, museum officials acknowledge, it has failed to met a state requirement that it generate $2 million, half of its annual budget, in privately raised revenue. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Prince George’s residents, officials criticize Metro’s plan for National Harbor bus line

Metro has proposed changing the route of the agency’s only bus line serving National Harbor. The NH1 bus would no longer stop at the Branch Avenue Metro station and travel along Oxon Hill Road to the hotel, housing and entertainment development. Instead, the bus would run across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to the King Street Metro in Virginia, providing a link from the popular waterfront resort to Alexandria. It’s a move that critics of the proposal say could adversely affect numerous employees at National Harbor. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Annual Kunta Kinte Festival in Annapolis canceled due to budget shortfalls

The board of directors of Kunta Kinte Celebrations Inc. has announced the annual Kunta Kinte Festival will not be held this year due to budget shortfalls. The festival is co-sponsored by the city of Annapolis and depends on sponsorships, grants, volunteers and fees from vendors to present a celebration of African and African-American heritage. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Syrian-born leader tapped to improve permitting and inspections in Prince George’s

Syrian-born Haitham Hijazi is a 54-year-old civil engineer and one of only two department heads Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker retained. In July, Hijazi, who spent a decade as head of the county’s $22 million public works and transportation department, took charge of a new Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement that Baker has said is vital to his efforts to change the perception of Prince George’s as corrupt, unwelcoming to business and overly bureaucratic. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Lawsuit: No gambling on toxins 

A group of environmentalists and Baltimore residents have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court seeking to have stronger monitoring of what they say is toxic waste on the site of a casino under construction along Russell Street. (Daily Record)

Read Full Article

Hearing to examine fees charges by utilities, developers to connect to public water and sewer system

Critics call it the “developers’ retirement account.” State Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Prince George’s) says some of his constituents think they are being fleeced. On Wednesday, Peters will ask members of the public to air concerns about fees that utilities and developers charge for water and sewer connections, and whether that matches up with actual costs. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

BWI nabs $5.8M grant to improve runways

The Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport will be receiving a $5.8 million federal grant to increase the number of flights coming to and leaving the airport. The grant, awarded to the Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland Aviation Administration, comes from the U.S Department of Transportation. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

Read Full Article