How Congress passed a farm bill and left Maryland police labs unable to test for marijuana

As director of Baltimore’s crime lab, Chief Steven O’Dell paid no mind to the farm bill before Congress in late 2018. Neither did Rachel Lucas, who runs the Baltimore County police lab. The bill was supposed to set policy for agriculture, not evidence. More than a year later, however, lab directors such as O’Dell and Lucas are still dealing with the far-reaching and expensive implications of the legislation. It made their instruments for routine lab tests of suspected marijuana suddenly obsolete. (Balt Sun)

Read Full Article

Baltimore Police Civilian Review Board calls for more authority as activist legal group sues over transparency

Baltimore’s Civilian Review Board is calling on state legislators to give them more authority to investigate complaints against police, while an activist legal group has filed a lawsuit separately alleging that the city is overreaching in its control over the board. “We are urging lawmakers to expand the legislative authority of the CRB and increase transparency in this process,” the civilian review board chairperson Melvin R. Currie said in an open letter released Monday. (Balt Sun)

Read Full Article

Developer Clark Turner ordered to repay $700K to homeowners

Harford County developer Clark Turner was ordered by the state Tuesday to repay 19 clients $700,000 — including penalties and costs — in restitution for homebuilding deals gone bad. Attorney General Brian Frosh said Turner accepted more than $1.2 million in deposits from customers in Harford and Cecil counties and then "either failed to begin construction on their homes or failed to complete construction of their homes." (Balt Bus Journal)

Read Full Article

After weeks of missed trash pickup, Baltimore officials say 100 garbage collectors will return to work Wednesday

As trash piles up around Baltimore, nearly 100 trash collectors will return to work from self-quarantine Wednesday morning, which officials hope will allow the Department of Public Works to catch up on missed routes following a coronavirus outbreak at a city waste yard. Three of the 15 employees who tested positive for COVID-19 in the department’s Solid Waste Bureau were hospitalized, but all have been released from the hospital, acting director Matthew Garbark said at a news conference Tuesday. (Balt Sun)

Read Full Article

Stickers With Racially Offensive Language Posted In Ellicott City, Police Say

Police in Howard County are investigating after stickers with racially offensive language were posted in the area of Centennial Lane. Police say they received the report on Wednesday, June 17. Responding officers searched the area and removed all of the stickers. In total, they found 27. (WJZ-TV)

Read Full Article

Maryland ICU workers urge caution as states begin to reopen

Respiratory therapist Kevin Cole and his colleagues at a Maryland intensive care center have watched COVID-19 patients die and consoled their families. They’ve celebrated as some patients recovered enough to leave. But as soon as beds become available, they begin to fill up again. So even as the state takes the first step toward reopening, they’re not ready to let down their guard -- and they say the public shouldn’t be either. (AP)

Read Full Article

Mass crowds raise more concerns about a second-wave for Covid-19

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball (D) said he is confident that the organizers of local protests against police misconduct are doing everything they can to make sure that participants follow recommended safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “We support every Howard County resident’s right to organize and protest. The demonstrations in Howard County have been well organized and are aware of the risks during this COVID-19 pandemic,” Ball told Maryland Reporter.com on Monday. (Md Reporter)

Read Full Article

Some Carroll County development review fees planned to increase by up to 170%

Development review fees in five Carroll County agencies are set to increase by as much as 170%. The Board of County Commissioners voted, 4-1, during the budget planning process to raise certain development review fees to recoup the cost of salaries required to provide these services. At the commissioners’ Thursday meeting, county staff presented examples of what fees will look like moving forward. Commissioner Ed Rothstein, R-District 5, voted against the proposal in April, and spoke against it Thursday. (Carr Co Times)

Read Full Article