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Around Maryland

US making COVID antiviral drug more available at test sites

The White House on Thursday announced more steps to make the antiviral treatment Paxlovid more accessible across the U.S. as it projects COVID-19 infections will continue to spread over the summer travel season. The nation’s first federally backed test-to-treat site is opening Thursday in Rhode Island, providing patients with immediate access to the drug once they test positive. More federally supported sites are set to open in the coming weeks in Massachusetts and New York City, both hit by a marked rise in infections.

Read More: Times-News/AP
Teen accused of bringing ‘ghost gun’ parts to Prince George’s school

A high school in Prince George’s County was placed on lockdown for nearly two hours Thursday afternoon when police received a call that a student had brought a gun on campus. After searching Fairmont Heights High School, county police said, officers found parts of a “ghost gun” — typically purchased as a kit, and a weapon without a serial number — in a classroom. The student who allegedly brought the gun parts to school was arrested, police said.

Maryland Episcopal Diocese awards first round of grants in $1 million reparations program

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has awarded $175,000 in grants to six community groups in its first distributions from a historic $1 million reparations fund. The diocese announced Thursday that it will present grants of up to $30,000 to groups dedicated to “restoring African American and Black communities.” Three of the winners are based in Baltimore and three in other areas of the state.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Under its acting director, Baltimore County’s biggest department sees an exodus of senior staff

Herself not a licensed engineer, D’Andrea Walker is bringing in personnel that lack qualifications, critics say. County Executive Johnny Olszewski expresses “full support” for his public works chief. Increasingly over the past year, turnover of senior staff at Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation has been raising eyebrows – so much so that when asked about it, one county insider responded, “Oh, you mean the mass exodus?

Read More: Baltimore Brew
Hyatt addresses union concerns, offers apology

Baltimore County Chief Melissa Hyatt is addressing one of the complaints that the police union listed in a letter to the county executive calling for her removal. The FOP cited a recent police memorial service where the name of Tia Bynum was included as one of the reasons they want to see her fired.

Read More: WBAL
March for Our Lives plans new D.C. rally to protest gun violence

March for Our Lives, the organization founded by survivors of the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., is planning a June protest in D.C. in the wake of the nation’s latest school massacre. The organization urged people to march in Washington and in their communities to press elected officials to “step up and pass universal background checks,” after a gunman on Tuesday entered a fourth-grade classroom at a Texas elementary school and killed at least 19 children and two teachers.

Money being offered for tagged snakeheads from Chesapeake Bay as part of effort to monitor invasive species

Officials are asking anglers to look out for northern snakeheads in the Chesapeake Bay and Blackwater River, and offering monetary rewards. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources launched a new tagging program, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in an effort to monitor invasive northern snakeheads.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore City Public Schools Honors 12 Students Killed During 2021-22 School Year
Twelve students who died from gun violence over this past school year were honored during the Baltimore City Public Schools’ 5th annual Day of Remembrance. The ceremony was held Thursday morning on the steps of the school district’s headquarters on North Avenue. BCPS CEO Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises led the commemoration with a reading of each student’s name who died followed by a moment of silence. Each student’s name was also written across the top of a balloon structure.
Read More: WJZ
New scholarship named after UMBC’s Freeman Hrabowski III promises $1.5B toward diversity-focused scientists

A new $1.5 billion scholarship fund for early-career scientists announced Thursday by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will be named for Freeman Hrabowski III, the retiring University of Maryland Baltimore County president known for championing the diversification of the science world. The institute’s Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program will fund up to 150 diversity-focused, early career scientists over the next 20 years. Every other year, the program will select 30 scholars for five years of financial backing that could be extended for another five years.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Concerns about projected budget deficits result in split vote by Carroll County commissioners on final fiscal 2023 budget

The Carroll Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to adopt a $700.7 million budget for fiscal 2023, which begins July 1. In three additional, but separate votes, the board approved the property tax rate with no increase, water and sewer rates, and solid waste fees. Commissioner Dennis Frazier, a District 3 Republican, and Commissioner Eric Bouchat, a District 4 Republican, dissented. Both said they were concerned about projected budget deficits in the next five years.

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