Tuesday, January 18, 2022 |
Partly Cloudy

Around Maryland

‘It’s kind of weird to see people without masks now’: Marylanders, retailers navigate (mostly) relaxed mandates

When Jules Abbott visited a liquor store in Bel Air earlier this month, she was surprised to see about half the shop’s customers without face masks. Beverage samples had even returned to the store. But Abbott kept her mask on. It just didn’t feel right to go without something that had been such an integral part of her life for the past year, she said. “It’s kind of weird to see people without masks now,” the 25-year-old Cockeysville resident said.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
‘I’ve got something to wake up to’: Annapolis reentry program graduates 12 in HVAC, automotive certifications

Maleek Davis starts his new job on Monday. The 24-year-old was one of 12 graduates of the Annapolis police workforce reentry program who received job training certification in HVAC and automotive learning areas at a graduation ceremony in Baltimore on Friday. Davis got two days to celebrate before he clocks in at Sessa Sheet Metal Contractors in East Baltimore. “It feels good to be ready to start my new career,” he said, smiling over his mask.

Carroll County receives over $4 million to assist those experiencing rental hardship due to COVID-19

Carroll County government recently received over $4 million to assist those renting in the county who lost income or experienced rental hardship due to COVID-19. The funds secured will go toward implementing the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, providing support for up to 12 months of rental arrears and up to 3 months of forward rent to those households meeting eligibility guidelines. Household income must be at or below 80% of the area median income.

Proposed West Annapolis development that would have cut two oak trees withdrawn in March

An application to redevelop two West Annapolis properties that would have cut down two mature oak trees has been withdrawn by the property owners’ attorney. The proposal by MRE Properties, the Annapolis company that owns 101 and 103 Annapolis Street, to redevelop the site into a mixed residential and commercial building was no longer “commercially viable” and would be withdrawn, Annapolis attorney Steven Hyatt told the Annapolis Planning Commission during its March 4 meeting.

Photo of vehicles on road during evening
Maryland board approves proposed toll rate ranges for new lanes on Capital Beltway, I-270

Maryland tolling authority officials approved proposed toll rate ranges Thursday for planned express lanes on lower Interstate 270 and part of the Capital Beltway that would result in motorists paying on average between $3 and $5 for a typical seven-mile trip. The approval by the board of the Maryland Transportation Authority allows the proposed ranges to be presented at public hearings this summer. The final rates are scheduled to be approved in late October.

Policeman watching the St Patrick's parade
Amid nationwide calls for reform, Anne Arundel County doubles down on police, counselor response to mental health crises

In the aftermath of a quadruple shooting that rocked a quiet street in Maryland City, a two-person county crisis team knocked on neighbors’ doors. The crisis intervention team, made up of a police officer and a mental health counselor, then checked on individuals the next day and held a neighborhood meeting in a nearby firehouse to debrief residents on the violent crime.

Maryland reports lowest positivity rate for third day in a row

For the third consecutive day, Maryland’s seven-day average COVID-19 testing positivity rate reached an all-time low. The rate declined to 2.06% Thursday from 2.19% the day before, an indication that infections are slowing amid the statewide vaccination effort and Maryland’s testing regimen is keeping pace.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Once-quiet remote Maryland counties that have been in decline see strongest home sales

Kimberly Alster first purchased property near Deep Creek Lake in Maryland’s Garrett County 12 years ago. At the time, the idea was to use the home for frequent family vacations. When the pandemic struck, however, the Alsters decided to trade city life for the great outdoors and move permanently. In doing so, families like the Alsters are fueling a housing boom in locations not accustomed to such activity.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore County school board votes to expand in-person classes four days per week to all students

Baltimore County public schools will offer all students the option to attend classes in-person four days a week beginning Monday next week. The county school board voted Tuesday to expand the in-person learning option to students in middle and high school grades. All students in elementary grades and at the four separate public day schools were given the same option starting May 10.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Anne Arundel public schools will deviate from CDC guidelines to get more students back in buildings

To help clear a list of thousands of students waiting for either two or four days a week of hybrid instruction, the Board of Education has asked Superintendent George Arlotto to deviate from strict adherence to CDC guidance and to prioritize getting more students in the building for more days. About 1,250 teachers have a work accommodation due to COVID, either for health reasons, to care for someone else or to care for their children, school system spokesman Bob Mosier said.

The Morning Rundown

We’re staying up to the minute on the issues shaping the future. Join us on the newsletter of choice for Maryland politicos and business leaders. It’s always free to join and never a hassle to leave. See you on the inside.