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Unemployment payments kept them afloat during COVID. Now Maryland wants money back.

For thousands of jobless Marylanders, the unemployment benefits that have brought relief in the pandemic are now triggering new stress. The state wants money back. More than 44,000 unemployment insurance claimants received overpayment notices totaling over $145 million in the six months from September through February, officials with the Maryland Department of Labor said. The notices warn of “legal action” to collect overpayments from claimants if they do not repay what the state says is owed — and many who are still receiving benefits are seeing their weekly allocations reduced to go toward the debt.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball To Extend North Tunnel In Ellicott City Safe & Sound Plan
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced Thursday changes to the Ellicott City Safe & Sound plan that would extend the North Tunnel. The extended tunnel is anticipated to reduce water on the street from approximately 3 1/2 feet to less than 1/2 foot. Ball said it will also make it so the county won’t have to demolish any buildings. Leaders said the cost should be covered by a federal grant.
Read More: WJZ
FCPS board discusses further reopening without taking action

Frederick County Public Schools will continue to operate under its current hybrid learning model after the Frederick County Board of Education couldn’t agree on whether to increase the number of students in schools or expand the hybrid model to four days a week. The inaction at Wednesday’s board meeting comes after new guidance was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That guidance on school reopening states that in elementary schools the distance between students can be safely decreased from six feet to three feet and that the distance in middle and high schools can be decreased if student cohorts and classes do not mix or interact.

Researchers find harmful ‘forever chemicals’ in pesticide used against mosquitoes in Maryland

Lab tests ordered by environmental groups found harmful chemicals, called PFAS, in a pesticide that Maryland uses for its mosquito control program, the groups said Thursday. PFAS — per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances — are known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in nature, and they’re found in all kinds of products, from nonstick cookware to firefighting foams. “The results for us are extremely disturbing, given the health impacts linked to these forever chemicals,” said Ruth Berlin, executive director of the Maryland Pesticide Education Network, which helped pay for the tests.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Maryland Has Confirmed 135 New Cases Of COVID-19 UK Variant Since Tuesday, CDC Says

Maryland has confirmed 135 new cases of the COVID-19 UK variant since Tuesday, bringing the total to 426 cases, according to new numbers released by the CDC Thursday night. There are also seven new cases of the South African variant, bringing the total to 32. With Maryland reporting a surge in new COVID-19 infections, Governor Larry Hogan is eager to get more people vaccinated.

Read More: WJZ
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Maryland tops 1,000 new coronavirus cases as hospitalizations continue to rise

Maryland health officials reported nearly 1,200 newly confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday as more than 900 residents are currently hospitalized with the disease despite the state’s ongoing vaccination campaign. Here’s how Wednesday’s numbers breakdown: The state reported 1,173 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the fifth time in the past seven days officials have reported more than 1,000 new cases.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
‘We can’t make sense of the senseless’: Hundreds gather in Columbia to protest rise of anti-Asian violence

Hundreds of people gathered at the Columbia Lakefront on Wednesday evening to speak out against the onslaught of Asian hate speech and violence seen across the country and the state of Maryland in the past few weeks. It was the latest in a series of events supporting the Asian American community in Howard County, where that population accounts for 18% of the residents.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Prince George’s Co. Public Schools: Spring breakers traveling out of state will need to quarantine

Prince George’s County Public Schools officials want to make sure students and staff who travel during spring break don’t bring the coronavirus back with them. An announcement from the Maryland school system this week that spells out student guidelines for spring break travel noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend against traveling, even for people who are fully vaccinated. Students and staff who do travel outside Maryland should get a COVID-19 test three to five days after travel and self-quarantine for seven days after travel, the school system said.

Read More: WTOP
Anne Arundel elementary school students failing at twice the pre-pandemic rate

A new report from the Maryland State Board of Education shows Anne Arundel elementary schoolers had failing grades twice as often this year compared to the same before the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2019 to 2020 school year. The grades reflect a statewide trend, according to a presentation from MSDE Office of Research Director Dara Zeehandelaar Shaw. County school board President Melissa Ellis said the school system is still reviewing the information from the Maryland State Department of Education.

As offshore wind nears reality, coastal groups say they feel ‘steamrolled’

U.S. offshore wind moved a step closer to reality when the Biden administration gave a favorable review earlier this month to the Vineyard Wind Farm project, which is slated to be America’s first large-scale offshore wind farm. As offshore wind development progresses, including Maryland’s two projects, the industry faces a “strained” relationship with coastal communities. Maryland’s coastal communities have concerns about offshore wind but say they’re being ignored by the industry and government.

Read More: Delmarva Now

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