Tuesday, January 18, 2022 |
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Around Maryland

Baltimore City To Waive Towing Fees For Stolen Vehicles

Baltimore City will no longer collect towing fees from victims of auto thefts, Mayor Brandon Scott and city officials said Thursday. Starting in February, Scott said, the Department of Transportation will waive the towing fees it used to charge owners whose vehicles were stolen and impounded, saying the $130-140 fees placed an “unfair burden” on those victims. “We hope that this updated policy will provide victims some relief by not subjecting them to inequitable and unjust fines,” the mayor said. “This is about not victimizing our residents who people who have this unfortunate experience twice.”

Read More: WJZ
Maryland National Guard deployed to assist with Frederick Health test site, vaccine clinics

As hospitalizations continue to surge in unprecedented levels in Frederick County, the community’s largest health care system started receiving assistance this week from members of the Maryland National Guard. The state has deployed about 27 National Guard troops to Frederick Health to help the health system with nonclinical duties at vaccine clinics and its drive-thru coronavirus test site at Frederick Health Village, Frederick Health Community Health Director Sara Littleton said. To her knowledge, this is the first time National Guard troops have been sent to Frederick Health.

classroom, school, education
Baltimore Schools’ CEO Apologizes For Abrupt Change, Remains Committed To In-Person Instruction
A third of Baltimore City schools remain virtual after an abrupt move by the school system Sunday night based on staffing and case numbers. The schools’ CEO, Dr. Sonja Santelises, apologized at the school board meeting Tuesday: “I understand the inability to send out notices sooner also had a negative impact on the schools, school leaders and school staff in nearly a third of our schools. For this or any inconvenience or concern that resulted, I am truly sorry,” she said.
Read More: WJZ
Upper Chesapeake Health officials update Harford County Council on ‘daunting’ COVID-19 situation

Representatives from University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health delivered an update to the Harford County Council Tuesday night on the state of the hospital system as it continues to deal with the COVID-19 surge. Bryan Kelly, chair of the hospital system’s board of directors, referenced an article from The Baltimore Sun that implied that there is no “cavalry” of additional support personnel that many hospitals had hoped for, in describing the overburdened hospital system.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
FCPS loosens quarantine and isolation rules for students to match CDC recommendations

Frederick County Public Schools loosened quarantine and isolation rules for students this week in accordance with changes made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adopted by the Maryland Department of Health. Starting Wednesday, staff and students who test positive for the virus are allowed to return to school after isolating for five days if they have no symptoms or if their symptoms are improving and they have had no fever for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication.

Carroll public schools report 11th week of increases in COVID-19 cases and quarantines

Carroll County Public Schools reported increases in COVID-19 cases and quarantines this week among students and staff in the county’s elementary, middle and high schools. The school system’s COVID dashboard, which updates weekly on Wednesdays, reported 1,313 positive cases this week, up from 1,197 in the week ending Jan. 5.

FCPS shares timeline for upcoming Waverley redistricting

School system announces timeline for Waverley redistricting. Frederick County Public Schools this week announced its timeline for upcoming redistricting that will affect four city elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools. Waverley Elementary — which was operating at 145 percent of its state-rated capacity in September 2021 — is being replaced on its current site.

white table with black chairs
Harford County school budget plan focuses on staff retention with significant increase for wages

The Harford County Board of Education began discussions of the budget proposal for fiscal 2023 on Monday night, with a proposed operating budget of $568.7 million, up $49.1 million or 9.5% from last year. Mandatory budget increases of $46.7 million will add 105.2 full-time positions; these increases also include the $30.4 million wage package for school staff, up 280% from last year’s proposed $8 million.

Read More: The Aegis
The Maryland Historical Trust seeks to document the state’s long history of Indigenous people

The Maryland Historical Trust will use a $50,000 grant from the National Park Service to document the accomplishments and stories of Indigenous people in Baltimore City. These stories are important, said Heather Barrett, administrator of architectural research of the Historical Trust in Crownsville. “It’s about the people who make up the state of Maryland,” Barrett said.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
As COVID cases continue to soar in FCPS, staffers want clearer guidelines

COVID-19 cases in Frederick County Public Schools exploded last week, with the district clocking a weekly total that was more than quadruple its previous record. One hundred and eighty-two staff members and 1,465 students reported positive test results to school officials between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8, the first week after winter break. The total case count — 1,647 — dwarfed the previous high of 365 cases reported the week of Dec. 13. That was the last full week of school before the holidays.

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