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Comptroller’s Office Mails Over 27K Payments To Marylanders Stuck In Unemployment Disputes

Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Thursday that checks to over 27,000 recipients identified by the Maryland Department of Labor for unemployment grants have been processed and mailed. The payments were processed less than 24 hours after the Labor Department provided the Comptroller’s Office with a list of recipients, as required by the RELIEF Act. Franchot issued the following statement in a press release: “Through no fault of their own, these hardworking Marylanders have lost their incomes due to the pandemic and continue to struggle to secure unemployment payments needed to provide for themselves and their families.”

Read More: WJZ
A COVID Year — Looking Back with Md. Hospital Association CEO Bob Atlas

One year ago, Maryland got its first known case of COVID-19. There have been 7,740 confirmed deaths in Maryland since. As infection rates spiked last spring, the state’s 46 acute-care hospitals had to expand their capacity, increase staffing, hunt down equipment and supplies, and manage unprecedented testing programs — all while trying to keep staff from becoming ill or burned-out. Reporter Bruce DePuyt spoke with Bob Atlas, president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association this week. The conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

brown Wilson American football on grass
Md. sports marketing firms to help colleges prepare for rules allowing athletes to profit from their names, likenesses

Two Maryland-based sports marketing agencies are teaming up to help athletics departments prepare for what is widely expected to be a seismic shift in the world of college sports. While it remains to be seen how all of the moving parts will shake out, within the last year, it has become increasingly likely that college athletes will soon be able to profit from their name, image and likeness. Maroon PR, a Columbia-based public relations agency, and Rockville-based Team Services LLC recently formed a joint venture called Student Athlete Image & Likeness (SAIL) to help navigate so-called NIL rules.

Beer Wall
Maryland Considering Bill To Allow Beer, Wine In Grocery Stores
If a new bill passes, you might not have to do your beer and wine shopping separate from your groceries. Maryland lawmakers are considering the legislation during this session. It would allow grocery stores in the state to sell beer and wine. In order to qualify for a liquor license under the bill, stores would be required to meet a number of criteria, including offering “a full line of food products” from a number of categories and being located in “priority funding areas.” The legislation excludes smaller markets and bodegas with under 6,000 square feet.
Read More: WJZ
Sinclair Broadcast will cut 5% of workforce, including at Baltimore-based headquarters

Sinclair Broadcast Group said Wednesday that it plans to cut nearly 600 jobs companywide, including at its Hunt Valley headquarters, because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The layoffs represent 5% of Sinclair’s workforce. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt across all sectors of the economy, something that can have a profound impact on a company as diversified as ours,” the company said in a statement to The Baltimore Sun.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore delays towing contract decisions amid complaints vendors were unfairly targeted by inspector general

Baltimore’s spending board delayed decisions on two city towing contracts Wednesday amid objections from attorneys for two vendors who claimed their clients were unfairly maligned by the city’s inspector general. The five-member Board of Estimates opted to defer decisions on whether to terminate a contract for police-requested towing and to reject bids for a separate heavy equipment towing contract until at least next week. However, the board did allow representatives from both companies to voice complaints about the process.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore mayor to overturn pandemic ban on strip clubs days after lawsuit was filed

Baltimore’s strippers can return to their poles after prevailing in a fight against a city ban on adult entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic. Democratic Mayor Brandon Scott agreed to lift the ban, according to the attorneys who filed a lawsuit against the city last week on behalf of TC Entertainment, owner of The Penthouse Club. That suit, filed in federal court, alleged the club’s First Amendment right to free speech was violated by the ban.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Digital wellness company BurnAlong secures $7 million to fuel international growth

A Pikesville firm that helps companies and people across 70 different countries work out online has raised $7 million in new funding to support further growth. The new round for four-year-old BurnAlong was led by Calfifornia-based Triventures, and brings the company’s total backing to around $14 million to date. Existing investors include CR2 Ventures, TriSib, DM Wellness, Macks Managed Investments, Steve Altschuler and Sean Glass. Michal Geva, a managing partner at Triventures, will be added to BurnAlong’s board as part of the deal.

Annapolis Pride festival plans in-person event as organizers hope enough people vaccinated against COVID by October

The Annapolis Pride Parade and Festival will take place in person this year — yes, you read that right — in October, to allow for plenty of time for the community to be vaccinated against COVID-19, organizers said. The celebration will take place in downtown Annapolis on Oct. 30, said Pride Chair Jeremy Browning. After the pandemic, the festival will continue annually in June, when most pride events worldwide are held, but this year, Annapolis Pride will celebrate during LGBTQ+ History Month.

Harford finds partner to expand broadband access in northern parts of county; Norrisville area can sign up now

After months of searching, Harford County has entered into a partnership with a private internet service provider to expand broadband access to the county’s rural areas over the next few years, the administration announced Wednesday. ThinkBig Networks, based in Chestertown, was selected as a partner after the county issued a request for information in June 2020. The expansion of broadband to the northern areas of the county will be done in phases, and its construction and timing will be dependent on grant funding, the county administration announced.

Read More: Baltimore Sun

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