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Montgomery County to spend $500,000 on push for global pandemic center

An ambitious push to create a “Global Pandemic Center” in suburban Maryland got a $500,000 boost Tuesday from the Montgomery County Council, which said the project could help drive the county’s post-pandemic economic recovery and foster resilience against the next major health crisis. Spearheaded by the regional nonprofit Connected DMV, the center would involve scientists and policymakers from across the globe but operate primarily from the D.C. region, with a likely headquarters in Montgomery.

Westminster mayoral candidate questions whether city newsletter error was ‘malicious’

For the first time, the city of Westminster sent a newsletter to residents that shared information on each candidate. However, one of the council member’s information was incorrectly placed under one of the mayoral candidate’s name. It was an error the city’s mayor took responsibility for and one that was corrected. But Dennis Dillon, the mayoral candidate whose information was missing, said it looked malicious.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Anne Arundel executive will try again to close forest clearing loophole after council votes down a fix

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said he would try again to close a loophole in the county forest law Tuesday, one day after the County Council defeated legislation that would have required a grading permit before cutting a certain amount of trees. During a media briefing Tuesday morning, Pittman said his administration would work on addressing concerns about the legislation introduced by Councilwoman Lisa Brannigan Rodvien but rejected. “I believe it has to come back,” Pittman said. “I know the council wants to close this loophole.”

Read More: Baltimore Sun
WINNER: Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk MD-21

Back by popular demand, we’re continuing to highlight the winners of the 2021 Maryland legislative session. Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk (Maryland District 21) spent her 2021 session driving healthcare solutions to improve outcomes for Marylanders. Following a virtual session filled with historic wins, Pena-Melnyk’s dedication has proven critical to driving Maryland forward.

Policeman watching the St Patrick's parade
Anne Arundel police unions question how to implement Maryland standard on when to use force

After the state legislature passed major police reforms, police unions say the legislation creates practical uncertainties that will need revision next session. State police representatives were heavily involved in drafting landmark police reform bills this session about how, and what kind of laws, can make police departments safer for the communities they serve and hold officers accountable in new ways. But police representatives said their concerns about amorphous policies were swept aside in the final marathon days of the legislative session.

Under pressure from advocates, Baltimore to remove 2,500 owner-occupied homes from annual tax sale

Baltimore will remove about 2,500 owner-occupied homes from the city’s annual tax sale — withdrawing them from the properties with liens that were slated to go to auction this month due to unpaid taxes and fees. The decision, announced Monday by Democratic Mayor Brandon Scott, came amid mounting pressure from advocates to cancel the May 17 sale or remove homeowners from the process amid an economic crisis created by measures to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin Talks About Powering Through His Pain
Congressman Jamie Raskin is well known to the people of Maryland’s 8th district. Three times they’ve elected him to Congress. But in February, Rep. Raskin became a national figure as head house manager in the second impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. It was the test of a lifetime for this constitutional law professor and it came as he was facing the greatest possible personal crisis — the suicide death of his son, Tommy. On a bright April morning, family and friends gathered to share memories of Tommy Bloom Raskin.
Read More: WJZ
Maryland will pay $100 to state employees who are fully vaccinated

Maryland is offering $100 to state employees who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, an effort to incentivize vaccinations as supply begins to outpace demand in some areas. To receive the payment, workers must provide proof of their vaccination to their human resource departments and agree to receive booster shots recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the next 18 months.

Homeless Advocates Call On Baltimore City To Clean Up Encampments, Give More Resources, Support
Early Monday morning, Baltimore City’s homeless advocates gathered under the I-83 bridge where a homeless encampment once was. Now it’s completely cleared out and cleaned up – a victory in the eyes of these advocates. But, they say, their work isn’t over and their fight continues. “People who are on the street, they cannot fight for themselves, they’re not in a place mentally,” said one advocate. At its fullest, the encampment under I-83 had as many as 100 people experiencing homelessness living inside it.
Read More: WJZ
Mount Airy mayor Rockinberg wins reelection by 2 votes; Town Council seats go to Domotor, Galletti

By two votes, Mount Airy Mayor Patrick Rockinberg secured another term. Rockinberg retained his position with 804 votes Monday, barely edging Town Council President Larry Hushour, who finished with 802 according to Bruce Walz, chairperson of the board of supervisors of elections. Stephen Domotor, and Lynne Galletti won seats on the Town Council with 969 votes and 956 votes. Heather Hobbs had 787. Altogether 1,621 votes were cast.

The Morning Rundown

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