Politics

  • Conservative group accuses Maryland's Rockeymoore Cummings of IRS violations; she calls complaint 'lies'

    Maryland Democratic Party chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings on Tuesday defended herself against accusations from a conservative watchdog group that a non-profit she runs violated the Internal Revenue Code. The National Legal and Policy Center on Monday filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against the Center for Global Policy Solutions, a non-profit organization headed by Rockeymoore Cummings. In the complaint, the group argued her non-profit operates “almost as a single entity” with a for-profit firm she also runs named Global Policy Solutions LLC. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Among States Suing Federal Government Over Rule Allowing Clinicians To Refuse Abortions

    Nearly two dozen states and municipalities are suing the federal government to stop a new rule letting health care clinicians object to providing abortions and other services that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court asks a judge to block a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services that is scheduled to take effect in July. The department has said the rule requires hospitals, universities, clinics and other entities that receive federal funding to certify compliance with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights. (AP) Read Full Article

  • Marylanders Rally Against New Abortion Laws Passed Across US

    Separate rallies throughout the state Tuesday gave a unified message aimed at responding to the wave of new abortion laws recently passed in states across the U.S. “It shouldn’t be a thing that my daughter or any of her children have to worry about,” said women’s rights advocate Barbara Fink. Fink joined protestors in Towson at the first of six rallies scheduled in Maryland on Tuesday, aligning with a nationwide day of action in support of reproductive rights- a movement fueled Alabama’s new strict anti-abortion law signed into effect by its Republican governor last week. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Congress members, Luke Mill owner scheduling meeting to discuss Western Maryland paper factory's closure

    Federal lawmakers from Maryland and West Virginia have demanded a meeting with the owner of the Luke Mill, a Western Maryland paper factory shutting down this month. A Verso Corp. spokeswoman said CEO Les Lederer “expects to have a conversation” with the members of Congress and officials are working on scheduling the meeting. The Luke paper mill, an economic engine in Western Maryland for 131 years, will close by June 30, owner Verso Co. announced Tuesday. The shutdown means 675 people spread across Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will lose their jobs, the company said. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Report: The Unintended Consequences of Impact Fees in Baltimore County

    Baltimore County has an opportunity to appeal to young professional families, including people who presently live in high-rent city apartments.  That would expand the county’s tax base, stimulate commercial activity, and help rebalance the county demographically. However, proposed tax and development fee increases could induce many young people to opt for residences in other counties.  That would serve to limit Baltimore County’s tax base growth, and hurt the local construction industry, local retailers and other commercial enterprises. Proposed impact fees would also potentially impact the pace of commercial development, resulting in even more burden placed on shrinking numbers of prime age workers/households.  Such outcomes would be inconsistent with long-term investment in infrastructure, including schools.Read Full Report Here...

  • Cailey Locklair - MDRA Op-Ed

    The Maryland Retailers Association supports the firm stance Governor Hogan and the Maryland legislature took against selling Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS,” to minors. Maryland retailers provide adult smokers access to healthier and safer alternatives to cigarettes, and these products were never intended to encourage teen smoking. We believe ENDS products should not be marketed towards children, and will continue to fight for common sense measures against this practice.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Nick Mosby - No More Taxpayer Money Until Stronach Replaces Laurel Park Housing

    On Friday, March 29, I had the opportunity to tour the worker housing at the Laurel Park racetrack with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, as the Maryland General Assembly considers taking the unusual action of mandating that MEDCO provide a $120 million loan to the Stronach Group.Read Full Article

  • Consumer Energy Alliance Supports the Independence Energy Connection Project

    Washington, D.C - As Maryland legislators consider the future of energy infrastructure and regulatory changes in the state’s electric market, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Mid-Atlantic Executive Director Mike Butler reinforced the consumer group’s support for an energy policy that can bring affordable and reliable power to the region for consumers.Read Full Article

Business

  • Why local hospital executives want to keep you out of their emergency rooms

    If you had walked into an emergency room in Greater Baltimore a decade ago, your experience would have been dramatically different than what you might find today. You would have been more likely to be admitted and your stay would have been longer. It’s more likely you would have undergone several tests before being released. And typically, the hospital would have known nothing about you before you walked in the door. But all that has changed over the last several years as hospitals make advances in technology, infrastructure and cost of care. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Nonprofit joins initiative to expand banking access in Md.

    A nonprofit that assists low-to-moderate income families statewide has signed onto a nationwide program that aims to improve access to financial services. Through the program, known as Bank On, the CASH Campaign of Maryland will work with local institutions and governments to provide financial services to underserved communities in both rural and suburban areas. The nonprofit, whose acronym stands for Creating Access to Savings and Hope, will also work closely with local, regional, and national banks and credit unions to offer low-cost services. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Amazon Presents $30K Grant To Baltimore City Schools, Offers Free Facility Tours To Students

    Students and teachers from Baltimore City Public Schools visited the Amazon fulfillment center on Tuesday. They got a behind the scenes look at the 1.2 million square foot building and how the employees use innovative robotic technology to pick, pack and ship customers orders. “I think the tour was very educational and I really liked how the robots worked and how they moved things,” said Christopher, a sixth grader at Cross Country Lake Elementary/Middle School. Amazon is now offering the free, one hour tours to the public Monday through Friday. There will be two tours per day. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • How 2 Md. entrepreneurs are taking Amazon’s Alexa to senior care

    Two Rockville startup founders are out to change the game for senior living, to save employees time and make life easier for residents — with help from a familiar friend. PrimroseIntel, the year-old company with a voice-enabled system to improve communication at senior care facilities, is preparing to launch its product June 17 following a pilot phase at the Village of Rockville. And Amazon’s Alexa (NASDAQ: AMZN) is that voice. Co-founders Jason Gottschalk and Camille Roussel are now negotiating contracts with two multisite providers after founding their business in March 2018. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • Maryland Department Of Education Names ‘Teachers Of The Year’

    The Maryland Department of Education puts its best teachers forward Tuesday, announcing the Teachers of the Year. Each of 24 teachers represents their local district. “They have been selected from Maryland’s very best,” said State Superintendent Karen Salmon. “And will spend the year as teacher ambassadors representing teachers throughout Maryland.” Baltimore Teacher of the Year Kyair Butts said he is motivated by the need for equity in school systems. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore City third in U.S. for per-pupil spending; Baltimore County drops out of top 10

    Baltimore City Public Schools continue to rank among the highest spenders in the U.S. on a per-student basis, placing third among the 100 biggest school systems during fiscal year 2017. City schools spent $16,184 per pupil, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau, up 6.7% from last year when the school system ranked fifth nationally. Baltimore City is the 40th-largest elementary and secondary public school district in the U.S. with 82,354 students. Four Maryland school districts ranked among the top 10 nationally, compared to five a year ago. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • New Baltimore County school superintendent is Montgomery County administrator Darryl L. Williams

    A divided Baltimore County school board named a longtime Montgomery County administrator Tuesday night to be its next superintendent, passing over Verletta White, who had led the system for the past two years and sought the job. Darryl L. Williams is an area associate superintendent for eight clusters of schools in Montgomery County, and oversees eight high schools, 15 middle schools and 44 elementary schools. He has served in a variety of supervisory positions in Montgomery County, the state’s largest school system. He was also a principal at Montgomery Blair High School, one of the highest-performing high schools in the state, from 2007 to 2011. (Balt. Sun)  Read Full Article

  • Howard schools add nine locations for free summer meals program

    With the end of the school year approaching, the Howard County Public School System is ramping up its free weekday lunch program to provide meals to children over the summer with 15 locations this year, compared to last year’s six. The additional nine locations are “in response to the high demand and to support families with limited access to transportation,” according to the school system. The program, which begins June 25, addresses the need to fill the nutritional gap some children may face when school is not in session. The free meals will be served at 12 county schools and three community locations. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • More Than 60 Horses Have Died At Califonia Racetrack Run By Pimlico Owners The Stronach Group

    More than 60 horses have died at a California racetrack operated by the same family that owns Pimlico and the Preakness, a CBS investigation revealed. Spectacular Music, a 3-year-old gelding, suffered a pelvic injury at the Santa Anita track Sunday, and a decision was made on Monday morning to euthanize him, The Associated Press reported. According to the track’s owners, pelvic injuries are rare and they are investigating what could have caused the “uncommon injury.” The Santa Anita track is owned by The Stronach Group. It’s the same family that owns Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Annapolis public housing residents sue, claiming racial discrimination and deplorable conditions

    Almost 30 public housing residents have sued the city and Housing Authority of Annapolis, claiming decades of racial discrimination against those communities have culminated in deplorable living conditions that are dangerous for occupants. Six properties owned and operated exclusively by the housing authority have fallen into disrepair. Mold, sewage leaks and water damage have proliferated because the city does not enforce its code on those properties, the lawsuit claims. The lawsuit targets Mayor Gavin Buckley, the housing authority’s executive director Beverly Wilbourn and the City Council, saying they conspired to “suspend city inspections of HACA properties” and allow Wilbourn to decrease the quality standard of the housing. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article  

  • Aberdeen Proving Ground unveils monument in honor of Gold Star families, dedicates Legacy Forest

    Amber Baum gasped when the cover was pulled back, revealing a sculpted “battlefield cross” on top of a three-tiered pedestal honoring local Gold Star families whose loved ones were killed in the line of duty while serving in the military. Baum, 33, of Abingdon, is one of those Gold Star survivors. Her late husband, Army Sgt. Ryan J. Baum, was killed in action May 18, 2007, while serving in Iraq. Baum, herself a former Army medic, attended the unveiling of the battlefield cross monument Sunday afternoon at the Gold Star Plaza and Living Legacy Forest in the Plum Point area of Aberdeen Proving Ground. She was with her 11-year-old daughter, Leia, with whom she was pregnant when her husband lost his life. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article ...

  • Baltimore County Colleagues Remember Caprio A Year After Her Death

    Baltimore County police officers donned black mourning bands on their badges on Tuesday, marking a year since the murder of Officer Amy Caprio. Caprio was run down while responding to a call for a suspicious vehicle in the Perry Hall area. She confronted Baltimore teen Dawnta Harris, who was behind the wheel of a stolen Jeep. Ignoring her orders to get out of the car, he instead drove at her. He was convicted earlier this month of felony murder. Caprio had been with the department for nearly four years and was days shy of her 30th birthday when she was killed. (WBAL-Radio) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Rick Impallaria and the tragic lack of shame in Maryland politics

    Maryland’s Republican Party has finally put in a formal resolution for what has been apparent to anyone paying attention for the last 17 years: Rick Impallaria is “unworthy of the title Delegate.” We would have thought this was obvious before he was even elected, when The Sun reported on the charges of assault with the intent to murder he faced years earlier from an incident when he tried to run down his mother and brother with a car. (Balt. Sun)  Read Full Article

  • Of stadiums and slumlords

    Earlier this month, Hagerstown made some big back-to-back headlines. First came the release of a consultant report that — surprise! — supported a long-favored downtown location for a publicly financed baseball stadium. The next day, a city council member equated Jonathan Street “slumlords” to rapists, drawing rebukes from other council members, but only for using language that went too far. I write this not to chastise Councilman Austin Heffernan, who made the comparison, nor his colleagues who, despite criticizing his specific words, shared his frustration over, to quote Councilwoman Emily Keller, “the destruction that some people have done to our community by trying to make money.” (Herald-Mail)Read Full Article    

  • Have body snatchers invaded the GOP?

    Hollywood made several different versions of the classic science fiction horror film, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," but some canny producers could be sizing up a new one. All they need to do is watch the scary remodeling of the Republican party under Donald Trump, especially the amazing conversion of once normal, pragmatic GOP senators and bureaucrats into obsequious, robot-like mouthpieces for Trumpian snake-oil. Several GOP senators stand out as picture-perfect actors to play key roles, notably Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Farms are suffering from climate change and Trump’s trade war. Here’s how to help.

    President Trump’s trade war with China is doing plenty of damage to farmers in this region, but it is also shining a harsh light on an agriculture industry that has been heading for a reckoning since the early 1970s. President Richard M. Nixon’s detente with China started U.S. farmers on the path to becoming Beijing’s agribusiness partners, ripping up the countryside and radically expanding pork operations to feed millions on the other side of the world. Nearly half a century later, the results are plain to see. Iowa has about half the farmers it once did, with smaller producers squeezed out by the behemoths. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article