Politics

  • Hogan to embark on 12-day trade mission in Asia next week

    Gov. Larry Hogan will embark Tuesday on a 12-day trade mission to three of Asia’s economic powerhouses, meeting with business organizations, heads of state and diplomats in an attempt to strengthen Maryland’s economic ties to the region. The Business and Economic Development Department announced the plans in a conference call Thursday, saying Hogan (R) will visit South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during stops in Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo, in that order. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Council passes $535.8M Frederick County budget, disagrees about tax rate

    Frederick County will spend about 1.9 percent more, or $10.1 million more, next budget year compared with this year under the county’s approved $535.8 million fiscal 2016 operating budget. The county property tax rate will stay flat, at $1.06 per $100 of assessed value, but property owners will pay more in taxes because property values went up and the rate did not decrease. (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore's mayor: Spike in crime 'disheartening'

    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called the city's recent spike in violence “disheartening” Thursday as police work to address a dramatic increase in homicides and nonfatal shootings. “It’s extremely frustrating,” the mayor told reporters at a news conference. “It is disheartening, but I am still resolved to continue to reduce violent crime in our city.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Van Hollen Introduces Bill Aimed at Predatory Towing

    U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, in partnership with Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia, introduced a bill Thursday that would enable local governments to more easily prevent predatory towing practices. The bill will help resolve issues with federal law, which currently limits state and local jurisdictions from regulating the towing industry, according to the two Democratic congressmen. (Bethesda Magazine)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Inside Out: Delegate Kumar Barve (D-17), Part 1

    Maryland State Delegate Kumar Barve (D-17) joins Center Maryland to discuss why he is the most qualified person to represent the citizens of the 8th congressional district. A few topics discussed are Washington dysfunction, economic inequality, and Barve's liberal record of standing-up for the marginalized. Watch Entire Video

  • Don Fry: Providing Baltimore’s youth employment opportunities now

    The most recent census and employment data reinforce Baltimore’s need for long-term strategies and tactics to strengthen job growth and improve the workforce development framework in the city – particularly for young people. Read Entire Article

  • Center Maryland Exclusive: Chief Terry Gainer, Part 1

    Center Maryland’s Damian O’Doherty interviews Chief Terrance (Terry) Gainer, GTI Maryland's Chief Security Officer. He also serves as a Senior Security Advisor in the Mid-Atlantic Region for Securitas USA based in Frederick, Maryland.  Prior to joining Securitas, Terry had a long career in public service and law enforcement. Most recently he led a force of nearly 1000 personnel as the 38th U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms. He also served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Executive Assistant Chief of Police for the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., and Chief of the United States Capitol Police. Watch Entire Video

  • Laslo Boyd: Becoming Governor Hogan

    Larry Hogan was elected governor last November and inaugurated in January.  As of May, however, it’s begun to look as though he hasn’t quite figured out the job.That’s really not surprising nor is it actually a criticism.  Most people take a while to become familiar with a new position.  Any of last year’s candidates would have needed some on-the-job training and a learning curve. Read Entire Article

Business

  • Montgomery, Prince George’s leaders make final pitch for Purple Line

    Montgomery and Prince George’s leaders made a final push Thursday to persuade Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to build the Purple Line, stressing the economic benefits a light rail could bring to the region. The closed-door meeting of the governor, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) came as Hogan considers whether to scrap state plans for a 16-mile rail line between the two counties or build a less expensive version. Hogan has said the construction costs would have to be “dramatically lower” than the current estimate of $2.45 billion. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • State pushing low-interest loans to revitalize Baltimore businesses

    Maryland officials are looking to use micro-loans as a key tool in neighborhood revitalization, congratulating one state department on its efforts to support small business following the Freddie Gray protests. Gov. Hogan praised the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) at the Board of Public Works meeting last Wednesday, saying their assistance to Baltimore City small businesses after the state of emergency will help move the city toward “business as usual.” (Md. Reporter) Read Full Article

  • Uber to launch in Ocean City, St. Michaels on Friday

    Uber will start offering rides to smartphone-equipped beachgoers and vacationers in Ocean City and St. Michaels at 5 p.m. Friday, the popular rideshare company announced Thursday. "Uber is growing our Maryland family and heading to the shore — just in time for Memorial Day weekend!" the company said in a statement. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Keeping millennials in Baltimore remains a challenge

    Everyone wants millennials in their town. But once you have them, how do you keep them? That's the big question for Baltimore. A new study showed millennials make up 63 percent of the population moving into Baltimore, but they also account for 53 percent of the population moving out, according to data presented Thursday by Live Baltimore and the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • Maryland students will take fewer tests next year

    Amid an outpouring of frustration about the amount of public school testing, education leaders in Maryland and 10 other states decided this week to cut back on the reading and math tests introduced only three months ago. The testing won't be completed until early June, but the outcry was strong enough to force action on next year's test by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a consortium of states that developed the test to align with the Common Core standards. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Facing loss of Washington Co. funds, schools seek maintenance-work alternatives

    If the Washington County Board of Commissioners doesn't help pay for major public schools maintenance projects, Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said this week that officials might need to re-engineer some needed roof projects. Wilcox said that "makes them crazy" because typically that would mean a roof doesn't last as long, but the county school system needs to keep schools "tight and dry." (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • State Board of Education Declines to Dismiss MSI Turf Field Case

    The Maryland State Board of Education on Tuesday declined the Montgomery County Board of Education’s request to dismiss an appeal brought by Montgomery Soccer Inc. concerning how school officials awarded turf field use in the county. The school board had attempted to have the case dismissed by the state board on the grounds that MSI is also pursuing the case in Montgomery County Circuit Court. (Bethesda Magazine)Read Full Article

  • Hearing scheduled on bid to remove St. Mary's school board member

    An administrative hearing is scheduled in July on charges brought against St. Mary’s County Board of Education member Marilyn Crosby. In October, the majority of her colleagues on the St. Mary’s school board recommended to the Maryland State Board of Education that Crosby be removed from office for allegedly leaking information to the media in July 2014 about a school employee. Two of those school board members were replaced following the Nov. 4 election. (Enterprise) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Six Baltimore Police officers indicted in death of Freddie Gray

    A Baltimore grand jury returned indictments against the six officers charged earlier this month in the in-custody death of Freddie Gray, State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced Thursday. Prosecutors presented evidence to the grand jury over the course of two weeks, Mosby said. Reckless endangerment charges were added against all six officers, while false imprisonment charges against three were removed. The remaining charges are largely the same ones her office filed May 1, following an independent investigation. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore County Council OKs more time for door-to-door selling

    Door-to-door sales representatives would have a little more time to knock on doors under a bill narrowly approved by the Baltimore County Council on Thursday that would change the county's "hucksters and peddlers" law. The key change allows sales representatives to stay out in neighborhoods until 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever is earlier. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore County OKs budget, but council is critical of school enrollment projections

    The Baltimore County Council adopted a $3.3 billion operating budget Thursday for the coming fiscal year, unanimously approving a spending plan that includes no increases in the property tax or income tax rates. The budget approved Thursday changed little from the package proposed last month by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. The budget review process, however, exposed a slight rift between county government and the school system, which receives about half of the money in the budget. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Survey finds honey bees' decline is particularly harsh in Maryland

    As much as one in every three bites of food we eat is the result of pollination by honey bees. That's why beekeepers like Steve McDaniel, of Manchester, say consumers should be concerned about a survey that shows beekeepers across the United States lost more than 40 percent of their honey bee colonies during the past year. The rate in Maryland was even higher — nearly 61 percent, the fifth-highest rate in the nation — according to the report. (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Can Batts get the job done?

    Police Commissioner Anthony Batts says violence is out of control in the Western District in part because his officers find themselves surrounded by people with video cameras every time they show up to do even the most routine police work. To give him some credit for his first significant public remarks about the three-week-long spate of drastically increased murders and non-fatal shootings, he did not appear angry or mystified at this phenomenon. Rather, he recognized it for what it is: evidence of a community whose relations with the police have passed the breaking point in the wake of Freddie Gray's death and the ensuing riots. Mr. Batts is promising more community engagement as a result, and that's good, but he has been promising that since the moment he arrived in Baltimore nearly three years ago. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Henry Green: Hogan, Schuh have started shortchanging state, county

    Maryland's Gov. Larry Hogan, when running for office, claimed to be a supporter of the arts. Just as his buddy, County Executive Steve Schuh, claimed he would not cut the funding for libraries in Anne Arundel County. Talk is cheap, but actions matter and your checkbook determines the values you say you believe. Hogan ran on a simple message, "Change Maryland," but the only thing we are seeing is "shortchange." (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Goodbye, parallel parking

    Let's dispel any potential misconception right up front that Baltimore suffers from an abundance of motorists who are excessively skilled at parallel parking. One can drive a lifetime in the suburbs without parking one's car alongside a curb, but in the city, that's an ability that comes in pretty handy. Who among us has not been stuck in traffic because some clown on Charles Street can't fit a 15-foot-long vehicle in a 17-foot space? Yet the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration announced this week that henceforth parallel parking is no longer part of the driving portion of the driver's license test. A 16-year-old can now acquire a license without those endless hours maneuvering Dad's Camry between a set of buckets and tomato stakes in the local high school parking lot. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Marietta English: Gov. Hogan's funding games have consequences

    In the last few weeks we've heard much about the neglected and underdeveloped parts of Baltimore and how decades of degradation and neglect played a role in the recent social upheaval and civil unrest. Almost universally we've heard activists, experts and thought leaders tout education as a surefire way to make long-term changes to blighted communities. Therefore, imagine our shock and disappointment here at the Baltimore Teachers Union when Gov. Larry Hogan announced he would withhold over $11 million from students here in Baltimore City by refusing to release Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI) funding. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article