Politics

  • Gov. Hogan to shut down Baltimore men's jail

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan plans to announce Thursday that he will close the scandal-plagued Baltimore City Male Detention Center, according to a WBAL report. The fortress-like facility, which houses 750 inmates, is the only local jail in the nation to be run by a state. The inmates are expected to be reassigned to nearby detention centers, according to WBAL. The Republican governor’s public schedule for Thursday calls for Hogan to make a 3 p.m. announcement at the detention center, but his staff declined Wednesday to comment on what he would say. (Wash. Post-WBAL) Read Full Article

  • Cummings, Sanders ask mayors to take action on naloxone prices

    In an effort to expand the number of local agreements to lower the price of a heroin overdose drug, a pair of Democrats are urging other communities to reach out to a leading manufacturing and request a reduction. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat who has been pressing on the issue for weeks, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, wrote the U.S Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties on Wednesday on the issue. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • McIntosh to endorse Van Hollen for Senate

    A powerful state lawmaker with close ties to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski will endorse Rep. Chris Van Hollen's campaign for Senate on Thursday -- the first major endorsement to come from Baltimore in the state's high-profile political contest. Del. Maggie McIntosh, a Baltimore City Democrat and the chair of the Appropriations Committee, will announce she is backing Van Hollen at an event in Keswick. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Mayor says city looking at Red Line alternatives

    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday she has asked her transportation chief to develop alternative mass-transit proposals — including a possible "rapid bus" system — with the demise of the Red Line plan. "It's too early to have a favorite" for an alternative to the planned east-west light-rail line in Baltimore, the mayor said. She called a high-speed bus system "certainly one of the many options" being discussed. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Center Maryland Policy Spotlight Series: Land (Mis)Use, Part I

    For our first Policy Spotlight Editorial Series – which we’ve titled Land (Mis)Use – we address the complicated (and often heated) issue of land use in Baltimore County. At the heart of the issue is a contradiction between what Baltimore County zoning should be (a planned, community-inclusive process) and, sadly, what it has recently become (an overly complicated tapestry Planned United Developments, “minor revisions,” councilmanic courtesy, and “amended plans”). Too often, this patchwork approach has given favored local developers an inside track against master planning principles. Read Entire Article

  • Josh Kurtz: A First for Chris Van Hollen

    As he plows ahead with his campaign for the Democratic Senate nomination against Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Chris Van Hollen finds himself in unchartered territory: For the first time in a competitive race, he’s the favorite of the party establishment. That certainly wasn’t the case in 2002, when Van Hollen, then a state senator, competed in an epic Democratic congressional primary against then-Del. Mark Shriver (D). While the Democratic intelligentsia and party activists were more or less divided, and both candidates were lining up endorsements from fellow elected officials, the national establishment tilted heavily toward Shriver. Read Entire Article

  • Donald C. Fry: Emerging Global Markets Are Calling. Baltimore Is Listening.

    Back in 2006, just before the recession, the largest export industry for the Baltimore region was chemical manufacturing. These days the largest export industry is computer and electronics products. That’s just one of the many changing dynamics for exports as the economy in the Baltimore region adjusts to supply and demand. More changes are no doubt in store for exports as business in the region responds to an increasing global marketplace.  In fact, when it comes to exports, the Baltimore region has a lot of assets to market and plenty of room to grow. That’s one of the key findings as the Global Cities Initiative in Baltimore moves forward. Read Entire Article

  • Center Maryland Exclusive: John Rinehart, Corresponding Secretary of the Rodgers Forge Community Association

    Damian sits down with John Rinehart, Corresponding Secretary of the Rodgers Forge Community Association, to discuss the benefits of the Rodgers Forge Community. Rinehart discusses the history of Rodgers Forge and how it was one of the first planned communities. Since Rodgers Forge was planned before the advent of the automobile the original planners placed an emphasis on walkability. The Rodgers Forge community is tight knit and brimming with pride. Watch Entire Video

Business

  • Legg to acquire majority stake in Australian infrastructure investment firm

    Baltimore-based money management firm Legg Mason plans to acquire a majority stake in an Australian infrastructure investment firm. Legg announced plans late Tuesday to acquire 75 percent ownership in Sydney-based RARE Infrastructure Ltd. for $205 million. The deal is expected to close in the last three months of this year. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • As insurance giants merge, Maryland wants them to bring jobs

    Maryland leaders see a shake-up among health insurance companies as an opportunity to attract new jobs to the state. Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. and Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary R. Michael Gill are strategizing ways to bring more insurance company jobs to Maryland as four of the nation’s leading insurers merge to two companies. “You’ve heard the governor say Maryland is over-reliant on government jobs at the federal level and we need to diversify our employment base,” Redmer said in an interview Friday. “Insurance jobs are a great opportunity to help us diversify.” (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Casino owner still awaits reimbursement from state agency

    The company which owns the Rocky Gap Casino Resort says it fronted $341,210.74 to upgrade and relocate wastewater and water treatment plants within Rocky Gap State Park. While the park benefits from the upgrades, the casino benefited by the larger capacity of the plants. Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine said that the company has yet to be reimbursed by the independent state agency responsible for the plants and brought this matter to the attention of  the state’s top budget official. (Times-News) Read Full Article

  • Hagerstown airport revs up county's economic engine

    The Hagerstown Regional Airport ranked second in total jobs and third in business revenues among 35 public-use airports statewide in 2014, according to an economic impact study released by the Maryland Aviation Administration earlier this month. Not counting Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, a total of 9,368 jobs — direct, indirect and induced — were traced to Maryland's aviation industry in the past year, producing about $865 million for state and local economies. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

Education

  • UM Medical Center head to retire

    The president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center will retire at the end of August, hospital officials announced Wednesday. Jeffrey A. Rivest, who has held the position since 2004, said he is leaving to pursue personal interests. John Ashworth, senior vice president for network development at the University of Maryland Medical System, will replace Rivest in an interim position. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • State summer jobs program provides opportunities for teens, small businesses

    Cierra Geiger, 16, manned the cash register at Undersea Outfitters on Tuesday, a dive shop in Westminster where she has spent her summer providing customer service, filling dive tanks and unloading equipment. "I applied to a lot of jobs but I couldn't find one," said Geiger, a student at the Gateway School. "Most places want someone with experience, so I'm glad I was hired here." (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • New mini-Target in College Park hailed as a sign of what’s coming

    University of Maryland student Eddie Reyes paused in front of the balloon-adorned railing of College Park’s latest tenant, Target­Express, unsure of what to expect from yet another new business along a Route 1 corridor that has seen many stores come and go. The university, Prince George’s County and city officials have struggled for decades to see College Park mature into the kind of college town where faculty would enjoy living and students would want to stay after graduation and start businesses. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • CCPS committee to discuss school security policies

    The Carroll County Board of Education's Security Advisory Committee will meet Friday at West Middle School to discuss the implementation of the school system's security policies and procedures. The committee was formed in January 2013 as a result of the heightened interest in school security after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman fatally shot 20 children and six school staff members, according to a report from the committee. (Carr. Co. Times)Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Mayor says Baltimore police 'more nimble' under Davis

    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called the Baltimore Police Department “more nimble” under her Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis, saying she was pleased with his leadership. Rawlings-Blake on Wednesday said Davis is taking a “collaborative approach to reducing violence in our city.” She also credited Davis’ leadership with establishing a “war room” to address the spiking violence, a “significant increase in arrests” and the removal of a high number of guns from the street. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Howard planners considering bus rapid transit

    Bus rapid transit could become a reality on Route 29 in Columbia. Howard County's Office of Transportation representatives expressed the possibility of future BRT ridership in the county during the Public Transportation Board meeting Tuesday evening in Ellicott City. According to Transportation Planner Chris Eatough, BRT systems, operating similarly to a rail system, run on dedicated lines at specified times and include technologies, such as signal preemption, to minimize travel time. The vehicles also stop at stations similar to light rail stations, allowing passengers to exit and board quickly, reducing stop times. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Drug crime is No. 1 reason offenders in Maryland are sentenced to prison

    Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute remains the No. 1 reason people in Maryland are sentenced to state prison, according to figures presented to a state panel charged with finding ways to reduce incarceration and recidivism. The Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council, which consists of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, senior-level government officials, attorneys and law enforcement representatives, received data Wednesday about who is sentenced to prison, how long they stay and what impact the trends have on the state’s overall prison population. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • From Poe to crabs, Baltimore emojis could soon be on your phone

    Communication is always evolving, and that even includes emojis, the malleable, pint-sized icons of faces, objects and symbols available on most smartphones. Like any local with a love of Bawlmerese, Ross Nochumowitz wanted more options to reflect his love of his city, so the Mount Washington resident created an app titled Baltimore Emojis by Baltimore in a Box. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Eliminate the religious exemption for vaccinations

    Maryland should eliminate the "religious" exemption, which, in practice, is the same as the personal belief exemption abolished in California. Such action would place Maryland in the forefront of states determined to protect the safety and lives of its children. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Dan Rodricks: In post-Freddie Gray Baltimore, the need for body cameras

    What we have here is a he said/he said story originating with a West Baltimore man's complaint about how police and federal agents treated him one morning two weeks ago. It's the kind of story that, pre-Freddie Gray, I might have skipped, because concluding who's wrong and who's right is too hard. There's no cellphone video. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Jonathon Rondeau: Connecting communities and schools in Baltimore

    A sea change is taking place in Baltimore, and it recently received national recognition. Where it's taking hold, school attendance is up. Chronic absenteeism is down. Student achievement and promotion rates are up. More families are engaged. School climates are being transformed. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Medicare at 50

    Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, the compulsory federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled that this newspaper described as "just, humane and overdue" on the day it was signed into law. Today, more than 920,000 Marylanders are covered by Medicare, a small fraction of the 55 million (or one in six) Americans receiving benefits in some form. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article