Politics

  • Maryland moves forward with online voting despite warnings from cyber-experts

    Cybersecurity experts are warning that Maryland’s online absentee-ballot system is dangerously vulnerable to tampering and privacy invasions, both growing concerns in a year when hackers have breached the Democratic National Committee and attempted to access boards of elections in at least two states. The system allows voters who request an absentee ballot to receive the form by email and send back a printed hard copy, with their votes marked by hand or with a new online tool that allows users to mark the document with the click of a mouse or the touch of a keyboard, then print it for mail delivery. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • How a Maryland lawmaker shaped the medical marijuana industry — and joined it

    About the time the Maryland legislature’s longtime champion for medical cannabis joined a company looking to dispense the drug, he urged state regulators to remove a restriction on the sale of edible marijuana products. Two months later, Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County) sought feedback from regulators for his plans to introduce legislation allowing dentists, podiatrists and certain nurse practitioners to join physicians in recommending cannabis to patients. Such interactions, detailed in emails obtained by The Washington Post, shed light on the contact the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission had with Morhaim, whose legislative colleagues are scheduled to meet Oct. 19 to decide whether to investigate the lawmaker’s dual roles. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • While declining interview, Batts says Mosby comments reflect 'youthful' inexperience

    In an article this week in The New York Times Magazine, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby had harsh words for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and former police Commissioner Anthony Batts for what she described as interference with her investigation into the death of Freddie Gray. Batts, who is now a consultant for police departments across the country, declined to be interviewed Thursday and said he would let his earlier comments on Mosby stand. (WBAL-radio)Read Full Article

  • Obama lauds Michael Phelps' Olympic golds, then brings up his 'Phelps face'

    It was Team USA day Thursday at the White House, which meant President Barack Obama talked a good deal about two Olympians who grew up swimming not far from Washington. First up: Bethesda's Katie Ledecky, in attendance in the East Room. "I was nervous that she was going to ask me to, like, hold all her medals while I was speaking or something," Obama joked of the five-time gold medalist. "So she obliterates her own records in the 400[-meter] and the 800 freestyle, lapped the field in the 800. When you were watching it on TV — you all see it on TV, like there's nobody else in the pool? Crazy." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Josh Kurtz: The Ficker Finger of Fate

    Whatever happened to the Good Old Days in Montgomery County, when Robin Ficker, consistently, was Public Enemy No. 1?Year after year, Ficker, the gadfly extraordinaire, the chronic candidate who lucked into a seat in the House of Delegates from 1979 to 1982 and has been trying to claw his way back to respectability ever since, has won the enmity of the Montgomery County political establishment by doing the things that gadflies do. Specifically, Ficker would advance a ballot question – usually to lower or limit taxes or to impose term limits on county officials – and watch with glee as the establishment scurried to defeat him. Read Entire Article 

  • Featured Content | Towson University Taps Margrave Strategies' Ulman to Advance Placemaking Strategies

    Towson University President Kim Schatzel announced on Sept. 27 that Margrave Strategies president Ken Ulman will help the university map future growth strategies. Schatzel made her announcement on the steps of the Old Courthouse building in downtown Towson along with Ulman and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. Watch Entire Video

  • Center Maryland Op-Doc: Columbia, MD Named Money Magazine’s Best Place to Live in 2016

    Columbia was just named Money Magazine's #1 Best Place to Live. Howard County residents discuss their hopes to remain on top for the future.  Watch Entire Video

  • Featured Content: The Formation of a Strategic National Security Partnership between UMCP & UMB

    University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace Loh and University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay Perman announced the intention to create the Maryland Academy for Innovation in National Security that would support an FBI headquarters in Greenbelt, Maryland. Local leaders put forth a vision for a strategic national security partnership that will harmonize UMB and UMCP’s relevant capabilities in terrorism and counterterrorism studies, intelligence analysis, cybersecurity and high performance computing, criminology and criminal justice, homeland security law, and crisis management. Watch Entire Video

Business

  • Second company joins lawsuit over medical marijuana licenses

    A second company has asked to join the lawsuit against the Maryland Cannabis Commission, alleging that it too was unfairly denied a lucrative license to grow medical marijuana. Maryland Cultivation and Processing filed paperwork Wednesday to jointly sue the state commission with GTI Maryland. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Judge refuses to throw out food truck lawsuit against city

    A lawsuit filed against the city by two food truck owners will move forward after a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge threw out a motion on Thursday that would have dismissed the case. Two owners, Joey Vanoni of the Pizza di Joey truck and Nikki McGowan of Madame BBQ, are suing the city over a law that prevents mobile vendors from operating within 300 feet of a brick-and-mortar business that sells a similar product. The bill was passed in 2014. Under the law, operators found to be in violation face a fine of $500 and could have their license revoked. (Balt. Bus. Journal)Read Full Article

  • Tissue Analytics wins Beta City's pitch competition

    Tissue Analytics, a Baltimore mobile health company, took home top honors — and $50,000 — Thursday at Beta City's startup pitch competition. Tissue Analytics, which developed a mobile application for tracking wound healing, was among eight startups that presented their business plans to a panel of judges during the Venture Capital Pitch Day at Sagamore Ventures' City Garage in Port Covington. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Do the Ravens mean a touchdown for Baltimore hotels? Not necessarily.

    The dismal performance of the Baltimore Ravens last year produced some fumbles off the field also — at least that's one possible interpretation of a new analysis showing game days had minimal impact on hotel room revenue in Baltimore. Home football games boosted hotel room revenue in Baltimore by just 2 percent last year, according to the analysis by STR, a hotel data and research firm. Only six other teams in the 32-team NFL did less to boost hotelier margins. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • Schools, health officials retool flu clinics to offer vaccine injections only

    Fall has arrived — and with it the flu season and those persistent reminders from school, work and elsewhere to get vaccinated. But protecting children from the flu this year will be a bit more painful. The FluMist nasal spray version of the vaccine popular with needle-averse kids, and their parents, is no longer available. A task force advising the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended earlier this year that people not use it after studies found it ineffective. School flu clinics are being retooled for the more time-consuming, angst-producing shots. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • School board candidates face off on budget issues

    School board candidates focused on funding for Montgomery County Public Schools and how to improve the annual budget process during a forum Wednesday night at Kennedy High School in Silver Spring. About 150 people attended the two-hour forum, which was hosted by the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, Montgomery County Council of PTAs, and the NAACP of Montgomery County. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Washington County Public Schools panel drafts calendar to meet governor's order

    A Washington County Public Schools committee spent more than 90 minutes Thursday hammering out a draft 2017-18 calendar that meets Gov. Larry Hogan's executive order to start classes after Labor Day and end them by June 15 — unless a waiver is granted. "Everything we've done tonight is a draft," Boyd Michael stressed at the end of the session in the school system's administration building on Downsville Pike near Hagerstown. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • Beauty school closes suddenly, leaving students in debt

    Almost 100 students enrolled at a Maryland beauty school are facing thousands of dollars in debt after the school suddenly closed overnight. The Regency Beauty Institute has closed its doors for good. Some of the students had just enrolled in classes. "I came to school yesterday. I asked the teacher, 'What do we need to bring for school tomorrow?' She said, 'We'll talk about that tomorrow.' I come to school, and there's a note on the door," said Stephanie Akenhurst, a student who started classes less than a month ago. (WBAL-TV) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • DOJ grant to use hospitals to interrupt violence

    A $500,000 Department of Justice grant is aimed at reducing violence in Baltimore with a hospital-based intervention program. The program, called the Baltimore City Thriving Communities Project, will expand the Safe Streets program into emergency rooms where hospital staff hope to reduce re-admissions by resolving conflicts immediately to prevent retaliation. (WMAR-TV) Read Full Article

  • Howard County officials move to oust embattled sheriff

    Leaders in Howard County are taking steps to remove embattled Sheriff James Fitzgerald from office after he said Thursday that he won't resign over allegations he used foul and racist language to belittle and threaten employees. Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman asked the county's representatives in Annapolis to investigate whether the General Assembly can impeach Fitzgerald. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland judges differ on 'what is rent?'

    It seems like a fairly straightforward question: What is rent? But judges across Maryland who preside over eviction requests are struggling with the answer. For decades, landlords in Maryland have been able to file failure-to-pay-rent actions that threaten eviction not just for delinquent rent, but also for overdue water bills, utilities and other expenses. But an opinion by the state's highest court this year is upending that tradition by doing what Maryland's real estate statute does not: defining "rent." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Program offers money for preserving wooded land in Anne Arundel

    Anne Arundel County property owners could be paid to preserve trees on their land under a program announced Thursday by County Executive Steve Schuh and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. An agreement between the county and the trust sets aside $1 million for cash incentives for landowners who place a conservation easement on properties near private protected lands or public parkland. (Capital)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Tricia Bishop: Sexual assault victims need competency more than comfort from BPD

    Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says a made-over interview room at police headquarters sends a message to sexual assault survivors that "we believe you, you're safe, and we're here to help you." Here's a message for the commissioner: There's a better way to gain the trust of those who say they were raped — take their claims seriously. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • A bloody mary with brunch? We'll drink to that

    Should bars and restaurants offer up alcoholic drinks, like mimosas and bloody marys, earlier on Sundays? Currently, establishments are required to wait till 11 a.m. to be able to begin serving alcoholic drinks. The Frederick County Board of License Commissioners is considering two bills for state lawmakers to consider at the next session of the Maryland General Assembly in January. One bill would treat Sunday like any other day of the week and let bars and restaurants serve drinks from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. The other would push serving time back an hour, allowing bars to serve drinks with a 10 a.m. brunch. The change is widely seen as one that would boost business and increase jurisdictions’ tax revenue. (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • Lee McDaniel, Chip Bowling, and Richard Wilkins: Farmers care about the bay, too

    Most of us have an understanding of how important the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are to aquatic and riparian ecosystems, working landscapes and local economies. But the folks we represent — American farmers — know it on a much deeper and more personal level. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Worcester schools superintendent search down to two

    The Worcester County Board of Education has narrowed down its search to two finalists: Michael Martirano, a highly qualified educator and administrator whose closest post was St. Mary's County, Maryland, where he served nine years as superintendent, and a name familiar to Worcester County residents and across the Lower Shore – Louis Taylor, who served as principal of Stephen Decatur High School for 17 years and is now serving as chief operating officer for the Worcester public school system. (Daily Times) Read Full Article