Politics

  • Baltimore state senators ask budget committee to kill bill to fund horse racing 'super track' at Laurel Park

    Fearing the loss of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore’s state Senate delegation is asking the Budget and Taxation Committee to kill a bill that would provide funding for a “super track” at Laurel Park. In a letter sent Friday to Budget and Taxation Committee chairwoman Sen. Nancy King, Baltimore’s senators asked her to shelve a bill that would authorize the Maryland Economic Development Corp. to issue $120 million in bonds to finance $80 million in improvements to Laurel, plus $40 million for a training center at the former Bowie Race Track. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Maryland Gov. Hogan calls Democratic-controlled legislature 'reckless' and 'pro-criminal'

    Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday blasted lawmakers Democratic-controlled Maryland General Assembly, accusing them of spending recklessly and siding with violent criminals. In confrontational comments made at a pivotal moment in the General Assembly session — the day when lawmakers are rushing pass bills from one chamber to the next — the Republican governor condemned the the legislature for killing a bill that would have allowed Baltimore school police officers to carry guns inside school buildings. He also took issue with some legislators who have argued against mandatory-minimum sentences for violent criminals and spending more on policing. “This seems to be the most pro-criminal group of legislators I’ve ever seen,” Hogan said. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Trump attorneys seek to block Maryland suit alleging he profits unconstitutionally from presidency

    President Donald Trump's attorneys are asking a federal appeals court Tuesday to prevent Maryland from proceeding with a lawsuit alleging Trump is illegally profiting from his presidency. Maryland argues in the suit that the president is violating a constitutional prohibition by doing business with foreign and state governments that patronize the luxury Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington with overnight stays, receptions and conferences. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Gov. Hogan: Park Service does ‘terrible job’ with BW Parkway

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan pulled no punches Monday when commenting on the infamous pothole problem that plagues the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Laurel. Hogan told FOX 5 that though the park service does well with parks, it does a “terrible job” of maintaining the B.W. Parkway, which has seen no substantive efforts to repair the cratered road surface because, as the Park Service said last week, “financial needs far outweigh available funding.” “We want to improve the capacity all the way from Washington to Baltimore so that our taxpayers can get to and from work,” Hogan told FOX 5. “It’s outrageous and unacceptable. (WTOP) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Lawmakers in Annapolis Should Demand Greater Transparency from Pharmacy Benefit Managers

    If you’ve never heard of pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), that’s the way they like it. While they administer drug plans for more than 230 million Americans, PBMs thrive on secrecy and a lack of transparency.Read Full Article

  • Tim Lorello: How Could Tech Infrastructure Help Tackle Crime, Make Maryland Safer?

    Technology is available that can help tackle crime and give law enforcement and emergency responders another tool to help them do their jobs. Over the summer, Baltimore police began utilizing acoustic sensor technology that can remotely detect the sound of gunfire and notify officers of the exact location within seconds. Other cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have widely deployed these gunshot sensors; and some have reported significant decreases in gunfire in neighborhoods where they were used.Read Full Article

  • Marty Rosendale: Trump Administration Takes a Positive Step to Lower Drug Costs, but More Action Needed from the Maryland Legislature

    The rising costs of healthcare and patient out-of-pocket costs that jeopardize access to care for Maryland families have rightly been a major area of focus for policymakers at both the federal and state level.Read Full Article

  • Dave Anderson: How to break the government shutdown impasse

    The impasse in the dispute over the government shutdown and the border wall is an immensely complicated policy and political problem that pits two sides against each other who have diametrically opposed perspectives about the best path forward for the country.Read Full Article

Business

  • Under Armour hires former Black Diamond Equipment VP as new chief design officer

    Under Armour has hired a former vice president of the climbing, skiing and mountain gear maker Black Diamond Equipment to serve as its new chief design officer. Kasey Jarvis will join the company in early April, according to Under Armour. Jarvis will replace Dave Dombrow, who recently left Under Armour for a second time since joining the company in 2010. In 2016, he departed briefly with the intention of going to Nike, but returned to the Baltimore-based apparel maker months later. Dombrow was behind the design of a number of the company’s sneaker lines, including NBA star Steph Curry’s signature shoe. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Two weeks left to nominate for the 2019 Tech 10 awards

    Technology has become an integral part of every company — whether the business is tech-focused or not. As the tech community in Greater Baltimore continues to expand — from a planned cyber hub and a big IPO to a record year of funding — the Baltimore Business Journal is looking to honor the industry's best with its annual Tech 10 awards. The BBJ will recognize 10 professionals this summer who are making noteworthy contributions to Greater Baltimore’s tech community. You have until Friday, March 29 at midnight to submit your nomination. Click here to nominate. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • New Baltimore-based health initiative aims to close disparities in research, treatment of brain disorders

    A Baltimore-based research institute that focuses on brain disorders has partnered with a prominent local African American clergy group to establish the nation’s first research outfit aimed at closing long-standing racial disparities in research and in treatment, the groups announced Monday. The Lieber Institute for Brain Development, an independent nonprofit institute in Baltimore, is working with the African-American Clergy Medical Research Initiative, which advocates for equitable funding and representation in research. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Dragos acquires Atlanta-based cyber firm NexDefense

    Cybersecurity firm Dragos Inc. continues its rapid growth trajectory with the acquisition of Atlanta-based firm NexDefense. Seven-year-old NexDefense, which has developed security technology for industrial control systems (ICS) like critical gas and transportation operations, has been bought by Maryland's Dragos. Dragos also specializes in ICS security. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. NexDefense developed and sold a tool called Integrity, which allows industrial system operators to continuously monitor ICS assets and potential cyber risks that threaten their daily operation. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • Carroll Community College, McDaniel College sign transfer agreement

    Officials from Carroll Community College and McDaniel College announced a new articulation agreement Monday making it easier for Carroll students to transfer and complete course work for bachelor’s degrees in elementary education or the secondary education/PreK-12 education minor at McDaniel. This agreement serves as a seamless pathway for students to earn both an associate’s degree from Carroll and a bachelor’s degree from McDaniel who plan to become teachers or administrators in a PreK-12 setting. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Maryland delegates pass tougher restrictions on lead in school water fountains amid positive tests

    The Maryland House of Delegates on Monday unanimously passed legislation that would toughen restrictions on the amount of lead permitted in the water of school drinking fountains and fund remediation efforts. The bill, sponsored by Del. Jared Solomon, a Montgomery County Democrat, would lower the amount of lead considered acceptable in drinking fountain water to the lowest detectable amount. The bill also establishes a state program to provide grants to local school systems to assist with replacing their pipes and water fountains. The annual fiscal impact of the bill is more than $1.7 million. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • ‘STAR’ Program Underway In Anne Arundel County To Help Teens Get Drug Recovery

    Locally, Anne Arundel County Schools are partnering with the County Health Department to deliver substance abuse treatment to high schoolers. It’s called, “Star”, will work to screen teens to access recovery, allowing high school students to connect with licensed therapists from the Department of Health via tele-sessions. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Elementary schools focus on kindness, learning to 'support one another'

    The cafeteria at William Winchester Elementary was filled with happy chatter and the smell of paint on a recent Monday as hundreds of “kindness rocks” took shape under the brushes of students. Schools who participate in Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) focused on kindness during the last quarter. William Winchester started “The Great Kindness Challenge,” which included classroom lessons in kindness and other activities designed to address problems with disrespect. It expanded on National Random Acts of Kindness Day, celebrated on Feb. 17. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Baltimore Mayor Pugh resigns from University of Maryland Medical System board after scrutiny over book sales

    Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned Monday from the University of Maryland Medical System’s board of directors amid scrutiny over contracting practices involving board members. Pugh’s resignation came after the mayor has encountered heavy criticism for failing to fully disclose the $500,000 business relationship she started in 2011 with the hospital system. “It has been an honor to have been associated with the important work of the UMMS Board, but the fact is, I have many other pressing concerns that require my full attention, energy and efforts,” Pugh said in a statement. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Catherine Pugh’s connections to UMMS – long and lucrative

    The disclosure that the University of Maryland Medical System paid $500,000 to Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh – who sat on its board for 18 years until her resignation this morning (see below) – shouldn’t come as a total surprise. In explaining its payments to the mayor, UMMS said the money helped her print and distribute 100,000 copies of her self-published “Healthy Holly” books to Baltimore schoolchildren. This was not a one-off. Pugh’s financial and political ties with UMMS go much deeper than the book payments. (Brew) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore Train Derailment Could Have Been Worse For ‘Blast Zone’ Residents

    When A CSX freight train derailed along a Baltimore bridge last week, one of the freight cars really stood out — a tanker car dangling above Fallsway. “We are really lucky this train was not carrying anything hazardous, but we know crude oil has been transported through the city by rail. Transporting crude oil by rail is incredibly hazardous,” said Taylor Smith-Hams with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Seminar prepares real estate professionals to identify signs of human trafficking

    Last Tuesday, realtors, home inspectors and mortgage loan officers gathered at Twin Rivers in Crofton to hear a seminar on how they are the first line of defense in the fight to end human trafficking in Maryland. “Human trafficking is the second leading crime in the U.S.,” said Theresa Flores, a survivor of human trafficking and guest speaker. “It is happening everywhere around you.” Maryland is an ideal state for human trafficking as it is centrally located on the I-95 corridor, has international airports, truck stops and multiple vulnerable populations, including foster youth, unaccompanied minors, domestic servants and agricultural workers. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Maryland should put power in the hands of communities

    The lack of concrete federal action on climate change leaves the great responsibility to state and local governments to stave off climate chaos. The burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity remains a key driver of climate change. Burning coal and natural gas creates significant risks to the long-term health and safety of our communities. Rapidly reducing greenhouse gases and transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable energy will not only reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, helping to stabilize the climate, but it also will improve public health through reductions in harmful pollutants and save ratepayers money. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Critical school poverty rate miscalculated in Md; here's how to fix it

    A school’s poverty rate determines everything from funding allocations and staffing to free buses for field trips and up to $14,000 in federal loan forgiveness for individual teachers. Poverty rates are used for accountability systems and to compare school and district performance. Poverty rates even determine which schools receive fresh fruits and vegetables from the federal government. With so much riding on the poverty rate, the data has to be trusted and sound. But poor children in Baltimore City are being undercounted. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • It's about time Maryland banned teen tanning beds

    There’s plenty of science that links tanning beds and the ultraviolet light they emit to an increased risk of skin cancer. But when you’re 16 and looking for a way to get that summer glow, you don’t want to hear the latest research on why that might not be such a good idea. Sometimes teenagers have to be saved from themselves, and after years of attempts, the Maryland General Assembly has come the closest ever to doing that when it comes to tanning beds. Both Maryland’s Senate and House of Representatives have passed bills that would prohibit those under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning devices in the state. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Study: Altruism warms the heart - and the body

    January’s polar vortex phenomenon may seem like long ago now that we’ve sprung our clocks forward and begun in earnest to search for yellow buds on forsythia or green nobs dotting leafless trees. But the frigid temperatures earlier this month reminded me of that wintry arctic blast — in particular one news item that brought a touch of warmth to that bleak picture. Depleted gas resources in Michigan, caused by a fire in an energy plant, threatened a gas shortage amid frigid temperatures. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article