Politics

  • Baltimore mayoral candidates question whether police gave special treatment to political rival Vignarajah

    Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and City Council President Brandon Scott questioned Thursday whether city police gave mayoral rival Thiru Vignarajah special treatment during a late-night traffic stop in which a sergeant turned off his body-worn camera. The police department is investigating whether officers violated departmental policy last fall during the stop of Vignarajah, who is running with Young and Scott in a crowded Democratic primary. Their probe will include looking into whether the sergeant acted appropriately in turning off the camera. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Mfume, Higginbotham report more than $200,000 on hand for closing days of 7th District congressional race

    Former U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume and law professor F. Michael Higginbotham were among the early leaders in reporting cash on hand for the 7th Congressional District special primary, each reporting having more than $200,000 for the closing days of the campaign. The first and only reports due to the Federal Election Commission ahead of the Feb. 4 primary trickled in ahead of a midnight Thursday deadline, and not all were immediately available. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Maryland lawmakers want to spend billions more on schools. Where will they find the money?

    Maryland lawmakers are trying to pull off an improbable feat: Finding a way to raise billions of dollars for public education without most residents noticing a hit to their wallets. Democratic leaders of the state’s legislature have promised to fund an array of improvements to public schools — including expanded prekindergarten, increased teacher pay and other programs — without a broad-based tax increase. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Who got to sit in Gov. Hogan’s Ravens skybox this season?

    As Lamar Jackson and the Ravens dazzled the NFL before a stunning playoff defeat, Gov. Larry Hogan invited a full roster of fellow Republican lawmakers, family members, law enforcement officials and executives of his company to join him in the governor’s suite at M&T Bank Stadium. As part of leases with the Maryland Stadium Authority, the governor and Baltimore mayor are provided with skyboxes — valued at thousands of dollars per game — at the Ravens and Orioles stadiums, and there are no restrictions on who the officials can invite. Spokesman Mike Ricci said Hogan tries to include a “diverse range of state officials" among those he brings to his suite. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Archdiocese ‘for’ Baltimore highlighted at Center Stage event

    If Ray Kelly can turn things around, so can Baltimore City. That was among the takeaways Jan. 15 at Center Stage, when the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Catholic Charities of Baltimore were host to a “Faith in Baltimore” program that highlighted the impact of Catholic institutions in the city, with Archbishop William E. Lori noting, in a play on words, that “we are the Archdiocese for Baltimore.” Kelly, vice chair of the Executive Committee at St. Peter Claver in Sandtown and lead community liaison for the Consent Decree Monitoring Team, was the inaugural recipient of the Faith in Baltimore Award. (ArchBalt)Read Full Article

  • New tech tool to expose the influence of big business in politics

    Everyone talks about how big business has too much influence over our political process, and sadly, many of us have witnessed it firsthand. Through meeting after meeting, I’ve watched CEOs and their lobbyists make demands to elected officials that were not in the best interest of their customers. Something was misaligned. Shouldn’t corporations be pushing political agendas that benefit their customers, the people who buy their products and keep them in business?  The problem is that consumers haven’t had an easy way to access information about company policies and practices, so we keep supporting them, and corporations have no reason to change. What we’ve been waiting for is an easy, trackable way to vote with our dollars.  Enter Tribe.  Read Full Story

  • ‘It Makes Me Feel Great’ | Marylanders Work To Give Back During Giving Tuesday

    This time of year, there’s a lot to do at the Maryland Zoo. There are tons of leaves that need to be raked, and that takes a lot of people, but most of those do not work for the zoo. “We have a very small horticultural team, so they rely on volunteers to get a large amount of work done in a short amount of time,” Allison Schwartz, of the Maryland Zoo, said. Most days, Rob Starr drives a desk at Bank of America, but he said he makes a habit of giving back whenever he can. (WJZ-TV)Read Full Article

  • Conference Reading: Poll: Affordable Housing Shortage Worries Montgomery Co. Voters

    How big a problem is the lack of affordable housing in Montgomery County? It’s so significant that a recently-completed poll of county residents listed affordable housing as the issue they’re most concerned about other than education. The poll of 425 county residents, taken Oct. 16-Nov. 2 for the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington, showed 16% of Montgomery County residents listed the scarcity of affordable housing as their No. 1 issue (29% listed education). (Md. Matters)Read Full Article

Business

  • Baltimore’s Domino Sugar plant is working overtime at a historic pace, after a year of harsh weather and bad harvests

    Under the neon Domino Sugars sign in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, a century-old refinery steadily produces the crucial ingredient in American candy, soda and other foods. The already busy plant soon might need to burn even more calories. Unusually bad weather around the country ruined both U.S. sugar beet and sugar cane crops last year, leading government officials to seek an 80 percent increase in raw sugar imports from Mexico. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Fesco to develop solar and battery system for District 40

    A Frederick smart energy company has a deal to develop an energy project for a former mall in Frederick. Fesco Energy announced it would develop the project for District 40 that includes roughly 3 megawatts of solar power generation, 6 megawatt-hours of battery storage and controls that let the system behave independently of the wider power grid. District 40 was formerly known as the Frederick Towne Mall. It is being redeveloped as an entertainment center. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • New Kroger Fulfillment Center In Frederick County To Create More Than 400 Jobs

    More than 400 new jobs will be created in Maryland for the grocery store retailer Kroger plan to build a new high-tech fulfillment center. The project will be in Frederick County, partnering with Ocado, an online grocery retailer. Kroger owns Harris Teeter, a popular grocery store chains in Maryland. A preexisting distribution facility in Frederick will be part of the construction project. The company said up to 100 more jobs could be added later as the service areas of the facility continue to expand. (WJZ) Read Full Article

  • Ad agency expands with new Baltimore office

    Beyond Spots & Dots, a a full-service advertising agency based in Pittsburgh, announced Thursday the company has expanded with the opening of a new office in Baltimore. The company has leased space in the Inner Harbor area at the Legg Mason Tower, 100 International Drive. Terms of the lease were not released. The Baltimore office marks the agency’s second expansion in three years, having opened an office in Columbus, Ohio in 2017. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

Education

  • Leaders of Maryland’s largest jurisdictions come to Annapolis to push for $2.2B school construction bill

    Leaders of Maryland’s eight largest local jurisdictions came to Annapolis Thursday to push for a massive increase in school construction funding. They included Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr., Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, all Democrats, who joined Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, a Republican, in testifying in favor of the “Built To Learn” act, which would send $2.2 billion extra to local governments to help pay for renovating and building schools. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • School board begins vetting $2.8 billion budget proposal

    The Montgomery County Board of Education on Wednesday began digging into the proposed $2.8 billion operating budget proposal for the next fiscal year. In a presentation, staff members for the first time outlined for the school board in detail the budget. They highlighted last week’s release of Gov. Larry Hogan’s budget, which included $3 million more in funding for MCPS than the school district was expecting. “That’s good news,” MCPS acting Chief Financial Officer Dan Marella said. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • MCPS reviewing bus stops after serious crashes involving students

    Following two pedestrian crashes at or near school bus stops in December, Montgomery County Public Schools officials are reviewing the locations of all stops. On Dec. 12, a 9-year-old Bradley Hills Elementary School student died after being hit by a school bus she had just deboarded. The next morning, a Walter Johnson High School student was critically injured crossing Montrose Road to board a school bus. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • At boundary analysis meeting in Bethesda, questions about process, transparency

    Montgomery County Public Schools officials said they were pleased with the decorum of a meeting about an ongoing review of school boundaries that they feared might be unruly. On Thursday night, approximately 650 people flocked to Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda for the sixth and final community meeting for the first phase of the countywide boundary analysis. The review has sparked tension that has occasionally boiled over at previous meetings. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Is Maryland ready for the Census? With just months until the count, one top lawmaker is raising alarms.

    With the next national Census just a few months away, one of Maryland’s top lawmakers is raising alarms that Maryland may not be prepared to get an accurate count of its residents. The state government’s Census director left in December and the state has been slow to develop an outreach plan and dole out grants to help cities and counties get the word out, causing concern for House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Prince George’s Co. lawmakers want more speed camera exceptions

    There’s a long list of gruesome, deadly accidents that have occurred over the years along Church Road in Bowie, Maryland. At the top of that list is one that happened last year — when 14-year-old Kamal Nashid was struck and killed while jogging through a crosswalk. What was once a winding, country road is now much busier, as several new neighborhoods have been built. With the new development, the county rebuilt a stretch of the road just north of Route 50 to include more lanes of traffic. (WTOP) Read Full Article

  • Long Wait Likely For Rural Broadband Service In Worcester County

    While there are some opportunities ahead, a consultant advised officials this week that bringing high speed internet to rural portions of Worcester County could be a decade-long effort. Joanne Hovis, president of CTC Technology & Energy, presented the results of a six-month broadband feasibility study to the Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday. “We recommend thinking of this as a long-term effort to chip away at the problem to make hopefully incremental but substantial progress over time and to think about this as a multi-year, possibly a decade-long effort, to partner with state, federal and private entities in order to comprehensively solve the problem in a long-term futureproof way,” Hovis said. (Dispatch) Read Full Article

  • Court Records Reveal Harford County Standoff Suspect Made Past Threats To Shoot Police, Had Guns Removed

    The suspect in a standoff earlier this week in Harford County appeared before a judge Thursday afternoon, and court records are revealing more about past allegations of violent threats. According to charging documents, “When asked what his intent was for shooting at the police, Mr. Murdy stated that he was trying to kill them.“ Benjamin Murdy said he obtained a private defense attorney, and a judge rescheduled his bail review for Friday. The Harford County Sheriff’s Office said Murdy fired almost 200 rounds of ammunition at police and neighbors at his home on Oak Ridge Drive in Street. (WJZ) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Editorial: Baltimore can’t afford to leave any more money on the table

    In 2017, Baltimore City failed to collect a quarter million dollars in parking fines because it didn’t update its citations to reflect a higher fee. In 2018, a state audit revealed that Baltimore City Circuit Court (for the fourth time in 10 years) didn’t collect overdue fines and fees that by then totaled $11 million. In 2019, we learned that Baltimore City neglected to enforce $2.3 million in water bills from the owner of the Ritz Carlton Residences condominiums. (Balt, Sun)Read Full Article

  • Schwartz: Baltimore crime and how the media contributes to negative perceptions

    I was at a suburban holiday party before Christmas and began telling several people about my work as a high school teacher in Baltimore. As I sipped my beer, the conversation quickly turned to the topic of crime in the city. Murders, robberies, car jackings, squeegee boys. Two people said they refuse to go into the city. I remarked that out of the dozens of teenagers I see at school each day, none are violent criminals, nor are any of them on the way to becoming ones as far as I can tell. In fact, most are great kids: thoughtful, kind, ready to learn. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Our Say: Anne Arundel school system needs leadership on later start times

    We remain skeptical that pushing back start times for Anne Arundel County Public Schools will be the panacea its advocates claim. But we could not agree more with Melissa Ellis. It is time to settle this debate. The Board of Education member successfully advocated this week for finally deciding better sleep for high school students is worth the expense and disruption involved in further shifting start times back. (Cap. Gazette)Read Full Article

  • Editorial: Maryland’s quest for crab pickers underscores how immigrants boost U.S. economy

    Recently, Gov. Larry Hogan fired off a letter to the federal labor secretary and acting homeland security secretary requesting that they take “immediate action” to increase the number of visas the U.S. provides to temporary foreign workers. The 33-year-old program, formally titled the H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program, has been vital to the Eastern Shore’s seafood processing houses for a generation. Immigrants, usually women and usually from Latin America, arrive each spring to turn steamed crabs into hand-packed tubs of crab meat. (Bakt, Sun)Read Full Article