• Once an innovator in making data available to citizens, Baltimore now can’t keep up

    Government salaries are typically one of the most widely scrutinized sets of data for cities and municipalities nationwide. Five of the 10-most-viewed datasets on Open Baltimore, the city’s public data website, are the annual city employee salary reports. This year, that information was published at the end of September, almost two months later than in recent years. The inconsistency is indicative of a broader struggle within the city’s information technology department to keep up with the demands for sharing data with the public, according to an annual report written by Mike Wisniewski, the city’s chief data officer. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Hunter Biden to step down from Chinese board

    Facing intense scrutiny from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies, Hunter Biden announced on Sunday that he will step down from the board of directors of a Chinese-backed private equity firm at the end of the month as part of a pledge not to work on behalf of any foreign-owned companies should his father win the presidency. (Times-News) Read Full Article

  • Harris on Syria Troop Withdrawal: ‘It Could End Badly’

    Rep. Andrew P. Harris repeatedly brushed aside the suggestion that Congress has the ability to influence U.S. foreign policy on Sunday, though he hedged on whether President Trump’s latest move — a pullback of troops from the Turkey-Syria border — was wise. Trump’s seemingly impulsive Oct. 6 decision to remove U.S. troops from the border has been widely condemned by military and foreign affairs experts, and by lawmakers from both parties. It was also the first issue raised by a constituent at a town hall meeting Harris convened in Greensboro on Sunday afternoon. (Md. Matters)Read Full Article

  • Frustration and sadness in Prince George’s after lawmaker charged with federal crime

    Berwyn Heights resident Ron Luftman says he was not surprised when he heard the federal government was charging another Prince George’s County politician with a crime. But he was unnerved to learn the elected official was Tawanna P. Gaines, his longtime state representative. “She was supposed to be one of us,” Luftman said the other day, sitting in the senior center next to the town hall where Gaines, 67, began her political career as a member of the town council. “She had a reputation for helping the little guy. But I guess no politician helps the little guy.” (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Post Conference Reading: Professor Rucker Johnson on why school integration works

    Brown v. Board of Education was hailed as a landmark decision for civil rights. But decades later, many consider school integration a failure. UC Berkeley professor Rucker C. Johnson’s new book Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works shows the exact opposite is true. The book looks at decades of studies to show that students of all races who attended integrated schools fared better than those who did not. In this interview with Goldman School of Public Policy Dean Henry E. Brady, which took place on Jan. 9, 2019, Johnson explains how he and his team analyzed the impact of not just integration, but school funding policies and the Head Start program. (Berkeley News)Read Full Article

  • Post-Conference Reading: Region’s elected officials urge their governments to commit to affordable-housing targets

    Washington-area elected officials voted Wednesday to push their local governments to address the region’s affordable-housing shortage by setting individual targets to increase production of low- and medium-cost housing by 2030. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) said the region needs to add 320,000 housing units between 2020 and 2030 — 75,000 more units than forecast. Of those, at least three-quarters should be affordable to low- and middle-income households, according to a resolution approved unanimously by the COG board, which means they should cost $2,500 a month or less. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • Post-Conference Reading: To Shrink Achievement Gap, Integrate School Districts

    Does segregation still matter? When it comes to educating our nation’s school children, the answer is yes, according to research published last week by the Stanford University Center for Education Policy Analysis. But the problem isn’t race, the study finds. It is poverty. Decades after the end of legalized segregation, and the funding disparities that accompanied it, minority students remain disproportionately concentrated in high-poverty areas. Academically, they trail students in more affluent areas, and they fall increasingly behind as the years pass. The result is an achievement gap that limits the educational and career opportunities of nonwhite children. But the gap narrows, according to the research, when school districts are integrated, exposing poor minority students to the same opportunities as their richer peers. (WSJ)Read Full Article

  • Post Conference Reading: Can Maryland follow a Massachusetts model on education funding?

    As a Maryland public school parent and as an educator, I know firsthand the difference that public schools can make for students. They made all the difference for me (literally saving my life). I also know that the future is in great hands because students, including my daughters, are leading the way to build a better tomorrow, thanks, in large part, to public schools. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article


  • AANRI receives $275K Abell Foundation grant

    The Baltimore-based African American Neuroscience Research Initiative (AANRI) announced Friday the receipt of a $275,000 grant from the Abell Foundation, which will provide critical funds to support the development and growth of the collaboration between the African American Clergy Medical Research Initiative and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. Utilizing the Lieber Institute’s robust brain repository, the AANRI aims to establish a road map to help close the gap in health disparities and accelerate research efforts that will lead to new treatments for brain disorders.Read Full Article

  • Emergent BioSolutions gets PRIME designation in Europe

    Emergent BioSolutions Inc., a Gaithersburg life sciences firm that makes products to address public health threats, has been granted an important designation in Europe that could speed development of a vaccine candidate. The company received priority medicines, or PRIME, designation from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency for its vaccine candidate for chikungunya virus, which people can get from infected mosquitoes. (Daily Record)Read Full Article

  • Baltimore’s ‘Running Man’ earns sponsorship from local retailer DTLR, debuts commercial

    Baltimore’s Keith Boissiere, known locally as the “Running Man," has nabbed a sponsorship with Maryland-based shoe and clothing retailer DTLR and starred in a sleek commercial about his 20-mile jogs across the city. The Trinidad and Tobago native has been spotted for years running across Baltimore neighborhoods and streets in an effort to maintain his health. Boissiere could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Franchot honors Tidewater Inn for oyster conservation efforts

    Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot presented a certification of recognition to the Tidewater Inn Friday, Oct. 11, for its oyster recycling efforts. Tidewater Inn general manager Lauren Catterton and executive chef Daniel Pochron were recognized for their efforts in recycling oyster shells to help grow more oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, “which serve as a natural filters and are critical to ensuring a healthier Bay. With special appreciation for your unwavering commitment to provide a first-class dining experience while also being environmental stewards of (the) state.” (Star Dem.) Read Full Article


  • FSU receives $4.1 million for teacher education program

    The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Frostburg State University a five-year grant of $4.1 million for a program to increase the number of certified teachers in Maryland schools with a focus on the STEM field, like sciences, mathematics and computer science. In partnership with Frederick and Garrett County public school systems and FSU’s Master of Arts in Teaching degree, the Maryland Accelerates program also allows established teachers to mentor the new educators. (Times-News) Read Full Article

  • Safety Procedures, Video Monitoring Increase in Md. Schools

    Maryland’s public school systems are continuing to ramp up student safety plans — from bus cameras to active shooter drills. Plans include continuing to install security cameras in the hallways and entryways of schools — including at the elementary level — and putting the most up-to-date school safety training into action. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • Howard library system programs seek to help veterans cope with PTSD and share their military experiences

    Writing about their experiences in the military can mean confronting and conquering the past for some veterans. For Reed Kohberger, who is credited with saving 396 lives during his 33 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, it’s about the 40 or 50 people he couldn’t rescue. For Venita Willis, it’s about continuing to heal from emotional scars left by a sexual assault during an Army tour in Korea that led to her medical discharge after 16 years of service. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Students Identified In Assault At Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy West

    Baltimore City Schools officials have identified the students who violently assaulted another student in a bathroom at Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy West. A video, posted to Instagram on Wednesday, showed a student being violently punched in a bathroom at Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy West. (WJZ) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Project started by judge connects ex-offenders to jobs

    One of the biggest obstacles those who've been in the justice system face is finding a job and stability. But there's a district court re-entry program giving those formerly incarcerated a second chance. Alonzo Reed, 28, is a single father of three. Making sure his children are fed and have a roof over their heads is his priority. But a brush with the law made doing so nearly impossible. In 2016, he faced some serious charges. "Twenty-eight total charges, five of them being life sentences," Reed said. (WBAL-TV)Read Full Article

  • Bridge repairs bring unprecedented traffic misery to both sides of Chesapeake Bay

    A maintenance project scheduled to keep part of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge closed for most of the next two years has created what many motorists and residents say is unprecedented traffic misery on both sides of the bay. Autumn backups are rivaling those typically seen on the busiest summer beach weekends. Eastbound backups one recent Friday stretched for 14 miles, snarling traffic across a large swath of Anne Arundel County for 10 hours. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Baltimoreans back controversial surveillance planes, poll finds; business, religious leaders mull endorsements

    As leading business and religious groups consider whether to endorse the return of crime-fighting surveillance planes above Baltimore, a poll commissioned by a prominent local pastor shows strong support for the initiative among city residents. Backers funded the survey to gauge sentiment on the planes as violent crime remains stubbornly high, skepticism lingers from the secretive rollout of surveillance flights in 2016 and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison has said there’s insufficient evidence of the planes’ effectiveness. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • After Multiple Unexplained Fires Broke Out In West Baltimore, Community Calls Out City

    There’s cause for high alarm in West Baltimore after multiple unexplained fires are still under investigation. The Eastwood community is saying their neighborhood has been neglected for far too long. A home explosion in West Baltimore late Thursday night could’ve been much worse. The home was vacant- but community leaders are working to make sure it never happens again. (WJZ) Read Full Article


  • Mohler: Ellen Got It Right

    We should be able to sit at a baseball game and enjoy a beer and a brat with a friend, even if that friend’s political beliefs aren’t exactly our cup of tea. It shouldn’t take an Ellen DeGeneres therapy session on decency to remind of us of that. But it did. You see this is us. This is who’ve we become, and we better knock it off. If we don’t, forget trying to live up to the standards of the Greatest Generation. We will go down in history as the Stupidest Generation. And I don’t think that’s a legacy any of us want. (Mohler)Read Full Article

  • Rodricks: Hogan can make up for his meh record on Baltimore by backing Pimlico plan

    Larry Hogan hasn’t said much about the big news of the last week — the breakthrough in negotiations to keep Pimlico Race Course viable and the Preakness in Baltimore — and we’re wondering how he really feels about it. The governor of Maryland, after all, should have a lot to say on the matter. You would think that, when some good news finally came along about the state’s racing industry and its biggest annual sporting event, the governor would be right in the mix of elected officials praising the hailed-as-historic plan. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Goldberg: GOP senators are in a no-win predicament

    In response to news reports last weekend that at least one additional administration whistleblower had come forward to say what he or she knows about President Trump’s Ukrainian schemes, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted, “I’ve seen this movie before — with Brett #Kavanaugh. More and more doesn’t mean better or reliable.” Mr. Graham’s raw political spinning has a fatal flaw. Mr. Graham wants to tar the whistleblowers as part of a partisan campaign. But their motivation is largely irrelevant now because the bulk of the allegations have already been corroborated by the rough phone call transcript released by the White House and by the statements of the president and his aides. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Wemple: Shepard Smith leaves Fox News, and takes the facts with him

    Cable-news anchors come and go all the time. They often are lured by more lucrative contracts, pushed out by jittery executives or just grow tired of the grind. The abrupt and immediate departure of Shepard Smith from Fox News falls into none of those categories. On Friday afternoon, the longtime host delivered an emotional farewell to his viewers: “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News," said the 55-year-old Smith, who had been with the network since its 1996 launch. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article