Politics

  • Ballots Going Out for Vote-by-Mail Special Election

    County elections officials on Wednesday mailed out the first batch of ballots for the April 28 special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of former U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D), a top administrator said. Additional ballots will be mailed out on Thursday and Friday. “By Friday all of the voters in the 7th congressional district will have ballots en route,” state Deputy Elections Administrator Nikki Charlson told the Board of Public Works. (Md. Matters)Read Full Article

  • Baltimore spending board approves surveillance plane pilot program to capture images from city streets

    Three privately funded surveillance planes were cleared to begin patrolling Baltimore from the sky Wednesday, over opposition from multiple civil liberties groups who warned that such surveillance could be a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The city’s Board of Estimates approved the contract on a 3-2 vote, giving the OK for a six-month pilot of the program. It allows the planes to collect images of the city to help investigate murders, nonfatal shootings, armed robberies and carjackings. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore City revenues could drop nearly $170 million

    Baltimore’s budget director says the COVID-19 pandemic could cost the city nearly $170 million – $68.7 million in revenues this year and $100 million in fiscal 2021. “Many of our revenue streams are tied directly to economic activity, so as businesses close and tourism travel has been discouraged and daily activities have slowed to a crawl, we project sharp declines in some of our revenues,” Robert Cenname, budget director, told the Board of Estimates today. (Balt Brew) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Gov. Hogan authorizes email-based telehealth, disability workers as essential during coronavirus crisis

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan added two executive orders to the state’s coronavirus response arsenal Wednesday, one that expands the use of telehealth to include email communication and the other establishing workers performing disability services as essential employees. The two orders add depth to an already sweeping and unprecedented series of government regulations designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus and prevent the state’s economy from collapsing. (Daily Record)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • How COVID-19 Affects the Body

    While there is much we still don’t know, we are learning more about how the virus affects the body. Theodore Bailey, MD, JD, MA, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases at GBMC, describes what we know so far about the symptoms of COVID-19. Most cases are mild and will cause fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. There is no known medical treatment. Fortunately, most cases remain mild and for those, it is best for people to self-isolate and recover at home. Severe cases may experience shortness of breath with associated lung injury, liver inflammation, and irregular rhythms of the heart and require intense medical support in a hospital setting. (GBMC HealthCare)Click Here to Read More

  • Is Takeout Food Safe?

    In this time, more than ever, our local businesses need the community’s support. It may feel like a conflicting message, we’re being told to stay home and to interact with local businesses, but both are incredibly important. Remember, local businesses rely on your purchases to pay their bills and their employees. Supporting them not only helps the business financially, it helps the employees who now find themselves without a paycheck. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is living in food. While the food itself poses no danger, there may be some risk as to how you get it. (GBMC HealthCare)Click Here to Learn How to Stay Safe When Ordering Takeout

  • You’ve been hearing not to wear masks, here’s why

    Many people don’t understand why the medical community is telling the public to avoid wearing masks during the COVID-19 outbreak. It seems counterintuitive not to take every precaution during a pandemic, but there are some very important reasons why you shouldn’t be wearing a mask. (GBMC HealthCare)Read the Full List

  • Venetoulis: Trump - The War Time President.

    Former Baltimore County Executive Ted Venetoulis imagines a conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill in the Summer of 1940 during the fall of France to Nazi forces during WWII. W:    Sorry to interrupt you, Donald.T:    No problem, Winnie, always great to hear from my favorite P.M.  How’s your golf game.W:    Uh. Not well, Donald. As you know there’s a war going on…T:    You’re kidding me.  A war.  Nobody told me.  That’s the problem around here. I’m always the last to know...Read Full Conversation

Business

  • Maryland unemployment claims expected to continue to soar

    After a record-setting number of unemployment claims last week, Maryland is poised for another dramatic increase when the latest numbers are issued on Thursday. The federal government releases weekly reports of unemployment claims at 8:30 a.m. on Thursdays. Last week, Maryland and the nation saw a dramatic and devastating rise in unemployment attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Some of Amazon's 'hero' workers protest over coronavirus; Company defers loan payments for third-party sellers

    Some Amazon employees aren't exactly thrilled with the company even after it released a 30-second promotional video on Friday calling them "heroes." Workers at a Staten Island, New York, warehouse walked off the job Monday, demanding the company temporarily close the facility for cleaning after a worker tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to reports from CNBC and others. (Wash Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • Sheetz launches free meal program for Md. children in need

    Sheetz, a major restaurant and convenience chain across the mid-Atlantic, announced a new Kidz Meal Bagz program providing free food at 14 Maryland locations to help children and families in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meal Bagz will be available all day starting Thursday and will include a turkey sandwich, chips and a drink. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Prince George's readies $15 million in grants, loans to help businesses survive coronavirus

    Prince George’s County will offer up to $15 million in grants and loans to businesses impacted by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, as localities continue to plot out ways to respond to the public health crisis. County Executive Angela Alsobrooks rolled out a new “COVID-19 Business Relief Fund” Wednesday, allowing companies to apply for loans of up to $100,000 and grants of up to $10,000. (Wash Bus Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • Prince George’s Schools Hand Out Laptops, Offer Internet to Bridge Digital Divide

    With schools closed because of the coronavirus crisis, many of Prince George’s County Public Schools’ 136,000 students are facing “extraordinary hurdles” in continuing their education, the district said. Families without access to computers or internet at home can pick up a laptop computer and arrange internet service with help from the district starting Wednesday. (NBC 4)Read Full Article

  • Van Hollen: Federal Stimulus Money Should Go to Close ‘Homework Gap’

    Since winter, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) has been advocating for federal funding to close “the homework gap” created when millions of students throughout the country lack access to reliable internet at home. Now, with more than 120,000 schools closed throughout the U.S. to stop the spread of COVID-19, the issue is all the more important, Van Hollen said Wednesday. In Maryland, all public schools are closed through at least April 24. School districts are implementing distance learning plans on a county-by-county basis. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • Howard County proposes real estate tax hike to pay for schools

    Howard County is proposing a hike in real estate taxes to help pay for a new high school in Jessup as part of the proposed 2021 capital budget. The school would be the 13th high school in the suburban Baltimore county and is expected to hold up to 1,650 students. Plans to begin development in the coming year would include hiking the real estate transfer tax from 1% to 1.5% as part of a $92.7 million capital budget request for education, County Executive Calvin Ball said Wednesday. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • Salisbury University students escape from Peru amid coronavirus shutdown

    They knew the risks, but a spring break trip to Peru was too tempting to pass up. A group of Salisbury University students had planned since September to head to South America during the weeklong vacation colleges provide mid-semester. Eleven girls from the SU rugby team set out looking to enjoy the Peruvian beaches, shops and culture. Many of the athletes were set to graduate in the spring, using the trip as a final team-bonding experience. (Delmarva)Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • GBMC discharges first coronavirus patient who was on ventilator

    The Greater Baltimore Medical Center discharged its first coronavirus patient Wednesday who required being hooked up to a ventilator. In a video message, GBMC President and CEO John B. Chessare said the hospital was “pausing for a moment of celebration.” The president said in the video that the emergency department has not seen an increase in the number of patients with repository symptoms. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Low-Income Communities Hit Especially Hard By COVID-19

    There are hundreds of families living at Douglass Homes affordable housing community in Baltimore who said it’s hard to find essential items at their local grocery stores during the coronavirus pandemic. Ron Williams is a resident at Douglass Homes who lost his job on March 18. He said that things have been difficult ever since. “Money is tight, bills aren’t getting paid,” he said. (WJZ) Read Full Article

  • OIG Report Finds DPW Employee Stole Time, Falsified Time Sheets, Used City Vehicle For Personal Use

    The Office of Inspector General in Baltimore has found that a Department of Public Works’s Water and Waste Water Bureau- specifically Washington Boulevard employee allegedly violated several Baltimore City and DPW policies while on duty between November and December 2019. The allegations include stealing time, falsifying time sheets and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. (WJZ) Read Full Article

  • Maryland to bump salaries of frontline workers in coronavirus crisis; rates still below double pay received earlier

    Maryland’s state government is offering a pay bump to certain state employees who must work through the coronavirus pandemic. The offer of $3.13 per hour in extra pay is significantly less than the double-time rates the state paid some workers before discontinuing that policy more than a week ago. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Mohler: We Can’t Even Agree on a Virus. Why Are We Surprised?

    So fighting a worldwide pandemic has now become just another partisan issue to be debated endlessly on cable news. Science used to matter. Today? Not so much. Are you on Team Fauci or Team Trump? In time of a national crisis, unfortunately we pick our mascots and head to the battlefield. But these disagreements are not new, and they extend far beyond the really important stuff like whether or not a killer virus is among us. (Mohler)Read Full Article

  • Wilson: Renters Need Relief

    Today is the first of April, for some it’s been the beginning of a new month, April Fools Day, and for renters it’s the date when the month’s rent is due. While evictions are currently on pause, rent payments are still being assessed by property owners and management companies. On average, renters pay between 30%-33% of their total income on rent, and with so many people having been either laid off or furloughed during COVID-19, many of them will find themselves with a heavy burden once the evictions are lifted, when they will be forced to pay for the missed month(s). (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • Editorial: U.S. needed $2T infrastructure investment before COVID-19. Now, it really needs it.

    Long before anyone gave much thought to a viral pandemic or contemplated 20% unemployment rates or seriously considered passing along a $600 boost to unemployment checks or bailing out the airline industry, experts were fretting about the state of U.S. public infrastructure — all those roads and bridges, pipes and wires, runways and transit systems that keep the economy moving. Americans expect clean water and waste treatment when they turn on the tap or flush. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Barry: Coronavirus ‘essential workers’ have rights too

    You used to be a disposable workforce. Now you’re essential. If you are an “essential worker” and can spare enough time to get on a laptop, you can read the panegyrics. You are the ones who keep the machine or the institution or the state going. Offices are empty, and restaurants, bars, stores are all closed in Maryland. Yet without essential workers like you on-site, doing your job, everything falls apart. You include maintenance workers, police, nurses, information technology staff, plumbers, garbage men, truck drivers, grocery clerks, construction workers. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article