Politics

  • Maryland completes initial investigation into $501M fraudulent unemployment claims scheme

    The state of Maryland has concluded its initial review into a $501 million fraudulent unemployment claims scheme uncovered in July, and announced that it has identified more than 123,000 additional claims that are likely fraudulent. The Department of Labor first revealed on July 15 that it had discovered a "massive and sophisticated criminal enterprise" that had filed tens of thousands of fraudulent Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claims with the state. PUA claims are part of new federal program rolled out in May that provides unemployment coverage to independent contractors, gig workers, sole proprietors and other self-employed people. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • Elijah Cummings endured ‘pure pain’ from Trump’s Twitter attacks, Maryland congressman writes in posthumous book

    In the months before his death, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings wrote that he endured “pure pain” from repeated Twitter attacks by President Donald Trump — whom he once wanted to trust — but resolved not to be baited into responding in anger. “You can imagine it and try to dismiss it, saying he’s just a blowhard and schoolyard tough guy, using his thumbs on Twitter like fists,” the Baltimore Democrat wrote in a book being released next Tuesday. “But the reality, the harsh cold onslaught, is just pure pain.” (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Maryland prosecutors say they’re best equipped to prosecute police misconduct

    As Maryland lawmakers consider policing reforms, local prosecutors are pushing to maintain their authority to prosecute cases of police misconduct. Elected state’s attorneys told a group of lawmakers Thursday that they are better suited to take problem officers to court — not the attorney general, the state prosecutor or another entity. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Senate approves new grant program, increased federal funding for Chesapeake Bay

    The U.S. Senate has approved a spending increase for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program and the creation of a $15 million program to help with habitat restoration on the Bay. The Senate measure increase funding for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program from $40 million to $92 million. The Senate also approved creation of a new $15 million U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant program to help restore habitats on the Eastern Shore and other Bay regions. (Star Dem) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Venetoulis: Bring in the Thugs

    Here’s why it’s a mistake to ignore Trump’s stunning refusal to accept the election results.  He has a psychotic objection to losing but it’s increasingly evident he can’t win.  His only strategy is to weaponize his cult.  He has access to at least fifteen law enforcement posses buried in various agencies under HIS command, not local law enforcement authorities—a militia with no chain of command or training in civilian crowd control—bursting with a thuggish relish to carry weapons, bully others and wear uniforms of authority. Read Full Article

  • The Light House Increases Meals, Provides Housing Solutions with Support from Bank of America

    As COVID-19 continues to challenge jobs throughout Maryland, The Light House is experiencing the ripple effect of unemployment in Anne Arundel County. Along with a significant increase in meals being distributed, the local nonprofit has shifted gears in preparation for an increase in homelessness throughout the county. The Light House recently received a grant from Bank of America, which has helped the nonprofit to prepare for the anticipated need. “We’re concerned with the rate of unemployment, that after some of the moratoriums on evictions have been lifted, there will be an imminent risk of homelessness county-wide. We’re preparing to be a lifeline to those desperately trying to avoid homelessness,” said Jo Ann Mattson, Executive Director of The Light House.Read Full Article

  • Rev. Dr. Al Hathaway: Me Black Too

    One of the iconic images of the 1968 Riots was a Korean storeowner located within a community posting a hand printed sign on his store window saying, “Me Black Too.” The purpose of the signage was to prevent his store from being looted or burned by identifying with the angry Black people who had been extremely agitated by the assassination of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis on that fateful day, April 4, 1968. That’s what occurred after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the powder keg of racial abuse and injustice exploded and cities throughout America were set on fire. Read Full Article

  • Toward a brighter Sun

    It’s as hard to imagine Baltimore without The Sun as a day without daylight. The newspaper’s motto, after all, is “Light For All,” an elegant and egalitarian expression of the desire to keep Baltimoreans and Marylanders as informed as good citizenship requires. Arunah Abell, the top-hatted founder of The Sun in 1837, charged only a penny for daily enlightenment. By the time his relatives and successors sold The Sun to a large media company 150 years later, it was worth a small fortune. (Dan Rodricks)Read Full Article

Business

  • Union workers at USM schools raise safety, bargaining concerns

    Union workers have told state legislators most of Maryland's public universities are not doing enough to sufficiently and uniformly protect campus employees during Covid-19. Several local members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) trade union lamented the working conditions at University System of Maryland campuses amid the pandemic, and detailed their ongoing concerns about health and safety, during a virtual meeting with legislators and state university leaders Wednesday. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • MedStar, CareFirst announce partnership to improve access to care

    Two of the largest players in Maryland’s health care industry are forming a partnership they say will improve access to quality care. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the region’s largest not-for-profit health care insurance company, and MedStar Health, its largest not-for-profit health care provider, said the two organizations are working together to offer value-based health care for the communities they serve. (Daily Record)Read Full Article

  • Group that includes Sinclair acquires firm with sports media rights for UMd., other schools

    A group spearheaded by veteran media exec Michael Schreiber, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Access Holdings has acquired Outfront Media Sports, the collegiate multimedia rights holder for LSU, Maryland, Virginia and other schools. Schreiber, the founder, will become CEO of a new full-service sports marketing agency, Playfly Sports, and Outfront's college and high school rights holder business will be rebranded to Playfly Sports Properties. Playfly has acquired two other esports companies — Collegiate Star League and the World Gaming Network. Terms of the Outfront acquisition were not available. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • No exception for Maryland Theatre capacity, state says

    Despite a letter from Washington County's lawmakers and commissioners, the state will keep capacity limits on The Maryland Theatre. Gov. Larry Hogan's administration has imposed limits on gatherings and audiences because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those rules include a 100-person capacity limit on indoor theaters, like the landmark Maryland Theatre on South Potomac Street in downtown Hagerstown. (Herald Mail) Read Full Article

Education

  • Baltimore County Public Schools To Bring Back School-Based Staff, Small Groups Of Students This November

    The decision to reopen schools for in-person learning has been a tough one across Maryland with many remaining virtual. On Thursday, Baltimore County Public Schools announced plans to bring some students back into the classroom in November. “This is a big thing, and we know there’s going to be a lot of anxiety,” said Baltimore County Schools spokesman Brandon Orland. (WJZ)Read Full Article

  • Two Archbishop Spalding High students test positive for coronavirus; private school pivots to online learning through Friday

    Two Archbishop Spalding High School students tested positive for the coronavirus a weekend after students had an “off-campus social gathering,” according to a letter sent to families of the private school in Severn on Wednesday. The school will pivot to online learning for Thursday through Friday to do contact tracing after receiving guidance from the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The school also reached out to the county health department for follow-up guidance and procedures, the letter signed by President Kathleen Mahar reads. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • After photo of teacher giving finger to Trump sticker goes viral, John Carroll School dismisses her, changes social media policies

    A recently hired John Carroll history teacher became the subject of a social media firestorm last week after a two-year old photo of her surfaced making an obscene gesture toward a bumper sticker supporting President Donald Trump. Now, the teacher has been fired from the Bel Air Catholic school, and John Carroll administration overhauled its presence on social media, removing a public Facebook page and setting up private pages for current students, parents and alumni. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Salisbury University president: 'We intend to remain open'

    Salisbury University currently has no plans to close campus operations, according to president Charles Wight. In a Thursday briefing, Wight reported SU has passed 400 positive COVID-19 cases and tallied a 4.3% overall positivity rate; 372 of those cases were reported in the past seven days as Salisbury concluded its mandatory testing period for students, faculty and staff. However, the university president was adamant the campus will stay open despite an increase in cases. SU's weekly positivity rate, which currently sits at 6.2%, still trails Wicomico County and the state of Maryland. (Delmarva) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Maryland’s coronavirus tallies grow by 631 cases, 5 deaths; state surpasses 15,000 hospitalizations since start of pandemic

    Maryland officials reported 631 new cases of coronavirus and five new deaths associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, on Thursday. Those additions bring the state to 118,519 confirmed infections and 3,717 fatalities during the pandemic’s six months. Through Tuesday’s data, Maryland has the 22nd-most cases per capita and 12th-most deaths per capita among states, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland starts preparing for a COVID-19 vaccine

    Maryland health officials are already planning how to deploy a COVID-19 vaccine whenever one becomes available. On Wednesday, the same day federal officials announced ambitious plans to distribute a vaccine within 24 hours of its authorization, Maryland Department of Health leaders briefed state lawmakers on their plans. Medically vulnerable people and health care workers will likely be among the first to receive the vaccine, said Dr. Jinlene Chan, Maryland's acting deputy health secretary. But the supply of the vaccine will be limited at first. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Feds tie Baltimore’s ‘N.F.L.’ group to contract killing of rapper Nick Breed, drug supply that killed member’s own father

    His rap songs preached non-violence, but in late 2018 members of Edmondson Village’s “N.F.L.” organization believed Dominic Gantt, known as “Nick Breed,” was planning to avenge one of their murders. Federal prosecutors say N.F.L. placed a bounty on Gantt. When he was gunned down on Oct. 21, 2018, another member of the organization said in a wiretapped phone call the deed was done: “We got the rapper outta there.” (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Annapolis housing authority board approves $900,000 federal discrimination lawsuit settlement

    The Annapolis housing authority Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $900,000 settlement in a federal discrimination lawsuit on Thursday, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Capital. The agreement mirrors in many ways a consent decree the Annapolis City Council agreed to last week, including the monetary settlement of $900,000 that will be paid to the 15 families who are plaintiffs in the case. The sum includes the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs. (Cap Gazette) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Why the CDC’s eviction moratorium isn’t enough to prevent evictions in Maryland

    COVID-19 has lit a torch on the systemic social and economic inequities faced by communities of color with respect to health care, livable wages and affordable, safe housing. Congress has failed to prioritize housing stability and pass adequate relief measures for tenants facing evictions while eviction protections in Maryland and around the country have expired. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19” Order. The CDC order is intended to provide broad relief from evictions until December 31. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Two years after Jordan McNair’s death, Maryland is back to putting football above student health

    The death of Jordan McNair, the 19-year-old University of Maryland offensive lineman who died of heatstroke two years ago, hit College Park hard, and rightly so. It wasn’t just that the onetime McDonogh School football star died as a result of outdoor spring practices in the heat and humidity but that the event was so preventable. As medical experts noted at the time, exertional heat stroke has a 100% survival rate if the problem had simply been diagnosed and treated with something as simple as an ice bath. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Our Say: Annapolis council ducks action on affordable housing, once again

    Once again, the Annapolis City Council has pulled back from actions that would make the city a more affordable place to live. Alderman Rob Savidge this week withdrew affordable housing legislation that would have allowed the creation of accessory dwelling units in almost every part of the city where single-family detached homes can be built. It didn’t have enough votes to pass. (Cap Gazette)Read Full Article

  • The digital divide

    Internet connectivity and the digital divide have been long-term challenges across the Eastern Shore as well as other rural and small town communities across the country. The problem has jumped to the forefront again with the start of the new school year and school districts having students take classes from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Star Dem) Read Full Article