Politics

  • Maryland DNR names new head of Natural Resources Police

    Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that Chestertown Police Chief G. Adrian Baker will serve as the newest superintendent of Natural Resources Police. In a news release, the department wrote that Baker will replace superintendent Col. Robert K. “Ken” Ziegler Jr., who resigned Thursday. Baker will take over as superintendent Sept. 11, the department wrote, and Ziegler will stay on as superintendent until that day. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Trump administration change could eliminate food assistance for an estimated 15,000 Baltimore residents

    Baltimore resident Ella M. Scovens didn’t mince words voicing her opposition to a proposal to remove 3.1 million people from a federal food assistance program. Why would the federal government “have the audacity to take our food” and put the well-being of the nation’s children in jeopardy, the 79-year-old widow asked. Scovens, Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and other advocates criticized the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed eligibility changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or SNAP, but formerly known as food stamps — at the Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging in Northwest Baltimore on Thursday. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Legislative Leaders, Frosh Tap Prescription Drug Board Members, Await Hogan Action

    Former Maryland Health Secretary Van Mitchell has been tapped to lead the Prescription Drug Affordability Board. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) announced Thursday that they were appointing former state Health Secretary Van Mitchell to lead the state’s new Prescription Drug Affordability Board. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • Maryland horse-racing commission dominated by industry players. They manage cash awards -- and win them.

    Most members of the Maryland Racing Commission are financially invested in the sport they govern, including several who have won cash awards from a state program managed by the panel, a Baltimore Sun investigation has found. Maryland law for three decades has allowed no more than four members of the nine-seat commission that regulates the industry to “have a financial interest" in horse racing. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Conference Reading: Liberals for Inequality

    My colleague Binyamin Appelbaum recently went to a meeting of the Montgomery County Council in suburban Maryland. There, he watched well-off homeowners fight against a new ordinance to create additional housing. “You work hard, and you get to go live in Montgomery County,” one retired lawyer said. “Does that mean it has to be the first place you live? No. You can drive a little further and work your way up to it.” The attitudes at that meeting were another example of Nimbyism — the “not in my backyard” phenomenon, in which people oppose development in their own communities, even when it would have big benefits. Nimbyism has also been an issue in San Francisco, New York, Boston and other metropolitan areas. (New York Times)Read Full ArticleRegister Now

  • Conference Reading: NCSHA Washington Report

    In an otherwise thoughtful overview of the housing crisis and the various proposals to address it from Democrats running for president, Vox’s Matthew Iglesias concludes, “There’s no particular reason the real estate problems facing writers in a handful of expensive coastal cities should dominate the national policy conversation,” and so, “housing looks more like a niche state and local issue that happens to be salient in the country’s main media and political circles … likely as it should be.” As the current frontrunner among the Democrats might say, “What a bunch of malarkey.” In fact, 54 million people live in rural areas that the USDA says have a “most severe need” or “moderately severe need” for the production of more affordable rental housing. (NCSHA)Read Full Report

  • Conference Reading: Inequities in Opportunity and Achievement in Maryland

    "Maryland has long prided itself on its education system. A deeper look at the data, however, shows that statewide averages mask deep inequities in opportunity for certain groups of students. These gaps in opportunity lead to gaps in achievement between students of color and White students, as well as between low-income students and higher income students. What’s more, racial inequities persist among students of similar family income levels. To be clear, these disparities are a reflection of how we organize our schools and shortchange certain students when it comes to critical educational opportunities/resources from early childhood through high school." (Ed Trust)Read Full Report

  • Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative of Maryland Reached Hundreds of Residents Across The State With Educational Trailer Featuring Signs of Substance Misuse

    The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Maryland teamed up with its partners to bring the RALI CARES interactive trailer to locations across the state in an effort to help educate parents and adults on the warning signs of teenage substance misuse.Read Full Article

Business

  • Frosh announces joint effort to combat illegal robocalls

    A coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies have agreed to a set of principles to fight illegal robocalls, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General announced Thursday. All 50 states and Washington D.C. were involved in the bipartisan effort and companies including AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon signed on, according to a news release. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Owner Of 3 Construction Companies Pleads Guilty To Scheme To Defraud Customer Of More Than $1.7M

    The owner of three construction companies pleaded guilty Thursday to a scheme to defraud a customer of more than $1.7 million. Ivan Thrane, 65, of Dickerson, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in connection with a scheme to defraud a company of more than $1.7 million. Thrane admitted that between August 2015 and January 2017, he conspired with the project manager at Victim Company 1, to defraud the company by submitting fraudulent payment requests for work purportedly performed by the Thrane companies. (WJZ) Read Full Article

  • Everywhere Communications raises $6.1M

    An Annapolis company that provides cellular and satellite data communications raised $6.1 million in its second funding round. Everywhere Communications Inc. raised the money in a round led by technology venture fund Gemini Capital LLC. 80% of Everywhere’s initial investors executed a follow-on investment, and the company attracted several new investors, the company said in a news release. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Digital Medical Tech raises $1.5M in seed round

    Digital Medical Tech, an Annapolis-based solution provider for hospital management and asset tracking, announced Thursday it raised $1.5 million in seed capital. St. Louis, Missouri-based DMTI Capital Partners LLC provided the funding, which will be used to launch a nationwide engagement program for targeting health care providers and potential partnerships. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

Education

  • Kirwan Workgroup Members Push Back Against Governor’s ‘Half-Baked’ Comment

    Frustrations boiled over at the start of an education reform meeting in Annapolis on Thursday, following Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s earlier comments that the commission’s initial legislation was “half-baked.” William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chairman of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence, which has recommended top-to-bottom education K-12 education reforms in the state, called Hogan’s statement “unfair” and “demeaning” at a meeting of officials plotting a funding formula to cover the pricey reforms. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • A slow-motion crisis: Student loan debt exacts mounting toll on US economy

    When Brittany Jones told a group of senators five years ago about the $70,000 in debt she accumulated while earning her early childhood education degree, lawmakers already feared that a surge in student loans was reaching crisis proportions.With $1.3 trillion outstanding, the debt load had the potential to keep graduates out of the housing markets for years, forestalling life milestones such as getting married and starting families and preventing them from opening new businesses, said Sen. Patty Murray, the Washington Democrat who chaired the Senate Budget Committee at the time. (Wash. Examiner) Read Full Article

  • D.C. area schools to tackle student safety, achievement gap

    School starts Monday in D.C. and Fairfax County, and officials are gearing up to tackle issues such as closing the achievement gap, updating curricula and facilities, and ensuring kids feel safe. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the District is approaching the achievement gap issue holistically through its new Connected Schools program. “So we know that we can help students better achieve when their families have stable housing, when they have access to great health care, when families know how to connect with the social services that are abundant in our city,” Miss Bowser said at a press conference this week. (Wash. Times) Read Full Article

  • UM UCH receives ANCC Pathway to Excellence designation

    University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH) joins a premier group of organizations Thursday that have received the Pathway to Excellence designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The Pathway designation is a global credential that highlights UM UCH’s commitment to creating a healthy work environment where nurses feel empowered and valued. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • ‘It’s a waste of time’: Washington is No. 3 in traffic congestion, study says

    It comes as no surprise to commuters: The nation’s traffic is bad and getting worse. Drivers in the Washington region are feeling their share of road congestion, spending more time sitting in traffic, on average, than anyone outside of California. Washington drivers spend 102 hours each year in traffic delays, the third-highest amount in the nation, according to a report released Thursday by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The annual study ranks large metro areas using data on speed and traffic volumes. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Board of Public Works approves funding for environmental restoration projects

    The Board of Public Works approved funding for four environmental restoration projects across Maryland, including one in Queen Anne’s County, which will help to mitigate the effects of rising sea levels along the Kent Narrows. The Board agreed to put a total of $248,480 toward its Resiliency through Restoration initiative, for which it selectively chose four environmental rehabilitation projects to grant funding. (Star Dem.) Read Full Article

  • Proposal advances to deposit Port of Baltimore dredge spoils on Chesapeake Bay’s Barren, James islands

    A proposal is advancing to deposit dredge spoils from the Port of Baltimore onto two eroding Chesapeake Bay islands. Federal and state officials agreed on a plan to spend $5.8 million to design and engineer work to restore Barren and James islands, U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen announced Thursday. The islands and others around the middle portion of the bay have lost 10,500 acres over the past 150 years, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Soulful Symphony cancels rest of Merriweather season due to founder’s injuries

    Soulful Symphony, the resident symphony at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, is canceling its final two shows for the 2019 season because the orchestra’s founder is recovering from injuries he sustained in a car accident last month. “This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but after consulting with my medical team, I know it is the right one,” Darin Atwater said in a statement. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Breimann, Scarr: Baltimore bag ban would help kick plastic problem

    We are winding down another fun summer in Baltimore. We’ve spent countless hot days at street fests, walking our dogs or kids to the park, watching the fireworks from our porches, exercising in Patterson or Druid Hill Park, or dashing out from the office to grab lunch. But there’s one thing we can’t help but notice along the way: plastic bags. Stuck on a tree limb, sitting in a gutter or trampled on the sidewalk, abandoned plastic bags are everywhere in our city. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Editorial: Let Morgan expand its police force

    When Morgan State University President David Wilson visited The Sun’s editorial board this week, the phrase on his lips was “Morgan momentum.” He had a great story to tell. Enrollment is increasing at a time when it is flat or declining at most other Maryland public universities. The percentage of students who return after their freshman year is up, and the graduation rate is skyrocketing. Students are starting businesses, studying abroad and interning in Silicon Valley. Faculty research productivity is up, and the campus is undergoing a building boom. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Editorial: Alternative Fact of the Week: Trump becomes his own Politifact

    We’ve seen some strange stuff since launching the Alternative Fact of the Week feature at the dawn of the Trump administration, from the president accusing his predecessor of tapping his phone to claims of millions of illegal immigrant votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016. But this week we’ve entered uncharted territory. It’s not new that members of President Donald Trump’s administration lied about concerns that the economy could slide into recession or that his trade war with China is hurting Americans. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Pitts: Everyone values education. Except, increasingly, Republicans.

    You'd think it would be the one thing we could all agree upon. Life grows ever more complex. Planetary overheating threatens a future of floods, food shortages and mass migration. We carry supercomputers in our pockets. Robots are taking our jobs. So you'd think, for all the partisan and ideological rancor in this country, the one thing upon which we could come together is education. You'd think we'd all agree it's a good thing. And you'd be wrong. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article