Politics

  • Former state Del. Cheryl Glenn pleads guilty to federal wire fraud, bribery charges

    Former state Del. Cheryl Glenn pleaded guilty to bribery and wire fraud charges in court Wednesday, about a month after federal prosecutors unveiled charges alleging she accepted political bribes. During an arraignment hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse in Baltimore, Glenn pleaded guilty to two charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for May 8. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • A Republican has never represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. These Republicans are running anyway.

    Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 4 to 1 in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from lining up to run for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Eight Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination in a Feb. 4 special primary for the seat left vacant by the October death of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings. They say they are eager to bring their ideas to the district that includes parts of Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Feds to cut up to 15,000 in Baltimore from food stamps; Maryland, other states suing to halt change

    As many as 15,000 people in Baltimore could see their food stamp benefits slashed under a new Trump administration rule that tightens eligibility requirements. Maryland recently joined more than a dozen states in suing to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from moving forward with the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. But should the rule go into effect as planned this spring, it would have a devastating impact on Baltimore’s economy and the health of its residents, city officials wrote in a declaration of support for the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Hogan: Lift H-2B visas cap to help Maryland's seafood industry

    With Maryland’s blue crab harvest season starting on April 1, Gov. Larry Hogan is urging federal officials to make more H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program visas available to help protect Maryland’s $355 million seafood industry and supply chain. In a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, the governor also called for a long-term, permanent solution to provide certainty to rural Maryland and in particular the Eastern Shore. (Delmarva) 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

  • Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford to promote Maryland’s health, cyber industries in the Middle East

    Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford is leading an economic development trip to the Middle East beginning Friday. Rutherford will lead a delegation of state employees and Maryland-based businesses to a health conference in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and to a cybertechnology conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, his office announced Wednesday. The Republican lieutenant governor’s agenda for the trip, which will end Feb. 2, will be to "focus on promoting Maryland’s global reputation as a leader in the healthcare and cybersecurity industries.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Advertisers hope proposed digital tax is 'dead on arrival'

    Local advertising agencies and national industry trade associations are gearing up to fight first-of-its-kind legislation in Maryland that would impose a tax on digital advertising services. Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and Senate President Bill Ferguson have sponsored Senate Bill 2, which could generate money to help pay for billions of dollars in public education reforms. As proposed, the tax rates for digital advertising would range from 2.5% to 10% depending on a company's global annual gross revenue. There is no estimate for how much revenue the tax would generate for the state. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • This Fulton startup just raised $6.8M — and it's moving to Philadelphia

    Circonus, the data tech startup led by veteran Philadelphia tech executive Bob Moul, raised $6.8 million in a Series A1 funding round as it seeks to grow its staff and relocate its Fulton headquarters. The new funding round was led by Philadelphia-based investment firm Osage Venture Partners, joined for the first time by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the regional arm of the state-backed seed fund, and Bull City Ventures, an early-stage venture firm based in Durham, North Carolina. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Annapolis design firm to relocate to South Baltimore

    An Annapolis architecture firm with several high-profile contracts in Baltimore is moving its headquarters to the city this spring.CRGA Design has leased 10,032 square feet of space — the entire third floor — of the newly redeveloped Union Bros. complex in South Baltimore, on the border of Federal Hill and Sharp-Leadenhall, for its new offices, firm officials said Tuesday. "We’ve grown 50% over the last three years and we expect to continue," said Rolf Haarstad, senior vice president at CRGA. "This will give us more space." (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • School District Responds To Lawsuit By Parents Of Jaelynn Willey, Teen Killed In Great Mills High School Shooting

    The parents of a teenager killed at Great Mills High School in March 2018 are now suing the school. 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey was shot by her ex-boyfriend who then turned the gun on himself. The lawsuit, filed Friday, states the school had a responsibility to protect Willey and that it failed to do so. Police said Austin Rollins used a semi-automatic handgun to shoot his ex-girlfriend and another 14-year-old boy in a first-floor hallway at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County. (WJZ) Read Full Article

  • School system says state found allegation of improper help unsubstantiated

    School officials in suburban Maryland on Wednesday pushed back on a teacher’s allegations of improper assistance on projects required for graduation, saying state investigators had found a claim of cheating to be unsubstantiated. Montgomery County school officials said educators provided help to one student on a “bridge project” — done to qualify for a diploma when students do not pass state-required exams — but that the state found the assistance was permitted and appropriate. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • University of Maryland School of Law establishes U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings scholarship

    The University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law has established a scholarship in honor of the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who graduated from the school in 1976. The Cummings scholarship has an initial endowment of $50,000 and will be awarded annually to one Maryland Carey Law student who has an interest in public service, a record of academic excellence and demonstrated financial need, according to a University of Maryland news release. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • School funding lawsuit filed by civil rights groups can continue, judge says

    A Baltimore City Circuit judge Tuesday preserved a decades old lawsuit that had pushed the state to provide millions more for Baltimore’s schools, a ruling that eventually could have far-reaching consequences for state funding of public schools in Maryland. The ACLU of Maryland and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund went to court last March to reopen a landmark case filed in 1994. They argued the the state is not living up to its obligation — spelled out in a consent decree two decades ago — to provide enough funding for city schools. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Baltimore Police hiring woes continue, alarming federal judge overseeing mandated reform efforts

    The Baltimore Police Department’s critical shortage of officers continues to slow internal affairs investigations, contributes to low morale and is delaying many of the reforms required under a federal consent decree reached nearly three years ago, a recent report says. U.S. District Court Judge James K. Bredar, overseeing the mandated changes, said the lack of new hires has become dire. Staffing is “one of the most critical crisis areas confronting the department,” Bredar said in court Wednesday. He said he will order the department to submit monthly hiring and attrition numbers to the court. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore County had its deadliest year on record in 2019. Now, county leaders have a new plan to fight crime.

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. and Police Chief Melissa Hyatt unveiled a new approach Wednesday to reduce violent crime after a record year for homicides. Olszewski has pushed public safety among his priorities for the Maryland General Assembly’s 2020 legislative session. On Wednesday, he joined Hyatt to release a plan focusing on “five key priority areas” for combating crime. “Keeping our communities safe is among the most important responsibilities of government,” Olszewski said. “Any increase in violent crime is unacceptable.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Before Oprah stepped into the messiness of “American Dirt,” a Maryland book festival invited an entire city to read the novel

    When Oprah picked “American Dirt” for her book club this week, she stepped into a controversy rooted in identity, voice and representation. But already standing there was a popular Maryland book festival. The Gaithersburg Book Festival had already invited an entire city to read the novel, an early embrace it noted in a tweet Tuesday. “We got there first, Oprah!” that tweet reads. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article  

  • ‘It’s horrific’: East Baltimore advocates, leaders left with questions after body found in burning car

    A body found in a burning car alarmed authorities and baffled advocates and community leaders in East Baltimore’s Lake Clifton neighborhood this week. The Baltimore City Fire Department responded to the 2800 block of St. Lo Drive for a reported brush fire around 9:30 p.m. Monday, but discovered a burning car when they arrived, department spokeswoman Blair Adams said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and found the body inside, Adams said, with the victim being pronounced dead at the scene. The gender of the person has not been released. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Editorial: Carroll County reconsiders its anti-immigrant message

    Seven years ago this week and after much heated debate, Carroll County’s governing board of commissioners voted to make English the official language. Now, the same body appears likely to repeal the requirement, perhaps in a matter of weeks. The chief reason? Because, as Commissioner Dennis Frazier reports, the original legislation has done nothing to improve life in the county except send a divisive message to those who work or live there. “I think it puts a stain on Carroll County, and I would like to get that off,” the Westminster resident and recently retired teacher told the Carroll County Times. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Zurawik: Impeachment trial - History and the future of democracy or cable TV smackdown?

    One side is primarily playing to history, while the other is playing to right-wing cable TV and President Donald Trump’s base. That’s the media story within the televised impeachment trial of Mr. Trump in the Senate this week. And it’s much more engaging than I expected. The big battle, of course, is whether or not the Senate will find Mr. Trump guilty as charged in the House articles of impeachment. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Muhammed: Baltimore’s black men helping each other

    On Monday’s National Celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy, I responded to the call to be among the 1,000 men walking in the MLK Day Parade in Baltimore. It was an honor to say the least. Walking shoulder to shoulder, side by side with other men from various religious and socio-economic backgrounds was not only a sight to behold, but also a statement that needed to be made. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Editorial: Maryland prison staffing ‘crisis’ endangers inmates, officers

    If you want to be an entry level correctional officer in Maryland, this is what you can look forward to, according to a job description posted by the state: being on call 24 hours a day and subduing and restraining inmates “during fights, riots and escape attempts.” You’ll be required to undergo firearms training, routine drug testing and a background check. And that’s all for a starting salary as low as $42,013 a year — or about $20 an hour for a 40-hour work week. That might be enough for a single person to support themselves, but it’s $10 an hour short (or $19,430 a year) if you add even one child into the household mix, according to a living wage calculator developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article