Politics

  • Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleads guilty to conspiracy, tax evasion in ‘Healthy Holly’ book scheme

    Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy and tax evasion Thursday, publicly acknowledging wrongdoing involving her “Healthy Holly” book deals for the first time since The Baltimore Sun began exposing them in March. The plea in federal court came one day after prosecutors alleged in an 11-count indictment that Pugh’s self-publishing enterprise amounted to little more than a criminal racket. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Officials in Montgomery, Pr. George's reject toll-lane study for Beltway, I-270

    Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to add toll lanes to the Beltway and Interstate 270 received a cold shoulder Wednesday from planning officials in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. According to The Washington Post, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission unanimously voted against the state’s plan because they said state officials had not addressed their questions about the toll-lane plan’s environmental impacts, finances and lack of transit options. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Elijah Cummings daughters snub late congressman's widow in race to replace him

    The two adult daughters of the late House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings are spurning the candidacy of the Maryland Democrat's widow, who is running for the seat he held for 23 years. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a former Maryland Democratic Party chairwoman, is one of several prominent figures running in the Feb. 4 special election to represent a district covering much of Baltimore and leafy suburbs to the north and west that includes several rural stretches. (Wash. Examiner) Read Full Article

  • Western Maryland Republican delegate to run for Congress

    A western Maryland Republican says he is running for Congress. Del. Neil Parrott of Washington County made the announcement on Thursday. He is running for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Rep. David Trone in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. The district includes all of Allegany and Garrett counties, as well as parts of Frederick and Montgomery counties. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Ransom: LifeBridge Acquisition of Bon Secours is a Win for West Baltimore

    Too often, the news in west Baltimore isn’t very positive. For a part of the city that faces myriad challenges, this month marked a major win—a new partnership between Bon Secours and LifeBridge Health. Earlier this month, Bon Secours, Mercy Health, and LifeBridge Health completed LifeBridge Health’s acquisition of Bon Secours Hospital. This merger will result in improved health services and an important investment in an area of our city that is deeply in need. At the same time, Bon Secours will continue to its community works program to deliver critical services and housing in west Baltimore.Read Full Article

  • Conference Reading: Education secretaries - Do what’s tough to do, what’s right in diversifying Howard County schools

    Throughout history, students have often led the way for civil rights and social justice — from participating in the Freedom Rides challenging Jim Crow and demanding the desegregation of interstate buses to leading the campaign to dismantle apartheid in South Africa. Even as adults hesitate to act, students are boldly leading the way on issues from common sense gun reform to climate change. Right now, in Howard County, there is a debate on school diversity. In fact, almost three-quarters of the high school students from low-income backgrounds in Howard County attend just five of the county’s 12 high schools; just over a quarter of students are spread across the remaining seven high schools. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Conference Reading: Where Civility Is a Motto, a School Integration Fight Turns Bitter

    The planned community of Columbia, southwest of Baltimore, has prided itself on its ethos of inclusion ever since it was founded more than half a century ago. Racially integrated. Affordable apartments near big homes. “The Next America” was its optimistic, harmonious motto. But a recent proposal to restore some of that idealism by balancing the number of low-income children enrolled in schools across Howard County, including those in Columbia, has led to bitter divisions. Protesters in matching T-shirts have thronged school board meetings. Thousands of letters and emails opposing the redistricting plan, some of them overtly racist, have poured in to policymakers. One high school student made a death threat against the superintendent of schools, Michael J. Martirano. (NYT)Read Full Article

  • Ransom: Now is the time to think about your Health Insurance

    This is the season for Health Insurance Open enrollment. Many employers are having employees make decisions and general open enrollment to buy, change, or renew a qualified health plan for 2020 began Friday, November 1 and runs to Sunday, December 15 for healthcare starting on January 1, 2020.  MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, encourages all individuals to sign up for health insurance for themselves and their families.Read Full Article

Business

  • Ride-Share Programs’ Impact On Buses, Cabs Discussed

    It’s no secret emergence of ride-share programs such as Uber and Lyft have impacted the local taxi cab industry and even the resort’s municipal bus system, but the extent to which remains relatively unknown. During a Transportation Committee meeting this week, Public Works Director Hal Adkins presented an update on the perceived impact of ride-share programs such as Uber and Lyft, for example, on the town’s municipal bus ridership, and perhaps to a larger extent, the city’s privately owned and operated taxi industry.  (Dispatch) Read Full Article

  • Two new retailers coming to Bethesda Row for the holidays

    A pair of retailers will be making their way to Bethesda Row this holiday season, including hair color startup Madison Reed's first East Coast location outside New York City. Madison Reed at Bethesda Row opens Dec. 12 and is part of a nationwide expansion that will include 500 franchises and 100 company-owned stores opening by 2024. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • GM Recalls 640K Pickups; Seat Belts Can Cause Carpet Fires

    General Motors is recalling over 640,000 pickup trucks worldwide because hot gas from a high-tech seat belt can set the carpeting on fire. The recall covers certain 2019 and 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks. Also included are some 2020 Silverado and Sierra 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups. All have carpet as a floor covering, and most are in North America. (AP) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore County Wins $1.65 Million Grant For Towson Circulator

    Baltimore County has won a federal grant award to support the launch of a Towson Circulator pilot. The $1.65 million award was announced by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes. The grant was requested by County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s administration in an effort to create innovative transportation options for Baltimore County residents. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

Education

  • Howard County School Board Approves Redistricting Plan To Move Over 5K Students In 2020-21

    The Howard County Board of Education voted Thursday to revise Howard County Public School System school attendance areas for the 2020–2021 school year. The meeting lasted about four and a half hours as the board went through each individual polygon, or neighborhood, and passed all but one of its motions. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Severna Park High launches investigation into ‘racist, homophobic, sexually derogatory, and profane’ music

    After an anonymous student tip, Severna Park High administrators and police investigated an audio music recording that contained “racist, homophobic, sexually derogatory, and profane” language, according to a letter sent home on Thursday. The student who made the recording has been identified, said Principal Patrick Bathras. The investigation comes a day after the Anne Arundel Board of Education passed an update to the bias motivated behavior class, in which students will be required to write an apology letter.(Capital)Read Full Article

  • Kirwan Commission Blesses Education Funding Formula, Rollout of Reforms

    The Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education ended with a standing ovation on Thursday ― but there will be plenty more work to do in the upcoming legislative session. With some reservations, 19 members of the commission voted in favor of putting forward a 10-year multibillion-dollar education reform plan and a new state education funding formula to support it. Three members of the commission ― citing financial and other concerns ― voted against the package. Three others were absent at the time of the vote. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • Anne Arundel County Schools Expand Program Aimed To Address Race Relations

    Anne Arundel County Public Schools dealt with more than 200 racial incidents last year alone, and now, the school board is working to address race relations. The school board voted to start a bias-motivated class and expand the curriculum upon the request of the NAACP. Now, a letter will be required for students who have acted out in a racial or prejudiced way, and consequently, must complete the bias-motivated behavioral program. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • This anti-violence program relentlessly courts most at-risk youth. It’s off to ‘remarkable start’ in Baltimore

    Antione Tates was suspicious of the white man who kept showing up at his West Baltimore home, fearing he was a police officer or a probation agent. His mother pleaded with him to call the phone number left at the door. The number turned out to be for an outreach worker for Roca, an intensive anti-violence program that focuses on the city’s most at-risk young men by enrolling them in programs that aim to change their behavior. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Impacted By Salad Product Recall Over E. Coli Bacteria Concerns

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture says thousands of pounds of salad products are being recalled due to a possible E. coli contamination. The department says Missa Bay, LLC from Swedesboro, New Jersey, is recalling more than 75,000 pounds (34,020 kilograms) of salad products that contain meat or poultry because the lettuce may be contaminated with a strain of E. coli. (AP) Read Full Article

  • 1.15 Million Marylanders Expected To Travel This Thanksgiving, AAA Forecasts

    T is not just for turkey this Thanksgiving, it’s also for travel. Nearly 1.15 million Marylanders are expected to travel 50 miles or more from their homes during the Thanksgiving holiday travel weekend, a 2.2 percent increase over 2018, according to AAA. Nationwide, more than 55 million Americans are expected to journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, a 2.9 percent increase over 2018. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Agents make one of the largest tobacco and cigarette busts in Maryland's history

    Authorities said they have arrested and charged two Maryland men in connection with one of the largest tobacco and cigarette busts in the state's history. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said Wednesday the seizure represented more than “half a million dollars of untaxed tobacco products.” The goods resulted in $286,000 in tax loss to the state. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • EDITORIAL Ocean City wind: Bigger can be better

    In the ongoing, drawn-out saga of Maryland’s offshore wind projects, there have been at least two notable events this year. The first was the Maryland Public Service Commission’s recent decision to give two proposed wind farms near Ocean City further public review. Why? Because the developers are proposing turbines 200 feet or more taller than originally planned. The other was a decision by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to authorize construction of a wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • EDITORIAL: Our Say: Anne Arundel school board settles Labor Day debate. Hopefully.

    Remember when Comptroller Peter Franchot and Gov. Larry Hogan stood on the boardwalk in Ocean City way back in August 2016 and announced that schools would be shifting back to a post-Labor Day start of the school year? It seems so long ago, such an innocent time. The ensuing three years included criticism of an attempt by the governor to usurp local authority and an attempt by the General Assembly to return the power to the people by making it a local decision. (Capital) Read Full Article

  • EDITORIAL: Connecting food insecure folks with catering leftovers, an innovative approach in Maryland

    A bounty of food. That is what you’ll get at most wedding receptions, banquets and gala dinners. Event planners and caterers tend to buy too many nibbles and cook more than needed, usually by as much as 20%, because the one thing they don’t want is to run out. That is a major no-no. That means at the end of the night there is almost always plenty left over — and that food normally winds up in the trash. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Rodricks: T.J. Smith, running for mayor, wants to ‘shrink the pool’ of violent offenders in Baltimore

    Get him rolling and T.J. Smith hardly takes a breath when he talks about crime, its effect on the quality of life in Baltimore, and what he would do about it. He’s running for mayor of his hometown in April’s primary, bringing a kind of breathless urgency to a candidacy built more on name and face recognition than on experience in government. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article