Politics

  • Maryland elections officials poised to offer new November election format to governor as time runs short

    The Maryland Board of Elections considered a recommendation that would again change the format of the November election, but ultimately delayed a final decision — days after being chastised by the governor for “two months of delay and deflection.” The board was scheduled to consider nearly a dozen proposals from local election boards Wednesday for the consolidation of polling places as a result of a statewide election judge shortage in the midst of a pandemic. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Franchot renews call for state to provide $500M in relief to small businesses

    Comptroller Peter Franchot called on Gov. Larry Hogan to spend $500 million from the state's rainy day fund to provide grants to small businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they "need more than rhetoric." Under Franchot's plan, the state would distribute $500 million from its rainy day fund to small businesses in the form of $10,000 grants that could be used to help cover operating costs. The state would partner with local chambers of commerce and the Maryland Retailers Association to vet applications. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • As states, localities face fiscal squeeze, budget hardliners say no to “bailout”

    Groups representing elected officials at every level of government are pleading with Congress to provide more aid to cash-strapped states and counties, warning that crucial services will be imperiled and layoffs will be impossible to avoid if Washington fails to push more cash out the door. Among those leading the call for federal action is Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), whose tenure as head of the National Governors Association ended Wednesday. (Md Matters) Read Full Article

  • Biden on cognitive test: 'Why the hell would I take a test?'

    Joe Biden is pushing back at Republican assertions that he should take a cognitive test to disprove President Donald Trump’s claim that the Democrat isn’t fit for the Oval Office. Biden grew testy when CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett asked the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee about the matter in a recent interview. (AP) 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

  • Sinclair Broadcast boosts revenue and profit but feels impact of sports shutdowns amid coronavirus

    Sinclair Broadcast Group’s stock price dropped 10% Wednesday after the company reported weaker than expected revenue and profit in the second quarter as the coronavirus continued to hurt advertising and postpone televised sports. Sinclair shares lost $2.15 in value during Wednesday trading, closing at $19.32 a share. The drop came even as Sinclair boosted revenue and profit thanks to its recent sports network acquisitions because those results missed Wall Street estimates. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Three Maryland casinos see revenue growth in July despite Covid-19 restrictions

    Three Maryland casinos grew their year-over-year revenues in July despite a state mandate restricting them to 50% capacity amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The latest financial report released by Maryland Lottery and Gaming on Wednesday offers the first picture of a full month in business under the new restrictions on the casino industry, which was shuttered by the virus for three months, from mid-March to mid-June. The closures resulted in the industry's revenue falling by more than a quarter in fiscal 2020, which ran through June. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • With loan money gone, restaurants are at mercy of virus

    The check has arrived and beleaguered restaurant owners across America are looking down on their empty wallets. Government coronavirus loans in the spring helped eating establishments rehire laid-off employees and ride out the pandemic’s initial surge and wave of shutdown orders. But that Paycheck Protection Program money has now been spent at many restaurants, leaving them in the same precarious position they were in during outbreak’s early days: Thousands of restaurants are being forced to close down again on mandates from state and local officials combating the virus’s resurgence, particularly in the South and West. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • During roundtable with Franchot small business owners call for tax credit

    Retailers feeling the economic pinch of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic said a tax credit could help ease their pain. The call for a tax credit came during a roundtable discussion between more than a dozen retailers — mostly small business owners — and Comptroller Peter Franchot that was hosted by the Maryland Retailers Association. The call came in advance of tax-free shopping week, an annual event that exempts clothing and shoes under $100 from state sales taxes and has typically signaled the back-to-school shopping season. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

Education

  • Montgomery County issues new order to block in-person classes at private schools until October

    Montgomery County officials doubled down on their efforts to keep private and religious schools closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, issuing a new order Wednesday to block in-person classes until October. That county has been in a dispute with Gov. Larry Hogan for the last several days over who has the authority to determine whether private schools can bring students back to campus. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Howard County school system receives $13 million in CARES grants, with most going to fund device purchases

    The Howard County Public School System announced Tuesday it received more than $13 million in coronavirus relief grants from the federal government. Most of the money — approximately $11 million — will go toward buying devices for students to use during distance learning or paying off past purchases. Three weeks ago, the Board of Education approved a fully online learning model through the first two quarters of the academic year, which end Jan. 28. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Developer Howard Brown donates $2.5M to UMd. School of Medicine

    Baltimore County developer Howard Brown has donated $2.5 million to establish a professorship in trauma surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Brown, chairman of David S. Brown Ltd. and developer of the sprawling Metro Centre project off Interstate 795, presented the gift this week. It adds to past gifts to UM Medicine for a total of $6.5 million. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • Big Ten players present conference, NCAA with list of demands concerning safety from coronavirus

    A coalition of over 1,000 football student-athletes from the Big Ten on Wednesday released a list of demands to the conference and the NCAA, calling for a “comprehensive plan to ensure the safety and well-being of players leading up to and during the upcoming fall season.” “While we appreciate the Big Ten’s recently announced plan for the upcoming season, we believe that the conference’s proposal falls short in certain areas,” the statement said. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Data analysis: Maryland’s coronavirus cases in July neared April’s numbers

    Maryland added nearly as many coronavirus cases in July as it did in April, when the pandemic began to ramp up in the United States, a data analysis by The Baltimore Sun shows. Last month, the Maryland Department of Health reported 20,428 cases of the coronavirus, a sharp rise from June’s case count of 14,591. July’s numbers account for 23% of the coronavirus cases Maryland has reported since the beginning of the pandemic, while June’s numbers made up 17% of total cases since the outbreak began in March. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Md., Va. band together with other states to purchase rapid-detection coronavirus tests

    Maryland and Virginia are joining five other states in a purchasing coalition to snap up more than 3.5 million rapid-detection coronavirus tests. The deal, announced Tuesday, aims to put pressure on private companies to scale up production of the tests, which can deliver results in less than a half-hour. The states are teaming with the Rockefeller Foundation on the compact, and the private foundation may finance the purchases. (Wash Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • Eastern Shore sees sharp increase as Maryland reports 572 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, 6 more deaths

    Maryland has confirmed 572 new cases of the coronavirus and six more deaths as the state saw significant decreases in positivity rates, but with one Eastern Shore county continuing to see a sharp increase in new cases. Wednesday’s additions bring the state’s total to 92,426 cases of the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus. In total, 3,402 people have died due to the disease or complications from it since officials began tracking the virus in March. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Johns Hopkins reviewing options after NCAA cancels fall championships for Division III schools

    The NCAA’s announcement Tuesday that it would cancel fall championships at the Division II and III levels as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has left Johns Hopkins in a state of limbo. The Blue Jays had known since early July that football was sidelined when the Centennial Conference had suspended all competition for fall sports and specified that football would not be played. But any hope that other fall sports such as men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey and women’s volleyball — which won the national championship last season — could have gone on as planned was extinguished by the NCAA’s decision. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Rascovar: Some Truths about Mail-In Voting

    With Donald Trump repeatedly flogging mail-in voting as a fraud on the American people (though he lacks evidence), voting analyst extraordinaire John Willis sent me an extended reply regarding Maryland’s summer mail-in primary. Willis served as Gov. Parris Glendening’s Secretary of State overseeing Maryland presidential elections. He also has a long record as an academic and published author on voting trends and results. He takes a far more positive view of Maryland’s mail-in primary that I did in a couple of columns, and which Gov. Larry Hogan has lambasted repeatedly. (Political Md)Read Full Article

  • My school reopened on June 22. A teacher got Covid-19 just days later.

    When the school where I work as a school psychologist reopened on June 22, about 20 of us on the education staff returned. My school is inside a juvenile detention center. In the spring, while we taught online classes, several Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) workers, who staff the facility 24 hours a day, had contracted the virus, as well as several youth. Fortunately, everyone recovered, and by mid-June there hadn’t been a case in the facility for a month. Statewide, Maryland had done well with flattening the curve. Many youth had been released, so we returned to only 35 students. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • Editorial: Stronger hurricanes, worsened wildfires, record heat - the climate warnings march on

    After a stifling hot July that saw 25 days of 90-degree-plus weather — breaking a record that stood for nearly a century and a half — August swept into Maryland with tornadoes and torrential rain from Tropical Storm Isaias. While severe weather is not a new phenomenon, experts warn that this pattern of stronger, wetter hurricanes and tropical storms, and longer stretches of high temperatures in the summer, is likely a product of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article

  • The 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki reminds us of the need to ban nuclear weapons

    In 1945, Jacob Beser, a 24-year-old air force lieutenant from Baltimore, was the only crew member to be on both flights that dropped atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Though he never regretted what he had done, according to his grandson Ari Beser, he felt he had to bear witness to the worst act of inhumanity of man against his fellow man. As we approach the 75th anniversary of Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945, few are left to recall the shock as information leaked out about the atomic bombs that instantly destroyed two Japanese cities and propelled the whole world into the nuclear age. (Balt Sun)Read Full Article