Howard County hires first equity and restorative practices manager to strengthen community relationships

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on Thursday announced the hiring of Denise Boston as the county’s first equity and restorative practices manager. As the first person to hold the position, Boston, who grew up in Howard County, was hired to help the county strengthen relationships with disadvantaged communities. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland expands vaccine rollout, with people 75 and older, teachers eligible next week

Maryland will accelerate the expansion of its coronavirus vaccine distribution, allowing elderly Marylanders, teachers and some others to get the shots next week and all older residents in less than two weeks, Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday. But even as Hogan announced the expanded eligibility, the Republican governor warned that not everyone would be able to get vaccinated immediately. He cautioned that it will take some time for vaccines to arrive and for appointments to become available. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland reports 2,516 new coronavirus cases, 37 COVID-19 deaths

The coronavirus pandemic continued to swell in Maryland in the weeks after the holidays as evidenced by the state’s seven-day average of cases per 100,000 residents, which reached 53.39 Tuesday, continuing a streak of record highs during the pandemic, according to state health department data released Wednesday. Maryland, however, remains well below the national average of 75.2 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore City Employee Betsy Gardner Charged With Failing To Disclose Payments From Community Groups

A Baltimore city employee has been charged with perjury for allegedly not disclosing payments she received from community groups while she worked in then-City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s office. The Office of the State Prosecutor announced charges against Elizabeth “Betsy” Gardner on Wednesday. They claim she did not disclose the payments on required city financial disclosure forms. (WJZ)

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Baltimore officials eye West Baltimore Acme business complex for redevelopment

Baltimore officials are looking for developers to redesign three city-owned parcels in West Baltimore at the site of an abandoned industrial complex. In all, the three parcels, which once housed warehouses for Acme supermarkets, account for over 95,000 square feet of land in the city’s Bridgeview-Greenlawn neighborhood, just south of Sandtown-Winchester and north of Harlem Park and Midtown Edmondson. (Balt Sun)

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Overdose deaths jump in Maryland, likely due to coronavirus pandemic, health officials say

More Marylanders died of drug and alcohol overdoses in the first nine months of last year, a jump that health officials attribute to the coronavirus pandemic. State health officials said Wednesday that 2,025 people suffered “unintentional intoxication deaths” between January and September, a 12.1% increase from the same period in 2019. (Balt Sun)

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Coronavirus contact tracers among Baltimore employees who haven’t been paid

Some of Baltimore’s coronavirus contact tracers, employed to help manage the spread of the deadly virus, are among a group of city employees who haven’t been paid or who have received only partial paychecks in the last few weeks, city officials confirmed Wednesday. Administrators in Baltimore have fielded dozens of complaints from employees whose pay was incorrect or missing. Officials blame much of the problem on Baltimore’s transition from paper timecards to Workday, a digital human resources and payroll platform. The change became official last week. (Balt Sun0

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Legislative Leaders, Frosh Lay Out Racial Justice Priorities for Legislative Session

Racial equity is slated to be a big-ticket item during the 2021 legislative session. House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County), Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) and Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) have all convened workgroups to study the issue in recent months and this week released their respective legislative agendas. (Md Matters)

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