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Mary Rose Madden / wypr

They came in the rain, soaked from head to foot: some with face paint dripping down, some dressed in matching jumpsuits or some,  just in simple t-shirts and shorts. And they came with their toilet bowl race cars - yes, toilet bowl race cars...exquisitely engineered to roll down Chestnut Ave. in Hampden one after another, like a parade displaying Baltimore’s sense of humor.

Twenty-three pilots boarded their homemade toilet bowl vessels and zoomed down the street while crowds dressed in rain gear and carrying umbrellas cheered them on.

Rachel Baye

Let’s say you buy a new TV for $500 dollars. Maryland’s current 6-percent sales tax would add $30 on top of that.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous announced Thursday that if elected, he would cut the state sales tax to 5.75 percent, saving you $1.25 on that TV purchase.

John Lee

The two candidates running for Baltimore County Executive agree on this: it’s going to cost a lot to modernize the schools. 

 

There’s another thing they have in common:  Republican Al Redmer and Democrat Johnny Olszewski aren’t providing many details on how to pay for promises they’re making.

 

 

Dominique Maria Bonessi

 

Tuesday’s 105-degree heat index kept 10 Baltimore County schools without air conditioning closed on the first day of the school year. In Baltimore City, more than 60 schools dismissed students early — some before noon — as a result of the heat.

The lack of air conditioning is part of a larger political fight over school funding.

Flickr

Public schools are opening across the state Tuesday.

 

The academic year begins with Baltimore County officials grappling with how to keep the district’s roughly 114,000 students safe.

 

 

Mary Rose Madden / wypr


An independent panel of experts released the findings from its investigation into the death of Det. Sean Suiter. After hundreds of hours of analysis, they’ve come to the conclusion that the officer died by suicide.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

When police found Detective Sean Suiter shot dead in Harlem Park last November, they cordoned off the neighborhood as they searched for the shooter. Residents had to show ID to get in or out.

John Lee

Hot, sweaty classrooms have been a hot button issue in Baltimore County for years. 

 

In past years, dozens of schools didn’t have air conditioning. So when the temperature hit 90 degrees, those schools would close. And that would have a ripple effect, closing schools throughout the county.

 

But starting with the new school year, that will change.

 

Tom Moore

Researchers at the Maryland State Archives rolled out their latest findings on the Maryland 400, the Revolutionary War unit that fought at the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776, at the State House Sunday.

Their project, called “Finding the Maryland 400,” includes detailed biographies that tell some of the soldiers’ stories for the first time. And they announced it with fanfare, featuring a color guard in revolutionary war uniforms marching into the historic state house.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

 

Never having met John McCain, my guess is the former Arizona senator, who died Saturday night, would find much of what has been said about him since his death, amusing, as if to say, geez, I wish you had loved me this much when I was still here on Earth.

But one of the under-reported parts of McCain’s legacy was his impact on sports.

The so-called maverick and engineer of the straight talk express didn’t hesitate to exert his influence on athletics. But unlike a lot of politicians who look like preening schmoes when they try to mix it up in sports, McCain was authentic in an athletic milieu.

EA Sports Gaming

Authorities have identified David Katz as the gunman that killed two people and injured 11 others before taking his own life at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday afternoon. The 24-year-old was a Maryland resident.

Baltimore County

 

Fomer Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance was released from jail Monday after serving four months for perjury.

 

In a series of tweets Monday morning, Dance apologized. Dance said he is ready to begin a new chapter in the book of life. 

 

 

 

 

Tom Moore

Historians at the Maryland State Archives are piecing together new information on the soldiers of the Maryland 400, the Revolutionary War outfit that fought in the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776.

They’re learning more about the lives of some of those soldiers whose vastly outnumbered unit took heavy losses in the first and biggest battle of the war holding off the British while the rest of George Washington’s army regrouped at Brooklyn Heights.

benjealous.com

In his quest for the Democratic nomination for governor, Ben Jealous raised more than $2 million. Nearly half of his roughly 20,000 donors had addresses in California, Maryland or New York. But several dozen donors listed addresses outside the United States.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Most of the restaurants in Baltimore City are operating without annual health department inspections; there just aren’t enough inspectors to go around. That’ s according to an audit released Wednesday morning at the Board of Estimates meeting.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Jarrod Ramos, the man accused in the Capital Gazette shootings, appeared in court Monday for the first time since his arrest in June.

He sat slumped over in his chair at the defense table during the morning hearing wearing dark green hospital scrubs, socks and prison shower sandals and had shackles around his ankles. He only spoke in a whisper to his lawyer, William Davis.

Baltimore City Office of the Mayor

Some Baltimore City Council members want fewer police patrolling around Johns Hopkins University and Hospital. But Mayor Catherine Pugh rejected the idea at her Wednesday news conference.

“First of all Hopkins does not exist on an island," she said. "It’s not 20 miles outside of Baltimore.”

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore has abandoned its troubled BikeShare program in favor of electric scooters and bikes. The city is launching a six-month pilot program with the scooters while shutting down the problem plagued BikeShare program after less than two years.

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the move Wednesday calling it the "wave of the future" in transportation.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Earlier in the day, Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said he was “disappointed” and “disturbed” by the video of Officer Arthur Williams striking civilian Dashawn McGrier in the head. Then Mayor Catherine Pugh tweeted she was demanding “answers and accountability.”

Monday night, City Council president Jack Young said the incident “causes great concern with the community when we’re trying to rebuild police-community relations.”

“It’s like the officer just lost it,” he said in the monthly meeting of the council’s Public Safety and Budget committees with the police department. “But this is the type of behavior that we can’t have.”

AP

Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said Monday he was “disappointed” and “disturbed” by the viral video of one of his officers beating up a civilian Saturday on Monument Street.

It pointed out, he said, “another deficiency in our training that we can actually learn from.”

John Lee

Violent crime increased by more than 14 percent in Baltimore County last year. As the general election race for county executive gets under way, both candidates say they have plans to improve public safety in the county.

 

 

Baltimore’s law expanding inspection requirements to one and two family units went into effect the first of this month and housing advocates say they want to make sure renters know about the new law and continue to push for an increase in housing inspections.

Rachel Baye

A new poll of likely Maryland voters shows Democrat Ben Jealous lagging behind Republican Gov. Larry Hogan by nine points. Commissioned by Jealous’s campaign, the poll also shows that about a third of voters don’t know who he is.

Joel McCord

Last week, Governor Larry Hogan sharply criticized Pennsylvania and New York for not doing enough to slow pollution and trash flowing down the Susquehanna River into the Chesapeake Bay. Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Environmental Protection fired back, calling the remarks “careless and insensitive.”

But the two were a bit more conciliatory at Tuesday’s Chesapeake Executive Council meeting.

Joel McCord

Record rainfall across the Northeast in July has clogged the Chesapeake Bay and its beaches with logs, debris and other trash. And it’s required a herculean effort to clean it up.

Some 50 volunteers showed up at Sandy Point State Park, just north of the Bay Bridge, over the weekend to help park rangers clear those beaches.

  

Two breweries are opening to the public in the Baltimore area, one Friday and the other several weeks ago. 

 

One company, an international giant, is opening in Southeast Baltimore County. The other is a relatively small operation, born and bred in Woodberry in Baltimore City.

 

But despite their differences, both have similar plans on how to get you to buy their beer. And one of them, Dublin-based Guinness, wants you to think of it as a local beer.

 

 

Baltimore County

The Baltimore County Council was warned Tuesday that it risks losing police and corrections officers and firefighters to nearby counties if it doesn’t give them a tax break. 

 

The council is weighing whether it’s worth the millions the county would lose in tax money.

 

 

AP

Jarrod Ramos, the man charged in the mass shooting at the Annapolis Capital newspaper, was expected to make his first appearance in court Monday. But his appearance was canceled after his lawyer filed papers on his behalf.

Ramos was scheduled to appear before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge William Mulford, who, under normal circumstances, would read Ramos his rights, explain the charges against him and the maximum penalty for each count and tell him of his need for a lawyer.

The Baltimore Police Department’s top brass, along with lawyers for the city and the US Department of Justice were in the federal courtroom of Judge James Bredar Thursday. They spoke about the progress they’re making – and the challenges before them - in meeting the terms of federally mandated reforms.  

In the second hearing on the consent decree, Judge Bredar asked pointed questions and made recommendations about how the police department could move more swiftly to fix some problems.

Mary Rose Madden

Iris is a single mom who worked in a factory in Honduras. She tried twice to get to the United States. She and her son, Edmondson, made it on June 14th, crossing the border at El Paso, Texas.

But the next day, Edmondson’s sixth birthday, they were separated. Immigration officials put Iris in a Texas jail and her son in a facility in Arizona. 

She says she wasn’t able to communicate with him from jail.  Even worse, she didn’t know where he was.

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