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The Baltimore Street Collapse, Tonight’s City Council Meeting, and Police Plans For Cinco de Mayo

P. Kenneth Burns

How Baltimoreans displaced by last week’s street collapse are coping. A preview of tonight’s Baltimore City Council meeting. The State Senate primary in Baltimore County’s 42nd District. The winner of the Kentucky Derby will come to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes. What state police are planning for Cinco de Mayo. And more.

26th Street Collapse: Some of the people from Baltimore's Charles Village community who are displaced after part of a 26th Street block collapsed are frustrated. The residents met with city housing officials Friday and were told they won’t be allowed to return to their homes for approximately 40 days. Engineers need to inspect the homes' foundations after heavy rainstorms caused Wednesday's collapse, sending tons of debris and a retaining wall onto the CSX train tracks below 26th street; road closures in the area continue while the work is done. Yesterday, city officials and CSX representatives met with some of the displaced residents; Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says her priority is ensuring the comfort of those people, as the city works to make the 19 affected homes safe to live in. A couple of civic groups are taking steps to help the displaced. Members of the Old Goucher Community Association and Charles Village Civic Association are collecting donations to help some residents who are struggling after having to leave their homes. Although the city is paying to put some of the displaced residents in hotels in Glen Burnie, residents are still having to foot the bill for eating out, laundry and other necessities. The Baltimore Sun has more.

A Preview Of Tonight’s Baltimore City Council Meeting: The Baltimore City Council is set to meet tonight at 5pm. On the agenda: legislation that would send about $3.8-million back to the federal government, following an audit from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Tomorrow, a City Council committee will examine proposed reforms to the city's curfew laws. WYPR's Kenneth Burns talks with Nathan Sterner about both issues.

Brochin Opposed By Members Of Own Party, But That May Not Matter: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Alison Knezevich of the Baltimore Sun talk about the race for state Senate in Baltimore County's 42nd district, and why incumbent Jim Brochin (D) is being opposed by some powerful state Democrats. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.

Erroneous Selective Service System Letters Sent To MD Men: Thousands of Maryland recently received letters saying that they have not registered for the draft – even though they have. The Selective Service System has issued an apology, and says the letters went out due to an error with its computer processing system. The notices were sent to Maryland men between the ages of 18 and 25; the letters were dated April 23rd. The Selective Service System tells people who have registered for the draft that they should disregard the notice, and says it’s working to fix the problem that led to the inaccurate letters.

Labor Union Plans Demonstration: The labor union representing thousands of service workers at Johns Hopkins Hospital is organizing a march on downtown Baltimore. The Baltimore Sun reportsthat the demonstration, set for May 10th, is designed to further publicize contentious contract negotiations that broke down on Wednesday. Little progress on a contract has been made since workers staged a three-day strike last month. The union wants to ensure that every member earns a wage of $14 per hour by the end of a four-year period.

Parking Meter App To Come To Baltimore: Baltimore’s Parking Authority wants people to be able to pay to park using their smartphones. The city’s calling for bits from technology companies that are interested in creating an application that drivers can use to pay to use the city’s parking meters. The Baltimore Sun reports that the service would let motorists add additional payments from their phones without coming back to their vehicles. The Parking Authority is looking to grant a three-year contract to the company with the winning bid. Similar apps are available in cities such as Washington DC and San Francisco.

Police Activity on Cinco de Mayo: Maryland State Police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers on this Cinco de Mayo.Impaired driving initiatives will take place statewide today, with troopers from each of the 22 State Police barracks on the roads. Troopers will also target aggressive and distracted drivers. On Cinco de Mayo last year, two people died on Maryland roads. State Police encourage partiers to plan ahead and designate a safe, sober driver.

Arson Awareness Week: Arson Awareness Week is underway in Maryland. Governor Martin O'Malley, the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the U.S. Fire Administration say the week’s aimed at stopping intentionally set fires. This year's theme is "Vehicle Arson - A Combustible Crime." From 2008 through 2010, 14-percent of all U.S. fires involved vehicles and seven-percent were arson. In 2013, five-percent of Maryland vehicle fires were intentionally set. National Arson Awareness Week runs through Saturday.

Preakness Stakes: The winner of the Kentucky Derby is coming to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes. The horse named “California Chrome” is scheduled to arrive in Charm City on May 12th.  The Preakness takes place on May 17th. The Preakness is the second jewel of horseracing’s Triple Crown; the last time one horse won all three races was in 1978… but the co-owner of “California Chrome” tells the Baltimore Sun he thinks this colt will do it.

Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles lost yesterday’s game against the Minnesota Twins. The score was 5 to 2. The O’s take today off; tomorrow, they’ll take on the Tampa Bay Rays.

Washington Baseball: The Washington Nationals lost yesterday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies; the score there 1 to zero.

WYPR's Morning Edition news anchor Ashley Sterner serves up the latest Maryland news and weather every weekday morning, delightfully interspersed with the occasional snarky comment.