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Housing Child Immigrants, Waiver On Teacher Evaluations Extended, & Casino Construction Approved

Christopher Connelly

Governor Martin O’Malley met with a group of Maryland faith leaders yesterday to try to come up with a way to shelter some of the Central American children who’ve been caught crossing the US Mexico border in recent months.

The US Department of Education has agreed to extend its waiver on MD teacher evaluations for one year. The Prince George’s County Council has approved the construction of MD’s 6th casino. And more.Housing Child Immigrants: Governor Martin O’Malley met with a group of Maryland faith leaders yesterday to try to come up with a way to shelter some of the Central American children who’ve been caught crossing the US Mexico border in recent months. The Baltimore Sun reports that they reached a consensus that foster homes and other small settings would be the best way to house the children. That differs from a plan put out by the Obama administration to create large centers – that would house 500 children or more. Governor O’Malley plans to meet with community and faith leaders again next week to discuss the situation further. Meanwhile, the nonprofit Catholic Charities is continuing to seek a federal grant to house 50 children at St. Vincent’s Villa in Baltimore County. There’s more here from the Frederick News Post.

Waiver On Teacher Evaluations Extended: Maryland’s public school teachers won’t be evaluated on their students test scores… at least, not for another year. This after the US Department of Education agreed yesterday to extend its waiver on teacher evaluations for one year. Earlier this month, the results of the Maryland School Assessment tests were released – and they showed the largest single year decline since the tests were implemented, 10 years ago. State education officials say they expected the drop… because the MSAs aren’t aligned to the new Common Core education standards, which are being phased in in Maryland’s schools. Federal law required that the tests take place anyway. The Baltimore Sun notes that the General Assembly has passed a measure banning the use of test scores in evaluations until the 2016-2017 school year. The MSAs will be replaced by a new Common Core-oriented test next year.

Construction For Prince George’s County Casino Approved: Maryland’s sixth and final casino remains on track to open in summer of 2016… after the Prince George’s County Council yesterday voted to approve the construction of MGM’s planned casino and resort at National Harbor, overlooking the Potomac River. Preparations for the construction have already begun… and the construction itself should start in a few weeks. The $925-million facility will have 36-hundred slot machines and 140 gaming tables… as well as restaurants, retailers, and a concert theater. Maryland currently has four casinos – the fifth, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, is set to open on August 26th. The Capital Gazette has more here, and there’s more here from the Baltimore Business Journal.

Annapolis Needs A New City Manager: Annapolis is looking for a new city manager… for the third time since December. Annapolis officials announced yesterday that acting City Manager Brian Woodward has resigned due to health issues; his last day on the job is July 30th. Woodward says he’ll help the city search for a permanent City Manager while he remains in office. Woodward replaced Virginia Burke, who resigned in March; Burke, in turn, replaced Mike Mallinoff, who was fired in January, as newly-elected Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides made changes to city staff. The Capital Gazette has more here; there’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.

Hopkins Hospital Settles Over Secret Recordings: Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay $190-million to settle claims that a gynecologist secretly recorded his patients over a period of several years. Hopkins says it's identified more than 12-thousand potential victims. The doctor committed suicide in February of last year when an investigation revealed he used tiny cameras hidden in pens and key fobs to record patients. The Baltimore Sun says the settlement may well be the largest of its kind in history.

Boating Safety: Public officials and non-profit organizations are teaming up to get the word out about boating safety. A number of deaths on Maryland waterways in recent weeks, including one over the weekend on the Eastern Shore, are prompting the push. Thirteen water-related fatalities have been recorded so far this year, compared to 19 all of last year. July is traditionally the busiest month for boating accidents. The Capital Gazette has more.

Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles beat the LA Angels 4 to 2 in last night’s game. The two teams play again tonight.

Washington Baseball: The Washington Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies yesterday; the score there 7 to 2.

Baltimore Football: The Ravens have just one more day in the offseason. Players will report to training camp tomorrow in Owings Mills. No practices at the Under Armour Performance Center will be open to the public, but the team will hold three different workouts that are open.