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Brandon Scott

Mayor Brandon Scott prepares to lift some Coronavirus restrictions in Baltimore. Baltimore County Public Schools get a mandate on providing vaccinations. And a look at what’s moving some Maryland families closer to the brink of eviction.

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  Mayor Brandon Scott announced Wednesday morning he will lift some COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants. Beginning Friday morning, those establishments may operate indoor dining at 25% capacity and outdoor dining at 50% capacity. 

Bars without a food license may operate at 25% capacity. Scott also will enact a one-hour seating limit in all dining and bar establishments. 


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  Mayor Brandon Scott will keep Baltimore’s Phase 1 COVID-19 in place  the city’s intensive and acute care units approach the limits of their  capacity..


“Unfortunately, we are still seeing the impacts of New Year's Eve in our data,” the Democrat said at a news conference. “These are not decisions that I made lightly.” 

Scott said the plight of restaurant owners and restaurant workers, whose businesses are only open for carryout, keeps him up at night. 

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Mayor Brandon Scott announced Wednesday Baltimore City recycling curbside pickup services will resume next week, ending a six-month suspension first enacted due to COVID-19 outbreaks among crews that led to a shortage of workers.

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The Aug. 10 explosion in Northwest Baltimore that killed two people, injured seven and reduced three rowhomes to rubble was due to a “large natural gas buildup” ignited by a stove, city officials said Tuesday morning.

  

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Baltimore City will stay in amended Phase 1 COVID-19 restrictions that ban indoor and outdoor dining, Mayor Scott announced Friday. He said he arrived at his decision after reviewing numbers that indicated a surging post-holiday spread and rising positivity rates.

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  Mayor Brandon Scott said Tuesday he may update citywide restrictions on dining and non-mask wearing activities at the end of this week after his team reviews post-holidays COVID-19 data.

The city is in its fourth week of indoor and outdoor restaurant and bar closures, which Scott announced on his first full day in office. He also capped retail and religious institutions, gyms, malls and museums at 25% of capacity.

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Positive COVID-19 cases in Baltimore City are 23% lower than they were four weeks ago, according to the city’s COVID-19 dashboard

Meanwhile, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott urged city residents to stay safe by wearing masks, socially distancing and limiting indoor gatherings to people in the same household. 

the office of mayor brandon scott


  Mayor Brandon Scott has named Jim Shea, his former running mate in the 2018 gubernatorial race, to be Baltimore City’s top lawyer, while former Acting City Solicitor Dana P. Moore has been named the city's first Chief Equity Officer. 

Shea, chairman emeritus of Venable LLP, the state’s largest law firm, previously served as managing partner and chair of the firm from 1995 to 2017, shortly before his gubernatorial run. 


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Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced a new contact tracing campaign called “Baltimore vs. COVID” today. The campaign comes as a surge of COVID-19 continues in the city.

Scott says the campaign aims to get more residents to answer contact tracing calls from the city and state health departments. 

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Despite more than $130 million worth of contracts spread out over a decade that aimed to improve Baltimore City and Baltimore County’s shared, aging water system, a joint report from the city’s and county’s Offices of the Inspector General released Monday discovered more than 22,000 dysfunctional water meters that have resulted in millions of dollars worth of uncollected revenue. 

Baltimore City Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming and Baltimore County Inspector General Kelly Madigan also decried “a fundamental lack of communication between the city and the county [that] is central to the problems that have been plaguing the water billing system for years” in the report, which landed after nine months of investigation. 

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When Dr. Kathleen Page made her hospital rounds in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, she heard the same question from Latino immigrants hospitalized with COVID-19 over and over again: “When can I go back to work?” 

“The clear underlying theme here was low income wages, the necessity to work,” Page said, especially for undocumented immigrants. “Remember: They were not getting the stimulus check, they were not getting unemployment benefits.”  

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Members of Baltimore’s spending board who abstain from a vote because of a perceived conflict of interest will have to explain their abstentions under a new ethics rule proposed by Comptroller Bill Henry.

Under the old rules, members of the Board of Estimates were expected to refrain from voting on issues that presented conflicts of interest and send a memo to the Comptroller’s office saying they would abstain. Under the new rule, which went into effect Wednesday as the newest members of the board met for the first time, members have to explain why they’re abstaining in that memo.

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Baltimore may be getting its first major snowfall of the season Wednesday and Mayor Brandon Scott is urging residents to be prepared.

“I want to assure the city of Baltimore and our residents that snow crews are ready to respond to any winter weather that may come our way,” Scott said at a press conference Tuesday.

Scott said the city has a snow budget of $6.7 million and a snow removal program that includes 300 essential personnel, and more than 15,000 tons of salt to treat the city’s streets.

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A series of new pandemic restrictions ordered by Mayor Brandon Scott in Baltimore, including the shuttering of indoor and outdoor dining, will go into effect at 5:00 p.m. Friday, as local hospitals approach capacity.

“Governor Hogan said yesterday that the state of Maryland is in red. No, we're on fire,” Scott said in a Friday morning news conference. “We have to understand the dire situation that we are in.”

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

City Council President Nick Mosby and a roster of new city council members were sworn into the legislative body in outdoor, socially-distanced ceremonies Thursday morning, capping off Baltimore City Hall’s 2020 transition.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the new legislators took their oaths in the War Memorial Plaza outside City Hall. Donning masks, and with six feet of distance between them, Mayor Brandon Scott swore in Mosby.

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Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced sweeping new COVID-19 restrictions Wednesday during his first press conference since being inaugurated.

The restrictions are the city’s toughest since March.

Standing in front of City Hall, Scott said hospitals will be overwhelmed with patients if the city does not act now.

“The health and safety of Baltimoreans is my top priority,” he said. “I will not waver or hesitate to make decisions that save lives in Baltimore.”

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COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Maryland hit a new record Wednesday, and public health officials warn that the trend is likely to continue.

In response, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said he plans to announce new restrictions on businesses in his county on Thursday.

Brandon Scott announces new, sweeping Covid-19 restrictions for Baltimore. Also, a look at how the new mayor might confront longstanding citywide issues of crime and inequality. And in Baltimore County, a fractious school board votes in new leadership.

The office of Mayor Brandon M. Scott

Baltimore’s long-established divides, made even worse by the coronavirus pandemic, stretch before the Brandon Scott administration.

The ongoing threat of the pandemic coupled with the cold of winter, systemic inequality and the city’s brutal homicide rates are but a few of the issues that Mayor Scott, who took office Tuesday, and the rest of the new roster of City Hall officials face.

Governor Hogan’s team outlines a plan for distributing an initial batch of COVID-19 vaccine. Brandon Scott and Bill Henry are sworn in as Baltimore’s Mayor and Comptroller. And we look back at the career of outgoing Mayor Jack Young.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Mayor Brandon Scott and Comptroller Bill Henry were sworn into their new offices Tuesday afternoon, ending an administration created by political re-shuffling after ex-mayor Catherine Pugh resigned amid scandal.

The Democrats, formerly City Council President and 4th District Councilman, respectively, both campaigned on their progressive politics. Scott, 36, replaces longtime City Hall fixture Jack Young. Henry, 51, replaces Joan Pratt, who served as Comptroller for more than two decades.


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Wednesday morning marked the final city spending board meeting for Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and longtime Comptroller Joan Pratt, who will leave office next week.

“I just want to thank the citizens of Baltimore,” Young said in a brief comment before the Board of Estimates. “I enjoyed working with everybody and I wish everybody the best.” 


AP/Patrick Semansky

Baltimore healthcare providers urged city council members to support overdose prevention sites, places where people can use previously purchased drugs under the supervision of healthcare professionals, during a hearing Tuesday.

They said the sites confront the reality that people use drugs and allows them to do so safely.

Council President Brandon M. Scott/Facebook

The Baltimore City Council held another virtual meeting last night ---- the penultimate meeting before the next iteration of the council is sworn in. WYPR’s Matt Tacka and Emily Sullivan walk us through what laws they passed and what laws Mayor Jack Young vetoed.

AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY

 

The Baltimore City Council is to vote on a bill Monday night that would provide lawyers to tenants facing eviction cases. The bill comes amid concerns about a mass eviction crisis as tenants struggle to pay rent because of the pandemic.  

For most of the pandemic, Maryland has been under state and federal eviction moratoriums. In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered a ban on evictions until 2021.

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Mayor-Elect Brandon Scott announced 10 new committees Friday to advise his transition team on what he called areas of pressing need in the city. 

Scott said the 10 committees will make Baltimore safer and more equitable. 

“Everything that every agency does is going to be assessed and reassessed,” Scott said. “If it's actually impacting the citizens the way it should, if it's actually being done through the lens of equity.” 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR


  Election Day proved to be a big one for Baltimore City Democrats, who declared in victory their citywide races.

Come December, Brandon Scott, the City Council President will head to the mayor’s office, while Del. Nick Mosby will take over Scott’s current job and Councilman Bill Henry will become comptroller. Their victories represent the replacement of older faces with younger ones in all three citywide offices. 

“Your next mayor will wake up every day, focus on making this city safer, on getting you the help you need, on throwing everything that I have in my grasp and power at the problem,” said Scott during a small Tuesday night event at the Inner Harbor’s Sound Stage. “I believe in the great people of this city and what we are capable of achieving when we stand united.”

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Baltimore Democratic nominees gathered outside of Edmondson-Westside High School on Monday morning to encourage all eligible voters throughout the city to cast a ballot before the polls close for good on Tuesday night.

“We cannot afford to have anyone sitting this election out,” said City Council President Brandon Scott, the Democratic nominee for mayor. “You have the future of your city, your state, of your country and the world at hand.”

NAACP - Baltimore City Branch Facebook page

Democrat Brandon Scott faced criticism about his Baltimore City Hall insider status from other mayoral candidates in a debate hosted Thursday night by the NAACP and the Afro-American newspaper. 

From the get-go, Independent Bob Wallace slammed Scott for failing to change the status quo in his current and past positions in city government, saying a new coach needs to step in.

“I'm listening to you talk about what bills you passed and what revelations you had and all that. But where's the beef?” Wallace said. “Nothing has improved.”

 

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