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Governor Larry Hogan/Facebook

Gov. Larry Hogan is calling for President Donald Trump to resign or be removed from office. At a press conference Thursday, he said Vice President Mike Pence should lead until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.

Baltimore County

Baltimore County has received more than 11,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines thus far, and County Executive Johnny Olszewski promised Thursday that “no vaccine will go to waste.”

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski wants the county’s inspector general to have oversight authority of the county school system.

Zoom


State legislators are trying to make it easier for students at Maryland colleges and universities and members of the military to vote via a bill legislators announced Wednesday and is expected to be introduced after the General Assembly convenes next week.

Courtesy of the Comptroller's Office

State Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Wednesday that he is extending the filing and payment deadlines for certain business taxes.

Franchot said at the Board of Public Works meeting that business taxes and quarterly estimated income tax returns and payments that normally would be due in January, February or March won’t be due till April 15.

PAUL SAKUMA/AP


  Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott has issued an executive order to delay until July the implementation of a ban on single-use plastic bags sought by progressive legislators, citing the ongoing effect of the coronavirus pandemic. 


Scott said in a statement that he is fully committed to making Baltimore a more sustainable and environmentally aware city, but that his team needs “more time to get the implementation of this ban right for our businesses and residents.” 


YouTube


Gov. Larry Hogan announced new steps Tuesday designed to speed up the state’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

The latest state data show that just under 77,000 Marylanders have received the vaccine, correlating with about 28% of the doses Hogan said have been distributed to health care providers. 

Joel McCord

The Chesapeake Bay isn’t in as good a shape as it was two years ago, but it’s not because of pollution. That’s according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s State of the Bay report card, released Tuesday morning.

The foundation gave the bay a grade of D+, the same as in its 2018 report card, but said its score had dropped by a point, from 33 to 32. And that was largely due to a sharp decline in the rockfish population.

Screenshot via CharmTV

  

  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.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced today another special enrollment period for health insurance, opening just weeks after an earlier enrollment period closed in December. 

Starting immediately, uninsured Marylanders can enroll in a health insurance plan through the state’s health benefit exchange through March 15.

Michele Eberle, the Executive Director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, said she hopes the special enrollment period will give residents some peace of mind as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. 

John Lee

Baltimore County school officials stunned the school board when they recently released a list of proposed capital projects that does not include replacements for Dulaney and Towson High Schools.

Credit: Charlie Wambeke
Charlie Wambeke

Twenty-eight homeless people died in Baltimore County in 2020. Advocates say many of those deaths could have been prevented.

Those who lost their lives were recently remembered at a memorial service.

SCREENSHOT VIA MAYOR BRANDON M. SCOTT FB PAGE

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. 

Baltimore County Public Schools

  

Baltimore County Public Schools officials want to bring students back to classrooms in the second semester. But with just one month to go, it remains unclear if the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate will throw that plan off course.

Pandemic Pushes Live Theater To The Digital World

Dec 28, 2020
Teresa Castracane

Many Maryland theaters were forced to close their doors this year because of the COVID 19 pandemic. Now, some have returned with digital performances. And there just may be a silver lining in that.

QUEENS GIRL: Black in the Green Mountains, a one-woman show, was in performances last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre.

Wikimedia Commons

A recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows COVID-19’s sweeping effects on children’s health in all 50 states. The pandemic has exacerbated a multitude of crises, including housing instability. 

In Maryland, the report says 18% of adults with children are worried that they cannot pay their rent or mortgages.

CREDIT PRESERVATION MARYLAND/FLICKR

Maryland leaders are calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to provide COVID relief funds for struggling families and businesses. 


State Comptroller Peter Franchot said at a news conference that Congress’ latest stimulus bill would not be enough. He said the state has billions of dollars in reserves it can use for relief in addition to federal aid, and that the governor needs to act now. 

Rachel Baye

Mike Miller, a powerful figure in Maryland politics for nearly a half century, has resigned from the State Senate he once led, citing health reasons.

Miller, 78, presided over the Senate for 33 years, longer than any other state senate president in the nation and longer than some Senators have been alive. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Santa takes many forms throughout the holiday season: there’s the work party Santa, the  parade float Santa, the illustrious mall Santa. In Baltimore, there’s Santa atop a cargo bike carrying several hundred pounds worth of Christmas trees, trailed by the scent of slow-cooked pork. 

From the last week of Thanksgiving through the week before Christmas, Todd Coleman and Mike Santoro dress as St. Nick, load up to eight Christmas trees on their bikes and pack a cooler full of pulled pork sandwiches. The duo run Pork ‘N Pine: a local legend of a business that delivers Douglas firs and BBQ to your door.

YouTube Screenshot

State legislators have proposed a series of changes at the Maryland Environmental Service, including substantial changes to the organization’s board of directors.

The quasi-public state entity has been embroiled in a scandal following the news that former director, Roy McGrath, took a six-figure severance payment when he left to become Gov. Larry Hogan’s top aide.

Joel McCord

The Oyster Recovery Partnership has been picking up oyster shells from restaurants, bars and even landfills around Maryland for 10 years, part of a project aimed at restoring the bivalves to the Chesapeake Bay and cleaning the water as well.

But the supply of shells has dropped dramatically since the pandemic hit, putting a crimp in those efforts.

Sean Naron, Baltimore County

Baltimore County is capping how much third-party delivery services can charge restaurants to deliver their food.

SCREENSHOT VIA CHARM TV

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. 

Baltimore County Public Schools

The unions that represent teachers and principals in Baltimore County say they feel marginalized and disrespected by the school system’s response to last month’s ransomware attack.

In a scathing letter sent Sunday to School Superintendent Darry Williams, the unions paint a picture of a school system in disarray.

Flickr / Dystopos

Once the COVID-19 pandemic ends, many Baltimore County students will find themselves back in crowded schools. One reason for that is that the county code allows developers to build near school buildings that already have too many children.

World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr


 

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.”  

YouTube Screenshot


Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday told Maryland residents to avoid all non-essential out-of-state travel. He and the state’s top health officials are also urging residents to avoid holiday gatherings with people outside of their immediate households.

 

Under an executive order, anyone who travels out of the state — or anyone who comes to Maryland from out of state — will be required to get a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for 10 days.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

The Baltimore City Council will consider a bill to halve the fees that third-party delivery services such as GrubHub can charge restaurants.

The announcement Wednesday came less than a week after Mayor Brandon Scott closed indoor and outdoor dining operations amid growing COVID-19 rates.

YouTube Screenshot


Roy McGrath, former chief of staff to Gov. Larry Hogan, appeared Wednesday before a legislative panel that is investigating a six-figure payout McGrath received when he left his job at a state agency to join Hogan’s staff. During the four-hour hearing, McGrath declined to answer many questions. 

 

Rachel Baye and Nathan Sterner discuss what we know about this controversy.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR


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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