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Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

It’s been almost two weeks since Baltimore’s Department of Public Works shut down its curbside recycling program and limited trash collection because of an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Eastern Sanitation Yard on Bowleys Lane.

In the meantime, some Baltimoreans have been taking trash into their own hands. 

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan announced on May 20 that the state would do “universal testing” for COVID-19 at juvenile detention facilities. But the vast majority of both the youth residents and the staff at these facilities have yet to be tested, and the state Department of Juvenile Services doesn’t expect to finish the first round of tests until the end of July.

Charm City TV

Mayor Jack Young announced today that Baltimore City will enter Phase 2 of re-opening from coronavirus shutdown at 5 p.m. Friday. Religious facilities could re-open for indoor services at 50 percent of capacity, he said, as well as restaurants, bars, gyms and retail stores.

Childcare facilities and camps are allowed to operate with up to 15 individuals per classroom.

His announcement comes a week after Gov. Larry Hogan announced similar changes.

Seth Sawyers/flickr

 

There will be no in-class summer school in Baltimore County this year.

School officials had been considering having small groups of students in classes this summer, but a spokesman for the county schools said they want to keep everyone safe from COVID-19, so have decided not to do that.

Joe Kane / WYPR

  

Joe Kane grew up in East Baltimore with his cousins, aunts and uncles close by. It was the way his grandmother, Phyllis Waters, wanted it.

He says she loved her family – and her Seventh Day Adventist church.

"When I say ‘all her time’ – I mean all her time was in church," he says. "She’d stay there all day."

Waters loved to sing. Kane says her favorite hymn was “When We All Get to Heaven.”

Courtesy Architect of the Capitol

The HEROES Act, the $3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that passed the House last month, remains stalled in the Senate.

About one third of that money would go to help state and local governments weather the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.

Local officials are trying to make the case to Congress that basic services could be cut if the act doesn’t pass.

Mary Rose Madden / WYPR


House Speaker Adrienne Jones and all 98 Democratic members of the Maryland House of Delegates called on Gov. Larry Hogan Tuesday to sign an executive order that would make several policing tactics illegal in the 18 law enforcement agencies under the state’s control. 

MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY/SCREENSHOT VIA WYPR

State legislators grilled top election officials on Tuesday about Maryland’s problem-filled June 2 primary, which included hours-long voting lines, delays for the arrival of Baltimore City mail-in ballots and temporarily deleted preliminary results.

Maryland State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone, along with her board colleagues, appeared before the House Ways and Means and the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committees to answer lawmakers’ questions and explain the errors.

Wikimedia Commons


Monday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination is likely to have implications for a lawsuit filed late last week in federal court in Baltimore.

 

The lawsuit accuses Catholic Relief Services, an international humanitarian aid organization headquartered in Baltimore, of discriminating against a gay employee by denying health insurance coverage for the employee’s husband.

Credit AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY


The Baltimore City Council adopted a budget for the next fiscal year that cuts $22.4 million from the police department’s $550 million budget, including nearly $7 million from overtime spending.

 

The cuts come days after protestors gathered outside City Hall demanding that the Baltimore Police Department be defunded altogether. The cuts are less than 5% of the total police department’s 2021 budget, which is 1.2% lower than the department’s budget from the previous year. 

Baltimore County Public Schools

 

It’s been a long road to graduation for Raymond Shaw Finney.

He was born with multiple disabilities. His father died when he was an infant. Raymond slipped into the foster care system. Then eight years later, a family member recognized a picture of Raymond on AdoptUSKids, a website that connects foster children with permanent families. She told Raymond’s aunt, Vanessa Finney, to have a look.

And when she did she immediately recognized her nephew.

Baltimore County

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Police Chief Melissa Hyatt announced a series of changes in police policy Friday spurred by reaction to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Olszewski said the department’s use of force policy will be updated, that all members of the department will receive additional training on what he called “fair and impartial policing,” and that the county will make public complaints against police officers.

Courtesy Brian Frosh

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and the Maryland Access to Justice Commission, an advocacy group, have formed a task force aimed at creating legislation they say would address a “crisis of justice.”

Associated Press/Jeff Chiu, File

Here is how the COVID economic cookie has crumbled for McCormick & Company, the spice people, headquartered in Hunt Valley in Baltimore County.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

More businesses can open and more activities will be allowed to resume, as Gov. Larry Hogan moves the state further into his recovery plan.

 

Beginning this Friday at 5 p.m., indoor dining will be allowed at restaurants. The following Friday, June 19, gyms, dance studios, malls, arcades, bowling alleys, casinos and social clubs are among the types of business that will be allowed to open.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Brandon Scott, Baltimore City’s Democratic mayoral primary winner, delivered his acceptance speech outside of his grandmother’s brick row house on Loyola Northway in Park Heights on Wednesday afternoon, surrounded by family.

“Our campaign was about proving to the world that a young black man who grew up in the forgotten Baltimore here in Park Heights could survive everything that you have to live through in Baltimore: the gun violence, underfunded schools living in neighborhoods where vacant homes live in areas where you know that you are not going to be recognized even as human by your own city government,” he said. “That somebody could survive all of that to be the leader of this city.”

 

Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

One car at a time, seniors at City College High School drive up, have their names announced, and then pick up their graduation packet complete with caps and gowns, awards, and their diplomas. 

Their principal Cindy Harcum, and their teachers cheer them on, waving signs and calling their names. 

It's not quite how anyone pictured this moment in time, but this party of sorts is one of many efforts to make the best out of the circumstances for high school seniors graduating in the shadow of COVID-19. There have been car parades, balloon drop-offs, and semi-formal photo shoots on the steps of the seniors' alma maters. 

Rachel Baye / WYPR

  

The state government employees who process unemployment insurance claims and work in state prisons, juvenile services facilities, hospitals and universities say they lack the resources necessary to do their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

The workers spoke Tuesday at a virtual meeting of the state House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees.

COURTESY OF SCOTT CAMPAIGN

City Council President Brandon Scott claimed victory Tuesday night in the Democratic primary for Baltimore’s mayor, as the latest batch of election results brought the gap between him and former mayor Sheila Dixon to 1.7%.

“Tonight, we celebrate a hard-fought victory for the future of Baltimore,” Scott said in a statement. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my family, my team, our volunteers, those who voted for a new way forward for Baltimore, and everyone who believes change is not just possible, but long overdue.”

COURTESY OF HENRY CAMPAIGN

Though ballots are still being counted in the Baltimore primary elections, City Councilman Bill Henry declared victory in the Democratic race for comptroller Monday night, after amassing more votes than longtime incumbent Joan Pratt can catch up to.

The upset marks the first time that someone new will serve as Baltimore’s chief fiscal watchdog since Pratt was first elected to the office in 1995.

COURTESY OF THE SCOTT AND HENRY CAMPAIGNS

City Councilman Bill Henry declared victory over longtime incumbent Joan Pratt in the race for city comptroller, while City Council President Brandon Scott’s lead over Sheila Dixon widened slightly in the Baltimore City Democratic mayoral primary Monday night.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

  


  City Council President Brandon Scott has overtaken former mayor Sheila Dixon in the Baltimore City Democratic mayoral election by just 388 votes.

Up until a Sunday night voting count update, Dixon had maintained an edge over Scott in a crowded competition that was dramatically shaped by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest sweeping over Baltimore and the rest of the U.S. in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. 

Rachel Baye / WYPR


  Thousands of people marched across Baltimore for a second consecutive weekend in multiple demonstrations to protest racism and police brutality and demand equal treatment under the law.

Emily Sullivan / WYPR

As the country approaches the end of a second week of protests over police abuse of black Americans, state and local leaders in Maryland are calling for reforms, including changes to state laws governing police. Many of the proposed changes have been attempted before unsuccessfully, but some lawmakers say this time is different.

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

City elections workers spent Thursday carefully separating City Council District 1 mail-in ballots from a mass of ballots from residents across the city at a hot warehouse in West Baltimore. The process delayed the counting of citywide mail-in ballots, which kicked off Friday morning.

A proofing error in the District 1 ballots rendered the initial results of the area’s Democratic council race between incumbent Zeke Cohen and challenger Paris Bienert and judge of the circuit court race unreliable. To attain accurate results, Baltimore City Board of Elections workers, working in teams of two, copied information from the original District 1 ballots by hand onto new ballots that can be accurately read by scanners. 

Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

The doors of the Enoch Pratt Free Library System have been closed since the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic. But library leaders got creative  with a vibrant online presence.

And now, a day many have been looking forward to is on the calendar. The library branches will offer sidewalk service at eight locations starting June 15. But for the library and those who love visiting, there’s a real cost to changing public access.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

  


  When Gov. Larry Hogan’s amended order allowing certain businesses to reopen takes effect Friday at 5 p.m., Baltimore County businesses will be among those allowed to open. 

 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski plans to repeal all local executive orders keeping businesses closed and restricting activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19, he announced Thursday. Going forward, the county will follow the governor’s lead when it comes to the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

  

  Effective Friday at 5 p.m., some non-essential businesses will be allowed to open as the state enters the second phase of Gov. Larry Hogan’s recovery plan, the governor announced Wednesday. 

 

But state health officials also warned on Wednesday that there will likely be a second wave of COVID-19 cases this fall, and maybe even a third wave and a fourth.

AP Photo/Brian Witte


A day after the polls closed, there are no final results for the highly anticipated Baltimore City Democratic primaries, due to balloting issues and unanswered questions from the state and city elections boards – including a printing error that rendered ballots for the 1st council district unreadable. 

Incomplete in-person vote totals published Wednesday morning reflect earlier mail-in only data: 

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon’s lead holds at about 30% of the vote. City Council President Brandon Scott has 24% and former U.S. Treasury official Mary Miller has 17%.

AP Photo/Brian Witte


It was a very long Tuesday night for voters and candidates alike in Baltimore and across the state, after Marylanders headed to the polls to cast ballots in statewide primaries. In  Baltimore, voters chose their picks in three powerful citywide races. But because of issues with Maryland’s mail-in voting system, there are no firm results for those races just yet. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan talks to Nathan Sterner about what we know — and what we don't.

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