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Baltimore County

Baltimore County, facing overcrowded schools and congested roads, is considering charging developers impact fees. It’s a way to raise money to spend on the problems that developments create.

 

The Baltimore County Council is looking at dueling plans that differ on how the money would be spent.

 

 

Patrick Semansky/AP

Weeks after she was accused of self-dealing, a month after she took a paid leave of absence for her health and just days after FBI and IRS raids, Catherine Pugh has resigned as mayor of Baltimore.

Speaking at a press conference in his downtown Baltimore office, her lawyer Steven Silverman read statement from Pugh. The 96-second long resignation letter read in part:

“I'm sorry for the harm that I have caused to the image of the city of Baltimore and the credibility of the office of the mayor. Baltimore deserves a mayor who can move our great city forward."

What to do About the Dwindling Rockfish Population

May 2, 2019
ASMFC

The population of striped bass, better known as rockfish, is dwindling. And that has alarmed Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commissioners so much they have drawn up a plan to cut back landings throughout coastal fisheries, including the Chesapeake Bay.

The fisheries managers caution the situation is not as dire as it was in 1985, when Maryland imposed a fishing ban, but that they want to give states from Maine to Florida options.

State of Maryland

The Maryland House of Delegates set two historic precedents Wednesday, when it selected Baltimore County Delegate Adrienne Jones to be Speaker of the House.

Jones is the first woman, and first African American to become speaker, one of the most powerful political positions in the state.

Baltimore County Police Department

A Baltimore County jury Wednesday found a teenager guilty of felony murder in the death last May of police officer Amy Caprio.

Dawnta Harris, who is now 17, was tried as an adult. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

John Lee

 

Taxes, whether to raise them or not, drove Tuesday night’s budget public hearing before the Baltimore County Council.

 

County Executive Johnny Olszewski is proposing a package of tax increases to help deal with an $81 million shortfall and pay for initiatives like a pay raise for teachers. WYPR’s John Lee was there and talked about it with Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner.

 

 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

 

Last night, the city council introduced a package of charter amendments that would bolster its power throughout the city -- and over the mayor. WYPR’s Emily Sullivan joins Nathan Sterner to explain the proposed changes and their timeline.

 

Baltimore County Public Schools

 

Two high-ranking officials in the Baltimore County school system have filed complaints against members of the school board, alleging bullying, intimidation, and a hostile work environment. 

 

 

Patrick Semansky/AP

A package of charter amendments being introduced at Monday’s Baltimore City Council meeting would give its members the ability to oust a mayor and override a mayoral veto with fewer votes than are now required.

The three proposed amendments arrive amid Mayor Catherine Pugh’s ongoing “Healthy Holly” scandal, in which Pugh sold a series of self-published children’s books to the University of Maryland Medical system while she sat on its board and also took money for the books from organizations that were seeking city contracts.

Rachel Baye

The race for speaker of the House of Delegates has narrowed. Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones announced at a press conference Friday that she is dropping out of the running and backing Economic Matters Committee Chairman Dereck Davis in an effort to elect Maryland’s first African American speaker. Both Davis and Jones are African American.

Rachel Baye

 

State Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings issued a warning this week:  When the House of Delegates elects a new speaker on Wednesday, Democratic members need to unite behind a single candidate for speaker, or else lose access to state party tools and resources.

Cummings was responding to an announcement by House Republicans that they plan to maximize the strength of their 42 votes by uniting behind one of the three Democrats vying for the position.

Federal agents raided Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh's offices Thursday following investigations into her "self-dealings." She sold thousands of her children's books to groups under her influence.

John Lee

 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski wants to create a new cell phone tax. It’s part of a package of tax increases and fees he says is needed to make up a budget shortfall while at the same time provide the money to pay for pressing needs in the county. 

 

The cell phone tax idea is shaping up to be one of Olszewski’s most controversial proposals.

 

 

John Lee

Ben’s Run trickles through the Northwest Crossing Apartments property off Old Court Road in Randallstown. Volunteers on Monday fanned out and picked up all kinds of trash in the run: plastic bags, cups, even a tossed baby stroller. 

Baltimore County Monday launched a two-month attack on litter, to mark the 50th Earth Day.

 

 

GM Workers Resigned to Their Fate

Apr 18, 2019
AP PHOTO/ STEVE RUARK

Back in November, when General Motors announced it was closing five plants in the US and Canada, including the one at White Marsh in Baltimore County, local union leaders said they would put up a fight.

But now that GM has announced the plant’s last day will be May 4, the labor leaders seem resigned to their fate and that of nearly 300 workers about to lose their jobs.

AP

Mike Busch, Maryland’s long time Speaker of the House of Delegates, was eulogized at his funeral yesterday as an outstanding Marylander, a dedicated public servant and a fearless advocate for the causes he believed in.

During the service at St. John Neumann Church in Annapolis, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, recalled his last phone conversation with Busch shortly before the speaker’s death April 7 at the age of 72.

Pamela D'Angelo

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, is scheduled to launch a resupply mission to the International Space Station Wednesday afternoon from a launch pad that sits at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s a climate change—and erosion--hot spot where rising waters and increasingly stronger storms are eroding the shoreline by about 12 feet a year.

John Lee

 

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski put seed money in his proposed budget for a new Lansdowne High School.

 

That has supporters of new high schools for Dulaney and Towson wondering why they were left high and dry.

 

 

Rachel Baye

The late Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch arrived at the State House Monday for the last time. Busch died on April 7 at the age of 72.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Monday proposed raising the county’s income tax rate, taxing cell phone lines, charging developers impact fees, and hiking the county’s hotel tax.

 

 

Baltimore County Public Schools

Audio will be posted Thursday morning.  

The audit of the Baltimore County Schools’ procurement practices, released to the public on Wednesday, shows no evidence of corruption.  But school board chairwoman Kathleen Causey said the investigation into the county school system is not over.

 

 

John Lee

Baltimore County Interim School Superintendent Verletta White said a long-awaited audit that was received by the school board Tuesday night helps to make her case that she should become the county’s permanent superintendent. WYPR’s John Lee was at the board meeting and talked with Morning Edition guest host Matt Tacka about what the audit found. 

 

John Lee

A tax increase in Baltimore County is now a foregone conclusion. That’s according to County Council Chairman Tom Quirk, who said the tax increase has to happen because the General Assembly did not deliver additional school construction money to the county.

 

 

 

 

The funeral for Michael Busch, the longest serving speaker of Maryland’s House of Delegates, has been scheduled at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, at St. John Neumann Catholic Church on Bestgate Road in Annapolis, a spokesman for the family has announced.

Busch, who was 72, died Sunday after having undergone treatments for pneumonia.

His death cast a pall over the usually frantic, celebratory last day of the General Assembly session. In an unusual move, both Houses stopped work at 11:30 Monday evening, a half hour early, for a joint session to honor the late speaker.

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly wrapped up its 439th session Monday night in Annapolis, and for the first time since 2003, Michael Busch wasn’t overseeing the House of Delegates as speaker. Busch died Sunday at the age of 72 after he was hospitalized with pneumonia.

The frenzied, celebratory atmosphere that’s typical on the last day of the General Assembly’s 90-day session was marred by Busch’s absence.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Baltimore City’s House delegation joined the Baltimore City Council last night in calling for Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign because of her role in the Healthy Holly scandal.

Delegation chair Cheryl Glenn said the members moved to support all 14 City Council members who signed a letter calling for Pugh’s resignation.

All 14 of the district-representing City Council members have asked Mayor Catherine Pugh to resign from her office immediately.

Their two-sentence letter, released Monday morning, was blunt.

“The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the City of Baltimore, for you to continue to serve as Mayor,” it read. “We urge you to tender your resignation, effective immediately.”

Pugh’s office responded with a blunt statement of its own.

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly voted Monday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill prohibiting oyster harvesting in five Chesapeake Bay tributaries — Harris Creek, the Little Choptank River, the Tred Avon River, the St. Mary’s River and the Manokin River.

Rachel Baye

Statements of grief and sympathy at the death of House Speaker Michael Busch came quickly from both sides of the political aisle and all around the state.

"My heart is broken for Mike Busch’s family, the State of Maryland, and the Speaker's extended family - elected officials and staff that he has been a mentor and coach to over his time in public service," Senate President Mike Miller wrote in a statement.

Lauren Watley, Baltimore County Government

 

 

Baltimore County’s school board is struggling to find its way as a newly partially elected, partially appointed board. At the same time, it has come under fire for not releasing a long-anticipated audit, rushing through a permanent school superintendent search and micromanaging Baltimore County’s school administration.

 

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