The Jones-Hall-Sims house sat in Poolesville, Maryland, for over a century where it housed the descendants of freed slaves. Photo courtesy of The Montgomery County Planning Department, Historic Preservation Office.

From Freedom House to Freddie Gray: Maryland well-represented in new African-American museum

Although the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture opens Saturday in the heart of Washington, the state of Maryland from which D.C. was carved has a strong presence. From a freed slave house in Montgomery County to photographs of Baltimore’s unrest after Freddie Gray’s death, Maryland’s black experience throughout history is broadly represented. According to the museum’s online collection, Maryland was among the top 15 states with the most artifacts.

At the Board of Revenue Estimates Wednesday, from left, State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Andrew Schaufele, chief of revenue estimates. Capital News Service Photo by Vickie Connor

State revenue estimates are down $783 million over the next two years, biggest write-down since 2010  

Maryland tax revenues are expected to be down $365 million this fiscal year and another $418 million in fiscal 2018, a $783 million drop in what the state can spend, eating up all this year’s projected budget surplus. The estimate revision is the largest projected write-down since 2010, when the state was in the midst of recession recovery and the panel was off by 5%. “These are significant reductions in our estimates, and reflect the volatility that Maryland’s economy continues to experience,” Comptroller Peter Franchot said.

Pepco, Delmarva seeking higher electric rates

In less than a year, three Exelon-owned power companies have filed petitions with the Public Service Commission of Maryland to raise the price of electric bills. After Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.’s rate adjustment was granted in June, Delmarva Power and Pepco now seek to raise their prices, citing millions of dollars invested into improving their electric systems and services during the past few years. However, many, including Montgomery County councilmember Roger Berliner, said they believe these rate adjustments are unwarranted and will disproportionately affect lower-income residents already struggling to pay bills.

Photo of Michael Phelps in Rio Olympics by Andy Miah with Flickr Creative Commons license

Wealth may be a factor in Maryland’s Olympic success

Athletes from Maryland – including Michael Phelps (Towson) and Katie Ledecky (Bethesda) – dominated at the 2016 Rio Olympics, bringing home 16 gold medals. Why did so many Olympic stars hail from Maryland? It might be because Maryland is one of the nation’s wealthiest states. And training for the Olympics is not cheap.

According to federal court records, German de Jesus Ventura and Kevin Garcia Fuertes once ran brothels in residential neighborhoods, including one in Annapolis at 1009 Madison Court, highlighted in red.

CNS human trafficking series wins national award

The multi-part Capital News Service series on human trafficking that ran last August in MarylandReporter.com won Best in Show in the Mark of Excellence awards from the Society of Professional Journalists at SPJ’s national conference in New Orleans Monday. The best in show award is chosen from more than 4,100 entries in SPJ’s 2015 Mark of Excellence Awards competition open to student journalists across the country. This story includes headlines, descriptions and links back to the six parts that ran here.

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Bad words on license plates get reviewed by Md. high court

The Maryland Court of Appeals is considering whether the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration acted unconstitutionally in recalling vanity license plates sporting a Spanish scatological word. In 2009, John T. Mitchell of Accokeek, Maryland, requested and received vanity license plates from the Maryland MVA that read “MIERDA,” a Spanish term that translates to “s**t” or “junk.”

Downtown Columbia on the shores of Lake Kittamaqundi at 11 a.m. July 2, 2016. Photo by Len Lazarick

Part 3: Shopping and Retailing at the Heart of the Columbia Plan

This is the third part in a series of 12 monthly essays over the next year leading up to Columbia’s 50th birthday celebration next June. Part 3 examines the central role of shopping and retailing for the development of the Columbia plan. With changes in both lifestyles and retailing — and a couple of poor locations — the village centers did not always work out as planned.