June 14, 2013

State Roundup, June 14, 2013

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STATE OKS TEACHER EVALUTION: The Maryland Department of Education has approved new teacher evaluation systems in Prince George’s County Public Schools and 20 other Maryland school systems, clearing the way for the state to receive $250 million in federal funds, Rachel Baye reports for the Washington Examiner.

VOTER ADDRESSES: During an effort to develop a strategy to introduce incumbents to new constituents since Maryland’s voter redistricting, the Maryland Republican Party says it has found 268,004 people who are registered to vote in Maryland have different addresses than what is on file with the State Board of Elections, reports Josh Bollinger for the Easton Star-Democrat.

DOUBLING TROUBLES: The editorial board of the Sun opines that the state Board of Public Works’ vote to allow the privately operated Silver Oak Academy juvenile treatment center in Carroll County to double in capacity is regrettable not only because it violates the state’s own policy of limiting such facilities to no more than 48 beds but because it sets a troubling precedent for how the state will handle future shortages of treatment slots for juveniles.

HOUSE BECOMES SENATE: Crews from the political thriller “House of Cards” began transforming the Maryland House of Delegates chamber Thursday to resemble the U.S. Senate. The television series will take over the State House next week, writes Erin Cox in the Sun. The more than 230-year-old building will be closed to the public Monday and Tuesday during filming for the second season of the Netflix drama.

GUZZONE TO RUN FOR SENATE: Del. Guy Guzzone, a Columbia Democrat, announced Thursday that he will run for Sen. Jim Robey’s open Senate seat in 2014, reports Blair Ames in the Sun.

Guzzone had already announced last month he wasn’t going to run for Howard County exec, as he had long been expected to do. But Sen. Robey said Guzzone didn’t even confirm his plans to run for the Senate until a half-hour before he officially announced his decision to several hundred people, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

LEGGETT’S AGE: Just how old is Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, who is seeking a third term? It’s difficult to know, writes Bill Turque for the Post.

THE MAYOR’S FRIEND: Based on what we know so far, writes the editorial board for the Sun, there does not appear to be anything illegal about the way Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has carried on her friendship with City Hall’s top lobbyist, Lisa Harris Jones. Strictly speaking, there may not be anything unethical about it either. But it is certainly unwise.

LEOPOLD IN COURT: Former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold will appear before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals early next year, nearly a year after being convicted of misconduct in office, writes Allison Bourg of the Capital-Gazette.

DEPUTY CIA CHIEF: A former Baltimore resident and Fells Point business owner, Avril Haines, has been named deputy director of the CIA — the first woman to hold the second-highest position at the agency, writes John Fritze for the Sun.

In addition to the surprise appointment of Avril Haines, who served as President Obama’s deputy counsel on national security issues and is the first outsider appointed to such a high position in the insular agency, women head up two out of the CIA’s four directorates, writes Bridget Shulte for the Post.

EXAMINER COVERAGE ENDS: The Washington Examiner’s local coverage, which includes Maryland, ends as of today, writes Matt Connolly of the Examiner.

The Examiner will continue to offer online reporting and political commentary.

FLAG DAY: From the State House to the courthouse, the Stars-and-Stripes flying this Flag Day morning and throughout the year may be a symbol of “liberty and justice for all.” But the women who sewed them lost their liberty a good while ago in Maryland’s justice system. MarylandReporter.com reruns a 2010 feature story about the inmate seamstresses.

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GROUP HOME CORRECTION: Here is a revised and corrected version of a story that ran Thursday in MarylandReporter.com. The Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved 44 new contracts for child residential care services in locations throughout Maryland totaling over $364 million over five years. But one Montgomery County provider did not win an award for a group home that the state and Montgomery County have previously invested in, virtually ensuring the foreclosure of the Sandy Spring group home, its founder said. Hattie Washington of Aunt Hattie’s Place Inc. vociferously protested the lack of funding.