June 3, 2015

State Roundup, June 3, 2015

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HEROIN TREATMENT: The Hogan administration on Tuesday announced plans to begin treatment of heroin addicts in eight Maryland county jails and detention centers with a drug that could keep them from using once they are back on the streets, Josh Hick reports in the Post. The treatment — to be funded with a $500,000 federal grant to Maryland — is the first such program initiated by Gov. Larry Hogan to address the state’s addiction problem. Last year, 578 people died of heroin overdoses in Maryland.

SUIT OVER JAIL CONDITIONS: The ACLU and the Public Justice Center have filed documents in federal court, calling for a lawsuit against the state of Maryland to be re-opened because of substandard conditions at the Baltimore City Detention Center, Christian Schaffer of WMAR-TV is reporting. The building dates back to the 1850s.  Advocates say in addition to walls and bars, it features rats, lice, leaky pipes and almost no air conditioning.

GOP REACHES OUT TO BLACKS: The Maryland Republican Party, hoping to raise its profile in Baltimore, is partnering with the local NAACP branch to host several events next week to learn more about the community’s needs following the unrest sparked by the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Joe Cluster, the executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, said the state party hopes to change the minds of Baltimore residents who likely think that Republicans are not interested in their concerns, Ovetta Wiggins reports for the Post.

Sightseeing in Beijing, Gov. Larry Hogan, wife Yumi, and Minority Affairs Secretary Jimmy Rhee posed in front the Hall of Supreme Harmony. Only the emperor could use the central staircase to the throne room, as depicted in some movies.

IN BEIJING: Sightseeing in Beijing, Gov. Larry Hogan, wife Yumi, and Minority Affairs Secretary Jimmy Rhee pose in front the Hall of Supreme Harmony. Only the emperor could use the central staircase to the throne room, as depicted in some movies.  Click photo to enlarge. Photo from Facebook.

‘VEEP,’ ‘CARDS’ MOVING OUT: “Veep,” the HBO political comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, may be headed west, moving its production studios from Maryland to Southern California, Ovetta Wiggins reports in the Post. The California Film Commission announced Tuesday that “Veep” is one of four television series currently filmed outside California that applied for and received tax credits from the state in exchange for relocating. And it looks as though “House of Cards,” which is filmed in Baltimore and stars Kevin Spacey as an unscrupulous politician, may not be far behind.

THE ART OF BEING FIRST LADY: Gabriella Souza of Baltimore Magazine profiles Yumi Hogan, Maryland’s first Korean-born first lady and a noted artist, whose life experiences set her apart from previous occupants of Government House.

MIKULSKI CALLS FOR ANTHRAX INVESTIGATION: Sen. Barbara Mikulski has called for an investigation into the Army’s mistaken shipment of live anthrax to laboratories across the country, including Aberdeen Proving Ground reports John Fritze in the Sun. The samples were sent by an Army bio-defense organization at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah in April via commercial shipping companies to 18 laboratories.

O’MALLEY’S TRUE BALTIMORE: Robert McCartney, in an interesting analysis we missed from the Saturday Post, addresses the issue of Martin O’Malley, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as his backdrop to announce his presidential bid, and what really lies behind that shiny bright and economically stable curtain? It’s a Baltimore that tourists and most Marylanders never see.

FBI SURVEILLANCE FLIGHTS: The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned. The planes have also been used over Maryland, including Baltimore City during the unrest related to Freddie Gray’s death. The article appears in the Daily Record.

FIRE AT CUMMINGS’ HOME: U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings’s home in West Baltimore caught fire Tuesday morning, but the congressman was not home and no one in his family was harmed in the incident, Rachel Weiner of the Post writes.

SMIGIEL TO CHALLENGE HARRIS FOR NOMINATION: Former state Del. Michael Smigiel will challenge Rep. Andy Harris for the GOP nomination to represent the state’s 1st Congressional District, reports John Fritze in the Sun. The Chesapeake City attorney, who served three terms in Annapolis, will face difficult odds running against a sitting incumbent, who was first elected in 2011 in a district widely considered safe for Republicans.

MATTHEWS TO ANNOUNCE FOR 8TH: Kathleen Matthews, the longtime television news anchor and former executive at Marriott, will make an announcement today about her plans for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District — the latest indication she is gearing up to run for the seat. Mathews will announce her decision in Silver Spring.

  • Matthews will be the fifth candidate to officially jump into the race to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Matthews, who lives in Chevy Chase, is the wife of MSNBC political pundit Chris Matthews and left her job at Marriott last month in order to start up the campaign reports Aaron Kraut in Bethesda Beat.

SCHUH STUMPS FOR TAX CUT: Arundel County Exec Steve Schuh is out talking with residents to beat the drum for his proposed property tax cuts. But in one small enclave, the most elderly residents are also concerned about failing septic systems and pollution in the Magothy River, shoddy infrastructure and the heroin problem, writes Len Lazarick for MarylandReporter.com.

IN STATE FUNDING, SIZE MATTERS: A change in size for the Annapolis library could have a side effect – a loss of $250,000 from the state for the project, writes Kelcie Pegher for the Annapolis Capital. The Division and Library Development and Services approved $250,000 to build a 65,000-square-foot Annapolis Regional Library in fiscal 2015. The scale was lowered to 48,000 square feet based on money in the budget. The county executive has proposed cutting the project to 25,000 square feet.

SINGING SOMEONE ELSE’S TOON: Michael Cavna of the Post writes about a controversial and disturbing situation of cartoon plagiarism that hit home. An anonymous freelancer using the historic name “William Charles” has been submitting to the Montgomery Sentinel altered cartoons created by others. The Sentinel has been running the toons for years.