DETENTION CENTER TO SHUTTER: Justin Fenton and Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports that Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he will immediately shut down the decrepit Baltimore City Detention Center, moving inmates to nearby facilities and ending a long-standing “black eye” for the state.The Republican governor said the Civil War-era jail — which is run by the state — could be torn down, and there are no plans to build a new facility. The article is topped by a video of Hogan’s announcement.
- Inmates now at the facility will be assigned to other detention centers in the Baltimore complex or nearby, officials said. The central booking facility at the complex, the women’s jail and other pretrial buildings will remain in use, Ovetta Wiggins and Josh Hicks report in the Post. Officials would not provide any specifics about where or how soon prisoners will be transferred, citing security concerns.
- Criminal defense attorney Jeremy Eldridge said the attention brought by the Black Guerrilla Family scandal led to previously unseen public pressure to address the inadequacies at the facility. Eldridge said he and his colleagues are “weirdly happy” about the impending closure because conditions at BCDC are so bad, any other facility has to be an improvement, Heather Cobun reports in the Daily Record.
- Colin Campbell of the Sun asks, then answers five questions about the Detention Center closing.
UNILATERAL DECISION: When Gov. Larry Hogan decided to close Baltimore’s long-troubled men’s jail, he didn’t call members of a state commission who had studied the issue, Justin Fenton and Luke Broadwater report in the Sun. He didn’t call the mayor of Baltimore. He just did it. “You don’t do this by committee,” said Stephen Moyer, Hogan’s secretary of public safety and correctional services. “You make a decisive action. Look at this place. It’s got to be closed.”
- Gov. Larry Hogan’s performance in Baltimore Thursday evoked memories of William Donald Schaefer, the legendary “Do it now” mayor and governor, as Hogan announced the immediate closing of the Baltimore City Detention Center, writes Len Lazarick in MarylandReporter.com. Hogan’s large bald head from his chemotherapy added to the impression, but it was more the tone, attitude and approach that was Schaeferesque: impatient, angry, concerned with the people affected, and denigrating those other politicians who couldn’t get the job done.
HOGAN BLASTS FEMA: Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday lashed out at a Federal Emergency Management Agency decision to deny the state’s appeal for disaster aid after April’s rioting in Baltimore City, reports Rick Seltzer for the Baltimore Business Journal. “What could possibly be an emergency if that riot in Baltimore wasn’t an emergency?” Hogan said. “I just don’t understand.”
- Hogan said, “The decision by the Obama administration to say, ‘We don’t consider it an emergency’? It was just wrong,” Hogan (R) said, when asked about the issue during a news conference in Baltimore. He said the unrest that erupted after the funeral of Freddie Gray was “the worst violence that we’ve had since 1968.” Ovetta Wiggins and Josh Hicks report the story for the Post.
LAWMAKERS SEEK FEDERAL FUNDING FOR INNER CITIES: U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and Sen. Barbara Mikulski have introduced an emergency spending bill that would direct $1.2 billion in funding to address challenges faced by inner-city neighborhoods, an effort to reverse what they described as decades of disinvestment, reports John Fritze for the Sun.
ROCKVILLE STATUE CONTROVERSY: Rockville police officers are investigating the vandalism that occurred at the Confederate soldier monument that sits near the Red Brick Courthouse. Vandals spray painted “Black Lives Matter” at the base of the monument, writes Aline Barros for mymcmedia.com. It was reported on Monday morning. Major Michael England, of the Rockville City Police Department, said the city’s Criminal Investigations Unit is “actively investigating this incident, [but] at this point and time we still don’t have any viable suspect.”
- Barros also writes that a working group comprised of six private citizens sent recommendations to the Montgomery County Council over the future of the controversial Confederate soldier statue in Rockville. On July 30, the group sent a list comprised of three suggestions about the future of the Confederate soldier monument that sits near the Red Brick Courthouse.
- A Rockville City Council member claims the city’s mayor disregarded a decision by the majority of the council to support moving the Confederate statue away from the city’s Red Brick Courthouse. Aaron Kraut of Bethesda Beat reports that Council member Tom Moore said Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton instead sent a letter to Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council President George Leventhal last Friday providing no opinion as to whether the county should move the statue.
MCINTOSH BACKS VAN HOLLEN: U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen scored a major endorsement Thursday in the Maryland Democratic Senate primary, winning the backing of state Del. Maggie McIntosh (D), reports Rachel Weiner for the Post. McIntosh, a longtime Baltimore politician who chairs the Appropriations Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates, called Van Hollen “one of the most effective leaders that we have in Maryland.”
- McIntosh is an important endorsement for Van Hollen for several reasons. To begin with, she has long been close to Mikulski. Prior to winning her election to the House of Delegates in 1992, McIntosh served as Mikulski’s campaign manager and state director. Second, McIntosh is among the highest-ranked women in state politics, and her decision to back Van Hollen could provide cover for other elected women to back Van Hollen, writes John Fritze for the Sun.
VAN HOLLEN SUPPORTS IRAN DEAL: U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen said Thursday he will support President Barack Obama’s controversial nuclear agreement with Iran, a decision that could have implications for the Democrat’s campaign for Senate in Maryland. The decision puts Van Hollen, of Montgomery County, on the same page as House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, but it has the potential to alienate some Jewish groups that ardently oppose the pending deal, writes John Fritze for the Sun.
- Rachel Weiner of the Post quotes Van Hollen as saying “I firmly believe that, should Congress block this agreement, we would undermine the goal of Iran never obtaining a nuclear weapon, inadvertently weaken and isolate America, and strengthen Iran. I have concluded that this agreement advances the national security interests of the United States and all of our allies, including our partner Israel.”