State Roundup, July 8, 2016

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HELP FOR CONOWINGO DAM SEDIMENT: Gov. Larry Hogan is asking the private sector for ideas on how to prevent massive reservoirs of sediment from spilling over the Conowingo Dam and polluting the Chesapeake Bay, a decision that at least one Carroll official believes will reduce the tax burden on local residents, John Kelvey reports for the Carroll County Times.

TESTING COMMISSION RELEASES FINAL REPORT: MarylandReporter.com writes that the Commission to Review Maryland’s Use of Assessments in Public Schools has posted its final report on how to reduce standardized testing. As reported here last month, the commission realized it had little power on its own to reduce testing, but must leave it to the state and local school boards to take action. Under the law creating the commission, local boards of education have until Sept. 1 to adopt or reject the commission’s recommendation, and the State Board of Education has until Oct. 1.

COURT RECOGNIZES ‘DE FACTO PARENT:’ In a landmark family-law decision, Maryland’s top court ruled Thursday that an adult intimately connected to a child’s upbringing can be regarded as a “de facto parent” and entitled to visitation and a share of custody so long as the best interests of the child are served, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record. The decision also preserves a biological or adoptive parents’ “fundamental right to direct and govern the care, custody and control of their children.” But it acknowledges that “a legal parent does not have a right to voluntarily cultivate their child’s parental-type relationship with a third party and then seek to extinguish it,” Judge Sally D. Adkins wrote for the high court.

MARYLAND’s TRUMP SUPPORTERS: Maryland is a state where centrists have long dominated Republican politics, but it will be represented by some of the most die-hard Donald Trump supporters in the nation when the Republican Party meets this month to formally choose a presidential nominee, John Fritze reports for the Sun.

  • Neither Erich Bean nor Mike McKay will be in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention July 18-21, but each will be glued to a TV screen watching what they expect to be a historic event. “We will never again see something like this take place, a true political outsider being in the position to become president of the United States,” said McKay, a Maryland delegate representing Allegany and Washington counties in Annapolis, writes Michael Sawyers for the Cumberland Times News.

MO CO REAFFIRMS SOLIDARITY WITH MUSLIMS: Top officials in Montgomery County will be signing a statement reaffirming the county’s solidarity with the Muslim community, according to an AP report in the Daily Record.

WCBM’s TOM MARR DIES: Tom Marr, a longtime WCBM-AM radio talk show host known for his conservative stance and his days as an Orioles play-by-play announcer, died Thursday from a massive stroke following back surgery at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, writes Frederick N. Rasmussen in the Sun. The Timonium resident was 73. “He was a smart guy. He was a guy with a lot of integrity,” Gov. Larry Hogan said. “Even with people he disagreed with, he was a gentleman and somebody I think people listen to.”

JAMES KEAT, SUN EDITOR, DIES: James Keat, a former Baltimore Sun assistant managing editor and foreign correspondent whose staunch advocacy of freedom of information became the keystone of a career spanning more than four decades, died Wednesday from cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson, writes Frederick Rasmussen in the Sun. The longtime Federal Hill resident was 86. “No one made open records and meetings such a passionate goal as Jim. To him it was a religion,” said Ernest Imhoff, a longtime editor of The Evening Sun. “Jim hated Maryland government secrecy more than politicians adore self-promotion.”