State Roundup, August 11, 2016

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DOJ REPORT BLASTS BALTIMORE CITY POLICE: The Sun reports a series on the Department of Justice report on Baltimore City policing.

Reacting to the release of the Justice Department report: Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division.

Reacting to the release of the Justice Department report: Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. From the mayor’s Facebook page. 

REACTION TO DOJ REPORT: State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh — Baltimore’s Democratic nominee for mayor — said Wednesday she wants Commissioner Kevin Davis to lead city police through the years-long process of reforming the embattled agency. Pugh said Davis has demonstrated a willingness and ability to improve the department, and she would keep him in place as long as he involves the public, especially African-Americans, in the department’s overhaul, writes Yvonne Wenger for the Sun.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REFORMS: The task of trying to reform Baltimore’s police department in the aftermath of a damning U.S. Department of Justice report will largely fall to the police commissioner, and the next mayor and state legislature, reports Adam Bednar in the Daily Record.

ELLICOTT CITY GETS DISASTER DESIGNATION: Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved his request to declare Howard County a physical disaster area following a flood last month in Ellicott City that killed two people, destroyed a half-dozen buildings and caused extensive damage to many others, reports Ovetta Wiggins for the Post.

MVA EXTENDS ID DEADLINE: The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has extended the deadline for more than 260 commercial driver license holders — most of them immigrants — to prove U.S. citizenship or permanent residency before their driving privileges are canceled, Arelis Hernandez reports for the Post.

TAX FREE WEEK: Shoppers can save on sales tax during Maryland Tax-Free Week, which begins Sunday and runs through Saturday, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports. Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) has been promoting what he calls the “second most popular” shopping week of the year in Maryland by stopping in stores across the state to encourage shoppers to take advantage of the deals.

CRIME FUNDS FOR ANNAPOLIS, AA COUNTY: Gov. Larry Hogan’s office on Wednesday said it increased funding for an Annapolis crime-fighting initiative because of “the notable uptick in violent crime” in the city. Hogan’s office announced Monday it would send $3 million in state grants for programs aimed at combating the heroin epidemic, including the “offender-based” Safe Streets Initiative. The largest Safe Streets grant went to the Annapolis Police Department, which received $345,147; Anne Arundel County’s $289,807 award was the second biggest on the list, which included nine jurisdictions, reports Megan Brockett in the Annapolis Capital.

ON BENTLEY: In a very personal piece for MarylandReporter.com, Blaine Taylor, Helen Bentley’s former press secretary and former rival, recalls his years with the congresswoman, and the hard driving lawmaker that he knew.

REPUBLICAN MORELLA BACKS CLINTON: Connie Morella, a former Republican congresswoman from Maryland, endorsed Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on Wednesday, the latest GOP figure to either back the Democratic nominee directly or beg off Donald Trump, John Fritze reports in the Sun.