State paying more than appraised for some Purple Line properties

Maryland may be paying more for some properties in the main path of the Purple Line, state officials said, because one transit agency lacks purchasing leverage, and extended negotiations would cause costly delays. “In our enthusiasm and support for the Purple Line we’re getting put over a barrel by some of these landowners. And we are having to pay a lot more than the appraised values,” Comptroller Peter Franchot said at a Feb. 7 Board of Public Works meeting.

Federal tax cuts prompting Maryland tax code revision

New federal tax laws will benefit most Marylanders in the short term and especially help those with children, but are likely to reduce charitable contributions, a comprehensive analysis released Thursday by the state comptroller predicted. Without changes in state law, Maryland taxpayers will pay upward of $572 million more in state and local taxes in the 2019 fiscal year, while their combined federal tax burden would decrease by $2.8 billion, state officials said.

Broken Police Part 4: Views on police differ by neighborhood

In East Baltimore’s, Butchers Hill, neighbors worry about muggings and stolen bikes. A few miles away, in Belair-Edison, residents fear shootings are on the rise. Across town, in Seton Hill, people worry about property theft. Baltimoreans say they are tired of crime. They say they want the police to do something about it, and that they want to be able to trust the officers.

Broken Police Part 3: Civilian Review Board lacks power to hold cops accountable

Established in 1999, Baltimore’s nine-member Civilian Review Board, which is part of the Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights, was relatively unknown until recently, and for good reason. It had only one full-time investigator, a meager budget and the power only to recommend discipline against police officers, but no way to ensure that it was actually meted out.

Broken Police Part 1: Police statistics on stops useless

The statistics that state law requires police departments around the state to file on stops and searches are incomplete and unreliable, a Capital News Service analysis has found. That has left the state without the tools to assess if minorities in Maryland are receiving fair treatment from police officers. First of four parts.

How a wrongly imprisoned Md. man got his life back

Wrongly incarcerated from ages 20 to 59 for a murder he did not commit,Walter Lomax taught himself to read and write, and eventually became editor of the prison’s monthly magazine — “The Conqueror.” “I wasn’t politically connected,” Lomax said. “My family didn’t have any funds, and so I realized the only way I was going to get out of prison was: I was going to get myself out of prison.”