PURPLE LINE TO GET $900 MILLION: Maryland’s Purple Line will receive a $900 million federal full funding agreement from the Trump administration, a critical step forward for the oft-delayed project, report the Post’s Robert McCartney and Faiz Siddiqui.The breakthrough came after “very productive, high-level conversations” on Friday and Monday between Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer said.
- Andrew Metcalf of Bethesda Beat reports that Mayer said the state expects the federal full funding grant agreement to be signed in “the very near future.” A signed agreement would allow the state to access the $325 million in federal funds already appropriated for the light-rail project, as well as $900 million over the life of the agreement.
LIBRARY SYSTEMS TRAIN IN NAXALONE USE: The Sun’s Mina Haq and Jon Kelvey report that three local library systems are training staff in the use of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone and others are considering the move as more government agencies are joining the fight against Maryland’s opioid epidemic. Library staff in Harford, Carroll and Anne Arundel counties have begun to offer training in administering naloxone, also known by its brand name, Narcan.
FATE OF OTHER STATUES: Several places across the country are moving to take down Confederate monuments but not on that list is Wicomico County, Liz Holland and Jeremy Cox of the Salisbury Daily Times writes. Two Salisbury-based civil rights groups called on the County Council to remove a marker that has stood on the courthouse lawn for more than three decades. The sign describes the accomplishments of John Henry Winder, a local native and Confederate general who oversaw the South’s notorious prisoner-of-war camps.
- Pamela Wood of the Sun reports that the monument in Baltimore to Christopher Columbus — believed to be the first one erected to the Italian explorer in America — was vandalized. Baltimore Police said they were looking into the incident, but couldn’t say when the damage took place.
- Fern Shen of Baltimore Brew reports that the words on the Columbus statue – Sacred to the Memory of Chris. Columbus Oct. XII MDCC VIIIC – were unreadable, a hole smashed in the stone. “Racism: Tear it down,” one sign leaning on the monument base says. “The future is racial and economic justice,” said another sign that was lying in the grass.
- The National Park Service didn’t put up that big statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee near the Newcomer House on Shepherdstown Pike, and has no plans to take it down. But, writes Tamela Baker in the Hagerstown Herald Mail, U.S. Rep. John Delaney said this week that he believes the statue should come down, and that the park service should review all monuments and exhibits concerning the Confederacy that are on its properties for historical accuracy.
- Another confederate monument has come down in Maryland. Howard County officials have removed a confederate memorial from courthouse grounds overnight, with the intention of placing it in a local museum, according to WMAR-TV.
IN DEFENSE OF MILLER: Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports that Senate President Mike Miller is not worried that members of his own party will rebuke him for not voting to remove a statue of the author of the Dred Scott decision and said scholars and historians will understand his position. Miller said during a brief interview that he remains “disappointed’ by a vote that took place by email that resulted in the removal of the statue of Roger Brooke Taney, the only chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from Maryland.
- In a guest commentary for MarylandMatters, David Plymyer opines that the hasty decision by Maryland’s State House Trust to remove the statue of Roger B. Taney from the grounds was an opportunity lost. The three members of the trust who voted in favor of removing the statue missed the chance for something becoming exceedingly rare in politics at all levels of government: An informed and civil discourse that enlightens rather than polarizes, and that promotes the sense that a decision is based on something other than raw emotion or politics.
DISTRICT 16 SLATE: Two local delegates and a state senator are joining together in Bethesda-based District 16, reports Andrew Metcalf for Bethesda Beat. Sen. Susan Lee and Dels. Marc Korman and Ariana Kelly announced Monday they’re forming a slate to run as a team in the 2018 election. The three Bethesda residents and incumbent legislators said they’ll commit to advancing a progressive agenda in Annapolis.
DISTRICT 19 DELEGATE RACE: Ana Faguy of Maryland Matters writes that two years after Gov. Larry Hogan was diagnosed with late stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Vaughn Stewart, a young attorney, was diagnosed with the same thing. Now, after just being given a clean bill of health following four rounds of chemotherapy, he’s seeking a seat in the House of Delegates from Montgomery County’s District 19.
REDMER EXPECTED TO RUN FOR COUNTY EXEC: A much-expected announcement by Al Redmer to enter the race for Baltimore County executive appears to be just a month away, reports Bryan Sears in the Daily Record. Redmer, a three-term Republican state delegate and current Maryland Insurance Administration commissioner, has scheduled a $40-per-person bull roast for Sept. 23 in Rosedale. An invite posted online over the weekend notes a “special announcement” and photo opportunities with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan at a separate oyster reception for $150 per person.
CHALLENGE TO KITTLEMAN: The first challenger to County Executive Allan Kittleman in the 2018 election has declared his candidacy. Republican Darren Vilus, 30, of Columbia, filed with the state board of elections last week to run against Kittleman in the primary election in June 2018. He is the first candidate of any political party to do so, Kate Magill writes for the Howard County Times. She also looks into who is running for Howard County Council and state Senate.
MO CO COUNCIL CANDIDATE TOUTS FREE TUITION: Chris Wilhelm, a Democrat running for the Montgomery County Council, thinks Montgomery College should be offering free tuition to its students. “I’m trying to drum up support,” Wilhelm said. “I would love for it to happen at state level.” Wilhelm is planning an event to highlight his proposal on Aug. 30 in Silver Spring. Doug Tallman in MyMCmedia reports.
FREDERICK MAYORAL CANDIDATES DEBATE: Frederick’s four mayoral candidates faced off in two separate debates Monday. Democratic candidates Jennifer Dougherty and Michael O’Connor and Republicans Randy McClement and Shelley Aloi took part in two final debates before early voting begins, Cameron Dodd of the Frederick News-Post reports. Candidates weighed in on current issues such as the downtown hotel project, homelessness, opioid addiction and blight. They also debated philosophical topics in governance, including vision, transparency and public engagement.
DEVELOPER PAT McCUAN DIES: Longtime Howard County developer Patrick McCuan died Aug. 20. McCuan was a major donor to Republican campaigns in Howard County and Maryland, and he and his wife Jill were among the largest donors to Howard Community College, where the administration building is named in their honor. Viewing on Thursday, funeral Friday morning.