State Roundup, September 13, 2019

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TRUMP IN BALTIMORE: President Donald Trump arrived in the city he infamously insulted as “rodent infested,” where he was greeted Thursday by a 14-foot inflatable rat among the protesters rallying at his destination: a Republican gathering at the Waterfront Marriott in Harbor East. This is the first Republican retreat since the GOP lost their House majority in the 2018 midterm elections, report Jeff Barker and Jean Marbella in the Sun.

  • House Republicans selected Baltimore as the location for their three-day conference long before the president’s attack on the city, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 10 to 1, reports Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins for the Post.
  • Donald Trump’s first visit to Baltimore as president was a quick one— just three hours to talk with U.S. House Republicans holding a retreat in the city, Jeff Barker reports in the Sun with the six main takeaways from touchdown to takeoff of the president’s Marine One helicopter.
  • Dozens of demonstrators gathered in Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood Thursday to send a message: President Donald Trump is not welcome here, reports Pamela Wood for the Sun. When the president’s motorcade sped down South President Street protesters greeted the 45th president with a tirade of swear words and profane hand gestures.
  • Trump’s only mention of Baltimore in his speech was to “failed and corrupt” leadership, reports Bryna Zumer for Fox 45.”We’re going to fight for the future of cities like Baltimore that have been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule,” the president said.

OPINION: KNOCKING BALTIMORE ONE KNOCK TOO FAR:  Across the country journalists, politicians, pundits, lobbed more verbal cannonballs at Trump for his remarks on Baltimore then the early patriots fired fending off the British at Ft. McHenry, opines Ted Venetoulis for Center MD. Trump may be President but after his bombast on Baltimore, it was our flag that was still there, he writes.

FROSH TO CHALLENGE CLEAN WATER ROLLBACK: Attorney General Brian Frosh pledged to “vigorously challenge” the Trump administration’s revocation Thursday of an Obama-era clean water rule, reports Scott Dance for the Sun.

MD VAPING CASES RISE: The public health crisis linking teens and vaping is getting worse, reports Stetson Miller for WJZ. The Maryland Health Department now says cases of vaping related illnesses have tripled in recent weeks.

SAME-SEX COUPLE CHALLENGES ADOPTION CITIZENSHIP RULE: A gay married couple in Maryland is suing to challenge the State Department’s refusal to recognize the U.S. citizenship of their infant daughter, reports Michael Kunzelman for AP. The baby was born in Canada to a surrogate mother this year and Thursday’s federal lawsuit says a State Department policy unlawfully treats the children of married same-sex couples as if they were born out of wedlock.

ICE LURING IMMIGRANTS TO DEPORT: Three Maryland representatives are urging Immigration and Customs Enforcement to end an alleged practice of luring immigrants into the deportation process by misleading them into believing they’re visiting an immigration office to discuss a green card eligibility related to marrying a U.S. citizen, reports Phil Davis in the Sun.

OPINION: SMARTER BAY BRIDGE NEEDED: The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy proposes a different solution to the Bay Bridge congestion woes –making the absolute best of what we currently have using technology and smart infrastructure-based planning. We need relief from congestion now, they opine in a column for MarylandReporter.com.

METRO ETHICS COULD BE PUBLIC: Metro board leaders on Thursday proposed requiring future ethics investigations be made public, after the secrecy surrounding the recent inquiry into former board chairman Jack Evans drew widespread scorn, reports Robert McCartney for the Post.

GARRETT GETS FEDERAL BROADBAND MONEY: Nearly $3 million from the Federal Communications Commission will be used over the next decade to expand broadband access to more than 2,450 homes and businesses in Garrett County, reports Renée Shreve in the Garrett County Republican.

CARSON CLEARED ON DINING SET ACCUSATION: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s independent watchdog on Thursday cleared Secretary Dr. Ben Carson of misconduct in connection with the order of a $31,000 dining room set for his office suite, reports the AP and Sinclair Broadcast Group. In an interview with the Fox Business Network on Thursday, the former Hopkins neurosurgeon maintained his innocence and said he had to spend $60,000 on a personal attorney, while the investigation cost $700,000.

UMB STARTS CANNABIS MASTER’S: The nation’s first master of science program in medical cannabis science and therapeutics is being offered in Maryland, reports Samantha Subin for The Diamondback. The degree is currently offered through the University of Maryland pharmacy school, which is housed at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

CAMDEN TRAIN RENOVATION OPENS: State officials opened the new $7 million Camden train station in downtown Baltimore on Thursday, which will provide direct service to MARC Train and Light RailLink, with new and slick designs, reports Lisa Robinson for WBAL. The Camden station is one of the oldest continuously operated transportation terminals in the nation, the renovation includes new bike racks, expanded waiting area, restrooms and vending machines.