State Roundup: Covid cases, hospitalization decline; pressure mounts for special session

State Roundup: Covid cases, hospitalization decline; pressure mounts for special session

This remarkable photo of the State House and Annapolis at night was taken in 2017 by Mid-Atlantic Aerial, apparently with a drone.

COVID CASES, HOSPITALIZATIONS DROP: The number of positive coronavirus cases in Maryland has dropped to 6.55% and the number of patients in ICU beds has dropped to below 300. The latter marks the lowest rate since April 6, writes Bryan Renbaum for MarylandReporter.

PRESSURE MOUNTS FOR SPECIAL SESSION: The head of the Legislative Black Caucus wants the General Assembly to return to Annapolis before January to override a series of vetoes issued by Gov. Larry Hogan (R), particularly the measure to provide new funding for the state’s historically black colleges and universities, report Bruce DePuyt and Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters.

DEL. COX SEEKS INJUNCTION AGAINST HOGAN ORDERS: Del. Dan Cox has filed for an injunction with the region’s second-highest federal court, asking that court to lift restrictions on churches, businesses and others impacted by Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic in Maryland, Steve Bohnel reports for the Frederick News-Post.

STATE COFFERS TAKE A HIT WITH CLOSED CASINOS: The mid-March closure of Maryland’s casinos because of the Covid-19 crisis continues to leave quite a hole in state coffers. And though the venues are allowed to reopen later this month, it’s likely to be a long time before state revenue contributions return to pre-pandemic levels, Drew Hansen reports for the Washington Business Journal.

OPINION: LISTEN TO HEALTH OFFICIALS: The editorial board of the Carroll County Times opines that while the dramatic decrease in COVID-19 cases last week is a tremendous sign, it urges everyone to pay attention to local health officials as well as to what is happening in various corners of the country.

MANY UNEMPLOYED WITHOUT BENEFITS: While unemployment applications continue to surpass 1,000 a week in Frederick County, many applicants are still not receiving their benefits, Erika Riley of the Frederick News-Post reports. Congressman David Trone (D) said about 600 people have come to his office to request help with their unemployment requests since the beginning of the pandemic.

SUPREMES LET STAND MARYLAND GUN PERMIT LAW: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand without comment a lower court ruling upholding the Maryland handgun permit law’s requirement that applicants provide the state with a “good and substantial reason” to carry the weapon outside the home, Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports.

ANTON BLACK’s FAMILY SEEKS JUSTICE: The similarities in the officer-involved deaths of Maryland teen Anton Black, in 2018, and George Floyd, three weeks ago, are striking. Both African American males died pinned to the ground, face-down, held by police officers. Their every movement was restricted by handcuffs and the weight of the police officers who were restraining them, writes Glynis Kazanjian for Maryland Matters.

CIVIL WAR PLAQUE TO GO: A Maryland panel voted Monday to remove a plaque from Maryland’s Capitol that honors the Civil War’s Union and Confederate soldiers and until recently showed the U.S. flag and Confederate flag crossed, the AP is reporting.

  • House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, the first black person elected to her job, convinced her three colleagues on the panel to take the plaque down. She called the vote “a symbolic step in our efforts to create more systemic equality,” report Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins in the Post.
  • The Civil War Centennial Commission plaque, located on the main level of the State House, was installed at the height of the U.S. civil rights struggle, in 1964, to mark the passing of 100 years from the start of the bloody conflict over slavery that threatened the nation’s survival, writes Bruce DePuyt for Maryland Matters.

NAME CHANGES URGED FOR TWO PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Activists are urging two Baltimore County private schools to change their names to disassociate themselves from their racist pasts, Daniel Oyefusi of the Sun reports. John McDonogh, the man for whom McDonogh School, located in Owings Mills, is named, was a wealthy slave owner in the 1800s. A petition has also been created to urge Loyola Blakefield, located in Towson, to change its name.

COUNCIL CUTS $22M FROM B’MORE POLICE: Baltimore’s revised budget is now in the hands of the mayor, reports Jeff Abell for WBFF-TV. Under pressure to defund police, the city council on Monday cut $22 million from the police department’s budget.

  • The cuts come days after protestors gathered outside City Hall demanding that the Baltimore Police Department be defunded altogether. The cuts are less than 5% of the total police department’s 2021 budget, which is 1.2% lower than the department’s budget from the previous year, Emily Sullivan of WYPR-FM reports.

TRASH COLLECTOR SHORTAGE IN CITY: Baltimore has recruited volunteers from other city departments to help supplement the gaps in its Department of Public Works as several trash collectors continue to refuse to report for duty because of a Covid-19 outbreak among their ranks, Hallie Miller of the Sun reports.

AG FILES CHARGES AGAINST CRICKET, AT&T: The Maryland Attorney General’s Office filed charges against Cricket Wireless and AT&T, saying the companies violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, WBAL-TV reports. Among the charges, the AG alleges Cricket and AT&T failed to inform consumers that the cell phones they bought would no longer work when Cricket switched networks after its merger with AT&T.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online news outlet, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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