State Roundup: No clear path for school reopenings

State Roundup: No clear path for school reopenings

Photo by Howard County Library System with Flickr Creative Commons License

SCHOOLS DEBATE REOPEN PLANS: Legislators, parents, and teachers are struggling with whether students should return to schools in the fall or should children continue to do online learning, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter.

  • With two months to go before schools are scheduled to open, Carroll County heard a mix of opinions at its first hybrid public meeting, Catalina Righter reports for the Carroll County Times.
  • Larry Hogan said the state is “not going to take any bullying” when it comes to a decision to reopen schools, Kate Amara reports for WBAL TV.
  • The Howard County Board of Education voted to push back the start of the school year while it considered different fall reopening plans amid the coronavirus pandemic during its meeting Thursday night, Jacob Calvin Meyer reports for Baltimore Sun Media.

FALLEN POLICE MEMORIAL SPARKS TWITTER WAR: Gov. Larry Hogan said he was “disgusted” by a Baltimore councilman’s call to remove a memorial to Baltimore’s fallen police officers, Tiffany Watson reports for WBFF. Councilman Ryan Dorsey said his comments had been mischaracterized and he had never called for removal of memorials to police officers.

  • Dorsey raised concerns about the Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore, reports WJZ. “…How is the FOP memorial not on the list of monuments to remove?” he questioned on Twitter.

COLUMBUS STATUE REMOVAL REACTION: Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Baltimore native said she doesn’t care much about statues and the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue doesn’t diminish her pride in her Italian American heritage, Rachel Menitoff reports for WJZ. “If the community doesn’t want the statue there, the statue shouldn’t be there,”  Pelosi said.

  • Meanwhile, Mayor Jack Young said those who toppled the statue on the Fourth of July would be “held accountable,” reports Emily Sullivan for WYPR.

UNEMPLOYMENT CONTINUES TO CLIMB:Nearly 1 million people have filed for first time unemployment in Maryland since the start of the pandemic, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record.

  • While the state works to keep up with all the claims, the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is running out of money and a hearing on Thursday addressed this, Mallory Sofastaii reports for WMAR.

INCREASE IN CASES AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE: Experts warn that more young people testing positive for COVID-19 in Maryland could be a first sign of cases increasing in the state, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record.

  • The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center System is seeing the same trend of younger people infected, with the newest case in Maryland’s Garrett County being a young male in his teens, Teresa McMinn reports for the Cumberland Times-News.

PG SEES HIGH COVID NUMBERS: Prince George’s County continues to lead the state in the number of COVID-19 infections but those numbers are getting better, William Ford reports for the Washington Informer.

  • Still, researchers are looking into why Prince George’s has had so many cases when it is one of the most affluent Black communities in the country, Jean Marbella and Naomi Harris report for the Sun.

MASKS IN CARROLL, ANNE ARUNDEL: The Carroll County Commissioners debated the county government’s role in enforcing mask policies as they extended a state of emergency for another 30 days, reports Mary Grace Keller for the Carroll County Times.

  • Anne Arundel County is adopting stricter coronavirus measures including requiring masks in outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible, Kim Dacey reports for WBAL TV.

STATE NOT TRANSPARENT ABOUT AID SPENDING: Gov. Larry Hogan hasn’t been transparent about how federal relief funds are being spent according to a fiscal analyst testifying before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Bennet Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters. The state’s budget chief describes the amount of revenue loss due to the coronavirus as “staggering.”

PRIVATE SCHOOLS BENEFIT FROM PPP: Elite private schools have collected some of the biggest loans of the federal Paycheck Protection Program, including nearly 200 schools in Maryland, reports Emily Opilo for the Sun.

LOCALS LEAD ON POLICE REFORM: Montgomery County is considering taking action to reduce the use of no-knock warrants, Briana Adhikusuma reports for Bethesda Beat.

  • And a group rallied on Thursday in Baltimore County for a bill there that would ban chokeholds, require officers to intervene when another officer uses force and annual training.

TRONE SAYS MOVING FORWARD LEFT OUT GARRETT: While the recent passage of the Moving Forward Act in the U.S. House of Representatives was considered a success, Western Maryland’s congressman says a last-minute amendment denied some direct benefit to Garrett County for the Appalachian Development Highway System, reports Joseph Hauger for The Garrett County Republican.

REACTING TO ELECTION DECISIONS: Hogan’s decision to allow in-person voting for the election along with a vote-by-mail effort is getting mixed reviews from interest groups and political leaders, John Rydell reports for WBFF.

MOCO BUDGET HIT BY CORONAVIRUS: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich is proposing $66 million in budget cuts to help offset anticipated losses from the coronavirus pandemic, Rebecca Tan reports for the Post.

CONTRACTOR RESIGNS IN BLACKFACE CONTROVERSY: A Dutch design firm defended itself but withdrew from a Middle Branch shoreline project after blackface photo controversy, Ethan McLeod reports for the Baltimore Business Journal.

  • West 8 co-founder Adriaan Geuze told AFRO that the company decided to resign so they would not slow down the project. The company has banned all iterations of “Black Pete,” a black-faced, curly-haired helper from Dutch folklore, Alexis Taylor reports.

HAGERSTOWN SEEKING ART FUNDING: The City of Hagerstown is seeking state grant money to bring more art to its streets, Alexis Fitzpatrick reports for the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

D.C. STATEHOOD HEARING: Maryland Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, both Democrats, were part of a group of senators hosting a virtual hearing about Washington D.C. becoming its own state, the staff of The Garrett County Republican reports.

SUBMERGED BAY GRASSES: While scientists are seeing a depletion of Chesapeake Bay grasses, some watermen are seeing a season flush with grasses on their trotlines, Tom McCall reports for The Easton Star-Democrat. The grasses are one of the most important indicators of bay health.

COMMENTARY: MOCO RUN LIKE A BOOK CLUB: Montgomery County Chief Administrative Officer Andrew Kleine has run the county like a book club promoting his book Adam Pagnucco blogs for Seventh State. “It’s incredible that this needs to be said, but the CAO should be running county government, not converting it into a royalty-generating book club,” Pagnucco opines.

NEW LOBBYING FIRM: Annapolis lobbyist Davion Percy is launching his own firm, another former member of the now-defunct Alexander & Cleaver to start a firm, reports Bryan Sears for The Daily Record. The firm will initially be based in National Harbor. Percy previously served as the VP of government relations.

REMEMBERING A LEADER IN BMORE LATINO COMMUNITY: Delfina H. Pereda-Echeverria, who was considered the matriarch of Baltimore’s Hispanic and Latino communities and remembered fondly by former Mayor Kurt Schmoke, died Saturday, Frederick Rasmussen reports for the Sun.

About The Author

Meg Tully

Contributing Editor Meg Tully has been covering Maryland politics for more than five years. She has worked for The Frederick News-Post, where she reported during the General Assembly session in Annapolis. She has also worked for The (Hanover) Evening Sun and interned at Baltimore Magazine. Meg has won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association for her state and county writing, and a Keystone Press Award for feature writing from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you have additional questions or comments contact Meg at:

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