State Roundup: Doc declines becoming Wicomico exec; Klacik ad draws praise from state GOP

State Roundup: Doc declines becoming Wicomico exec; Klacik ad draws praise from state GOP

A meeting of the Wicomico County Council from February. Screeshot of council video

DESMARAIS SAYS NO TO WICOMICO EXEC SPOT: Salisbury cardiologist Dr. Rene Desmarais has declined the Wicomico County executive appointment, Kyleigh Panetta of ABC-47 is reporting. In a statement released late Monday afternoon, Desmarais says, “Thank you for the opportunity to become the next Wicomico County Executive. Although it would be a privilege to lead our great county, I must respectfully decline to accept the appointment. I wish you the best in your future selection.”

  • Desmarais was appointed executive during a special meeting of the Wicomico County Council last Thursday after Del. Carl L. Anderton Jr. – who had been seen as the early frontrunner for the post – fell just short of a majority of the seven-member body, Louis Peck writes for Maryland Matters.

KLACIK WINS PRAISE FROM MD GOP: Maryland’s Republican lawmakers heaped praise on GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik’s recent campaign video in which she said Democrats have mismanaged Baltimore and have taken the city’s majority Black constituency for granted, Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes.

$55,000 EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT: Gov. Larry Hogan’s former chief of staff received more than $55,000 in expense reimbursements when he left his job at the Maryland Environmental Service, according to records provided to state lawmakers investigating the agency’s spending practices, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.

LAWMAKERS TO PROBE SEVERANCE PACKAGE: A group of Maryland lawmakers convening Tuesday to examine a hefty severance package that Gov. Larry Hogan’s former top aide received from a quasi-state agency this spring will likely take a broader look at the Maryland Environmental Service’s governance structure, its oversight protocols and changes that could prevent a similar payout in the future, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.

COVID CASES DOWN, HOSPITALIZATIONS LEVEL: After decreasing over the weekend, the number of Marylanders currently hospitalized due to coronavirus remains at 407, the same amount recorded on Sunday. Of those 407 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 304 are in acute care and 103 are in intensive care, Marcus Dieterle reports for Baltimore Fishbowl.

  • Carroll County saw its fewest new community cases of COVID-19 in a week since June, according to data released by the health department Monday afternoon, Bob Blubaugh reports in the Carroll County Times.

DELEGATE FILES OPEN MEETING COMPLAINT AGAINST STATE ED BOARD: A state delegate says the Maryland State Board of Education violated open meetings law when it failed to give the public notice that it was meeting in private in June to vote on the superintendent’s contract and pay raise, according to a complaint filed by the lawmaker, Liz Bowie of the Sun reports.

EXPERTS: SCHOOLS NEED TO DO MORE TO PLAN FOR COVID: School officials should be doing more to plan for potential cases of COVID-19, according to researchers with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, writes Bryan Sears in the Daily Record. The advice comes as school systems around Maryland prepare to pick up the new academic year in virtual classes, much the same as when the 2019-2020 year ended.

STATE MAY MANDATE 3½ HOURS OF ONLINE INSTRUCTION: The state school board Tuesday is expected to vote on whether to require school districts to offer students a minimum of 3½ hours of live online instruction each day while classes remain remote because of coronavirus, Liz Bowie of the Sun is reporting. “I want to make sure that all students across the state have the same opportunity for learning,” said state school superintendent Karen Salmon. “I think this is crucial.”

BA CO SCHOOL ACCUSED OF FAILING SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS: Baltimore County schools are being accused of failing special needs students who need their own aides, by not sending assistants into those students’ homes because of COVID-19 fears. John Lee reports or WYPR-FM.

HOMELESS STUDENT CRISIS CHALLENGES FREDERICK CO: As Frederick County public schools begin remote learning amid concerns about COVID-19, homeless and other vulnerable students face a heightened set of challenges, Anabel Mendoza of Medill News Service reports. Late last month, the Board of Education announced that the county’s public schools will move to a full virtual model of instruction, and while many parents and teachers agree with this decision, some are worried about the impact remote learning will have on students and families facing housing insecurity.

MO CO ‘FLYING BLIND’ ON REOPENING PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Montgomery County health and government officials are becoming increasingly frustrated with a lack of guidance from the state about the reopening of nonpublic schools, reports Caitlynn Peetz in Bethesda Beat.

HO CO CREATES EQUITY POST: Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the creation of the Equity and Restorative Practices manager, a new position in county government whose role will identify any practices or policies needed to ensure equity, recommend and implement training and competency-building programs, and develop strategic community partnerships, Kevin Kinnally reports in Conduit Street.

MO CO 3rd GRADERS CAN’T READ AT GRADE LEVEL: In Montgomery County, half of the approximately 23,400 third-graders ended the 2018-19 school year unable to read at or above grade level, according to the results of a state assessment obtained by Bethesda Beat. Advocates fear that while children learn from home due to COVID-19, missing close to a year of face-to-face instruction, more children will fall through the cracks, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat.

FT.McHENRY WALKWAY DAMAGED: A forklift has damaged a brick walkway at the iconic national monument Fort McHenry, where Republicans were building a stage for Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance for the party’s national convention, a National Park Service spokeswoman said Monday. A national parks advocacy group expressed outrage at the damage, saying stewardship of national monuments should be nonpartisan and professional, Ellen Knickmeyer of the AP reports.

MORELLA, GILCHREST BACK BIDEN FOR PREZ: Between them they spent 34 years as Republican members of Congress from Maryland. But now Constance A. Morella and Wayne T. Gilchrest are united in their support of Democrat Joe Biden’s bid for the White House, Bruce DePuyt reports in Maryland Matters.

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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