State Roundup: Sports betting, fantasy sites pony up bucks for legalization

State Roundup: Sports betting, fantasy sites pony up bucks for legalization

Cloud Computing comes up on Classic Empire to win the 2017 Preakness in the final stretch. Governor's Office Photo

SPORTS BETTING FIRMS PONY UP BUCKS FOR LEGALIZATION: An organization funded with $500,000 from FanDuel and $250,000 from DraftKings — the fantasy sports and betting sites — says it is launching a media campaign Tuesday urging voters to support a November ballot question legalizing sports betting in Maryland, Jeff Barker of the Sun reports.

  • The first television ad of the effort hits airwaves Tuesday, featuring individuals who organizers said are public school teachers. They tell voters that the coronavirus pandemic has made it more important than ever to fund education and close the digital divide — and that legal sports betting is a partial solution, Erin Cox of the Post reports.

IF PURPLE LINE CONTRACTOR QUITS, LONG DELAYS INEVITABLE: Maryland transit officials will decide in the next 30 days which Purple Line work can continue and what must be delayed if the companies building it quit, state officials told the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday, Katherine Shaver of the Post is reporting. However, it will take four to six months for the state to decide how it will complete the 16-mile light-rail line through Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, said Kevin Quinn, head of the Maryland Transit Administration.

MO CO COULD LOSE $1B OVER SIX YEARS: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Montgomery County, government officials are looking more at the financial future. Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports that with no known end to the health crisis and continued blows to revenues, officials have estimated that the county could lose $1 billion in revenues over the next six years.

RESTAURANT GROUP SEEKS 75% DINING CAPACITY: Restaurant Association of Maryland president Marshall Weston called on state officials to allow restaurants to increase their indoor dining capacity from 50% to 75% to prevent what many fear could be a significant drop in patronage once winter arrives, Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter is reporting.

STATE SEEKS TO CUT COVID CASES IN HISPANIC COMMUNITIES: The Maryland Health Department has convened an inter-agency task force aimed at reducing the COVID-19 positivity rate in Hispanic communities, Dr. Jinlene Chan, deputy secretary of public health services, told lawmakers Tuesday. Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters reports the story.

DEL. ANDERTON, ONE OTHER UP FOR WICOMICO EXEC: For the second time, Del. Carl Anderton, R-38B, has applied for the Wicomico County executive spot. This time, he’s joined by just one more name: Wicomico General Services Supervisor Lawrence Pate Matthews, Kelly Powers of the Salisbury Daily Times reports. Council President Larry Dodd announced the applicants during his comments in regular council meeting Tuesday morning.

SENATE PANEL TO HOLD HEARING ON POLICE REFORM BILLS: Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters writes that the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hear testimony on bills surrounding police accountability and reform next week.

STATE PTA REORGANIZES, IN FEUD WITH NATIONAL PTA: The Maryland PTA held its first meeting with new leadership Tuesday night, fielding questions from members and updating them about the organization’s relationship with the National PTA, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun reports.

  • According to Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters, Maryland’s PTA and the national organization are feuding, with battles over management, alleged hostile work environments and local leader elections. The Maryland PTA filed an injunction and temporary restraining order against National PTA in early September to stop the national group from taking over and reorganizing the state chapter.

RACIST TOWN CONFRONTS ITS PAST, PRESENT: Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports a long story on Pasadena in Anne Arundel County and it racist past and present. She starts off with the watershed moment for the county, story of Jordan Keemer, who was in his high school government class “acting as the judge in an exercise that resembled a mock trial. But stained in his mind are the stinging words he says his teacher uttered quietly as he sat, a 16-year-old Black student surrounded by mostly White classmates: ‘I don’t trust you n—– people.’” State Del. Nic Kipke and County Executive Steuart Pittman play important roles in the story, which runs on the front page of the print edition.

PG SCHOOLS WEIGH RESOURCE OFFICER FUNDING: A Thursday discussion on school resource officers in Prince George’s County Public Schools could bring some intense emotions. At stake: whether to utilize $5 million earmarked for police protection to instead hire more social workers, mental health professionals and counselors for students in Maryland’s second-largest public school system, William Ford reports for the Washington Informer.

SOME STUDENTS RETURN TO WA CO CLASSROOMS: Washington County Public Schools is opening its classrooms to some students today, Sherry Greenfield reports in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. The school district is moving from what has been Stage One, where all students started the 2020-21 school year Aug. 31, virtually through distance learning, now to Stage Two of a five-part plan, that brings students, teachers and staff back into the buildings.

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COURT MULLS WHETHER TRANSIT OFFICERS VIOLATED RIGHTS: An assistant Maryland attorney general and a defense lawyer battled before the state’s top court Tuesday over whether transit officers violated the constitutional rights of light-rail passengers to be free of unreasonable seizures when the agents conducted sweeps of the Baltimore train cars to ensure fares were paid, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record..

OPINION: USING RAINY DAY FUND: The editorial board of the Sun is urging that the city go slowly in dipping into its rainy day fund, writing that “Baltimore’s Board of Estimates … will face a choice today over whether to authorize up to $25 million be withdrawn from the city’s rainy day fund … to cover budget shortfalls related to the pandemic. For the average Baltimorean, this might seem irrelevant. … But it’s actually a rather significant milestone. … What’s essentially being proposed is a bit of short-term steadying on a highwire in return for removing a big chunk of mattress. Is that wise? There are reasons to be skeptical.”

OPINION: A LIFELONG BLACK REPUBLICAN IS VOTING FOR BIDEN: In an op-ed for the Sun, Serge Thomas of Silver Spring writes about why, as “a 45-year-old African American man, and, for most of my life … a registered Republican” he’ll be voting for Joe Biden for president. “Like millions of Americans right now, I am struggling to find work. I am also mourning the loss of my older sister to COVID-19,” he continues. “The Republican Party, my party, is no longer interested in doing the hard and thankless work of governing,” he writes.

UPDATE: MD JOURNALISTS LOSE RACES: Two Maryland journalists running for the top offices of the national Society of Professional Journalists lost their races. Sue Kopen Katcef of Maryland Pubic TV lost the race for president-elect to Texas journalist Rebecca Aguilar, 674-407, according to unofficial tallies. Andy Schotz of Bethesda Beat lost the race for secretary-treasurer by just 15 votes to New York’s Ivette Davila-Richards, 473-458. Turnout in the online election was low with only 1,098 votes casts from the estimated 6,000 eligible members. Here is the link to the original MarylandReporter story. 

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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