STATE BESTS U.S. IN JOBS: The U.S. jobs report released Friday presents some hope among business leaders but some politicians say the numbers are not reflecting what is happening in Maryland because the state is actually doing better than the national trend, Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter writes. Frederick County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rick Weldon expressed tempered optimism over the employment situation both nationwide and in Maryland.
SCAMMERS SEEK BALLOTS AT DOOR: Ewan Palmer of Newsweek reports that voters in Maryland are being reminded never to hand their election ballots to strangers following reports of people “going door-to-door” to illegally collect them. The Anne Arundel County Board of Elections said in a statement that they have received reports of people trying to collect filled out Presidential General Election Ballots from people’s homes claiming they will help turn them in for them.
MD ELECTIONS BOARDS TO BEGIN COUNTING BALLOTS: Local election boards in Maryland could soon begin counting absentee ballots for the 2020 presidential election under emergency regulations put in place because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports. Those regulations, previously drafted by state election officials, were reviewed Friday by the General Assembly’s Administrative, Legislative and Executive Review Committee. The rules would allow boards around the state to begin counting returned absentee ballots weeks before that typically is done.
LESS TRAVEL MEANS LESS STATE FUNDS: The months of Americans traveling less because of the coronavirus pandemic — whether by road, rail or air — have left states and localities that rely on gasoline taxes, fare revenue and user fees to fund their budgets facing billions in shortfalls, Katherine Shaver of the Post is reporting. The Maryland Department of Transportation has proposed slashing nearly $3 billion from its six-year capital budget.
HOGAN, OTHER POLS WISH TRUMP, MELANIA WELL: “Yumi and I are wishing President Trump and the First Lady a speedy recovery. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them both,” Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted out, as thoughts and hopes for their recovery came in from Maryland leaders. Christine Condon reports in the Sun.
LOCAL GOP ORGANIZES TRUMP RALLY AT HOSPITAL: Derek Hawkins of the Post writes that the Maryland Republican Party called on supporters to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday morning to show solidarity with Trump as he undergoes treatment for covid-19. Scroll down to 10:48 a.m. to reach the update.
- Hundreds of President Trump’s supporters descended on Walter Reed National Medical Center Saturday for what became a cross between a prayer vigil and campaign rally. Multiple groups of supporters waved American flags and Trump 2020 signs to show support for Mr. Trump as he battles the coronavirus, WBFF-TV reports. A mass email was sent out by Maryland Republicans urging them to show up, but Maryland campaign spokesman David Bossie said it was spontaneous.
- As crowds gathered on Saturday outside of Bethesda’s Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, supporters and critics of President Donald Trump occasionally clashed, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.
- Rockville Pike was closed in both directions Saturday night after police discovered what they called a “suspicious package” in front of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, reports Caitlynn Peetz in Bethesda Beat.
MO CO EXEC CHIDE TRUMP FOR LEAVING WALTER REED: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich late Sunday night criticized President Donald Trump for briefly departing Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated for COVID-19, to ride around and wave at supporters gathered outside, writes Caitlynn Peetz for Bethesda Beat.
HOGAN WISHES CHRISTIE WELL: Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted Saturday that his “prayers are with” his friend Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who has tested positive for COVID-19. Lillian Reed of the Sun reports that Christie, who confirmed his diagnosis Saturday, is one of the latest in the inner circle of President Donald Trump’s administration to contract the virus that has caused a global pandemic.
LOCAL POLS WHO HAD COVID URGE PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY: Two local leaders who have recovered from COVID-19 said transparency with the public is important. Public officials like President Donald Trump who test positive for the virus must weather the virus with plenty of people watching, which isn’t always easy, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
HOPKINS DOC ON TRUMP MED TEAM: A Johns Hopkins Hospital doctor has joined the team of physicians treating President Donald Trump for the coronavirus, Tim Prudente of the Sun reports. Dr. Brian Garibaldi, director of the biocontainment unit at the Baltimore hospital, is consulting with White House doctors and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda to develop a treatment plan for the president, a Hopkins spokeswoman said.
HOGAN HEALTH ADVISER: PENCE SHOULD QUARANTINE: In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday, Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and top health adviser to Gov. Larry Hogan, said that Republican Vice President Mike Pence should quarantine and that upcoming debates should be held virtually going forward after President Donald Trump contracted the coronavirus last week, Phil Davis reports in the Sun.
Optimal Solar Siting for Maryland: Maryland is making moves to meet its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) mandate, but land-use priorities and regulations create challenges about where best to site new solar energy projects. What are the optimal solutions? How can the state incentivize development of distributed generation in desirable locations and ensure that projects in those locations have a smooth path to permits? Panelists will discuss these questions and more during this FREE webinar on October 8th.
MD, VA SCOFFLAWS LEAVE DC WITH $373M IN UNPAID FINES: Maryland and Virginia drivers owe the District over $373 million in fines from outstanding parking and traffic citations they have racked up in the past four years, according to records from the city’s Department of Motor Vehicles, Luz Lazo of the Washington Post reports.
OPINION: ALLOW CHAIN WINE & BEER STORES: Adam Borden of Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws and Tom Saquella, formerly with Maryland Retailers Association, opine that “many Maryland businesses will benefit from chain store sales. Unionized grocers will hire more warehouse and store staff. Specialized grocers like MOM’s Organic Market will be able to showcase Maryland produced organic wines and craft beers. Bethesda-based Total Wine & More will bring construction jobs and well-paying store jobs as it has in 24 other states.” (Editor’s Note: Total Wine is owned by U.S. Rep. David Trone and his brother Robert.)
STATE HEMP INDUSTRY GROWS: Maryland’s budding hemp industry is growing despite concerns from some Baltimore County residents about living near a crop that was outlawed for several decades, Wilborn Nobles of the Sun reports.
282 CARROLL TEACHERS SEEK LEAVE: Carroll County Public School officials at Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting said 336 staff members, including 282 teachers, have informed the school system they will be requesting leave under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, or the Family Medical Leave Act, and those numbers could grow by the planned Oct. 19 return of students to school buildings under a hybrid format, Bob Blubaugh of the Carroll County Times reports.
EX-OBAMA CABINET MEMBER LAUNCHES STRONG FUTURE MARYLAND: A former member of President Obama’s cabinet is launching an organization to promote bold solutions in Annapolis to problems brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and longstanding, more systemic inequities in the state. Strong Future Maryland, the brainchild of former U.S. Education secretary and Silver Spring resident John B. King Jr., goes public today, writes Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters.
OPINION: GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO HELP: In a column for MarylandReporter, Kimblyn Persaud of Wheaton opines that “our Democratic political leaders are failing us” by refusing to allow fair representation on the County Council.
PG’s BRAVEBOY ANNOUNCING VOTING PUSH: Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy announced a voting initiative last week to ensure those incarcerated participate in the Nov. 3 general election, reports William Ford for the Washington Informer. Her office, along with county correctional and election officials, seeks to determine which of the estimated 500 people currently housed in the county jail are eligible to vote.
BA CO COUNCIL TO VOTE ON TENANT PROTECTION BILL: The Baltimore County Council is voting on a bill Monday evening that aims to protect tenants from eviction during the pandemic. The bill consists of regulations on sudden residential rent increases, Sarah Kim reports for WYPR-FM.
‘NEGRO MOUNTAIN’ REMAINS CONTROVERSIAL: The Tribune-Review writes that an Allegheny Mountain ridge stretching some 30 miles from the Casselman River in southern Somerset County to Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland has been the focus of controversy as attempts continue to change a name dating to the French and Indian War. The name in question: Negro Mountain.
WA CO ED BOARD MEMBER RESIGNS AFTER TRUMP POSTS: Washington County Public Schools on Sunday announced that board member Jacqueline Fischer resigned after social-media posts by her referring to scenarios on how President Trump could die from COVID-19. The resignation was announced in a news release from the school system, Dave McMillion reports in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.