STATE ADDS JOBS, JOBLESS CLAIMS: Maryland added 10,200 jobs in October while the state’s unemployment rate increased from 7.2% to 7.8%, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday morning, Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter writes. The state added 18,200 jobs in September. The national unemployment rate is at 6.9%. Maryland’s business leaders said the state’s latest jobs numbers are cause for concern.
- The Maryland Department of Labor reported 18,440 new claims for the week ending Nov. 14, an increase of nearly 1,200 claims compared to the previous week. Nearly 85% of those claims are from workers traditionally covered by unemployment or not seeking pandemic-related benefits, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record.
HOGAN TO TRUMP: STOP GOLFING, CONCEDE: President Donald Trump again took aim at Gov. Larry Hogan in a tweet Sunday morning, bringing attention to questions surrounding a batch of coronavirus tests the state bought from a South Korean company. In response, writes Phil Davis for the Sun, Hogan wrote on Twitter that, had Trump done a better job in the early days of the pandemic, “America’s governors wouldn’t have been forced to fend for themselves to find tests in the middle of a pandemic. … ” He also wrote, “Stop golfing and concede.”
- “These ridiculous challenges that are not based on fact need to end,” Hogan said during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Hogan argued that Trump administration efforts to hamper Biden’s transition team by withholding funds and information would impede efforts to quell the coronavirus pandemic, which is surging nationwide, Christine Condon of the Sun reports.
- Hogan faulted Trump again Sunday on CNN. “We’re beginning to look like a banana republic,” the governor said of Trump’s contentions that he won the 2020 election and that Biden has been projected the winner because of voter fraud and flawed election software, Mike Sunnucks of Chesapeake Publishing reports.
- Here’s WJZ-TV’s report on the kerfuffle.
HOGAN’s KOREA TEST KITS FLAWED: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) spent $9.46 million in state funding to import 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea that turned out to be flawed and weren’t used, emails, documents and interviews show, Steve Thompson of the Post reported on Friday. (It was on the front page of the print edition Sunday.)
THIRD SITTING JUDGE LOSES ELECTION BID: One of the incumbents on the Prince George’s County Circuit Court has lost his bid for a full 15-year term after being appointed last year — bringing to three the number of “sitting judges” around Maryland who unsuccessfully defended their seats in the Nov. 3 general election, Louis Peck reports for Maryland Matters.
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SUNDAY INFECTIONS HIT 2,168: Maryland reported 2,168 new coronavirus cases Sunday and 18 deaths tied to COVID-19, as data shows growing infection rates in rural areas ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Phil David reports in the Sun. The state has reported 2,000 or more new cases in seven of the past nine days — a number not seen before this period. The state has now seen 1,000 or more cases reported for 18 straight days.
EVICTION HALT DOESN’T AID ALL: Months after the Centers for Disease Control issued a nationwide halt on certain evictions, advocates and lawyers say the order isn’t helping all Maryland tenants. Interpretation of the CDC order can vary from judge to judge, said Matt Hill, an attorney with the Public Justice Center. Hill, who represents tenants in eviction cases, said he’s seen a rise in landlords simply terminating or not-renewing leases instead of going through the normal failure-to-pay rent eviction cases.
VIRTUAL LEARNING WIDENS EDUCATION GAP: Joel McCord of WYPR-FM reports that even before the pandemic set in, educators and advocates had pointed to gaps in education for Black, brown and low income students. And now those gaps have only widened with the move to virtual learning, advocates told a legislative committee Thursday. The numbers were sobering.
CALVERT SCHOOLS HALT IN-PERSON CLASS FOR PRE-K-2nd: Due to a rise in COVID-19 data, the Calvert County school board on Nov. 19 voted to halt in-person learning for prekindergarten, first and second grade, Caleb M. Soptelean reports for the Calvert Recorder. The unanimous vote — with board member Pat Nutter abstaining — followed on the heels of a 3-2 tally where the board voted to not proceed with a planned return to in-person schooling for grades 3 through 5 that was set to begin on Dec. 7.
NAVY OPPOSES CAP BELTWAY WIDENING: In a tersely worded letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation, the U.S. Navy served notice that the state should not plan on gaining control of “any” military property in Bethesda for the widening of the Capital Beltway (I-495), Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters.
BRADY DISCLOSURE DOESN’T APPLY TO GUILTY PLEAS: Maryland prosecutors need not tell defendants about the past dishonesty of the state’s witnesses before a guilty plea is entered, Maryland’s top court unanimously ruled Friday in upholding the drug possession conviction of a man whose main accuser had a record of lying and would later be convicted of police corruption, Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports.
MD CONGRESSMEN AS TRUMP TO AID STORM VICTIMS: Maryland’s congressional delegation wrote President Trump on Friday asking him to reverse his decision to deny federal disaster relief to the state following Tropical Storm Isaias, which hit the region in August, Liz Bowie of the Sun reports.
TRONE OPIOID BILL PASSES HOUSE: Legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) that would provide $9 billion to fund the opioid crisis response over six years passed the House floor unanimously last week, Brandon Glass of the Cumberland Times-News reports. The State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act is aimed at giving states a level of certainty that funding will be available long term and not dependent year to year, like it is now.
OPINION: MONEY FROM THE GULLIBLE: Kim Klacik is working to keep her profile high so she can take in more money by riding the Trump train. She was never in any danger of winning Mfume’s seat, so why not see how much more money she can raise from the gullible, opines David Lublin for Seventh State.
ARUNDEL SCHOOL COPS: ARRESTS DOWN PRE-COVID: Police representatives impressed the Anne Arundel County school board last week with lower student arrest numbers collected before coronavirus ended in-person teaching last spring and new engagement programs that will begin during virual learning, Selene San Felice reports for the Capital Gazette.
DOWNSIZED MAYOR’s INAUGURATION: When Catherine Pugh took office as Baltimore’s 50th mayor, more than 500 people crowded inside the War Memorial Building to take part. As the inauguration of Mayor-elect Brandon Scott approaches next month, an image of similar festivities is almost impossible to conjure, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports.
UNSUPERVISORED MINORS BANNED FROM NATIONAL HARBOR AT SUNDOWN: The same week Prince George’s County implemented new restrictions amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the majority-Black jurisdiction will now impose a curfew at one of its most popular locations. Starting last Friday afternoon, no one 17 or younger will be allowed to hang out at National Harbor between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays without a parent or guardian, William Ford of the Washington Informer writes.
COLUMBIA LOSES TWO BOBS: Two architects who worked on the planning of Columbia and made significant contributions to the town in later years died last week. Robert “Bob” Tennenbaum was the chief architect-planner for Columbia and later compiled two books on the new town. Robert J. “Bob” Moon worked for the Rouse Co. and later designed the Columbia Flier building on Little Patuxent Parkway where his wife Jean Moon was general manager.