TRAVEL BAN FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Gov. Larry Hogan wants Marylanders to stay at home for the holidays to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and on Thursday he issued an order that prohibits non-essential travel, Bryan Renbaum reports in Maryland Reporter.
- Hogan said the state isn’t planning aggressive enforcement of the order, which exempts several nearby states. He said the state is rather relying on the “good faith” of state residents, Alison Knezevich writes for the Sun.
- Hogan also announced an additional $180 million in economic relief related to the coronavirus pandemic, Steve Bohnel reports for The Frederick News-Post.
- State agencies are also suspending all customer-facing operations temporarily starting on Monday, Teresa McMinn reports for the Cumberland Times-News.
HOGAN FED UP WITH FACEBOOK: “I’m getting fatigued with your stupid comments every day. If you are tired of seeing what I say on my Facebook page why not just get the hell off my page and you won’t be so bothered by listening,” Hogan wrote on his Facebook page in response to “We’re getting Hogan fatigue. Please make it stop.” When asked by a Baltimore Sun reporter during Thursday’s briefing at the Annapolis State House, Hogan said he thought his response was “appropriate” but that in hindsight, he maybe “shouldn’t have used that language.”
NEXT VACCINE ALLOCATION MIGHT BE LESS THAN EXPECTED: Maryland officials said Thursday that they’ve learned there may be a reduction in the state’s next allocation of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, after an initial 155,000 doses, Alison Knezevich reports for the Sun.
RESTAURANTS CHALLENGE INDOOR DINING BANS: The Restaurant Association of Maryland and dozens of restaurants in Montgomery County are filing for an injunction on a recent order that banned indoor dining, Dan Schere reports for Bethesda Beat. It asks for allowing 25% capacity.
- And the recent Anne Arundel court order that a ban was overreaching could spawn more challenges in Baltimore, David Collins reports for WBAL TV.
ANTON BLACK FAMILY FILES SUIT: Anton Black’s family has filed a federal lawsuit related to his 2018 death, Steve Lash reports for The Daily Record. The complaint alleges the unarmed 19-year-old Black man was killed by police and that the slaying was covered up by a forensic pathology report.
- The autopsy report released in January 2019 concluded “it is likely that the stress of his struggle contributed to the decedent’s death,” but that “no evidence was found that restraints led to the decedent being asphyxiated,” Rose Velazquez reports for the Salisbury Daily Times. The plaintiffs argue that their experts found positional asphyxia at the hands of police was the cause of death.
- Black’s family claims excessive force and racial bias led to their son’s death and allege that a cover-up followed involving the state medical examiner and police personnel from the Eastern Shore towns of Greensboro, Ridgley and Centreville, Glynis Kazanjian reports for Maryland Matters.
SHOULD FEDS BE PARTNER IN METRO FUNDING? Facing a nearly $700 million deficit over the next 18 months for Metro’s operational budget, regional leaders are asking the federal government to be a fourth partner in supporting the transit system, Justin George reports for the Post. Hogan signed on to the request to president-elect Joe Biden’s transition team along with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
JONES CALLS FOR EXECUTION TO STOP: Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones would like Maryland’s governor to ask the Trump administration to halt the January execution of Dustin Higgs, Ben Leonard reports for the Sun. Higgs was convicted in 2000 of ordering the killing of three women.
LIERMAN STARTS COMPTROLLER RACE: Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore City) is the first to launch a campaign for the state comptroller, a position that hasn’t been an open race for more than a decade, Pamela Wood reports for the Sun.
- Lierman laid out a vision for the comptroller to address income inequality, Erin Cox reports for the Post.
CLOSURES COULD SPUR JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM: Maryland spent nearly $6 million in 2017-2018 to fortify and upgrade a Western Maryland youth detention center even as the state’s own experts raised alarms that such remote facilities harm young people, don’t slow crime and waste taxpayer money, Phil Davis reports for the Sun. The Garrett’s Children Center is now empty, temporarily shut down, and some say the state has an opportunity to reform juvenile detention programs.
UNIVERSITY HOUSING SETTLEMENT BEING ‘SANDPAPERED:’ The state is close to reaching a settlement with hundreds of students who have been stuck in student housing leases at Maryland’s universities, Elizabeth Shwe reports for Maryland Matters.
MD JOINS GOOGLE SUIT: “Maryland joined dozens of states that filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Google on Thursday, alleging that the search giant has an illegal monopoly over the online search market that hurts consumers and advertisers,” the Associated Press reports.