DID MARYLAND SCHOOLS OPEN TOO EARLY?: Since the beginning of the phased reopening of Maryland’s public schools on March 1 at the urging of Gov. Larry Hogan, parents, educators and administrators have raised concerns about the feasibility of the process and what the motivation behind that decision might have been, reports Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter.
GOAL IS 100,000 COVID JABS PER DAY: Maryland health officials have set a goal of administering as many as 100,000 shots per day as COVID-19 vaccine production scales up and more people become eligible, Hallie miller reports in the Sun. Acting health secretary Dennis R. Schrader said the Maryland Department of Health has been driving steadily toward that bench mark, reaching as many as 57,550 vaccinations in a single day last week.
OLDEST MARYLANDERS FALL BEHIND IN VAXX: The oldest Maryland residents are falling behind other age groups as the state begins to open up a new phase of coronavirus eligibility, Bryan Sears reports for he Daily Record. State data shows that less than 40% of residents 70-80 years old have been vaccinated and about 45% of those over 80 have received doses, Lam said, lower figures than some slightly younger groups.
LOCAL JAILS WOULD BE BANNED FROM ICE CONTRACTS: Maryland lawmakers took a step toward banning local jails from being paid by the federal government to house people detained on immigration matters, Pamela Wood and Bryn Stole report for the Sun. The program, in which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pays jails to house the detainees, has come under fire in the handful of Maryland counties that participate in it.
- Legislation to provide protections for and establish trust between Maryland’s undocumented residents and state and local governments did not receive a vote in time to meet the General Assembly’s crossover deadline. Rather, the TRUST Act will be debated in the committee — which has been historically hostile to immigrants’ rights legislation — Tuesday afternoon, Hannah Gaskill and Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters report.
BILL WOULD LET TRANS PEOPLE CHANGE NAMES PRIVATELY: In an effort to protect trans people from being forced to out themselves in the newspaper, Senate Bill 581 and House Bill 39 would require courts to honor any request for a waiver to publishing notice of a name change in a local newspaper, Olivia Sanchez reports for the Capital Gazette. Some opponents say the state shouldn’t pass laws requiring judges to rule a certain way.
STATE POISED TO JETTISON ‘MARYLAND, MY MARYLAND:’ Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports that after more than 10 tries over four decades, Maryland lawmakers have decided it is time to get rid of “Maryland, My Maryland,” the official state song that glorifies the Confederacy, refers to Abraham Lincoln as a “tyrant” and urges Maryland to secede to fight the “Northern scum.”
D.C. REGION GETTING $15B IN COVID RELIEF FUNDING: The Post’s Robert McCartney takes a look at the windfall the D.C. area’s state and local goverments will be getting in federal coronavirus relief funds. It is “totaling more than $15 billion in direct aid (and) will go a long way to help them repair damage from the pandemic-induced recession. And that’s just the start. The region is also getting more than $4 billion for education, plus funds for Metro, small businesses, rental assistance and other purposes.”
HOGAN STEPS UP POLICING IN ASIAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and his wife, Yumi, an immigrant from South Korea, toured Asian-owned businesses in Howard County on Monday and called for action to address a spike in hate incidents and violence against Asians in the United States, Rebecca Tan of the Post reports.
- Hogan announced Monday that he directed the Maryland State Police and all state law enforcement agencies to immediately increase their enhanced visibility patrols and provide increased protection for members of the Asian community, Ana Faguy reports in the Howard County Times.
- Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters writes that Hogan said, “Words, or the lack thereof of, matter, but words are not enough. We also need action.” One third of all Asian Americans said that they have experienced some form of discrimination since the pandemic began, he said.
LAWMAKER-PLASTIC SURGEON ZOOMED DURING OPERATIONS: A state lawmaker who is also a plastic surgeon has twice tuned into Maryland General Assembly committee meetings from an operating room during a legislative session in which many hearings and votes have been held online because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
BA CO LIBRARY WORKERS MAY GET OK TO UNIONIZE: Baltimore County senators will decide today whether to support a bill that would authorize county library employees to unionize, Taylor DeVille of the Towson Times reports.
MOSBYs’ ATTY ALLEGES MISCONDUCT IN FEDERAL PROBE: A lawyer for Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby and State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is alleging misconduct by federal prosecutors and seeking a suspension of a federal criminal investigation into the couple, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun reports.
- “I request that these prosecutors be immediately removed from this baseless and politically-motivated investigation,” A. Scott Bolden, who represents the Mosbys, said in a letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility for the U.S. Justice Department. Steve Thompson and Ovetta Wiggins of the Post report,
- Appearing at an event in Ellicott City to support Asian American-owned businesses, Gov. Hogan called the investigation “very troubling,” Justin Fenton and Emily Opilo of the Sun report.
B’MORE’s PENN STATION TO GET HUGE MAKEOVER FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL: Amtrak and developers are pushing ahead with a multimillion-dollar transformation of Baltimore’s historic Penn Station into a mixed-use, high-speed rail hub with the potential to spark large-scale investment in nearby neighborhoods in coming years, Lorraine Mirabella of the Sun reports.
FATAL OVERDOSES IN CARROLL RISE: Fatal overdoses and total overdoses in Carroll County rose sharply over the first two months of 2021, according to Carroll County Sheriff’s Office statistics. Six overdose deaths were reported in February after nine were reported in January, the second deadliest month in five years, representing a 114% increase over the first two months of 2020, Bob Blubaugh of the Carroll County Times reports.
FREDERICK DISPUTES STATE ON SCHOOL VAXX NUMBERS: After a state-generated chart reportedly showing the rate of employee vaccinations at public school systems across the state went viral in early March, many Frederick County residents were left wondering why Frederick County Public Schools was dead last. Numerous county officials say the chart was incorrect, Katryna Perera of the Frederick News-Post reports.