State Roundup: Al Wynn urges Biden to convey vision of America’s future; state board says schools should open in fall; Cassilly runs for Harford exec

State Roundup: Al Wynn urges Biden to convey vision of America’s future; state board says schools should open in fall; Cassilly runs for Harford exec

Sen. Robert Cassilly is running for Harford County executive. photo

AL WYNN: BIDEN NEEDS TO CONVEY VISION OF AMERICA’s FUTURE: President Joe Biden needs to “convey his vision of where America is going” in his speech to a joint session of Congress, according to former Maryland Rep. Albert Wynn, who served in the House of Representatives from 1993 to 2008. Biden, who has been in office for 100 days, is scheduled to deliver the speech at 9 p.m. Wednesday. He has already faced a litany of challenges ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to mass protests against police misconduct, writes Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS SHOULD REOPEN FULLY IN FALL: In a unanimous vote, the Maryland State Board of Education approved a resolution Tuesday that requires all school systems to reopen five days a week for in-person learning beginning this fall, Ken Duffy reports for WTOP-FM.

  • The board said students should be able to attend 180 days for the school year with a teacher in the classroom, however, it offered school systems the option to seek an exception from the requirement, Liz Bowie reports in the Sun.

STATE SAYS NO TO SINGLE-TRACK PURPLE LINE IN BETHESDA: Maryland has rejected a proposal by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich to single-track the Purple Line in downtown Bethesda, reports Dan Schere for Bethesda Beat. Elrich asked the state to consider single-tracking the future light rail line, which will connect Bethesda and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. He has said the plan would save the county about $54 million of construction for a second tunnel to run parallel to the Purple Line and house the Capital Crescent Trail.

CASSILLY RUNNING FOR HARFORD EXEC: State Sen. Robert “Bob” Cassilly said he plans to run in the 2022 Republican primary for Harford County executive, becoming the second Republican candidate this month to declare his intentions to run for that office. Wayne Carter reports in the Aegis.

THE BLACK WOMEN IN CHARGE OF PRINCE GEORGE’S: The hallway was lined with sharply dressed Black women, awaiting the new administration’s first cabinet meeting. Who are they, the deputy fire chief wondered that December day in 2018. As the women took their seats at the table, she read their names and titles. These women, she realized, were in charge. Rachel Chason, Katie Mettler and Amber Ferguson report about Prince George’s County and the cabinet that County Executive Angela Alsobrooks has built around her.

B’MORE LANDLORD BILL MY CONFLICT WITH STATE LAW: While federal and state eviction bans during the pandemic have helped protect Maryland tenants in “failure to pay rent cases,” those bans haven’t protected tenants from being evicted when their leases expire. One Baltimore City councilman is sponsoring a bill that would require landlords to offer lease renewals whether or not tenants are behind on their rent. But the Baltimore City Law Department told a public hearing on the bill Tuesday that it may not be legal, Sarah Kim reports for WYPR-FM.

FEMALE HOMICIDES UP IN B’MORE: According to statistics from the Baltimore Police Department, nearly 50 females were victims of homicide in 2020. That’s more than double than in 2015, Alexa Ashwell reports for WBFF-TV. “Last year we saw the highest number of female deaths in the history of our City,” said Councilwoman Danielle McCray, with Baltimore City Council.

CHILDREN VITAL TO COVID VAXX TRIALS: As vaccinations for adults proliferate, COVID cases among kids have been inching back up in Maryland and in many states, Meredith Cohn reports in the Sun. Scientists running a trial of vaccinating children in Maryland say it’s important both that individual kids and society are protected. Children are the last and potentially pivotal group in the vaccination effort to end the pandemic.

NO-APPOINTMENT DRIVE-THRU VAXX SITES OPEN: Maryland has opened three drive-thru vaccination sites that don’t require appointments, the AP is reporting. Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday they will be available at Six Flags in Bowie, Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf and Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. Maryland also is offering no-appointment vaccinations at nine mass vaccination sites statewide.

HO CO MASS VAXX SITE TO OPEN: Howard County’s first COVID-19 mass vaccination site will open Friday at The Mall in Columbia. The state-run site is using the former Lord & Taylor space at the mall to administer vaccinations by appointment only. It will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, Ana Faguy of the Columbia Flier reports.

MO CO LINKS REOPENING TO VAXX RATES: Coronavirus infections in the region continued a two-week decline on Tuesday, as local officials sought to keep boosting inoculations among reluctant populations. Rachel Chason, Rebecca Tan and Erin Cox of the Post report that Montgomery County became the first jurisdiction in the area to tie reopening decisions to vaccination rates, with the county council voting to relax caps on the size of indoor gatherings and the capacity of retail establishments because 50% of all residents have received at least one vaccine dose.

BA CO DEPLOYS MOBILE VAXX UNIT: “It can’t be any easier right? I mean unless they drive right to your door and knock on your door. That’s the only way it could get any easier,” said Joe Rice. Rice was one of the first people vaccinated Tuesday at Baltimore County’s new mobile outreach unit, paid for by CARES Act funding, Abby Isaacs reports for WMAR-TV.

ARUNDEL SUES FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES: Anne Arundel County has filed a lawsuit against more than two dozen fossil fuel companies over the costs of dealing with the fallout of climate change, Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters. County Executive Steuart Pittman (D) said in a statement, “The damage inflicted by these companies damages our environment, and creates massive costs that shouldn’t be borne on the backs of our residents.”

LAWMAKERS SEEK TO RECONNECT DIVIDED NEIGHBORHOODS: Baltimore has its Highway to Nowhere, a road that gobbled up communities before the project was abandoned. Wilmington, Del., had neighborhoods wiped out by Interstate 95. All across the nation, American communities bear the scars of the headlong rush to expand the interstate highway system, mostly in the 1950s and 60s. Many communities have never recovered, scholars and planners say. Maryland’s U.S. Reps. Anthony G. Brown and Kweisi Mfume and Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin are among federal lawmakers seeking to undo some of the damage. Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters.

HOGANS’ POST-GOV. HOME: Pamela Wood of the Sun writes about Gov. and Yumi Hogan purchasing their new home in Davidsonville for when he leaves office, Her story also includes other information about the Hogan’s finances.

MORE REMEMBRANCES OF C. FRASER SMITH: A couple of years ago, C. Fraser Smith wrote a book about his love affair with the newspaper business. He called it, “The Daily Miracle: A Memoir of Newspapering.” Until his death on April 25 at age 83, Fraser was one of the best of the miracle workers, writes Michael Olesker for Jmore.

  • Joel McCord of WYPR-FM writes that, after leaving The Sun, he landed in WYPR’s nascent news department and told the tiny staff, “Well, let’s set a damn agenda for this little news department.” He delivered weekly essays and anchored “Inside Maryland Politics,” where he often knew more about what was going on inside Maryland politics than his guests.

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 newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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