State Roundup: Memorial to slain Capital Gazette staff dedicated today as sanity trial for shooter begins Tuesday

State Roundup: Memorial to slain Capital Gazette staff dedicated today as sanity trial for shooter begins Tuesday

The Delmarva Shorebirds mascot greets Gov. Larry Hogan as he attended the minor league baseball game between the Shorebirds and the Frederick Nationals. The Birds won 8-3. Governor's Office photo

CAPITAL GAZETTE MEMORIAL TO BE DEDICATED: Streets will be closed in downtown Annapolis Monday as the city dedicates the “Guardians of the First Amendment” memorial to the five people killed in the attack on the Capital Gazette newspapers three years ago, Tim Prudente reports for the Capital Gazette.

  • Wendi Winters, Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman and John McNamara weren’t just reporters for the local paper. In their decades at the Capital Gazette, they became staples of the Annapolis community through their writing, Lilly Price reports in the Capital Gazette.Three years after their bylines stopped appearing, their names are now part of the city’s history. Sales associate Rebecca Smith, 34, was the fifth staff member to be killed that day and will also be honored.

SANITY TRIAL BEGINS FOR CAP GAZETTE SHOOTER: Brian Witte of the AP reports that three years after the deadliest attack on a newsroom in U.S. history, residents who were shaken by the assault on their local newspaper that killed five people are hopeful that an end to the gunman’s dragging court case is finally near. Opening statements in the second phase of a trial are scheduled for Tuesday to determine whether Jarrod Ramos was legally sane at the time of the mass shooting.

FREE STATE POLITICS PODCAST: COVID & OUR SCHOOLS: Episode 4 of the “Free State Politics” podcast presented by features interviews with retiring State School Superintendent Karen Salmon and Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost.  Salmon reflects on the decision to close the state’s schools at the beginning of the pandemic last year and discussed the challenges that educators will face in the fall. Bost discussed educators’ safety concerns and emphasized the need to address equity issues as students return to the classroom.

FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS END JULY 3: Tens of thousands of unemployed Marylanders are set to lose some or all of their jobless benefits soon. While regular state unemployment insurance will continue, the vast majority of those receiving benefits now get them entirely through federal pandemic programs that Gov. Larry Hogan plans to end July 3, Alison Knezevich of the Sun reports.

HOGAN SAID TO PUSH FOR REVOTE ON TOLL PLAN: After a Maryland plan to widen the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 with toll lanes recently lost a key vote among Washington-area leaders, some opponents pronounced Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature transportation project dead, or close to it. But, reports Katherine Shaver in the Post, supporters say Hogan’s administration is working to line up new votes on the region’s Transportation Planning Board, and to potentially flip others from the June 16 tally, as it seeks to revive the project as early as next month.

LEGGETT: ELRICH, HOGAN NEED TO CUT A DEAL OVER ROAD PLAN: Former Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) says it’s time for the leading combatants in the debate over the proposed widening of Interstates 270 and 495 to end their public bickering and cut a deal. The former three-term executive said his successor, Marc B. Elrich (D), and Gov. Larry Hogan (R) need to resolve their differences over how best to provide congestion relief for motorists who live in — and travel through — the state’s largest county, Bruce DePuyt reports for Maryland Matters.

B’MORE REJECTS MAGLEV PLAN: Backers of a proposed high-speed train between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. tout the project as a boon for both cities — and the Maryland economy. Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott’s administration doesn’t see it that way. And that rejection, writes Bruce DePuyt for Maryland Matters, is another blow for the proposal.

OPINION: CONOWINGO CLAIMS ‘RIDICULOUS:’ In a guest column for Maryland Matters, Jeff Horstman, former executive director of ShoreRivers disputes a letter from an Exelon employee that ran earlier in June, claiming that it “is full of inaccuracies, and claiming that the (Conowingo) dam is a ‘best management practice’ is completely ridiculous. While the dam may have slowed the flow of some sediment and trash for a time, the dam collected it and now releases it in catastrophic unnatural high-impact releases.”

DEPARTURES AT ARUNDEL STATE LEGAL AID AS EVICTION BAN ENDS: The exodus began in July 2020. Two top attorneys from Maryland Legal Aid’s Anne Arundel County office were fired on July 24, after a group of attorneys requested better health and safety accommodations for in-office work during the pandemic. Brooks Dubose of the Capital Gazette reports that since then, three more attorneys and two paralegals have left the Annapolis office, one of 12 locations in Maryland that offer free legal services to those who cannot afford it. The upheaval comes just weeks before eviction moratoriums at the state and federal levels are set to expire.

CARROLL STATE’S ATTY NAMED TO CIRCUIT COURT: Carroll County State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo was appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan to serve on the Carroll County Circuit Court, Kristen Griffith reports for the Carroll County Times. He will be sworn in within 30 days. The current circuit court judges will appoint an interim state’s attorney until the next election.

DEL. LEWIS YOUNG TO SEEK SEN. YOUNG’s SEAT: Frederick Del. Karen Lewis Young (D) announced this week that she will run for the District 3 Senate seat currently held by her husband, Sen. Ronald N. Young (D), Danielle Gaines reports for Maryland Matters. Lewis Young has represented a portion of the district, which includes the city of Frederick, in the House of Delegates since 2015. Before that, she served one term on the Frederick Board of Aldermen.

SEN. PETERS WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION; CHANGES IN SENATE EXPECTED: State Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D), a veteran Prince George’s County lawmaker who finished just out of the running in the intense, behind-the-scenes battle to become Senate president two years ago, does not plan to seek re-election in 2022. Josh Kurtz and Bruce DePuyt explain what that means for his seat and for possible changes to the Senate.

LOCAL ACTIVISTS PUSH FOR PASSAGE OF FOR THE PEOPLE ACT: Marcus Dieterle of Baltimore Fishbowl writes that on Friday, 100 Baltimoreans with the Unite Here Local 7 union boarded buses from Central Baltimore to Richmond, Va., and afterward to Washington, D.C., where they joined tens of thousands of activists from across the country calling on Congress to pass the For the People Act, the John L. Lewis Voting Rights Act, and statehood for the District of Columbia. The For the People Act was introduced by U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland in 2019.

MARYLAND CONSULTANT WARNED OF MIAMI CONDO PROBLEMS: The consultant who warned that a Miami-area condominium was being weakened by “major structural damage” nearly three years before the building collapsed last week was identified Saturday as a family-owned, Maryland-based engineering firm that’s behind a slew of high-profile local building projects. Morabito Consultants has offices in Sparks, Mary Carole McCauley reports in the Sun.

WHAT’s NEXT FOR HOGAN? As the Republican Party descends deeper into extremism, Larry Hogan, Maryland’s famously un-Trumpy head of state … has been honing his pitch as the party’s more reasonable future. He has worked the hosts of cable-news networks that don’t cater to conspiracy theorists, published a memoir fashioning himself as a common-sense businessman who straightened out a state bureaucracy, and launched a national political-advocacy group to pump his “America united” message into the battlegrounds where a vote for a middle-of-the-road Republican—or at least a self-styled one—might still be had, Luke Mullins of the Washingtonian reports.

SIDES READY TO SETTLE IN TREATMENT BY POLICE OF 5-YEAR-OLD: Both sides of a lawsuit that alleges two Montgomery County police officers mistreated a 5-year-old boy after he walked away from his elementary school say they are willing to negotiate a settlement, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.

B’MORE YOUTH JOB TRAINING PROGRAM GETS FED FUNDING: A training program in Baltimore that prepares young people for jobs in water infrastructure will receive a $200,000 federal boost as part millions of dollars in new grants the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled Friday, Bryn Stole reports for the Sun.

HOWARD SCHOOLS TO KEEP RESOURCE OFFICERS: The Howard County Board of Education voted 5-3 in a board meeting Thursday night to keep school resource officers in public schools next year, Allana Haynes of the Howard County Times reports. The vote, which was meant to occur in April, had been continually delayed because the Howard County Police Department had not finished reviewing a new memorandum of understanding, an agreement between the Board of Education and the police department.

JAILED EX-PG OFFICER FREED AFTER STUDENTS’ INTERVENTION: A former Prince George’s County police officer and homeland security official, who was sentenced to 45 years in prison for fatally shooting a man inside his home in 2007, has been released from prison after a Georgetown University class reinvestigated his case and worked with defense lawyers to have him resentenced to 20 years. His good behavior in prison sliced another seven years off his term, enabling him to be freed on Wednesday, Tom Jackman of the Post reports.

TRIBUNE BOARD MAY HAVE VIOLATED LAW IN ALDEN DEAL: The ink wasn’t dry, but the hushed deal to finance Alden Global Capital’s takeover of Tribune Publishing fell quickly into place in May. So quickly that the terms for saddling Tribune with hundreds of millions in debt must have been worked out well in advance by Alden and its attorneys. Now that the purchase appears complete, the actions of Tribune’s former board come across as self-serving, while the facts suggest violations of both securities and corporate law, Julie Reynolds reports for NeimanLab.

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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