JOB SEARCH MANDATE TO BE REINSTATED: Marylanders who want to continue receiving federal unemployment benefits will soon again be required to actively search for work, state Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson said Wednesday. Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes that the announcement comes just one day after a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge issued a preliminary injunction that blocks Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration from bringing an early end to those benefits.
ED CHIEF CHOUDHURY TALKS ABOUT ‘EXCITING TIME’ IN SYSTEM: Mohammed Choudhury, Maryland’s new state school superintendent, has spent his first few weeks on the job talking with school leaders, and he talked with Kate Ryan of WTOP-FM about reform, recovery from the pandemic, and taking over at “an exciting time.” New ideas in education, Choudhury said, are often dismissed as impossible.
DEL. COX SLAMS HOGAN’s RENEWED STATE OF EMERGENCY: A conservative Republican state delegate who is running for governor is once again leveling criticism at Gov. Larry Hogan after the governor, in a move that was expected, renewed portions of the state’s pandemic-related state of emergency, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record. Del. Dan Cox slammed the governor on social media for renewing the order; a spokesman for the governor fired back, linking Cox to a conspiracy group.
UM GRADUATES 1st MEDICAL MARIJUANA MASTERS CLASS: Medical marijuana was legalized in Maryland in 2014. Shortly after that, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy started looking into developing a medical cannabis program. They created the first graduate program for this field in the country, the Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program. In spring of 2021, their first class graduated the program, Erin McPherson reports for WMAR-TV.
181 FIRE, RESCUE COMPANIES TO SPLIT $4M IN FEDERAL AID: Eight Carroll County volunteer fire companies were awarded federal dollars through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to provide some financial support after many lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Madison Bateman reports for the Carroll County Times. MEMA will distribute $4 million to 181 volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue departments throughout Maryland.
MARC TRANSIT SERVICE RETURNS IN FULL IN AUGUST: MARC ridership remains down about 90% since the pandemic struck. And while the transit administration anticipates a return to pre-pandemic service at the end of August, advocates say it should restore full service now to bring back riders and convert new ones, Colin Campbell and Bryn Stole report for the Sun.
MO CO LEADERS CONCERNED ABOUT COVID VARIANTS: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and county health officials say they’re concerned about the spread of strains of the coronavirus, notably the delta variant, Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat reports. According to data provided by the county’s health department, the number of cases of coronavirus variants has been slowly increasing in the community in recent weeks and months. As of July 9, there were 432 variant cases, with 374 of those being the U.K. variant and 13 being the Delta variant.
MO CO’s UNVAXXED SCHOOL STAFF, STUDENTS URGED TO WEAR MASKS: While Montgomery County Public Schools leaders finalize mask requirements for the fall semester, the county’s top health official said this week he believes unvaccinated staff and students should continue to wear face coverings to limit the spread of COVID-19, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.
DELEGATE CALLS FOR CITY SCHOOL FIRINGS AFTER STUDENT PERFORMANCE REPORT: A stunning Project Baltimore report about how poorly city students performed this school year, has one state lawmaker calling for school administrators to be fired, Chris Papst of WBFF-TV reports. But some city leaders have a different response. “This is a real crisis. A crisis that needs outside of the box thinking,” said Del. Nino Mangione, a Republican who represents Baltimore County.
CARROLL TO ALLOW TAKE-AWAY BOOZE AS REGS CREATED: Carroll County restaurants and bars can again provide carryout and delivery of alcoholic beverages as the liquor board works to create regulations of the sales, Madison Bateman of the Carroll County Times. The Carroll County Liquor Board met on Wednesday with local restaurant, bar and brewery owners to gauge their interest in continuing to sell to-go and delivery drinks to their customers.
PSYCHIATRIST SEES NO DISORDER IN RAMOS: Dr. Sameer Patel, a forensic psychiatrist with the Maryland Department of Health, testified during the sanity trial of Jarrod Ramos that Ramos planned the attack on the Capital Gazette for at least two years and managed to follow the law for more than five years after first fantasizing about the shooting, Alex Mann reports for the Capital Gazette.
CLOSING ARGUMENTS EXPECTED TODAY IN SANITY TRIAL: Lawyers are expected to deliver closing arguments Thursday in the Capital Gazette shooter’s sanity trial. The prosecution rested its case Wednesday after defense lawyers spent hours cross examining a state psychiatrist, Joel McCord for WYPR-FM reports.
- Defense attorneys and prosecutors will present closing arguments Thursday morning to recap their cases and try to direct the jury how to consider whether the gunman’s mental disorders rise to the level of insanity, Lilly Price reports for the Capital Gazette.
VETERAN WBAL ANCHORMAN TO RETIRE: Veteran WBAL-TV anchorman Stan Stovall will retire in 2022, the station announced Wednesday. No date has been set. Until that time, Stovall will continue to co-anchor the 6 p.m. Newscast, David Zurawik of the Sun reports.
GLENDENING JOINS SON’s CONSULTING FIRM: Former Gov. Parris N. Glendening is joining Scarlet Oak Strategies, the public affairs and political consulting firm founded by his son, Raymond, in a senior advisor role, writes Danielle Gaines for Maryland Matters. Earlier this year, he announced he would step down from Smart Growth America after more than 20 years at the non-profit formed to fight suburban sprawl.
FORMER SEN. JACK LAPIDES DIES AT 89: Julian L. “Jack” Lapides, an independent-minded former Maryland state senator who battled governors, his colleagues and highway builders during his decades in office, died of cancer early Wednesday at Symphony Manor in Roland Park. The longtime Bolton Hill resident was 89, Jacques Kelly reports for the Sun.