CAROLINE COUNTY JUDGE ON LEAVE KILLS SELF: An Eastern Shore judge, who had been on a leave of absence for more than a month amid an investigation into illicit images of children, took his own life Friday morning as federal agents moved in to arrest him, Justin Fenton reports in the Sun.
- Personnel from the FBI, Maryland State Police and Caroline County Sheriff’s Office surrounded Judge Jonathan Newell’s house on Westbridge Court Friday just after 6 a.m., announced he was under arrest and demanded he come out over a loudspeaker, according to neighbors. Unconfirmed reports said when police entered the house they found a man with a fatal gunshot wound to his head, Angela Price reports for the Easton Star Democrat.
- The Daily Record reports that according to a federal complaint unsealed Friday, Newell had been under investigation since July 23 after two teen boys not related to Newell reported finding a camera hidden in the bathroom of Newell’s cabin.
VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT. REMEMBERS WORK ON 9-11: Gabriel Pietrorazio of the Capital News Service speaks with former and current members of the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department, which aided first responders on Sept. 2001 when Flight 77 crashed into the western Wall of the Pentagon. The article appears in Maryland Reporter.
- Kensington firefighters worked the night shift on 9/11, Jim Stanton, the chief of the volunteer fire department at the time, said. By that point, the fire at the Pentagon was mainly under control and the main tasks his volunteers carried out were search and rescue, placement of lights and securing the scene to keep out “unwanted people” and preserve evidence, reports Dan Schere for Bethesda Beat.
KEN FEINBERG, OVERSEER OF 9-11 VICTIMS’ FUND: Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat writes about Ken Feinberg of Bethesda, who was selected to oversee a fund to compensate the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and who is the subject of the new Netflix film Worth, starring Michael Keaton.
HOGAN SEEKS MORE DIVERSE EDUCATION BLUEPRINT BOARD: Citing concerns about a lack of diversity in the slate of nominees selected for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future’s accountability board, Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. (R) took the unusual step on Friday of asking the nominating committee to provide him a new slate that “accurately reflect[s] our student population,” Elizabeth Shwe reports in Maryland Matters.
CITIZENS REMAPPING GROUP ISSUES DRAFT: The Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission kicked off its second round of public hearings Thursday night, and drew up their first complete draft congressional map, Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters reports. Commission members reviewed several draft maps of individual congressional districts drawn up by their resident redistricting expert, Nathaniel Persily, for “illustrative, instructional and potential discussion” purposes at the meeting.
SCIENTISTS EXPLORE DRUG POLLUTION IN CHESAPEAKE: For the past several years, a group of scientists has focused on a different contaminant in the Chesapeake Bay with unique impacts on marine life: pharmaceutical drugs. In August, researchers released their study of chemicals in Baltimore’s Gwynns Falls watershed. After sampling six points along the river weekly for a year, the researchers found traces of 37 drugs, including antidepressants, antibiotics and painkillers, Christine Condon of the Sun reports.
POLL: MARYLAND GOP COULD PICK UP SEATS IN STATEHOUSE: A poll conducted recently for Maryland House Republican leaders suggests that the current issue and political environment favors the GOP — and could enable the badly outnumbered House Republicans to pick up seats in the 2022 election, Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters reports.
***Innovation Ahead: Advanced Energy & Carbon Emissions Reduction:Cutting-edge products & technologies being developed now will be mainstream in the future. Join the Maryland Clean Energy Center for a FREE webinar on September 16th, as presenters highlight innovative technologies as well as the resources and investment necessary to move them through the “valley of death” to the marketplace in the future.***
CONTRACT TRACERS CONTINUE WORK: Through the ebbs and flows of the coronavirus pandemic, the phone calls have kept coming. A small army of so-called contact tracers has worked to stem transmissions by dialing Marylanders infected with COVID-19 to ask that they isolate themselves and consider who else they may have exposed so they, too, could be rung up. More than a million calls later, the massive effort was supposed to end next month … Instead, the more contagious delta variant is fueling a new wave of infections and state health officials are scrambling to rehire tracers, Meredith Cohn of the Sun reports.
SOME DISABLED WANT TO KEEP TELEHEALTH CARE: Some disabled people say they’re hesitant about going back to the VA in person and other health care providers and want to keep virtual services that began during the pandemic, Billy Jean Louis and Olivia Green report in the Sun. But the practicality of whether that’s possible remains uncertain, and other disabled people say they want to return to in person activities.
HARFORD TO SEEK INPUT ON NEW COUNCIL DISTRICTS: The commission that will propose changes to Harford County’s council districts will seek recommendations from municipalities and citizens on how to redraw the county’s political boundaries, James Whitlow reports for the Aegis. On Thursday, the five-member panel agreed to ask for reworked district maps and comments from municipalities and citizens interested in sharing their thoughts on the future shape of Harford’s political landscape.
ARUNDEL, CARROLL, HARFORD WELCOME STUDENTS BACK TO SCHOOL: Anne Arundel, Carroll and Harford County officials closely monitored the number of positive COVID-19 cases appearing in schools last week as they welcomed students back to in-person classes, Lillian Reed reports for the Sun. Students across the three school systems returned to buildings Sept. 8 following Labor Day and the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana. Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County students were among the first in the region to return to schools last week.
46+ ST. MARY’S STUDENTS, STAFF DIAGNOSED WITH COVID: More than three dozen students and 10 employees of St. Mary’s public schools were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the first week or so of school, according to the school system’s superintendent. Superintendent Scott Smith discussed that information and other COVID-19 data during the school board’s Sept. 8 meeting,, Caleb Soptelean of the Calvert Recorder reports.
B’MORE AWAITS FDA BOOSTER OK: Baltimore City will wait until the FDA approves COVID-19 booster vaccines for the general population before opening booster appointments to those who are not immunocompromised, Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said Friday. Emily Sullivan of WYPR-FM reports the story.
PG TO CONDUCT RANDOM COVID TESTS ON STUDENTS: Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Monica Goldson announced Friday that new COVID-19 vaccination and testing policies will go into effect this month. Starting the week of Sept. 20, random pool testing of students will be conducted regardless of any symptoms or vaccination status. Parents and guardians must provide consent prior to testing, William Ford reports for the Washington Informer.
CHANGES TO PRIMARY DAY IN ANNAPOLIS: When Annapolis voters go to the polls for the 2021 primary on Sept. 21, some things will be different, including a new voting system in which ballots will be mailed to voters in contested primary elections and all registered voters for the general election. The number of polling locations will also change and include dropboxes where voters can safely return their ballots, Brooks Dubose of the Capital Gazette reports.