10,000 MDERS DEAD FROM COVID, FLAGS TO FLY AT HALF STAFF: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan ordered state flags to be lowered to half-staff in remembrance of the 10,011 who have died statewide from the coronavirus since March 2020, Colin Campbell reports for the Sun.
- Describing “the worst may be behind us,” Hogan said the state’s vulnerable are still at risk, William Carter reports for WBAL. As of Thursday, there are 804 Marylanders currently hospitalized, and 1,330 new cases confirmed. The seven-day positivity rate is at 4.46%.
FRANCHOT OBJECTS TO SLUGGISH HOUSING RELIEF DISBURSEMENT: Comptroller Peter Franchot, said “not one family should be evicted” while the state has access to hundreds of millions in federal relief funding, and is sluggish in its distributions, Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters. Franchot grilled a state housing official at the Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday on data that show only $59 million in federal housing relief has been distributed compared to the $401 million received.
AUDIT FINDS TOLL OVERCHARGING: The Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Audits released a report Thursday that found cases where the Transportation Authority overcharged drivers for tolls during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryan Dickstein reports for WMAR.
HOGAN CONTINUES CRUSADE FOR SAFER BALTIMORE CITY: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is speaking out again about the violence in Baltimore city and issues at Baltimore City Public Schools, WBAL reports. His comments come as several people under the age of 18 have been shot in Baltimore this week.
STATE, LOCALS TO SPLIT ELECTION UPGRADE COST: The state of Maryland will help pay for the cost of replacing some needed election equipment, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record. Local boards of election scored the unexpected victory when the state’s budget director agreed during a Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday to split the cost of replacement — $26 million over three years.
HEPA FILTERS IN HOWARD SCHOOLS: Parents were relieved when Howard County schools Superintendent Michael Martirano announced at a recent school board meeting that the school system’s purchase of 4,600 high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters is expected to be delivered to all county public schools by Oct. 1, Allana Haynes reports for Baltimore Sun Media. But they are also concerned that they haven’t arrived sooner, with parents creating campaigns to try to get portable filters into classrooms and cafeterias.
VOGEL SEEKS GILCHRIST SEAT: With long-time state delegate Jim Gilchrist (D-Rockville) not seeking re-election in District 17, a community organizer and activist will seek the seat, Steve Bohnel reports for Bethesda Beat. Joe Vogel will be able to run for the seat without going up against an incumbent.
U-TURN FOR HIGHWAY TO NOWHERE: The highway to nowhere was constructed on a once vibrant neighborhood with people who still miss it, Emily Sullivan recounts on WYPR. Now, federal officials are looking for a way to turn it around and redevelop it, which would provide some closure to the people who lost their homes for the now dead project.
CONCERN ABOUT PLAYER LEAKS AS SPORTS BETTING SET UP: As Maryland drafts ground rules to legalize sports betting, local university college athletics officials — and even some oddsmakers — believe the NCAA could do more than warn players against leaks in situations that could affect schools’ images and credibility, Jeff Barker reports for the Sun.
LAWMAKERS WANT ASSURANCES SILVER SPRING BUSINESS DISTRICT BENEFITS ALL: Four state legislators plan to draft legislation to rework plans for a business improvement district to help promote and market downtown Silver Spring and include more small, minority- and immigrant-led businesses, Steve Bohnel reports for Bethesda Beat.