NURSING SHORTAGE: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday a number of steps to boost the state’s nursing workforce amid a nursing shortage that is particularly pronounced at hospitals, Jack Moore reports for WTOP. The steps include allowing nurses registered out of state to work in Maryland and encouraging nursing programs to speed up graduation for qualified nursing students.
- Hospitals are again handling hundreds of COVID-19 patients across the state, and some have had to postpone elective procedures, Madeleine O’Neill reports for the USA Today Network in the Salisbury Daily Times.
VACCINE OUTREACH TARGETS LOW VACCINATION AREAS: A community-based vaccine outreach program with partners across the state has been making progress, Rachel Logan writes for the Capital News Service, published by Maryland Reporter.
- In Frederick County, health officials are on the verge of offering COVID-19 booster shots, but said they are awaiting a go ahead from Gov. Larry Hogan, Jack Hogan reports for The Frederick News-Post. The county is facing outbreaks in the detention center and 18 schools.
BARRON GETS NOD FOR U.S. ATTORNEY: The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve Prince George’s County Del. Erek Barron to become Maryland’s next U.S. attorney, Jeff Barker reports for the Sun. Barron, 47, would be the first Black person to hold the post, and the first Democrat in 20 years. The nomination is expected to move to the Senate floor within the next few weeks.
POMPEO DINNER CLOSED TO PRESS: Friday night’s Red White and Blue Dinner of the Maryland Republican Party featuring former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a possible candidate for president, as its headliner, is “closed to the press,” GOP Chair Dirk Haire tells Maryland Reporter. We’ll have to look for the video on Facebook, as we did for Vice President Mike Pence’s speech at the same annual dinner in 2019. In that case, a Washington Post reporter did get into the ballroom at the BWI Marriott by contacting Pence’s office directly.
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BALTIMORE CITY PURCHASES TAX LIENS, OFFERS SECURITY DEPOSIT HELP: Mayor Brandon Scott took a stand at reforming the tax sale process, announcing Baltimore city will buy the liens of more than 450 owner-occupied properties and convene a workgroup to study how to reform a process that many consider predatory, Emily Opilo reports for the Sun.
- The city has also taken action on providing emergency security deposit relief, with the mayor signing it on Thursday, Kelly Broderick reports for WMAR.
SPORTS BETTING COMING SOON: With the state beginning to accept applications from potential sports betting hosts, Marylanders could be placing sports wagers in time for the NFL playoffs, Amanda Yeager reports for the Baltimore Business Journal. The director of the agency responsible for screening applicants says betting could start “late this fall or early this winter.”
PG POLICE OFFICER CHARGED IN ROAD RAGE INCIDENT: Annapolis police waited 27 days to charge a police officer who allegedly brandished a gun in a road rage incident, the Eye on Annapolis staff note. The officer, who has been suspended from the Prince George’s County Police Department, was in uniform but off duty and in his personal car on his way home when he became involved in an altercation, the blog reported.
- The Internal Affairs Division has opened an investigation into the allegations, WBAL TV reports.
COMMENTARY: REMOVE POLICE FROM SCHOOLS: Police in Maryland schools do not make them safer and in some cases have the opposite effect, John Marinelli writes in commentary for Maryland Matters. Maryland law mandates school resource officers or police patrols, but this presence only serves to “stamp children” with criminal records for ordinary childhood misbehavior, or even exposes them to police brutality, he opines.
SCHOOLS FACE REALITY OF COVID CASE DISRUPTIONS: Baltimore-area schools are starting to see COVID-19 cases in larger numbers, leading hundreds into quarantine and prompting systems to alter plans, cancel events, and in some cases close schools with high volumes of cases, Christine Condon reports for the Sun.
- The St. Mary’s school board is getting criticism for mandating masks for all students and employees, with parents complaining at a public meeting, Caleb Soptelean reports for the Southern Maryland News.
GARRETT COUNTY CASES ON THE RISE: Garrett County’s COVID-19 numbers keep getting worse, with 139 new cases in the past week, up from 81 new cases the previous week, the staff of the Garrett County Republican report.
VACCINE MANDATE DISCUSSED FOR MOCO WORKERS: Unions representing Montgomery County government employees are working to encourage workers to get vaccinated, with almost 80% already vaccinated, Steve Bohnel reports for Bethesda Beat. But they stopped short of supporting a vaccine mandate, saying it would be an “unnecessary line in the sand” resulting in a “counterproductive conflict between the workforce and the employer.”
COUNTY EXECUTIVE’S SON HAS BREAKTHROUGH CASE: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich says his son came down with COVID-19 following a trip visiting with family, Ken Duffy reports for WTOP. The breakthrough case has mild symptoms.
HOWARD COUNTY REVEALS PLANS ON FEDERAL FUNDING: Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on Thursday announced the county’s community engagement plan for using the $63 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan, Katie Jones reports for Baltimore Sun Media. Funds will go to projects like hazard pay for county employees, the police body-worn camera program, and $2 million for struggling homeowners to prevent foreclosures.
CANNIBIS LICENSE TRANSFERS: State medical cannabis regulators Thursday approved the transfer of five licenses to Florida’s first and largest licensed cannabis company, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record.