State Roundup: Capital Gazette killer gets 6 life terms; Van Hollen concerned economy will falter if Republicans won’t raise debt ceiling

State Roundup: Capital Gazette killer gets 6 life terms; Van Hollen concerned economy will falter if Republicans won’t raise debt ceiling

A plaque on the wall of the new Annapolis memorial to five slain journalists reproduces the front page of the newspaper the next day. photo

CAPITAL GAZETTE KILLER GETS SIX LIFE TERMS: Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Michael Wachs brought to a conclusion three-year legal saga of the man who killed five staff members at the Capital Gazette, sentencing him to six terms of life in prison, five without the possibility of parole, plus 345 more years behind bars — all to be served consecutively. Alex Mann and Lilly Price of the Capital Gazette report on the testimony of the survivors, leading up to the sentencing.

  • The Anne Arundel County courtroom was full of people from the greater Capital Gazette community, and more than a dozen of them spoke for the victims and the six others who narrowly survived one of the deadliest attacks against journalists in American history. They told the judge about their pain and post-traumatic stress, of their nightmares and their continued commitment to their local newspaper, Katie Mettler and Emily Davies report for the Post.
  • Brian Witte of the AP writes that Judy Hiaasen spoke of how difficult it was to even talk about the loss of her younger brother, Rob Hiaasen, who was an editor and columnist at the paper. She described his ability to keep memories of their mother and father alive. Now, she said, “That story has been taken from me.”

16,500 STUDENTS QUARANTINED STATEWIDE: More than 4,000 Maryland public school students have tested positive for COVID in the first several weeks of school and another 16,500 have been quarantined because they came in close contact with someone who had COVID-19, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education Tuesday, Liz Bowie of the Sun reports.

  • School districts in Anne Arundel, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties each have had more than 1,000 students quarantined, Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports.
  • Through the first four weeks of the academic year, Montgomery County Public Schools has reported 350 positive cases of COVID-19, about 10% of the county’s total cases during that time, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat. In Montgomery County, 3,252 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported between Aug. 30 and Sept. 25.
  • State Superintendent of Schools Mohammed Choudhury said the state should have shown stronger leadership a long time ago. Choudhury became superintendent in July, Sarah Kim reports for WYPR-FM. “We took a deregulated approach to COVID response. If I was here in the spring I would not have done that. I’m just gonna be real. We don’t have 1100 school districts, we shouldn’t have taken a deregulated approach to testing and masking.”

VAN HOLLEN ‘HOPES’ GOP WILL END OPPOSITION TO RAISING DEBT CEILING: U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said Tuesday that he hopes Republicans will eventually ease their opposition to raising the debt ceiling as catastrophic economic consequences could ensue from default, reports Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter. His remarks come as lawmakers are also trying to come up with an agreement to fund the government.

B’MORE WRESTLES WITH TRANSIT IN BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS: In Baltimore, where about one in three people lacks access to a car, a new report by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition concluded that public transit “often fails to get people to their destinations in a reasonable amount of time.” Officials hope to use the information to direct incoming federal money to the neighborhoods most desperate for it, Colin Campbell reports in the Sun.

OPINION: COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL: In a column for Maryland Reporter, Psychologist Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D and Professor Richard E. Vatz argue that mental health defenses used to avoid standing trial are often the most mystifying and least straightforward answers. So how does these apply to the 28-year-old Baltimore woman who killed her two children?

OCEAN CITY LEADERS SEEK MORE DISTANCE FROM WIND PROJECT: Ocean City leaders used a public hearing Tuesday night on proposals to expand offshore wind-generated electricity production along Maryland’s coast for a last-ditch attempt to push the proposed turbine installations farther out to sea, Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters.

Equity in the Energy Marketplace: Consumers are finding they have to become experts about how to best manage their energy purchase and consumption. Publicly funded initiatives and regulations are needed to ensure that underserved customers benefit from advancements in the energy economy. This FREE Webinar on September 30th covers consumer choice from residential energy supply, generation and storage to smart homes, appliances, and adoption of electric vehicles.

POSTAL SERVICE ANNOUNCES NEW REGIONAL MANAGER: As residents across Maryland continue to express frustrations about mail delays, the U.S. Postal Service announced new leadership for the region, a local congressman said Tuesday. U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger said Lora McLucas was appointed as the Maryland district manager and Eric Gilbert as postmaster of Baltimore — a position he held in 2020, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun reports.

  • There are big changes to leadership at the U.S. Postal Service in Maryland. This comes after months of problems with post offices across the Baltimore region. Scott Wycoff of WBAL-TV 11 News spoke with residents Tuesday with the same mail delivery issues we’ve been hearing about for more than a year now. They’re hopeful that a leadership shake-up will finally lead to progress.

MO CO COUNCIL INTRODUCES VAXX MANDATE BILL: The Montgomery County Council on Tuesday formally introduced legislation that would mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all county employees, despite opposition from County Executive Marc Elrich and three county unions, Dan Schere reports in Bethesda Beat.

HARFORD PANEL RECOMMENDS NEW MAPS TO COUNCIL: The question of whether Aberdeen and Havre de Grace should be in the same council district will now go to the Harford County Council after a redistricting commission voted to recommend a modified version of the map the cities proposed, ending weeks of debate, James Whitlow reports for the Aegis. Passing 3-2 at a Monday meeting, a plan combining Havre de Grace and Aberdeen will be recommended to the county council, which will ultimately decide how the districts are drawn.

ANNAPOLIS COUNCIL INCUMBENTS HEAD TO GENERAL ELECTION: All three Annapolis City Council incumbents in contested primary election races will move to the general election, with the Ward 8 alderman set to face a Republican challenger, Donovan Conaway reports for the Capital Gazette.

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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