State Roundup: Sharfstein warns on continuing threat of Delta variant; lawmakers join ACLU, NAACP in seeking changes to Baltimore County remapping

State Roundup: Sharfstein warns on continuing threat of Delta variant; lawmakers join ACLU, NAACP in seeking changes to Baltimore County remapping

The State House in Annapolis ( photo)

SHARFSTEIN WARNS DELTA VARIANT REMAINS A THREAT: Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the former Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, warned Marylanders not to let their guards down this fall as it is still possible that the Delta variant could hit the state hard, reports Bryan Renbaum for Maryland Reporter.

LAWMAKERS, ACLU, NAACP SEEK CHANGES IN BA CO REDISTRICTING: Voting rights advocates and some state lawmakers want Baltimore County officials to draw up new county council districts, arguing that the plan proposed by a redistricting commission dilutes Black residents’ votes, reports Bennett Leckrone for Maryland Matters.

CARROLL PANEL RECOMMENDS NEW MAP FOR COMMISSIONERS: The Carroll County Redistricting Committee voted last week to recommend Map A as the updated commissioner district map to serve the county for the next 10 years, Madison Bateman of the Carroll County Times reports. Four proposed maps were considered by a seven-member group which aimed to shape the five Carroll County commissioner districts so they have equal population.

PRETRIAL DETENTION SOUGHT IN ESPIONAGE CASE: Federal prosecutors said Monday that they are seeking pretrial detention for an Annapolis-based Navy nuclear engineer and his wife who are facing espionage charges for selling military secrets to people who they thought were representatives of a foreign country, Justin Fenton of the Sun reports.

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WRESTLE WITH MANDATES, EXEMPTIONS: As COVID-19 spread continues to be tracked in communities around the region, elected officials and government staffs are deciding whether to mandate vaccinations for their employees, reports Steve Bohnel for Bethesda Beat. Those who have implemented a mandate have often decided to allow exemptions.

822 COVID DEATHS ON EASTERN SHORE: The Easton Star Democrat reports that there have been 822 deaths attributed to COVID on the Eastern Shore during the pandemic, according to Maryland Department of Health figures. Those include 51 deaths attributed to the coronavirus in Talbot County as of Monday, Oct. 11.

SCHOOL LAPTOP MONITORING QUESTIONED: The Baltimore City school system is monitoring its laptops with software that alerts officials when a student might be considering suicide, a controversial innovation that came about during the pandemic after the system loaned families tens of thousands of laptops for use at home, Lix Bowie reports for the Sun.

MO CO AWAITS BOOSTER SHOT APPROVALS: A public health official said Monday that Montgomery County is closely monitoring the possible approval of coronavirus booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, Steve Bohnel of Bethesda Beat reports.

COVID SURVIVOR STARTS FUND FOR LIFE-SAVING MACHINES: Hallie Miller of the Sun writes that Maria Young is one of some 540,000 Marylanders to have been infected with COVID-19 since the state health department began tallying cases in March 2020. Young spent 69 days on the ECMO machine, which enriches blood with oxygen outside the body and takes the stress off heart and lungs and about 100 days intubated. Once she recovered she created “Maria’s Miracle,” a nonprofit that aims to bring more ECMO machines and training to hospitals and connect more critical care survivors and their families with resources and financial assistance.

GLASSMAN SEES UPHILL CLIMB IN RUN FOR COMPTROLLER: Harford County Executive and former state legislator Barry Glassman, the lone declared Republican candidate for comptroller, wants to use his lengthy government resume as a selling point to voters in a race he concedes is an “uphill climb,” Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters. Maryland hasn’t had a Republican comptroller since since Phillips Lee Goldsborough, who held the office between 1898 and 1900 — and it’s been decades since the GOP even fielded a viable contender.

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 October 18th, 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.

TWO MO CO SCHOOLS TO BEGIN MEETING OVER RACIST REMARKS: Students and administrators of two Montgomery County high schools were to begin a series of meetings on Monday to “repair the harm” after students at one school targeted students at the other school with racist remarks during two recent athletic events, Caitlynn Peetz of Bethesda Beat reports.

  • Donna St. George of the Post had reported on Sunday that racial slurs were made toward Asian students. Sherwood High School spectators are accused of directing the demeaning remarks at students from Einstein High, a more diverse, less affluent school in the suburban Kensington area.

ARPA FUNDS FOR ST. MARY’S FIRE DEPARTMENTS: Caleb Soptelean of the St. Mary’s Enterprise reports that funding for St. Mary’s County fire departments has turned into a hot topic,when the St. Mary’s commissioners’ Oct. 5 meeting saw some heated language over approving additional federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

ARUNDEL ED BOARD OKs $5-AN-HOUR RAISE FOR BUS DRIVERS: The Anne Arundel County Board of Education has endorsed Superintendent George Arlotto’s plan to add $7.4 million to the school system’s yearly budget, enough to give bus drivers a $5-an-hour raise, reports Rachael Pacella of the Capital Gazette.

ANNAPOLIS ALDERMAN YANKS POLICE REFORM BILL: In the penultimate meeting of its session Monday, the Annapolis City Council legalized accessory dwelling units in all single-family zoning districts; and an alderman withdrew a controversial police reform bill, Brooks Dubose of the Capital Gazette reports.

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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