BAKER PICKS MO CO’s NAVARRO AS RUNNING MATE: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rushern L. Baker III has selected longtime Montgomery County Council member Nancy Navarro as his running mate in the crowded, open primary for the state’s top job, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.
- Baker is the first in the nine-candidate Democratic field to announce his lieutenant governor running mate, well in advance of the Feb. 22 deadline for campaigns to file candidacy paperwork, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
- Navarro’s spot on the ticket answers the question about her future political plans. She holds the District 4 seat on the County Council, but can’t run for re-election because of term limits, Andrew Schotz of Bethesda Beat reports.
MINORITY OWNERS CONCERNED OVER SPORTS BETTING LICENSES: A potential vote on three sports wagering licenses has some worried that prospective minority owners will be left out, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission as early as Thursday could approve the applications for three casinos — Horseshoe in Baltimore, Maryland Live in Hanover and MGM National Harbor. Some applicants, lawmakers and even members of the review panel worry that issuing licenses now could hurt minority-owned applicants, including some that are guaranteed a license in state law.
BA CO URGED TO REJECT REDISTRICTING PLAN: Taylor DeVille of the Sun reports that the civil rights groups, state legislators and activists who are calling on Baltimore County officials to reject and redraw proposed county council lines, say that the draft map, approved last month by the county’s redistricting commission, includes just one majority-Black district and keeps most of the council’s seven districts majority white — in a county where people of color now make up 45% of the voting-age population.
- White residents make up a majority in four districts and a strong plurality — 46% and 49% — in the remaining two districts, according to the commission’s final report, Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters reports.
- Baltimore County is increasingly becoming racially diverse, with Black, Latino, and Asian communities continuing to grow, Laura Stewart reports for Baltimore Fishbowl. According to the latest Census data, Baltimore County is 30.3% Black, and BIPOC residents make up 47% of the County’s population.
TOBACCO SURCHARGE WOULD HIT LOW-INCOME MARYLANDERS HARDEST: Hannah Gaskill of Maryland Matters writes ths state insurance officials say that low-income Marylanders could see the greatest impact if the legislature updates the state health exchange’s online platform to allow insurance carriers to add surcharges to tobacco users’ premiums.
MONTGOMERY MAN TO OVERSEE EPA REGION: A Montgomery County man has been named to head the Environmental Protection Agency region overseeing Maryland and four other states, the White House said Tuesday. Jeff Barker of the Sun reports that Adam Ortiz will lead the region whose territory includes, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as Washington D.C., and seven federally recognized tribes.
- Ortiz, director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, is one of 14 individuals appointed to regional leadership posts in the Biden administration on Tuesday, Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters reports.
BGE GIVEN OK TO USE BIOGAS FUEL: Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. gained approval to use biogas — gas derived from organic sources such as food waste and lawn clippings — in its distribution system, making it the first utility to do so in the state, Elizabeth Shwe of Maryland Matters reports.
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BA CO SETTLES POLICE FATALITY SUIT FOR $6.5M: Less than two years after a Baltimore County police officer fatally shot an unarmed man on Interstate 83, the county has agreed to pay the man’s family $6.5 million, attorneys said Tuesday. The payment is the second multimillion-dollar settlement paid by Baltimore County in the past two months over a police killing, Tom Jackman reports for the Post.
- The agreement settles the family’s federal lawsuit alleging that the officer who shot Eric J. Sopp on Nov. 26, 2019, needlessly escalated the encounter with the suicidal, depressed and unarmed man before unjustifiably shooting him, Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports.
MO CO SCHOOLS ASK JUDGE TO TOSS VAXX LAWSUIT: Attorneys for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland are asking a federal judge to toss out the lawsuit filed by an employee who objects to its vaccine mandate on religious grounds, Kate Ryan of WTOP-FM reports.
HOWARD SCHOOLS HOLD BUS DRIVER JOB FAIR: In an effort to alleviate the bus driver shortage in Howard, and many jurisdictions in Maryland, the county public school system is holding a bus driver hiring fair Friday in Columbia, Erin Hardy of the Sun Media Group reports.
ON THE NOV. 2 ELECTIONS IN ANNAPOLIS: Annapolis will hold its 2021 general election on Nov. 2 where voters will choose a mayor and eight City Council members. Brooks DuBose of the Capital Gazette reports that some things will be different this year, 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.