State Roundup: Lawsuit tests new police transparency law; elections board seeks right to count early votes early; diversity requirement added to mobile betting license

State Roundup: Lawsuit tests new police transparency law; elections board seeks right to count early votes early; diversity requirement added to mobile betting license

A police union joined a suit to seek to block release of personnel records that would be allowed under Anton's Law. Photo illustration by Cynthia Prairie

LAWSUIT PUTS NEW POLICE TRANSPARENCY LAW TO THE TEST: When Anton’s Law passed, an effort to make transparent some police personnel records, Alexa Renehan decided to find out what happened to the police officer she had complained about all those years ago. She was still waiting long after Montgomery County’s legal deadline to release the records. A day before the county pledged to turn them over, the officer and local police union sued the county to stop the disclosure. This is an early test of the new law, which Maryland lawmakers passed last year to ensure the public has access to police internal affairs records following calls increased accountability. Steve Thompson/The Washington Post.

POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BOARDS: SOME HAVE THEM, SOME DON’T: Officials in Maryland’s jurisdictions are continuing a complicated process to establish new state-mandated police accountability boards, with differing levels of success. The boards in Calvert and Frederick counties held first meetings in August. Anne Arundel County’s nine-member police accountability board has convened three times. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

STATE ELECTIONS BOARD ASKS COURT TO ALLOW EARLY VOTE COUNT: After an extended primary season, the Maryland State Board of Elections has formally asked the Montgomery County Circuit Court for help in speeding up mail-in ballot counting before the November general election, when more than 1 million mail ballots could be returned by voters. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

MARYLAND JURISDICTIONS GETTING INFUSION OF ARPA CASH: More than $2 billion in federal pandemic relief money has arrived in Maryland counties, cities and towns since last spring, a windfall that many local leaders see as a rare chance to make transformative investments in areas of longstanding need. Baltimore has received $641 million — the largest single allocation among local governments in Maryland — and city leaders have spread the funding across more than a dozen spending categories. Adam Willis/The Baltimore Banner.

DIVERSITY REQUIREMENT ADDED TO BETTING LICENSING: The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission unanimously approved a policy amendment Friday that requires companies awarded a mobile betting license in Maryland to then submit a diversity plan. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

Dan Cox speaks to audience at the Festival of India over the weekend. MarylandReporter photo by Len Lazarick.

COX GETS WARM WELCOME AT FESTIVAL OF INDIA: Del. Dan Cox, the Republican nominee for governor, got a warm welcome at the Festival of India at the Howard County Fairgrounds Saturday. In a brief speech, Cox told the crowd that “freedom is on the line, it’s at stake” in this election. Len Lazarick/Maryland Reporter.

MOORE WIELDS MILITARY SERVICE TO BAT AWAY COX ‘SOCIALIST’ CHARGE: As the general election campaign is heating up, Wes Moore is deploying his military service to defend against attacks by his Republican opponent, Del. Dan Cox, who seeks to paint the Democrat as a socialist or even a communist. “I’m someone who’s defended this country overseas,” Moore told reporters recently. “I’ve worked in finance. I’ve worked on Wall Street. I’ve started my own business. I think it’s a bad stretch to say I’m a socialist or a communist.” Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

COX, MOORE TO FACE OFF ON OCT. 12: Maryland gubernatorial candidates Wes Moore and Dan Cox will face each other in a gubernatorial debate next month, offering voters a first live glimpseof their sharp political differences. The debate, which is slated for Oct. 12, will be hosted by Maryland Public Television. Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post.

SCHOOLS RETURNING TO INCOME-BASED LUNCHES: Additional money to keep a program going to give free lunches to all public school students nationwide was not approved by federal lawmakers in Congress so schools are reverting back to income-based meal programs. Kara Panowitz, senior manager of No Hungry Kids Maryland said this change will significantly affect most counties in the state. Zshekinah Collier/WYPR-FM.

STATE HIGH COURT ALMOST REJECTED REMAP: Maryland’s highest court was one swing vote away from rejecting a General Assembly-approved map of state legislative districts last April, an outcome that could have further delayed the state’s July 19 primary. The closeness of the vote was revealed in an opinion released this week by the Maryland Court of Appeals. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

CHINA TODAY: Maryland Reporter’s Len Lazarick is looking for a couple more participants to take a personal development course he is launching called China Today, based on his 30 years of dealing with China. This discussion group will meet at Howard Community College in Columbia where Lazarick teaches East Asian history. It starts Sept. 8 and meets for 4-6 p.m. for six Thursdays. Click here to sign upIt will examine the last 100 years of China-U.S. relations with a focus on China’s society, culture, economy, and politics. The class will discuss the current state of relations and the hot topic on China in the news. Tuition: $129   No class Sept. 15 & 29, Oct. 13 & 27, and Nov. 10.

WIDENING OF U.S. 15 NOW IN FAST LANE: One of Frederick County’s longest-standing transportation wishes may be moving into the fast lane after being included in Maryland’s long-term transportation plan. Maryland’s Department of Transportation has included $167.7 million in construction funding in the state’s latest draft Consolidated Transportation Program to widen U.S. 15 from Interstate 70 to Md. 26. The program lays out the state’s six-year capital budget for transportation projects. Ryan Marshall/The Frederick News Post.

IMPALLARIA NOW FACES WEAPONS CHARGE: Outgoing Del. Rick Impallaria, already facing trial on allegations of theft of state funds and misconduct in office, was charged Thursday in Baltimore County Circuit Court with illegal ammunition and gun possession by a prohibited individual. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.

HISTORIC ANNAPOLIS BEACH SAVED FOR POSTERITY: With substantial financial help from the federal, state and Anne Arundel County governments, as well as a few nonprofits, the City of Annapolis recently purchased a 6-acre plot of land that includes the historic Black-owned Carr’s Beach, and local officials plan to build a waterfront park there that will pay tribute to the area’s history. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

MO CO TO PROVIDE $1M FOR ABORTION PROVIDERS: Montgomery County will provide a total of $1 million to abortion services providers in the county through a new grant program, County Executive Marc Elrich announced last week. Ginny Bixby/Bethesda Beat.

POLICE TO AID PG YOUTH CURFEW: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks says police in the Maryland county will begin stepping up enforcement of an already on-the-books curfew to keep teens off the streets at night, amid a rise in carjackings and other violent crime. Jack Moore/WTOP-FM.

OPINION: A PERSONAL VIEW OF A LIBERAL FORMER CNN HOST: Around 2007, I had Brian Stelter in two upper-level courses at Towson University … any criticism I made of liberals in the media were invariably met with Stelter’s strong, but respectful, disagreement.  If he hadn’t heard of a reference to which I alluded, he would reply tongue-in-cheek that I had made it up. . Richard Vatz/Maryland Reporter.

MICHAEL HICKEY, 84, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT OF HOWARD SCHOOLS, DIES: Michael E. Hickey, who led Howard County’s public schools for 16 years, died of Parkinson’s disease and other complications Sunday at Chestnut Grove Assisted Living. The Columbia resident was 84. Jacques Kelly/The Baltimore Sun.

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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