State Roundup: Officials seek to stop release of wastewater from Ohio train derailment in B’more sewer system; as hate incidents rise, crime package proposed

State Roundup: Officials seek to stop release of wastewater from Ohio train derailment in B’more sewer system; as hate incidents rise, crime package proposed

Smoke billows into the air over East Palestine, Ohio, in February 2023 from the train derailment. Maryland lawmakers and officials are seeking to stop wastewater from the cleanup from being sent through the Baltimore City sewer system. Photo by thunderlips36, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

LEGISLATORS SEEK TO STOP WASTEWATER FROM OHIO TRAIN DERAILMENT: Maryland legislators are scrambling to halt the release of treated wastewater from the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment site into the Baltimore sewer system. State and local officials were notified Friday that the Norfolk Southern railroad hired Clean Harbors Environmental Services to remove toxic chemicals from water from the derailment site at its Southwest Baltimore facility. Lilly Price/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Clean Harbors, a Baltimore-area wastewater management company, has informed city and county officials it plans to treat wastewater shipped by rail from East Palestine, Ohio, the site of a train derailment last month. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, both Democrats, said Clean Harbors was chosen to treat some of the Ohio wastewater at its Southwest Baltimore facility. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

AS INCIDENTS RISE, HATE CRIMES PACKAGE PROPOSED: With reported antisemitic incidents nearly doubling in Maryland last year, state lawmakers are proposing a package of bills aimed at preventing and addressing hate crimes. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.

MOORE SAYS HE’LL SIGN BILL FOR GENDER-AFFIRMING COVERAGE: At a gathering that evoked the long road to marriage equality and the continued fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community, Gov. Wes Moore said he intends to sign a bill that would require Maryland Medicaid to cover gender-affirming procedures for transgender patients. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Bills aiming to get more Marylanders health coverage, improve access to behavioral health services and expand Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming health care have made strides in the General Assembly this legislative session. Angela Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.

LAWMAKERS SEEK MORE OVERSIGHT ON VETERANS NURSING FACILITIES: Lawmakers are preparing emergency legislation in the final days of the General Assembly session that would give them more oversight of the state’s only veterans nursing facility. Members of the House and Senate Veterans Caucus met Thursday morning with Gov. Wes Moore (D) and Maryland Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Woods. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

SEARCH FOR ROY McGRATH CONTINUES: The manhunt for Roy McGrath reached Day 12 on Friday with few signs that federal authorities are closer to apprehending the fugitive who once served as chief of staff to former Gov. Larry Hogan. Alex Mann and Reed Williams/The Baltimore Sun.

BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE TO BEGIN MEETING: Democratic leaders in the Senate and House are expected to appoint members to a conference committee that will begin meeting early this week to iron out slight differences between the chambers’ proposals for the state’s $63 billion budget. The state lawmakers are scheduled to pass the budget by April 3. Jack Hogan/The Daily Record.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS OUTLINE HIRING SPECIAL ED HIRING TROUBLES: Every school district plan submitting plans for implementing the Blueprint notes that help is needed to recruit, hire and retain teachers in all levels of special education, that there’s a lack of certified or qualified teacher applicants and a limited number of college graduates entering the teaching profession. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

MOORE HOPES TO SHORE UP STATE POLICE SUPER NOMINEE: Gov. Wes Moore (D) is working to shore up a beleaguered historic nomination in advance of a Senate hearing today The governor met with members of the Coalition of Black Maryland State Troopers for about 90 minutes Friday to discuss Roland Butler Jr. Moore tapped the retired Maryland State Police lieutenant colonel to become the first Black superintendent of the organization. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

***BOARD OPENINGS FOR MONTGOMERY AND PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY RESIDENTS: The Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has openings for residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties on the ERS Board of Trustees; one vacancy for each county. The term of appointment is July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2026. Anyone interested who is a resident of the county to which they want to represent must submit a Letter of Interest and resume of qualifications, received no later than close of business on April 7, 2023. Visit our website, for a Board of Trustee Candidate Packet.***

OPINION: THIS IDEA WILL SPREAD: In a first-of-its-kind ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher found Anne Arundel can require any business that sells guns or ammunition to prominently display pamphlets on suicide prevention and conflict resolution. A spokesperson for the county health department said Thursday that her agency is drafting a letter reminding roughly 31 businesses that they must do this or face a $500 fine. One already does it voluntarily. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner.

ARUNDEL BOE QUESTIONS STATE VIRTUAL LEARNING PLANS: The Anne Arundel County Board of Education raised questions last week about legislation proposed in the General Assembly to establish statewide rules for virtual schooling programs, including adopting a plan for a virtual learning environment. School districts would need to develop teacher preparation plans, plans for virtual instruction days as a result of severe weather and a process for accepting students into these programs. Megan Loock/The Capital Gazette.

CARROLL STUDENTS MATH GRADES CONTINUE TO SUFFER: Carroll County public school students’ standardized test scores in English and language arts have returned to pre-pandemic levels, while student achievement in math continues to suffer, according to results from Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program tests taken between April and June 2022. Thomas Goodwin Smith/The Carroll County Times.

HARFORD MOVES POLICE BOARD OVERSIGHT TO COUNCIL: The Harford County Council approved a bill at its legislative session Tuesday that shifts oversight of the county’s police accountability board from the county executive to the council. Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis.

PG BILL WOULD PROVIDE REBATES FOR SECURITY CAMS: County legislation named for a 13-year-old who was fatally shot while raking leaves one evening last November outside his Hillcrest Heights-area home will provide rebates to home and business owners in Prince George’s County who buy surveillance cameras. Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.

MOORE TOURS HITACHI RAIL FACTORY: The Hitachi Rail factory under construction south of Hagerstown hosted Gov. Wes Moore last week, giving the new governor a look at progress made on the site. Staff/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.

COMMENTARY: SHIFT THE BURDEN OF PROOF TO SCHOOLS: Families of students with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities say the burden of proof should be shifted from them to the schools that want to send their children to a different school or spend the day in a segregated classroom. Despite decades of research showing that inclusion in general education classrooms leads to better academic and long–term outcomes, only 18% of Maryland students with intellectual disabilities are included in general education classrooms 80% or more of the day. Liz Zogby/Maryland Reporter.

S. DAKOTA GOV TO SPEAK AT MD GOP DINNER: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem will be the keynote speaker at the Maryland Republican Party Red, White, and Blue Dinner on June 19. Noem had been scheduled to be the speaker at the 2022 Red, White and Blue Dinner, but had cancelled. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.

VIDEO: TWO DRIVERS WERE SPEEDING IN HIGHWAY CRASH THAT KILLED 6: Two drivers involved in a crash on the Baltimore Beltway that killed six highway workers Wednesday afternoon were traveling at a high rate of speed when one car moved into the left-most lane, hit the other vehicle, lost control and flipped into a construction zone, according to video footage. Abby Zimmardi/The Baltimore Banner.

FIRST WOMAN TO HEAD U.S. 3rd OLDEST COLLEGE: America’s third oldest college officially has its first female president. St. John’s College Annapolis inaugurated Nora Demlietner on Saturday afternoon, installing her as the 25th person and first woman to lead the school since it was founded in 1696. A German-born law professor, Demleitner hopes her gender is not the only difference attendees noticed at the festive Saturday afternoon affair. Rebecca Ritzel/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:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!