Photo from Division of Correction FY 2019 annual report

REPORT CALLS FOR 3,400+ MORE CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS IN MD. PRISONS: Maryland’s prisons need 3,417 more correctional officers to safely operate, according to a report by the union representing them released Thursday. An analysis performed by a firm contracted by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services recommended that the agency add an additional 2,535 positions. Combined with the 428 employee vacancies, the agency acknowledged it needs nearly 3,000 more workers. But the staff analysis team of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) that worked on the union’s report believes that number is too low. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun

  • UNION LEADERS SAY HOGAN ADMINISTRATION WAS UNCOOPERATIVE: Union leaders said certain extracurricular activities for prisoners are canceled due to limited correctional staff. And some of the violence inside prisons is the result of limited correctional officers who work up to 80 hours per week, according to the union. Union leaders said Thursday this report is the first with union representation, especially with the Hogan administration “refusing” to share staffing information or completing a report without making it public. William J. Ford/ Maryland Matters
  • RETENTION IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS RECRUITMENT, UNION SAYS: While some efforts have been made on the recruitment side recently, union leadership warned that retention was equally important and would become more of a challenge. AFSCME Maryland’s President Patrick Moran predicted that there would be a “deluge of officers leaving” over the next year. Ben Conarck/The Baltimore Banner

EPA AND MD. MAKE TENTATIVE SETTLEMENT OVER BAY POLLUTION: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a tentative settlement with Maryland, other states and environmental groups that sued the agency in 2020, charging that federal officials weren’t doing enough to stop Chesapeake Bay pollution originating in Pennsylvania. The settlement requires EPA to look for ways to reduce pollution from agriculture in Pennsylvania and stormwater runoff from urban and suburban land. EPA also agreed to increase compliance and enforcement efforts, as long as it has the funds to do so.  Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters

MD. JOINS 17 STATES SEEKING RECALLS FOR TARGETS OF CAR THIEVES: Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown joined 17 other local prosecutors in calling on the federal government to issue a recall for particular Hyundai and Kia vehicles models that have been stolen at increased rates within the past year. In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, prosecutors say they want the federal agency to declare the vehicles’ systems are out of compliance with federal standards and pose an unreasonable risk to public safety. Penelope Blackwell/The Baltimore Banner

FEINSTEIN’S ABSENCE DELAYS CONFIRMATION OF 2 U.S. JUDGES IN  MD.: A pair of appointees to the U.S. District Court in Maryland are awaiting U.S. Senate approval as a dispute lingers between Democrats and Republicans over the composition of the committee considering their nominations. Senate Democrats said Thursday they are hopeful that the nominees — Brendan Hurson and Matthew Maddox, who are both from Baltimore — will be confirmed soon by the Senate Judiciary Committee even though the committee is missing a key member, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun

STRICTER GUN LAWS AWAIT MOORE’S SIGNATURE: Going to pick up your child from school with your gun in your handbag or going to the bar for a drink with your handgun in your concealed holster will likely be prohibited this October, even with a concealed carry permit, after the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation tightening gun laws despite heavy pushback from Republican lawmakers. Three important pieces of gun legislation passed in the final days of the legislative session, one in the final hours, and with heated debate. None have yet been signed by the governor.  Jennifer Gable of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter

GUARD CHARGED WITH SHOWING PORN TO BOY AT ROCKVILLE SCHOOL: A man who previously served time in prison for an armed robbery and pleaded guilty in 2019 to sexual solicitation has been charged with showing pornographic images to a 13-year-old boy he was supervising in his role as a security officer with Montgomery County Public Schools.  Em Espey/MoCo360

DISPUTE OVER WATER RIGHTS IN ANNAPOLIS IS RESOLVED: Wells Cove is a tiny front in the ongoing fight over public access to the water around Annapolis, with a 30-year history of legal wrangling involving rights of way, easements and deeds, the Board of Port Wardens, some of the city’s best-known attorneys, money and a pair of determined women. For the moment, those women have won the right to keep Wells Cove open to the public. And after all the negotiations, lawsuits and angst, when you head to this obscure 5-foot-wide corridor on Earth Day, here’s what you’ll find. A storm drain. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner

HARBORPLACE IS NEARLY DESERTED 43 YEARS AFTER OPENING: The Baltimore City Board of Estimates this week gave Harborplace’s new owner rent abatement along with three years to figure out a revitalization plan for the tourist attraction. Harborplace opened with great fanfare in 1980 but its two buildings are now more than 90% vacant. Baltimore Brew takes a tour of the desolate Pratt Street Pavilion and finds the doors locked at the Light Street Pavilion, although Hooters and a souvenir shop can be accessed directly from outside.  Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew

STATE OF THE BLACK WORLD CONFERENCE IS HELD IN BALTIMORE: The State of the Black World Conference V kicked off this week in Baltimore with dignitaries from Africa and the Caribbean joining U.S. officials. The theme of the conference, which ends Sunday, is “Global Africans Rising, Empowerment Reparations and Healing.” A discussion on democracy and development addressed how Covid-19 exposed the Caribbean’s vulnerability due to its dependency on tourism, according to panelist David Comissiong, ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  Tashi McQueen/The Afro

About The Author

Regina Holmes

Contributing editor Regina Holmes has worked as a journalist for over 30 years. She was an assistant business editor at the Miami Herald and an assistant city editor at Newsday in New York City, where she helped supervise coverage of 9/11, anthrax attacks and the August 2003 Northeast Blackout. As an assistant managing editor of the Baltimore Examiner, she helped launch the free tabloid in 2006. Before joining Maryland Reporter, she was the managing editor for Washington, D.C.-based Talk Media News, where she supervised digital, radio and video production of news reports for over 400 radio stations. The Baltimore native is a graduate of Vassar College and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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