State roundup: Miscommunication delays local Blueprint plans; Moore to sign bills to help veterans

State roundup: Miscommunication delays local Blueprint plans; Moore to sign bills to help veterans

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission decided May 2 to impose a 31-inch maximum on the size striped bass that anglers may keep if they hook one. Tim Wheeler reports in the Bay Journal. Photo by the Chesapeake Bay Program

MISCOMMUNICATION  DELAYS APPROVAL OF LOCAL BLUEPRINT PLANS: Approval of local plans for reforming Maryland’s public schools will be delayed until July because state education officials are taking additional time to assess them. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB), which met in person Thursday for the first time since December, could have begun approving some plans this month. Board Chair Isiah “Ike” Leggett said that the delay stems from “an unforced error” in communication and that it is especially important to rectify any misunderstandings when dealing with the multi-billion-dollar plan. William J. Ford/Maryland Matters

  • A Prince George’s County eighth-grade math teacher has taken a seat on Maryland’s Accountability & Implementation Board, the oversight authority for the state’s ambitious education reform plan. Justin Robinson on Thursday became the only active teacher on the seven-person board monitoring the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future reform plan. Gov. Wes Moore appointed Robinson on May 1 to fill the seat vacated by Fagan Harris, whom Moore selected for chief of staff.  Lillian Reed/Baltimore Sun

MOORE TO SIGN BILLS TO HELP VETERANS, SERVICE MEMBERS: In an airport hangar home to the state’s Air National Guard, the first veteran to serve as governor of Maryland in 36 years, will sign into law a half-dozen measures aimed at helping retired and active service members and their families. The bill-signing will be Gov. Wes Moore’s sixth such event as he moves through the process of finalizing more than 800 bills state lawmakers passed during the annual 90-day legislative session that finished last month. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun

STRAW VOTE EXPECTED ON MCPS BUDGET FRIDAY: Top Montgomery County Public Schools officials reiterated their demand for a fully funded operating budget Thursday ahead of a key County Council vote — even as the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors called for officials to resist increasing property taxes that the group said would “further exacerbate the affordability crisis.” The County Council is expected to take a straw vote Friday morning on the school district’s $3.15 billion operating budget. Em Espey and Anne Talent/MoCo360

MCPS WILL IMPLEMENT 3-YEAR ANTIRACISM PLAN: Montgomery County Public Schools’ action plan to combat systematic antiracism includes teacher training and ensuring that all schools are treated equally. It includes a role for everyone involved in the schools and the school community. The first priority of the three-year plan is to “build in trust” both in school and throughout the community – including transparency in all actions and decisions, Anthony Alston, MCPS director of equity, said during the Board of Education business meeting Thursday. Suzanne Pollak/Montgomery Community Media

NEW TACTICS NEEDED TO IMPROVE BAY, REPORT SAYS: For decades, efforts to restore a healthy Chesapeake Bay have operated under a relatively simple assumption: Ongoing actions to reduce nutrient pollution on the landscape would improve water quality which, in turn, would bring back the bountiful populations of fish, crabs and oysters. But a new report from some of the bay’s top scientists says those results are both more difficult and uncertain than originally thought. It suggests that major adjustments are needed in existing programs — and perhaps public expectations — to improve the Chesapeake’s health. Karl Blankenship of Bay Journal/ Maryland Reporter

POINTSBET TERMINATES UMD MARKETING DEAL PointsBet sports book terminated its marketing deal with the University of Maryland, in late April, according to published reports, and all parties are silent on the fallout from the end of the contract. The partnership allowed PointsBet to advertise on UMD’s campus, in its arenas, and across sports radio broadcast airwaves. A series of contracts allowed the public university to keep secret the terms of the deal. The move means that at least three top schools – Maryland, Michigan State and Colorado – with betting marketing contracts have now ended those agreements as problems and criticism of them mount. Michael Charles of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter

UMD WILL OFFER MINOR IN ANTI-BLACK RACISM: Starting this fall, students at the University of Maryland College Park can challenge discriminatory policies and promote a diverse community in a new anti-Black racism minor offered this fall. The minor will be the first of its kind across the country, according to Jeanette Snider, an assistant research professor with the university’s Anti-Black Racism Initiative. Natalie Wegner/The Diamondback

BALTIMORE SUES HYUNDAI AND KIA OVER CAR THEFTS: Baltimore has joined Seattle, St. Louis, and other cities in a lawsuit against Hyundai and Kia after the company’s vehicles have been targeted in a rash of thefts nationwide. In the suit filed Thursday, Baltimore officials accuse Hyundai and Kia of failing to include industry-standard immobilization technology in their vehicles, making it possible to start the vehicles without a key. The thefts have gained traction in part through TikTok videos demonstrating how to steal the cars. Aliza Worthington/Baltimore Fishbowl

RESIDENTS SUE TV STATIONS, CONTRACTOR OVER PAINTING OF TOWER: Following last year’s paint removal project that sent lead paint flakes raining down from the TV Hill transmission tower, a group of North Baltimore residents has filed a class-action lawsuit against the television stations that own the structure and the Nebraska company that did the work. The residents say Skyline Tower Painting’s “hydro-blasting” of paint from the distinctive red tower in May and June of 2022,  did not follow proper procedures that would have contained the toxic residue. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew

FINAL PHASES FOR HARBOR POINT PROJECT UNVEILED: The final phases of the 27-acre mixed-use Harbor Point development will be predominantly residential in nature, with towers rising up to 40 stories, according to preliminary plans and renderings unveiled Thursday by the Beatty Development Group. A hotel, offices, stores and parking spaces are also planned for the final significant piece of property available for development, called “Phase One,” on the former Allied Signal chromium site between Harbor East and Fells Point. Ed Gunts/Baltimore Fishbowl

COMMENTARY: HOPE WANES AS GUN VIOLENCE GROWS IN ANNAPOLIS: Annapolis is a small town, and most days a safe one. But after years of calling it home, Annapolis has become a geography of violence – a list of places where men, women and children have been killed by guns. Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner

COMMENTARY: LESSONS TO LEARN FROM ‘DANGEROUS’ NEW BRIDGE: Newly appointed MDOT Secretary Paul Wiedefeld has inherited a new bridge that is unsafe for cyclists, even though bike access has been promised for the new Nice bridge across the Potomac River, connecting Charles County to Virginia. What can Wiedefeld do in these last days before bikes are turned loose with traffic on the new bridge? Probably nothing. The answer for Gov. Wes Moore and Secretary Wiedefeld is to move on, and show that they have a different approach to bike/pedestrian issues. Eric Brenner/Maryland Matters

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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