148th PREAKNESS AS RACING FACES UNCERTAIN FUTURE: The sport of kings has lost some of its luster. And Maryland racing is at a crossroads. And as it welcomes the 148th Preakness Stakes on May 20 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, it races toward an uncertain future. A recent rash of horse deaths, both at Anne Arundel County’s Laurel Park and at Louisville’s Churchill Downs ahead of the Kentucky Derby, paired with stalled, over-budget racetrack renovation projects in Maryland present challenges as racing in the state navigates its next lap. Despite state subsidies — last year, $91 million generated by slot machines boosted racing — it is a downsizing industry. Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.
MOORE SIGNS BILLS TO AID RETIRED, CURRENT MILITARY, FAMILIES: In an airport hangar home to the state’s Air National Guard, the first veteran to serve as governor of Maryland in 36 years signed into law a half-dozen measures aimed at helping retired and active service members and their families Friday. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
- Standing before an A-10 fighter jet draped with state flags, Moore (D) pointed to new tax breaks and a health-care reimbursement program that he was signing into law as a first step to retain more retired veterans in the state. “We have to make sure that ‘thank you for your service’ is more than just a quote or something that we always put at the end of a sentence,” Moore, a former Army captain, said. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
- Included in the package signed by Moore is a law increasing the maximum income tax subtraction modification for military retirees. Moore personally testified in favor of the bill. It marked the first time a governor appeared before a legislative committee since former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
STATE PUSHES TO ENSURE MARYLANDERS KEEP MEDICAID COVERAGE: Maryland state officials are pushing a statewide informational campaign to ensure that Marylanders who are still eligible for Medicaid do not lose out on coverage now that the public health emergency for COVID-19 has come to an end. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
RYE WHISKEY DECLARED ‘STATE SPIRIT:’ Gov. Wes Moore signed a bill on May 3 declaring Maryland rye whiskey the “state spirit.” The bill was sponsored by Sen. Steve Hershey, R-36, and Del. Kirill Reznik, D-39. “The Maryland Grain Producers were excited to work alongside a great group to pass House Bill 179 this session and showcase a valuable crop our producers grow,” said Justin Brendel, president of the Maryland Grain Producers Association. Connie Connolly/The Easton Star Democrat.
TWO MORE ABUSERS IDENTIFIED: Two more abusers from the Baltimore Archdiocese have been identified, with reporters using court and property records along with details from the survivor’s interview. The attorney general’s office declined to comment for this article. Liz Bowie, Tim Prudente, Jessica Calefati and Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.
MONSIGNOR ID’d AS ENABLER WON’T BE TRANSFERED: Monsignor J. Bruce Jarboe, recently identified as one of the high-ranking Catholic clerics cited in an attorney general’s investigation into how the church handled child sex abuse cases, will not transfer to a prominent Towson parish as planned. Archbishop William Lori told parishioners Friday that instead of moving in July to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Jarboe will remain pastor of St. Ann in Hagerstown. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.
OFFICIALS UPSET ABOUT PLANS TO TREAT OHIO TRAIN WRECK WATER IN B’MORE: Plans to bring contaminated wastewater from East Palestine, Ohio’s train crash site to Baltimore for treatment have been resurrected, to the dismay of some Baltimore officials, including Mayor Brandon Scott and U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume. Aliza Worthington/Baltimore Fishbowl.
B’MORE PLANS FOR USE OF MONEY FROM RECREATIONAL CANNABIS: A step ahead of the rest of Maryland, Baltimore is starting to plan what it wants to do with money stemming from recreational cannabis sales.A bill that would form a Community Reinvestment and Reparations Commission is heading Monday to a likely final vote before the City Council. It appears poised to win final passage following a vote two weeks ago during which there was no opposition. Maya Lora/The Baltimore Sun.
PITTMAN TACKLES FOOD INSECURITY IN ARUDEL: Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman signed an executive order last week creating a food council to devise solutions to food insecurity in the county. As residents struggle to recover financially from the pandemic and federal assistance launched during the public health emergency comes to an end, hunger experts encouraged Pittman to bring together people who are affected by food insecurity and those who work in food assistance to come up with creative, longer-term remedies to the county’s food access gap. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
FORMER CATHOLIC SCHOOL TEACHER WHO ABUSED STUDENTS DIES IN PRISON: John Merzbacher, a former teacher at Catholic Community School of Baltimore, who victimized dozens of Baltimore children in the 1960s and ’70s, has died in prison, where he was serving four consecutive life sentences. He was 81. John-John Williams IV and Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner.