3 FINALISTS FOR NEW ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR: The search for a new state elections administrator is now down to three finalists. The five-member Maryland State Board of Elections met Friday to review a tranche of applications for the position and determine which candidates are invited for interviews next week. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
SPOUSAL RAPE DEFENSE TO BE OUTLAWED: Later this year, Maryland will do away with the spousal defense for rape and sexual assault, handing supporters a victory that had been long sought. Under current Maryland law, there are four sex crimes for which a legal spouse cannot be prosecuted – first and second-degree rape, and third and fourth-degree sex offense. Come Oct. 1, that will no longer be the case. Matt Bush/WYPR-FM.
‘CLEANER CONCRETE’ FOR STATE PROJECTS: Del. Kenneth Kerr (D) of Frederick County sponsored a bill, which passed the General Assembly, that would reduce the pollutants that go into the concrete manufacturing process for “state projects or any project that’s over 50% state funded,” said Kerr. That would include schools, roads and bridges. The bill is effective July 1. Wambui Kamau/WYPR-FM.
DEL. MOON’s STAR RISES IN ANNAPOLIS: Owlish, bookish, soft-spoken, a little socially awkward and unapologetically progressive, with a list of lefty causes on his resume that’s so expansive that it would intimidate many of his fellow Democrats, never mind the Republicans in the legislature. Del. David Moon of Montgomery County was never destined to become one of the boys in Annapolis. How things change. Now nine years into his legislative career, Moon has just become House majority leader. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
MORE RESIGN FROM POSTS AFTER IDing IN ATTY GEN ABUSE REPORT: The director of the Maryland State Boychoir has resigned after he was identified as one of the 156 Catholic Church staff named in a Maryland Attorney General’s Office report on child sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In recent weeks, others identified as being in the report have been put on leave from parish ministry, resigned from a hospital board and had a transfer to a new parish canceled. Jean Marbella, Lee O. Sanderlin and Sabrina LeBoeuf/The Baltimore Sun.
- An Episcopal minister is on leave from his Western Maryland church after being listed as one of 10 people accused of abuse whose names are redacted in a Maryland attorney general’s report on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore. Lee O. Sanderlin and Maya Lora/The Baltimore Sun.
- The ethereal sounds of the Maryland State Boychoir have soared through spaces sacred and secular the world over, from the Vatican to the White House. The late Gov. William Donald Schaefer once designated the organization as “Maryland’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors,” and more than 1,000 boys have passed through its ranks. Lee O. Sanderlin, Jean Marbella and Maya Lora/The Baltimore Sun.
NO REDACTIONS IN ILLINOIS CHURCH ABUSE REPORT: A new report by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in that state is too long for most readers to absorb in a day or two, but that didn’t stop one Baltimore abuse survivor from zeroing in on what she most wanted to find out. She flipped through the report’s 696 pages one afternoon last week and checked whether it contained any black marks indicating redactions. When she saw that it didn’t, she said that alone told her it had more healing power than the one published by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office last month after a review by a Baltimore judge. Jonathan Pitts/The Baltimore Sun.
SOME BUSINESSES WORRY OVER POSSIBLE FEDERAL DEFAULT: In periods of economic anxiety, people tend to cut back on non-essential items such as, for example, spiced oatmeal cookies stuffed with cream cheese icing. On Friday, the delectable cookies were spread out on a table at the Codetta Bake Shop in Baltimore. Forty miles away, politicians in Washington sought to reach an agreement to prevent the government from defaulting on its debt. And bakery’s owner and executive chef was concerned. “People might not even know what that means, but the psychology behind hearing that in the news can kind of spook people away from spending on luxury items,” she said. Hannah Gaskill and Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
EXEC DIRECTOR OF PURPLE LINE IS OUT: The long-troubled Purple Line development is undergoing more change, as two key leaders, Executive Director Matthew Pollack and Communications Director David Abrams, are out at the Purple Line, a state transportation spokeswoman announced Friday. Elia Griffin/MoCo 360.
W. VA. ABORTION CLINIC MOVES TO CUMBERLAND: A new Maryland clinic that will offer abortion services is an extension of the Women’s Health Clinic of West Virginia, which had to stop performing abortions due to that state’s near total abortion ban that went into effect in September. The new location is Cumberland — just five miles from the border of West Virginia. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
COMMENTARY: MOORE WADES INTO CULTURE WAR: Gov. Wes Moore released a video condemning the state of Florida for the “banning of history and this altering and erasure of the history of African Americans,” and encouraged residents of states with “so-called leaders, who are going to condemn or erase the history of broad portions of the population there, come to Maryland.” Not coincidentally, the video was timed to release with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ official presidential campaign announcement. Gareth Jones/Maryland Reporter.
‘AMENITY RENTALS’ SPLIT MO CO COMMUNITIES, SPUR COUNCIL INVOLVEMENT: The sounds of summer fun ripple up from ads for Swimply, an app that allows homeowners to rent out private pools to strangers looking to enjoy cool water under the hot sun. But that seasonal chorus has sharply divided suburban residents of Montgomery County as the local government considers formally regulating the short-term amenity rentals — potentially becoming the first in the nation to do so. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.