State Roundup: Moore relaunches Baltimore Red Line project and says he will use $5 million in U.S. funds to curb youth violence

State Roundup: Moore relaunches Baltimore Red Line project and says he will use $5 million in U.S. funds to curb youth violence

Gov. Wes Moore announces the relaunch of Baltimore's Red Line transit project. Governor's Office photo

GOVERNOR RELAUNCHES RED LINE PROJECT WITH AMBITIOUS TIMELINE: Gov. Wes Moore relaunched the multibillion-dollar Red Line project in Baltimore on Thursday, setting an ambitious timeline to revive an east-west transit way whose abrupt cancellation in 2015 became a symbol of neglect for many city residents. The defunct 14-mile project — designed in large part to link high-poverty neighborhoods to regional jobs centers — has many hurdles to clear to start construction by 2026 or 2027, as Moore (D) plans. Key questions remain about how the project will be paid for and whether it will be light rail as originally envisioned or a rapid bus system. Erin Cox & Michael Laris/The Washington Post

  • A long list of local, state and federal officials gathered at the West Baltimore MARC Station for Moore’s announcement expressed gratitude for the renewed plans and took frequent shots at former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan for abruptly canceling the original Red Line plans after he took office in 2015. The state already had spent $300 million during the initial planning process. Hogan gave up $900 million in promised federal funds and redirected $736 million in state money to road projects primarily in suburban, largely white areas. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun
  • The state’s transportation secretary, Paul Wiedefeld, won’t put a timetable on when the Red Line might actually become a reality. But Moore is hopeful to get the Red Line up and running while he’s still in office, which will be until January 2031 if he wins a second term or January 2027 if he serves only one term. Here are the steps Maryland officials will need to take to move the Red Line from concept to reality, according to Wiedefeld and Maryland Transit Administrator Holly Arnold.  Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner
  • The state will also examine extensions of the core of the transit line into areas of Howard and eastern Baltimore counties. There is no timeline on those legs, which are expected to be studied at the same time the core of the Red Line project is revisited. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. (D) hopes the state will tie the line into Sparrows Point and employers at Tradepoint Atlantic. Bryan P. Sears/Maryland Matters

MOORE SHARES PLAN TO CURB YOUTH VIOLENCE: Gov. Wes Moore (D) on Thursday announced plans to deploy federal Covid relief funds to stem juvenile crime, as Maryland braces for a seasonal uptick in violence. Moore positioned the $5 million investment as an expansion of previous crime-fighting plans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data Thursday that shows that the homicide rate among 15-to-19-year-olds skyrocketed 91 percent between 2014 and 2021. Vincent N. Schiraldi, the secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, described juvenile crime in the state as “heartbreaking.” Ovetta Wiggins/The Washington Post

NEW B’MORE CO. SUPERINTENDENT PRIORITIZES ACADEMICS, SAFETY: Tasked with leading a school system that has seen drops in achievement and enrollment in recent years, new Baltimore County Superintendent Myriam Yarbrough said during a public forum Thursday night she would prioritize improving academics and student safety. She also said she hopes to recruit and retain quality teachers, pointing to a planned salary increase as a tool for attracting talent to the school system. Cadence Quaranta/The Baltimore Banner

PLANS FOR VIRTUAL CLASSES CONCERN SOME MO CO PARENTS: To conserve resources, Montgomery County Public Schools informed parents last week that advanced math classes at some elementary schools would only be offered virtually next school year—a decision met with high frustration from parents. The change comes after the school district recently finalized its new $3.16 billion operating budget and officials expressed concern about having to make budget cuts to fund all the school district’s high-priority items. Em Espey/MoCo360

EASTERN SHORE TOWN COULD ELECT FIRST BLACK TOWN COUNCIL MEMBER: After nearly a year of negotiations and a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Black residents, the Federalsburg Town Council in Caroline County quickly introduced and adopted a change Monday that could mean the election of the first person of color to the town’s governing body in its 200-year history. The creation of a new majority-Black district for half the council seats — in a 2,800-person town where not quite half the residents are Black — was an overdue victory. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun

OPINION: DIGITAL TAX HARM: Del. Nic Kipke writes in an op-ed: “The recent ruling by the Maryland Supreme Court on the state’s digital advertising tax is not the victory that some politicians in Annapolis would like Marylanders to believe.” He says it is already doing harm. Baltimore Sun

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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