State Roundup: Moore announces new strategy for bay cleanup; FBI ends its probe of Roy McGrath shooting death; Blueprint board to OK school systems’ updated plans

State Roundup: Moore announces new strategy for bay cleanup; FBI ends its probe of Roy McGrath shooting death; Blueprint board to OK school systems’ updated plans

Former Gov. Martin O'Malley, left, gives a thumbs up to artist Jorge Alberto Gonzales, right, after the unveiling of his portrait at Government House Wednesday. Governor's Office photo by Patrick Siebert

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MOORE VISITS EASTERN SHORE TO ANNOUNCE NEW ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES: Gov. Wes Moore (D) and several key members of his administration traveled to a steamy Eastern Shore on Thursday to announce two policy initiatives that will be shaped, at least initially, by new task forces — one to strengthen protections to the Chesapeake Bay, the other to boost Maryland’s oyster industry. The administration officials visited a seafood packing plant and a farm for good measure during their daylong visit. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters

  • Moore said Maryland would shift its focus on Chesapeake Bay cleanup in response to a recent study that said states could be making greater progress on the issue. Joined by EPA Region III Administrator Adam Ortiz at a state wildlife research center in Queenstown, the governor said the state would follow the science outlined in a Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee report and focus more on the bay’s shallow water resources. Moore signed the first of two executive orders he issued during his multistop tour. . Rick Hutzell/The Baltimore Banner
  • The governor raised a toast at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge. It wasn’t brimming with sparkling wine, but instead teeming with oyster larvae floating in water. And after the governor’s words, the baby oysters were poured into a massive circular tank, where the lucky ones will attach to waiting shells. Moore’s ceremonial oyster toss came shortly after he signed an executive order creating a new task force to study a vexing problem for the bay: recycling oyster shells after harvest and using alternative materials to rebuild reefs for the crucial mollusk, which filters pollution from the bay as it feeds. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun

FBI WRAPS UP ITS PROBE INTO SHOOTING DEATH OF ROY MCGRATH: The FBI has concluded its investigation into the death of Roy McGrath more than three months after the fugitive former Maryland government official was shot and killed outside Knoxville, Tennessee. A spokesman for the FBI’s Knoxville Field Office confirmed Thursday that agents have concluded the investigation and referred their findings to local and federal prosecutors for review. It’s the first time authorities have disclosed the status of their investigation into McGrath’s death in April. Tim Prudente/The Baltimore Banner

BLUEPRINT BOARD TO APPROVE SCHOOL SYSTEMS’ UPDATES TO PLANS; The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board recommends that local health and social service agencies share names and contact information with local school systems for families with children who could be eligible to enroll in free prekindergarten. However, to be eligible under terms of the Blueprint plan, a family needs to apply for “economic services” and a child must turn 3 or 4 years old by Sept.1. The proposal to have health and social workers make referrals would require a legislative change when the General Assembly convenes in January, staff told the board. William J. Ford/Maryland Matters

Former first lady Catherine Curran O’Malley, a retired district court judge, points out features of her portrait unveiled at a private Government House reception Wednesday. Governor’s Office photo by Tom Nappi

THIRD PROTEST OVER LGBTQ+ STORYBOOK OPT-OUT IS HELD IN MOCO: Hundreds of protesters rallied at the Montgomery County Board of Education headquarters in Rockville on Thursday morning for the third time this summer to protest the school district’s no-opt-out policy on reading LGBTQ+ inclusive storybooks, organizers made it clear some groups were more welcome than others. Em Espey/MoCo 360

BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL SCHEDULES SECOND HEARING ON MASS SHOOTING: A second hearing seeking answers in the Brooklyn Homes mass shooting that left two people dead and 28 injured is set for Sept. 13. Baltimore City Councilman Mark Conway, chair of the council’s public safety committee, is expecting Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley to return to City Hall with clarity, including on what police knew about the July 2 gathering and when they know it. Keith Daniels/WBFF (FOX)

AN AILING ANTHONY MCCARTHY IS RETIRING, LEAVING BALTIMORE: Struggling with his health and in need of a kidney transplant, Anthony McCarthy – a regular around Baltimore City Hall – is leaving the city and his job as special agent of communications and equity at the Baltimore City Office of the Inspector General to move to an assisted living facility close to his mother in Virginia. An “Anthony McCarthy Lovefest” was held in Ellicott City Wednesday night to raise $100,000 for the veteran of numerous political campaigns and former radio talk show host. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun

***Learn about China Today: Maryland Reporter’s Len Lazarick will again be offering a six-session seminar on China Today and how it got that way at Howard Community College. Lazarick began his involvement with China and its journalists 30 years ago and teaches East Asian history at the college. Click here to learn more and register for the course.***

COMMENTARY: CRIME IS A PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM: Tragic, violent criminal events, particularly those targeting Maryland’s children and youth, draw much-needed attention for short periods of time in our 24-hour news cycle. Unfortunately, we fail to acknowledge that crime is a public health problem. Tragedies continue, communities despair, policing is distrusted, and morale among police officers and law enforcement leaders diminishes. KARL BICKEL/Maryland Matters

COMMENTARY: POLITICIANS POINT FINGERS OVER CLOSED POOLS: Why are none of Baltimore’s elected officials taking responsibility for their misguided budget priorities over the years, historically shortchanging the Department of Recreation and Parks? Casting blame on an agency without proper funding is not accountability – it’s political grandstanding. Bobby Moore/Baltimore Brew

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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