State Roundup: Mfume calls for probe into mailed COVID tests; bias incidents jumped 400% in MoCo schools; B’more’s fire chief nominee was charged with having 50+pipe bombs in 1992

State Roundup: Mfume calls for probe into mailed COVID tests; bias incidents jumped 400% in MoCo schools; B’more’s fire chief nominee was charged with having 50+pipe bombs in 1992

Unsolicited COVID 19 tests arrived at some Maryland residents' homes and their Medicare has been billed. Screenshot from WBAL-TV News report.

MFUME CALLS FOR PROBE INTO COVID TESTS BILLED TO MEDICARE: U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-District  7)  is calling for investigators to look into the COVID-19 test scheme involving Medicare. Mfume said that he wants the Department of Justice, FBI and others to work with Congress to track down those who are sending unwanted COVID-19 tests to people across Maryland and charging the costs to Medicare. Tolly Taylor/WBAL-TV (NBC).

HATE BIAS INCIDENTS JUMPED 400% IN MO CO SCHOOLS: The 238 hate bias incidents reported across Montgomery County Public Schools over the 2022-23 school year represent a 400% spike compared with the average across the previous five years, according to officials. The data was shared this week during the second meeting of the County Council’s new Anti-Hate Taskforce. MCPS Associate Superintendent Damon Monteleone said school administrators would undergo mandatory safety and well-being training this month. Em Espey/MoCo360.

B’MORE FIRE CHIEF NOMINEE WAS CHARGED WITH HAVING PIPE BOMBS IN 1992: Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s nominee to lead the city’s fire department once faced charges related to his possession of homemade explosives, a circumstance that Scott’s administration said it was aware of and should not disqualify James Wallace from overseeing the department. The charges were levied in connection with a 1992 incident in which Wallace, then a 23-year-old resident of Bel Air, was discovered to be in possession of more than 50 pipe bombs. The charges were recently expunged. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

STATE OKS $1 SALE OF PIKESVILLE ARMORY TO BA CO: Plans for redevelopment of the 14-acre Pikesville Armory campus are moving ahead with the announcement of a team to lead the effort and state approval of a change in ownership of the land. Maryland’s Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved a request to transfer ownership of the Armory property  to Baltimore County for $1.  The county intends to transfer the property to the Pikesville Armory Foundation, a nonprofit that has been formed to redevelop it in phases, in partnership with Baltimore County and the state of Maryland.  Ed Gunts/Baltimore Fishbowl.

RECOMMENDATION: REPLACEMENT BRIDGE OVER THE YOUGH SHOULD FOLLOW SAME PATH: A new bridge over the Youghiogheny River should follow the same alignment as the existing structure, the Youghiogheny River Advisory Board recommended on Tuesday. Seven of the board’s eight members met, at the request of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, to provide input on a proposal initiated by Garrett County and the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration to replace a Swallow Falls State Park bridge over the Yough. Teresa McMinn/The Cumberland Times News.

BILL WOULD BAN BGE GAS REGULATORS ON B’MORE’S SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES: Piggybacking on a push by city residents from various neighborhoods to fight the installation of outdoor gas pressure regulators, Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello announced a bill Thursday that would ban such regulators from single-family homes. The bill would ban regulators from any building that has five or fewer residential units. The legislation would not apply to regulators that have already been installed. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

RESIDENTS ARE HOPEFUL AND SKEPTICAL ABOUT RED LINE: The Maryland Transit Administration recently held its first Red Line public engagement sessions since Gov. Wes Moore (D) declared the megaproject back on track. And Baltimore residents had plenty of questions: Will it be a light rail line — as originally envisioned before scuttled by Moore’s Republican predecessor, Larry Hogan —or a rapid bus line? How much will it cost? Is the route going to be the same? MTA officials don’t know the answers yet.  The light rail vs. bus-rapid transit debate seemed to be most on people’s minds at the open houses. Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.

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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