MARYLAND’s FEDERAL WORKFORCE BRACES FOR THE SHUTDOWN: As Congress barrels toward another annual budget deadline without an agreed upon spending plan, thousands of Marylanders employed by the federal government are bracing for a halt to their incomes and a suspension of critical government services. The pause would be the first since the 35-day partial shutdown that ended in early 2019, the longest in history, which left about 300,000 workers furloughed and cost the country an estimated $3 billion in gross domestic product. Brenda Wintrode and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
200-YEAR-OLD CAROLINE TOWN ELECTS FIRST BLACK COUNCIL MEMBERS: Three months after abandoning a voting system that critics said likely had been outdated and inequitable for decades, the residents of Caroline County’s Federalsburg on Tuesday elected the first two Black council members in the town’s 200-year history. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
MHEC DENIES TWO COLLEGES PROGRAMS DUPLICATING OTHERS: The Maryland Higher Education Commission voted to deny the Johns Hopkins and Stevenson universities’ proposed physical therapy doctoral programs due to their similarity to existing programs at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Caitlyn Freeman/The Baltimore Sun.
OPINION: NON-COMPETE RULE A BAD IDEA FOR COLLEGES: The state of Maryland not only has a Certificate of Need law for health care, but it also applies the format to higher education. In particular, it requires colleges and universities that want to offer new degree programs to ask permission from the Maryland Higher Education Commission and invite objections from rival institutions. Missing from the guidelines, as a reason for allowing competition, is any showing that an established program at some other institution is simply doing a poor job serving students. Walter Olson/Reason.
MORGAN U. TO LEAD RESEARCH PROGRAM INTO BLACK MOMs’ DEATH RATE: Researchers at Morgan State University are embarking on a program to reduce the high death rate of Black women from pregnancy-related causes. They want to train more doulas from Black communities. A panel of federal and local leaders announced Wednesday that Morgan would have the chance to build a program for these nonmedical professionals, who would also coordinate a national five-year effort to create and research an array of ways to tackle systemic barriers to equitable and life-saving health care for moms and babies. Meredith Cohn/The Baltimore Banner.
‘COLLEGE READINESS’ DETERMINANTS MAY BE FLAWED: An analysis of Maryland’s current “college readiness” metrics meant to determine whether high school students are properly prepared for college may be improperly assessing a large percentage of students, according to a new report analyzing the state’s interim College and Career Readiness standards. In fact, as much as 35% to 53% may be inaccurately assessed as either ready for college or not ready for college, the American Institutes for Research’s report to the Maryland State Department of Education found. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
LEWIS TO STEP DOWN FROM STATE DEM PARTY: Yvette Lewis, the chair of Maryland’s Democratic Party, will step down from her role effective Oct. 6. Maryland Democratic Party spokesperson Brandon Stoneberg said that Lewis is leaving her role to “pursue new challenges” and that more information will become available in the coming days. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
MOMS FOR LIBERTY PROTESTS AT MO CO HIGH SCHOOL: The co-founder of the national Moms for Liberty organization called trans acceptance “pseudo-scientific nonsense” and a Canadian anti-trans influencer wore a sandwich board that said, “Children cannot consent to puberty blockers” during a demonstration by dozens Tuesday morning on a street corner outside Gaithersburg High School. Courtney Cohn/MoCo 360.
OPINION: MOMS FOR LIBERTY GAINS FOOTHOLD IN CARROLL SCHOOLS: With Moms for Liberty allies gaining a foothold on its board of education, Carroll County Public Schools succumbed to the book ban. Moms for Liberty submitted requests to restrict access to 58 books. …I think I can safely say that the members of Moms for Liberty Carroll County have not read the majority, if any, of these books. Instead, they have developed and funded a website that searches for keywords that they find objectionable. Cindy Rosenberg/The Baltimore Banner.
MO CO BOY’s ‘SUBWAY SURFING’ DEATH MAY SPUR ACTION OVER SOCIAL MEDIA: The parents of a Montgomery County boy who died ‘subway surfing’ say they had no idea their son was riding on top of trains and wanted to bring awareness to other parents about the dangerous trends exposed to their children on social media. Their efforts have reached the halls of Congress. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, called on Meta and TikTok to be more proactive in enforcing their guidelines on promoting and showing dangerous activities. Bridget Byrne and Ryan Mercado of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
B’MORE COUNCIL SEEKS STRONGER POLICE PROTOCOLS AFTER MASS SHOOTING: Members of the Baltimore City Council pushed for stronger police protocols as well as enforcement of those measures Wednesday during their third hearing on the city’s deadly Brooklyn Day mass shooting. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
MO CO SCHOOLS TO PAY $9.7M TO SETTLE SEX ASSAULT CASES: The Montgomery County school system will pay out $9.7 million to settle lawsuits brought by the families of four former Damascus High School football players who said they were sexually assaulted by teammates wielding broomsticks in their locker room in 2018 and 2017, according to attorneys for the families. Dan Morse/The Washington Post.
CARDIN TO HEAD FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is becoming chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, at least temporarily. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made the assignment Wednesday. In a statement Wednesday, Cardin said he accepted the position “with great humility.” Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
- Cardin replaces Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to federal charges accusing him of pocketing bribes of cash and gold bars in exchange for wielding his political influence to secretly advance Egyptian interests and do favors for local businessmen. Menendez was forced to step down as chairman of the committee and is facing increasing calls for his resignation. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
‘PEGGY’ RUPPERSBERGER, MOTHER OF U.S. REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER, DIES: Margaret L. “Peggy” Ruppersberger, former director of the Bykota Senior Center and member of the Baltimore County Commission on Aging, died of arteriosclerosis Saturday at the Edenwald Senior Living in Towson. The onetime Thornleigh resident was 101. “My mother was without a doubt the kindest person I have ever known,” U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger III said in a statement. Fred Rasmussen/The Baltimore Sun.