REPORT: FOSSIL FUEL-POWERED APPLIANCES BIG CONTRIBUTOR TO POOR AIR QUALITY: As Maryland policymakers look to fulfill the state’s many mandated climate goals, a new report suggests that the fossil fuel appliances and other heavy equipment used to power homes and businesses are contributing far more to poor air quality than all of the state’s power plants combined. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
MO CO OFFICIALS QUESTION STATE’s 45-DAY SHUTTER NOTICE FOR NURSING HOMES: As families scrambled over a notice that a Silver Spring life-care facility was closing, Montgomery County officials took issue with the state law setting a minimum notice of 45 days. They say that demographic shifts are expected to strain a system that already struggles to keep pace with demand, across the nation and in the county, where the number of people over 65 is projected to grow to nearly 250,000 by 2040, more than double the size of that age group in 2010. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.
SEN. GRIFFITH TO STEP DOWN TO HEAD MARYLAND HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION: State Sen. Melony Griffith, a longtime legislator from Prince George’s County who has held multiple leadership roles in Annapolis, will resign her seat to become the president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association. The nonprofit group represents Maryland’s 60 hospitals and health systems, advocating for a wide range of health-specific and related policies. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.
- Griffith will begin her new position on Dec. 18. “This has been a tremendously difficult decision,” she said. Griffith, who is in her fifth year in the Senate and previously served for 16 years in the House of Delegates, has worked as a health care policy expert and advocate for her entire professional career. Josh Kurtz and Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.
- Griffith was elected to her second state Senate term in 2022 and will become the first Black woman to lead the hospital association in its 54-year history. Jack Hogan/The Daily Record.
MARYLAND LATINAS RISE AS COMMUNITY GROWS: As the Latino community grows in Maryland, women leaders from the community are rising to positions of power, organizing change and making a path for the next generation of leaders. The Latino population in Maryland grew from 8% to 12% in a decade, or to some 744,000 in the 2020 Census, with the largest communities in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Three women are highlighted in this article, starting with Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk. Rosanne Skirble/Maryland Matters.
LAWSUIT SAYS VETERANS DISABILITY CLAIMS FIRM OPERATES ILLEGALLY: A recent lawsuit filed on behalf of veterans alleges that Just4Veterans, a Clarksburg, Md., disability claims consultancy that operates nationally, is violating federal law. The company is accused of operating without the required Veterans Administration accreditation and imposing consulting fees that are illegally excessive. Fatema Hosseini of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
OPINION: VALUE CANNABIS BUSINESSES ACCURATELY: The cannabis industry should do everything possible to avoid any unforced errors that would slow down this emerging and dynamic market. A great place to start is getting business valuations accurate. It’s critical for any industry and even more so for a rather nascent one like cannabis. It’s important not just for the companies themselves but for the entire marketplace ecosystem for business planning and financial management. Andrew Hunzicker/Maryland Matters.
MD JOINS AMICUS BRIEF TO SUPPORT HAWAII BAN ON BUTTERFLY KNIVES: Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown (D) joined 16 other attorneys general in an amicus brief this week to support the state of Hawaii’s effort to ban butterfly knives. The brief requests that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of Hawaii allow an “en banc” hearing, or reconsideration by a panel of judges, to reassess a decision made in August that invalidated the state’s ban on butterfly knives. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
HARRIS TO SUPPORT JIM JORDAN FOR HOUSE SPEAKER: U.S. Rep. Andy Harris said on social media Friday that he’d support House Judiciary chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, a Republican, to be the next speaker of the House. Former Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the role Wednesday. Harris, Maryland’s only Republican in Congress, voted to keep McCarthy in the role. Caitlyn Freeman/The Baltimore Sun.
ARUNDEL TO GET $400,000 FOR YOUTH CRIME DIVERSION PROGRAM: Maryland lawmakers secured $400,000 in funding last month for an Anne Arundel County-based diversion program for youths accused of low-level offenses. Maryland Democratic Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, as well as Maryland Democratic Reps. Steny Hoyer and John Sarbanes, secured the funding through the Department of Justice’s Byrne Discretionary Grants Program. Minnie Stephenson of Capital News Service/MarylandReporter.com.
B’MORE NAACP BLAMES CITY OFFICIALS FOR NEGLIGENCE OVER FIRE: The NAACP of Baltimore is blaming city officials for negligence that led to a fire Thursday that destroyed two buildings attached to its headquarters in Charles Village. Shortly before 2:30 in the afternoon, flames could be seen streaming from the windows. Wambui Kamau/WYPR-FM.
- The president of the Baltimore NAACP called for the resignation of two city housing officials and said that Mayor Brandon Scott “needs to either step up and lead or step aside” following a Thursday night fire at a vacant building that damaged the adjacent offices of the civil rights organization. John John Williams/The Baltimore Banner.
SCHOOL INVESTIGATOR INTO PRINCIPAL’s CONDUCT MOVED TO NEW POSTS: Montgomery County Public Schools in recent weeks has twice moved Khalid Walker, the investigator who closed an inquiry into misconduct allegations against former Farquhar Middle School principal Joel Beidleman, into new jobs — most recently on Friday, hours after The Washington Post sent questions asking why he had received a raise and a new position. Alexandra Robbins and Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.
BA CO SCHOOLS OK $2.66M CONTRACT FOR SECURITY CAMERA UPGRADE: Baltimore County Public Schools is spending millions to upgrade security cameras with a technology that purports to detect guns on campus. In August, the school board approved a $2.66 million contract through May 2027 with Omnilert, part of a growing school security industry in the wake of America’s epidemic of school shootings. Dillon Mullan/The Baltimore Sun.
HARFORD BOARD PETITIONED TO REINSTATE SLAVE OWNERS NAMES ON SCHOOLS: The Harford County Board of Education has received a 69-page petition recommending that the names of slave owners be reinstated on two elementary schools. The petition asks that Old Post Road Elementary School and Harford Academy be renamed William Paca Elementary School and John Archer School, respectively. The Board of Education voted on the new names in June 2022. Katia Parks and Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis.
CORRECTION: An item in the Friday Roundup, taken from a report by Jack Watson of WMAR-TV News, incorrectly depicted a stand taken by U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen on legal cannabis. He actually said that it was “draconian” to criminalize marijuana.