State Roundup: Sports betting booms but doesn’t add to fund to aid addicts; prisoners suing medical provider; medical waste incinerator fined $1.75M

State Roundup: Sports betting booms but doesn’t add to fund to aid addicts; prisoners suing medical provider; medical waste incinerator fined $1.75M

Sports betting is growing quickly in Maryland but the industry does not contribute to addiction treatment funds. Photos by Priscilla Du Preez and Sun Shin on Unsplash. Illustration by Cynthia Prairie.

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SPORTS BETTING BOOMS, BUT DOESN’T ADD TO ADDICTION HELP FUND: Maryland lawmakers may need to diversify revenue sources that pay for treatment and other services offered to people who struggle with gambling-related addictions, according to a set of recommendations presented Tuesday. Sports betting in Maryland is quickly becoming the dominant form of gaming in the state but contributes no money to the state’s Problem Gaming Fund. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

PRISONERS FILE SUITS AGAINST MEDICAL CARE PROVIDER: This year alone, more than a half-dozen federal lawsuits have been filed by Maryland prisoners against a company tasked to treat them. Among complaints: a prisoner not receiving medication for his seizure disorder, another with an untreated lipoma, and a prisoner who suffered from a condition called deep vein thrombosis but was not given treatment. Ben Conarck/The Baltimore Banner.

MEDICAL WASTE INCINERATOR FINED $1.75M BY STATE: They tried to mislead environmental regulators. They allowed human medical waste to fall on to the sides of public roadways. They did not completely burn medical needles before sending them to regular landfills. These were some of the findings made during a three-year investigation by the Attorney General’s office into Curtis Bay Energy, LP, the country’s largest medical waste incinerator facility. Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR-FM.

  • The previous owners of the company pleaded guilty to 40 criminal counts for improperly disposing of medical waste. The company was also ordered to pay a $1 million fine to the Maryland Clean Water Fund, as well as another $750,000 that will be used for environmental projects in the Curtis Bay area. Elizabeth Worthington/WMAR-TV News.
  • Curtis Bay Energy disposed of what is called “special medical waste” as “uncooked medical waste” after failing to completely incinerate it, according to Attorney General Anthony Brown. The company then transported the uncooked waste along state roads, which then leaked from trucks. Chris Berinato, Amy Simpson, and Jeffery Bozzi/WBFF-TV News.
  • Brown called the fine one of the largest for an environmental crime in the history of his office and outlined how the company willfully skirted environmental laws in an effort to burn more waste and drive higher profits. Adam Willis/The Baltimore Banner.
  • After the start of the investigation, the facility was purchased by new owners in early 2021 and has made substantial improvements to infrastructure and in environmental compliance oversight. The new owners of Curtis Bay Energy have fully cooperated with the state’s investigation into historical violations, the attorney general’s office said. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

MOORE PLANS QUARTERLY MEETINGS WITH MUNICIPAL LEADERS: Gov. Wes Moore (D) said municipal leaders know their constituents best because they work closely with them when it comes to public safety, trash collection and other local services. To ensure his administration partners in those efforts, the governor plans to hold quarterly meetings, starting next year, with mayors throughout the state in Annapolis at Government House, home to the state’s chief executive. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

Supporters of One Fair Wage, a national organization in support of increasing the minimum wage for tipped workers, clashed with those opposed to the proposal in Montgomery County on Tuesday. (Angelique Gingras/Capital News Service)

RESTAURANT WORKERS CLASH OVER MO CO TIPPED WAGE HIKE: Wearing green shirts, the Restaurant Association of Maryland and its supporters rallied outside the Montgomery County Council building on Tuesday to oppose legislation to raise tipped workers’ minimum wage, when they were met by their pink-shirted opponents from One Fair Wage, a national organization committed to eliminating the subminimum wage in the country. Angelique Gingras of Capital News Service/

  • Currently, servers and other workers who rely on tips are required by county law to be paid $4 per hour before tips. The county’s minimum wage for non-tipped workers is $16.70 for employers with 51 or more employees, $15 for employers with 50 or fewer employees and $14.50 for employers with 10 or fewer employees.  In neighboring Prince George’s County, the base minimum wage before tips is $3.63. Last week, the Prince George’s County Council opted to table a similar piece of legislation. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

BA CO COUNCIL PASSES BAG AMENDMENTS THAT OLSZEWSKI VOWS TO VETO: The Baltimore County Council passed three amendments to the Bring Your Own Bag Act during a meeting Monday. Amendment one defines a reusable carryout bag as being 2.25 mils in thickness. It can be either fabric or plastic. Wambui Kamau/WYPR-FM.

  • Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in a statement that he plans to veto the new legislation, saying that it weakens the existing law. Staff/WMAR-TV News.
  • The council approved three amending bills that exempt liquor stores from the ban, allow customers to sidestep the 5-cent charge for reusable bags if they use plastic bags that match a certain level of film thickness, and exempt some kinds of paper bags from the 5-cent charge. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

OPINION: A BIZARRE ATTACK AGAINST A RIVAL REPUBLICAN: Republican 6th District congressional candidate Chris Hyser launched a bizarre attack at Republican rival Tom Royals yesterday, accusing the veteran Navy combat aviator, of “never having to work a day in his life.” Hyser is no doubt trying to deflect attention from his recent missteps involving his Muslim faith, his attempt to cover up his Muslim faith from the voters or his wishing for David Trone’s death. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.

STRETCH OF DEFENSE HIGHWAY TO HONOR FORMER SEN. ED REILLY: A stretch of Maryland Route 450, also known as Defense Highway, in Crofton, will be renamed after former state Sen. Ed Reilly, a Republican who represented the area in the Maryland Senate for nearly 14 years before retiring at the start of this year. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.

WBAL-TV REPORTER TIM TOOTEN TO RETIRE: On Dec. 15, WBAL-TV’s Tim Tooten will retire as education reporter after a 35-year career reporting the news. Liz Bowie/The Baltimore Banner.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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