LAWMAKERS TARGET LAWS THAT SOME SAY GO EASY ON TEENS CHARGED IN CAR THEFTS: It’s hard to pinpoint just where it started, but somewhere along the way, lawmakers set their sights on a common culprit for a tidal wave of car thefts: teenagers. City and state officials have launched hearings and called in agencies, law enforcement officials and advocates to scrutinize the laws and look for solutions. Some have wondered if laws that make it harder for police to arrest children could be part of the problem. But arrest data doesn’t support the concern. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
PRINCE GEORGE’S CAR THEFT RATES THIRD BEHIND B’MORE, BA CO: Prince George’s has one of the highest car theft rates in Maryland. Over 6,000 vehicles have been stolen in the county so far in 2023, according to the Prince George’s County Police Department. Vehicle thefts have nearly doubled since November 2022. Only Baltimore City and Baltimore County have higher per-capita rates this year. Montgomery County’s rate is about half of Prince George’s, but rising. Natalie Davis, Dylan Manfre and Sarah Siock/Capital News Service.
BALTIMORE, OTHER CITIES SUE HYUNDAI, KIA OVER THEFTS: Does making cars that are easy to steal constitute a public nuisance for which a city should be awarded damages? That’s what Baltimore and more than a dozen other cities across the United States are arguing in lawsuits against Hyundai and Kia, which for years made vehicles that did not have engine immobilizers, a relatively inexpensive and industry-standard part that prevents a car from starting without the key. Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.
VIRGINIA DELEGATES SEEK PROBE INTO GSA CHOICE OF MARYLAND FOR FBI HQ: Eleven members of Virginia’s 13-member congressional delegation are asking the acting inspector general for the federal General Services Administration to launch an investigation into the agency’s site selection process for the new Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters. Sarah Vogelsong/Maryland Matters.
- In a joint letter sent to the General Service Administration’s inspector general, the Virginia officials said the process appeared in the final weeks to be tilted toward the 61-acre plot outside the Greenbelt Metro station in Prince George’s County, despite a three-person panel’s unanimous selection of a site in Springfield, Va. Antonio Olivo and Erin Cox/Washington Post.
ED OFFICIALS ADDRESS COLLEGE, CAREER READINESS ASSESSMENTS: At a Wednesday meeting of Maryland Higher Education Commission, officials discussed how the implementation of Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, an education overhaul passed by the 2021 Maryland General Assembly, may drastically change how students are assessed for college and career readiness, among other topics. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.
MOORE APPOINTS TWO TO POSTS ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE: Gov. Wes Moore announced two new positions Wednesday aimed at addressing the causes and effects of climate change and other environmental threats. Moore appointed Meghan Conklin as the state’s first chief sustainability officer, who will focus on meeting the state’s environmental goals, including reducing emissions. He also appointed Michael Hinson to be Maryland’s first chief resilience officer. Staff/The Associated Press.
CASA PRO-PALESTINIAN TWEETS CAUSE IT TO LOSE FUNDING, AS LAWMAKERS SEEK APOLOGY: A major foundation has pulled funding from CASA, the Maryland-based immigrants’ rights organization under fire for its recent pro-Palestinian tweets, and Jewish lawmakers are calling for a public apology. Danielle Gaines and Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
WORK ON 2nd PHASE OF STATE HOUSE RESTORATION UNDERWAY: The historic Maryland State House dome has been restored and the second phase of the project to rehabilitate the country’s oldest state capital in continuous legislative use is now in progress. After getting underway this summer, work to replace insulation, increase accessibility, replace and repair parts of the roof, and restore the windows as well as the brick and stonework will be complete by the end of next year, a spokesman said. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
MOSBY’s 2nd TRIAL SLATED FOR JANUARY: Marilyn Mosby’s second federal criminal trial is now slated for January. Baltimore two-term ex-prosecutor was convicted by a jury this month on two counts of federal perjury, but left unresolved were two counts of making a false statement on a mortgage application, which had been severed from the original indictment so they could be tried separately. Mosby will not be sentenced on the perjury counts until the mortgage paperwork charges have been resolved. Justin Fenton/The Baltimore Banner.
CITY EMPLOYEE KEPT JOB THROUGH HARASSMENT CLAIMS: All three elected members of the Baltimore Board of Estimates expressed surprise and dismay that a city employee, twice before investigated for sexual harassment, managed to retain his job, leading to a third harassment complaint that will cost the city $225,000 to settle. Mark Reutter/Baltimore Brew.
- The woman alleged that former Baltimore City Community Action Partnership Center employee Gary Smith sexually harassed her during the summer of 2018, including inflicting inappropriate, unwanted touch. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.