State Roundup: Deadline nears for state to keep, replace health care provider for inmates; DNR proposes extending restrictions on striped bass fishing

State Roundup: Deadline nears for state to keep, replace health care provider for inmates; DNR proposes extending restrictions on striped bass fishing

Maryland must soon decide whether to replace the troubled, for-profit company that provides medical care to about 17,000 people incarcerated in state prisons and the Baltimore City jail complex. Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay

DEADLINE LOOMS TO DECIDE ON HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR STATE INMATES: A deadline is looming for Maryland to decide whether to keep or replace the troubled, for-profit company that provides medical care to about 17,000 people incarcerated in state prisons and the Baltimore City jail complex. The company has been paid hundreds of millions of dollars, even as its care has come under fire from an independent monitor and dozens of prisoners who have filed lawsuits over medical malpractice. Pamela Wood and Ben Conarck/The Baltimore Banner.

DNR PROPOSES EXTENDED RESTRICTIONS ON STRIPED BASS FISHING: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has submitted emergency regulations in an effort to protect the spawning population of striped bass, also known as rockfish. The proposal would extend existing prohibitions on recreational fishing for rockfish and push them into May. The proposal seeks to eliminate the trophy season from May 1 to May 15, and also end the catch-and-keep fishery on the Susquehanna Flats from May 16 to May 31. The remainder of the existing season would remain unchanged. Hugo Kugiya/The Baltimore Banner.

DNR TO PURCHASE 19 ACRES TO PRESERVE NANTICOKE WATERSHED: With its approval of the Department of Natural Resources’ acquisition of 19 acres of forested land in Wicomico County Wednesday, the Board of Public Works supported preserving the Nanticoke River watershed and the many animals and birds that live in the forested area around it. The board approved the DNR acquisition at a cost of $49,000. Lucy Hubbard of Capital News Service/

***With five performances sold out, there are tickets left only for the last show of Baltimore: You Have No Idea, Dan Rodrick’s wonderful hometown play, on the evening of Dec. 16. Here’s a link to Len Lazarick’s rave review last year. Click here for tickets.”

CLERGY ABUSE AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS UNDER-REPORTED: Black survivors have been nearly invisible in the Catholic Church sexual abuse crisis — even in Baltimore, home to a historic Black Catholic community in the nation’s oldest archdiocese. Cases of clergy abuse among African Americans are underreported, experts say, and the U.S. Catholic Church generally does not publicly track the race or ethnicity of victims. Without that data, the full scope of the abuse and its effects is unknown. Tiffany Stanley and Lea Skene/Associated Press.

MORE FORMER STUDENTS SUE KEY SCHOOL FOR ABUSES: More alleged victims of sexual assault at the Key School in Annapolis are suing the institution under Maryland’s new Child Victims Act. A total of six women now claim that male members of the faculty groomed and assaulted them during the 1970s when they were students at the school. Two women originally filed lawsuits against the Key School under the CVA when the law went into effect on Oct. 1. The others came in over the last two months. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY LIKELY TO ADDRESS CONTINUING OPIOID CRISIS: As the opioid crisis continues, efforts to combat the problem are likely to be a point of interest in the upcoming 2024 Maryland General Assembly session. The ever-evolving opioid crisis s complicated by the rise in fentanyl and other drugs that increase the chances of fatal overdoses. One of the drugs being tracked by state officials is xylazine, a veterinary medicine that has been more frequently found in fatal fentanyl overdoses, according to the Maryland Xylazine Workgroup and Maryland Overdose Data to Action Team. Danielle Brown/Maryland Matters.

MAYOR SCOTT BACKS ALSOBROOKS FOR SENATE: In his first major endorsement since he officially announced his re-election campaign last week, Mayor Brandon Scott put his support behind Angela Alsobrooks for U.S. senator, who is running to replace Senator Ben Cardin. Emily Hofstaedter /WYPR-FM.

JUDGE BACKS STATE REJECTION OF HANCOCK EARLY VOTING SITE: An Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of state elections officials in a lawsuit over the proposed location of an early voting center in the Washington County town of Hancock. Plaintiffs in the case, including one Republican Washington County commissioner and the spouse of a Republican Hancock councilmember, alleged the board owed more deference to the proposal made by local elections officials. They also cited violations of the state Open Meetings Law. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

MO CO BILL WOULD CUT PARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW DEVELOPMENTS: A bill introduced to the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday would loosen parking requirements for new housing developments, provided they are located in close proximity to public transit. Ginny Bixby/MoCo 360.

FROSTBURG, DNR WORK ON PROJECT TO OPEN UP ‘SECRET STATE PARK:’ Wills Mountain State Park in Western Maryland has no public access. But now Frostburg State is working with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Sarah Milbourne, who served as park manager of the site from 2012 to 2022, to compile interpretive material on the location’s regional significance and its potential to create a place-based tourism attraction through low-impact recreational opportunities such as hiking trails and climbing routes. Teresa McMinn/The Cumberland Times-News.

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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