SAFETY ISSUES SUSPEND LIGHT-RAIL SERVICE INDEFINITELY: Light Rail services are suspended indefinitely effective Friday, Dec. 8; MTA officials say the move is out of an abundance of caution after two safety issues with Light Rail cars. Shuttle bus service will be implemented at all Light Rail stops, which means other bus routes may also impacted by delays. Rushaard Hayward & Jack Watson/WMAR (ABC).
- Mayor Brandon Scott released a statement on the situation, saying in part, “A prolonged suspension of services is simply unacceptable, and we will be doing everything in our power to ensure MTA addresses the necessary repairs as quickly as possible.” State Sen. Cory McCray, D-District 45, also released a statement that said in part: “News of the suspension of MTA Light Rail Services comes less than 72 hours after the Maryland Department of Transportation announced $3.3 billion in proposed budget cuts as part of its Maryland Consolidated Transportation Program Overview for fiscal years 2024-29.” WBAL-AM
BILLIONAIRE DAVID RUBENSTEIN IS REPORTEDLY IN TALKS TO BUY THE ORIOLES: Baltimore native David Rubenstein is in talks to purchase the Baltimore Orioles, according to a report from Bloomberg. Rubenstein is the co-founder of Carlyle Group Inc. According to Bloomberg’s report by Gillian Tan, “nothing has been finalized and talks may still fall apart.” Representatives for the Orioles didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Rubenstein declined to comment. Rubenstein, 74, has a net worth of $4.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Josh Starkey/WBAL-TV (NBC)
- Current Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos has taken a backseat to his son John Angelos in recent years when it comes to baseball operations. John Angelos is the current chairman and CEO of the team. The reported sale talks come as the team continues to negotiate a stadium lease deal with Maryland. Adam Thompson/WJZ (CBS)
TRONE HAS THE BIGGEST WAR CHEST IN SENATE RACE BUT ALSOBROOKS HAS MORE INDIVIDUAL DONATIONS: U.S. Senate hopeful Angela Alsobrooks has gathered almost 15 times more individual contributions from supporters than her Democratic opponent Rep. David Trone (D-Maryland). Trone is the top fundraiser in the race, according to the Federal Election Commission. But $9.8 million of the nearly $10 million raised came from his personal funds, the FEC data shows. Approximately $3.1 million of the $3.3 million Prince George’s County Executive Alsobrooks has raised came from individual donors. Shifra Dayak of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
HUNDREDS OF WASHINGTON POST WORKERS WALK OFF THE JOB: Hundreds of Washington Post employees were not reporting the news on Thursday. Instead, they were picketing the newspaper outside of its K Street offices in D.C. under the shadow of a giant inflatable rat called “Scabby.” Members of the Washington Post Guild are striking for 24 hours after months of negotiations with the paper continue to fall short. Katie Mettler, a local criminal justice reporter for the Post, said the paper has been negotiating with the union in “bad faith” and the one-day strike is meant to bring attention to that fact. Mike Murillo/WTOP-FM
- Major points of contention during bargaining have been wages, mental health benefits and remote work policies. The guild, for example, has proposed 4% raises for the three-year life of the contract, while the company has countered with a 2.25% raise for the first year and 2% raises for the second and third years. Angela Fu/Poynter
- Here’s a photo gallery from DCist at WAMU.
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ECONOMIST SAYS MD. NEEDS TO BOOST POPULATION TO GROW ECONOMY: Maryland needs to grow its population as part of an effort to grow its economy and pull itself out of a budgetary morass, according to one economist. That message comes just weeks before lawmakers head to Annapolis next month facing a series of difficult budgetary decisions as federal pandemic aid dries up. A state economy over-dependent on jobs tied to the federal government is not firing on all cylinders as some employers, including state government, struggle to fill open positions, said Daraius Irani, an economist at Towson University. Bryan P. Sears/Maryland Matters
MD. ISSUING MORE EXPANSIVE ADVISORY ABOUT FISH CONTAMINATED WITH PFAS About two years after issuing its first-ever fish consumption advisory associated with PFAS contamination, Maryland is issuing a slew of new warnings. This round is far more comprehensive, following years of testing of different fish species for PFAS — so-called “forever chemicals” known to cause cancer and other health problems — at locations frequented by recreational anglers in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The dozens of new advisories to be released Friday by the Maryland Department of the Environment are spread across Maryland waterways, and cover a variety of fish species. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun
PROBLEMS PERSIST IN STATE’S JUVENILE SERVICES SCHOOLING: Not all incarcerated young people can continue their education, much less attain a diploma. Two years after the Maryland General Assembly transferred responsibility for incarcerated students’ education from the state Education Department to an independent school board within the Juvenile Services Department, students confined in Maryland’s secure youth facilities continue to face multiple long-standing challenges, according to experts and state audit reports. Steph Quinn of Capital News Service/Maryland Reporter.
MOCO BILL WOULD SEND CRISIS TEAMS FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE: Crisis intervention teams would pair Montgomery County law enforcement officers with medical professionals to respond to mental health crises in hopes of limiting negative interactions between police and civilians in crisis if a new bill introduced in the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday is approved. Ginny Bixby/MoCo360
BMORE CITY COUNCIL CLASHES OVER HAMAS-ISRAEL WAR RESOLUTIONS: There was a heated debate at the Baltimore City Council meeting Thursday over a bill condemning hate. At issue is a new resolution on the Israel-Hamas war. The four co-sponsors of the latest version of the bill abstained from voting on the initial resolution Monday night. That resolution called to condemn the Hamas terrorist attack and anti-Semitism. But instead, the four who abstained wanted a resolution to also condemn both anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia. In the end, the new resolution also was struck down with a 7-to-5 vote against it – with another council member joining the four “abstainers.” Keith Daniels/WBFF (Fox)
BILL TO ALLOW ATTORNEY GENERAL TO REMOVE HATE-CRIME COMMISSION MEMBERS: Even though a member was suspended from Maryland’s Commission on Hate Crime Response and Prevention for posting messages criticizing Israel’s response to the Hamas attack was reinstated, there is still talk about whether Zainab Chaudry should have remained on the panel. Maryland House Delegate Joe Vogel (D-District 17), who is running for Congress, has proposed a bill for the upcoming General Assembly session that would grant the State Attorney General the authority to permanently remove commission members. Chaudry, director of the Maryland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is one of 20 members on the panel. Ken Duffy/WBAL-AM