AFFORDABLE HOUSING A PRIORITY ON MOORE’s LEGISLATIVE AGENDA: About a quarter of the bills that Gov. Wes Moore plans to introduce next year relate to one topic: housing. The first-term Democratic executive’s emphasis on “making housing more affordable,” as he said this month when previewing his legislative initiatives, mirrors one of the top listed priorities of the Maryland Association of Counties in the year ahead. Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.
HOMICIDES DROP IN BALTIMORE CITY; STILL AMONG HIGHEST IN U.S.: Baltimore will record fewer than 300 homicides in a year for the first time since Freddie Gray’s death, a grim benchmark city leaders have sought to sink below for the better part of a decade. Even with the reduction — Baltimore will record its lowest homicide total since there were 211 in 2014 — the city’s murder rate remains among the highest in the nation. Lee O. Sanderlin and Greg Morton/The Baltimore Banner.
B’MORE TEENS SHOT, KILLED AT HIGHEST RATE: At least 22 teens between the ages of 13 and 18 who were shot and killed this year as of Dec. 9, the most recent date for which data is available. Another 122 were shot and survived. The city will likely record fewer than 300 homicides this year, a grim milestone that has become a public safety barometer of sorts, but Baltimore’s young people were shot and killed at the highest rate in at least a decade, according to a Baltimore Banner analysis of police data. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Banner.
OPINION: TIME TO TALK PUBLIC OWNERSHIP OF THE ORIOLES: State Senate President Bill Ferguson (D), whose 46th District is home to the Orioles stadium, and who may still be president of the Senate in 15 years, showed valuable leadership at the last minute during the lease negotiations. Now Maryland needs Ferguson to take the next step and bring the issue of public ownership of the Orioles to the General Assembly in the upcoming legislative session. Andy Ellis/Maryland Matters.
ALSOBROOKS SHAKES UP SENATE CAMPAIGN LEADERSHIP: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) shook up the senior leadership team of her U.S. Senate campaign Tuesday, parting company with a highly touted national Democratic strategist and bringing in high-level operatives with ample experience in Maryland politics. The developments come as recent public and private polls on the May 14 Democratic Senate primary have shown Alsobrooks slightly trailing her principal competitor, free-spending U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-6th). Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
TRONE CLAIMS HE ISN’T THE ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATE: The campaign to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin has been heating up in Maryland, with the two leading Democrats running for the seat both constantly sending out statements touting new endorsements. So why is U.S. Rep. David Trone boasting the most primary endorsements — including all of the current Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives — also saying he’s not the “establishment” candidate? John Domen/WTOP-FM.
PRESIDENT BIDEN CAMPAIGNS IN BETHESDA, CLOSING MULTIPLE STREETS: President Joe Biden attended a campaign reception in Bethesda on Tuesday evening, saying that if Donald Trump wins in 2024, the U.S. “will lose everything,” according to a transcript of the event. Biden’s Bethesda visit resulted in multiple road closures, causing major delays on the Beltway during rush hour, including an hour-long standstill in Virginia, according to WTOP reporting. Courtney Cohn/MoCo 360.
NUMBER OF 5-STAR SCHOOLS IN HOWARD DROPS: The number of five-star rated schools in the Howard County Public School System has fallen, according to new state data. In Howard, 16% of schools earned a 5-star rating for 2022-2023; 43% were given four stars, while 37% earned three stars. Seventeen Howard schools fell from a five-star rating in 2021-2022 to a four-star rating in 2022-2023.Thomas Goodwin Smith/The Baltimore Sun.
SHEILA DIXON TAUNTED, ASSAULTED DURING INTERVIEW: A Fox45 anchor abruptly ended a live interview with Baltimore mayoral candidate Sheila Dixon after a man offscreen threw items and taunted the former mayor during her responses. Dixon appeared on WBFF Fox45 for a Wednesday morning interview with Patrice Sanders to promote a public safety town hall hosted by the station, Dixon, and Councilman Eric Costello in South Baltimore that evening. Dixon was not in studio, but appeared through a video call. Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.
TEACHER ENTERS RACE FOR BALTIMORE MAYOR: A Baltimore City teacher who has seen the devastating impact of violence on young people now hopes to use that insight as the next mayor of Baltimore. Chris Papst/WBFF-TV.
B’MORE SUES ATF TO ACCESS GUN CRIME DATA: Baltimore City is suing the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to gain access to certain gun crime data after the federal agency denied that information through a public records request. Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR-FM.
B’MORE TO EXPAND INTERNET ACCESS WITH FREE PUBLIC WI-FI: Baltimore City is expanding access to internet, with the introduction of a free public Wi-Fi network. Mayor Brandon Scott on Monday introduced FreeBmoreWiFi in an effort to improve digital equity and inclusive access to technology for the city’s residents. The initiative is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act through the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs. Aliza Worthington/Baltimore Fishbowl.