State Roundup: Port shipping channel reopens amid celebration; speeding drivers caught in MD work zones near D.C.; probe into fatal crashes during police chases; former Del. Carmen Amedori dies

State Roundup: Port shipping channel reopens amid celebration; speeding drivers caught in MD work zones near D.C.; probe into fatal crashes during police chases; former Del. Carmen Amedori dies

Gov. Wes Moore, center, with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, right, and a phalanx of workers, celebrate the opening of the port shipping channel closed for three months following the deadly accident that brought down the Key Bridge. Screenshot from WJZ-TV News.

STATE, FEDS CELEBRATE REOPENING OF SHIPPING CHANNEL: Gov. Wes Moore joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other leaders Wednesday to celebrate the full reopening of the Port of Baltimore nearly three months after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Now that the main federal channel in the Patapsco River is back to its full dimensions, shipping traffic can return in full force to and from the port. Dennis Valera and Adam Thompson/WJZ-TV News. Image from WJZ screenshot.

  • Behind them, the Seagirt Marine Terminal brimmed with trucks, cranes and containers. To their left, a small black cloud wafted into the air from the direction of one of the port’s booming coal terminals, once again able to bring barges in for export. Pamela Wood and Daniel Zawodny/The Baltimore Banner.
  • Salvage crews removed 50,000 tons of wreckage from the river, the final pieces last week. State officials said nearly all of the $60 million in emergency recovery funds allocated by the federal government after the collapse has been spent on clearing portions of the river outside the federal channel, including several shallower, alternate passages that allowed some ships into the port. Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

CAUGHT: SPEEDING DRIVERS IN MARYLAND WORK ZONES NEAR D.C.: Thousands of drivers are being caught speeding in the Maryland work zones closest to the D.C. region — and fines for violators have just doubled under a new law that went into effect earlier this month. Scott Gelman/WTOP-FM.

FATAL CRASHES DURING POLICE CHASES PROMPTS AG PROBE: The Independent Investigations Division of the attorney general’s office is investigating the deaths of three women killed weeks apart in April when drivers fleeing law enforcement struck the women’s vehicles. The close timing of their deaths — which took place in different counties and involved different agencies — has raised questions for the victims’ families and Attorney General Anthony Brown about the safety of police pursuits. Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.

MOORE SIGNS MOU ON OFFSHORE WIND: In an effort to advance Maryland’s offshore wind development in the Central Atlantic, Gov. Wes Moore signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management last week. The partnership will explore and develop areas for offshore wind leasing, maximize benefits from offshore wind development, and address gaps in available offshore wind leasing areas. Tolu Talabi/Baltimore Fishbowl.

MAPPING OD DEATHS IN BALTIMORE CITY: Nearly 6,000 people have died from overdoses in the last six years, the worst drug crisis ever seen in a major American city. Baltimore’s death rate from 2018 to 2022 was nearly double that of any large city. The Banner sued the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to acquire individual autopsy records. For the first time, The Banner is mapping these locations, though the points are not exact. Nick Thieme and Ryan Little/The Baltimore Banner.

B’MORE SEE BIG DROP IN GUN VIOLENCE: Baltimore is leading among major U.S. cities that have seen reductions in gun violence down to pre-pandemic levels. An analysis from the liberal policy group Center for American Progress found that nationwide gun homicides are on track for a 13.1% reduction from 2023; yet across most of the country, levels of gun violence remain high after a surge between 2019 and 2021. Emily Hofstaedter/WYPR-FM.

BA CO PUBLIC LEANS TOWARD BIGGER COUNCIL: Nine is not enough. That was the message the Baltimore County Council received at a Tuesday public hearing on a proposal to expand the body from seven to nine members. County voters in November may get to choose whether to have nine members, or 11… or they might not get a vote at all. The current Council is all-male. Six out of seven are white although people of color make up nearly 50% of the county’s population. Supporters of expanding the council say adding more seats could help make it more diverse. John Lee/WYPR-FM.

RACIAL SLUR PRINTED OUT ON 1,000 SHEETS AT SCHOOL: A Maryland teacher loaded sheets of paper into a Montgomery County classroom printer last month when she noticed a large number of pages being printed out in a single run. On the 1,000 sheets of paper was just one word — a racial slur against the Black community. “It was, like, just a continual assault. Boom! Boom! Boom!” said one of the teachers who discovered the hateful message. Kate Ryan/WTOP-FM.

B’MORE SCHOOLS GIVE CEO SHORT, ONE-YEAR CONTRACT: After delaying for months, the Baltimore City school board voted to give its long-serving CEO, Sonja Santelises, an unusually short contract — just one year — despite her request for a longer term. The action at a school board meeting Wednesday night comes after months of speculation about what was holding up her contract negotiations. Liz Bowie/The Baltimore Banner.

MO CO MINIMUM WAGE HIKE PUT IT AMONG HIGHEST IN U.S.: The minimum hourly wage for large companies in Montgomery County will increase to $17.15 on July 1, putting it among the highest in the country. A large company is defined by the county as any with 51 or more employees. Midsize employers will have to increase their minimum hourly wage to $15.50, while small employers will remain tied to Maryland’s $15 minimum hourly wage. Cody Boteler/The Baltimore Banner.

B’MORE TAX, COUNCIL SLASHING MOVES DRAW OPPOSITION: Baltimore city elected officials, labor leaders and progressive activists have kicked off a campaign aimed at defeating two proposed measures headed for the ballot in November – one to cut Baltimore’s property tax rate and another to reduce the size of the City Council. Fern Shen/The Baltimore Brew.

Former state Del. Carmen Amedori has died.

FORMER DEL. CARMEN AMEDORI DIES AT 68: Carmen Amedori, a Republican Carroll County delegate who was a staunch advocate for gun rights, died Sunday after a lengthy battle with chronic kidney disease. She was 68.

Amedori developed a reputation as a vocal conservative with a passion for criminal and juvenile justice issues. Retired Maryland Supreme Court Chief Judge Joseph Getty, who also represented Carroll County in the House and who served on the Judiciary Committee with Amedori, remembers her as “very accomplished as a legislator.” Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

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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