State Roundup: Overworked and alone on B’more Juvenile Justice front; Intraparty warfare reaches new level in Wicomico County

State Roundup: Overworked and alone on B’more Juvenile Justice front; Intraparty warfare reaches new level in Wicomico County

It's going to be another hot day. Act accordingly. Image by Joe from Pixabay

B’MORE’s JUVENILE JUSTICE SOCIAL WORKER A SINGLE, OVERWORKED PERSON: Casi O’Neill is the specially trained social worker hired by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender to assess the complex needs of children charged with low- to moderate-level crimes. Lawmakers deemed delivery of services to these kids as a major deficit in the system during legislative debate. But O’Neill is the only forensic social worker for all of Baltimore. And exigencies in the system mean she is often working on more dire problems than the ones she was hired to address. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

INTRAPARTY WARFARE: WICOMICO COUNCIL SEEKS TO JETTISON EXEC POST: A decade of conflict and tension between Republican county executives and the Republican-dominated Wicomico County Council came to a boil Tuesday, as the council voted 5-2 for a ballot referendum asking voters to amend the county’s charter to do away with the elected executive — just two decades after that office was created. If ratified at the ballot box in November, it would restore Wicomico County to a government in which the county council appoints a county manager. The warfare echoes recent intraparty strains elsewhere along the Chesapeake Bay. Louis Peck/Maryland Matters.

DALI SET TO DEPART B’MORE: With wreckage still aboard and six vessels assisting it, the cargo ship Dali will soon — after nearly three months in the area — depart Baltimore. It is still unknown precisely when the ship will depart for Virginia, but it could be as early as Friday evening. Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.

STATE ASKS UTILITIES TO GIVE STRUGGLING CUSTOMERS A BREAK: With the state facing a shortfall in energy assistance funds, Maryland’s electric and gas utilities have been ordered to give customers who’ve been denied help with bills additional notice before shutting off service for nonpayment. Lorraine Mirabella/The Baltimore Sun.

HISTORY-MAKING TOP-EARNING LOBBYIST: The top-earning State House lobbyist from the last half year — a period that covers the most recent General Assembly session — is making history. According to the Maryland State Ethics Commission, which regulates registered lobbyists in the state, Lisa Harris Jones from the firm Harris Jones Malone was the top earner from Nov. 1, 2023, to April 30 of this year. Harris Jones becomes the first woman and the first person of color to top the earnings list – at $2,666,850 – for registered lobbyists in Maryland. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

HARRIS TO VISIT MARYLAND ON ANNIVERSARY OF ROE DEMISE: Vice President Kamala Harris will hold an event in Maryland next week to mark the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning abortion protections, according to an announcement from President Joe Biden’s campaign. John O’Connor/The Baltimore Banner.

RETIRED ARUNDEL EMPLOYEES WON’T FACE PENSION REDUCTION RETURNING TO WORK: The Anne Arundel County Council passed a bill Monday night eliminating reductions in pensions paid to county employees who retire and later return to work for the county. Introduced by Pete Smith, a Democrat representing Severn, the bill will eliminate reductions to a county employee’s retirement benefits if the person comes back to a different job 90 or more days after retiring. Natalie Jones/The Capital Gazette.

SEX ABUSE CASE HIGHLIGHTS PROBLEMATIC EMAIL POLICY AT ARUNDEL SCHOOLS: The case of a Severna Park teacher accused of sexually abusing eight students is raising questions over what school officials knew and when. The public is demanding answers, but due to an email policy from 2008, those answers may be gone. “I think that’s completely ridiculous,” said attorney Kurt Nachtman. “It’s an opportunity for the district to avoid accountability.” Chris Papst/WBFF-Fox45.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

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: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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