A revived Red Line might bring more light rail to Baltimore, like this rail car decorated for Pride Month. Photo from Maryland Transit Administration

IT’S  LIGHT RAILS, NO RAPID BUSES FOR B’MORE: Baltimore’s future Red Line will feature light rail trains, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said Thursday. Moore revived planning for the east-west transit line  last year and officials have been studying potential routes and whether it should be run with rapid buses. ”This is a huge step forward and a continued commitment to the people of the state,” Moore said. Pamela Wood, Daniel Zawodny, and Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

ANALYSIS: 5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE FIRST TRUMP-BIDEN DEBATE: President Biden and former president Donald Trump faced off in the first of two 2024 presidential debates Thursday night in Atlanta. The unusually early first debate came as Biden appears to struggle in the rematch of the 2020 campaign and as Republicans are buoyant about Trump’s chances. But polls suggest it’s still a close race in the key states. Aaron Blake/The Washington Post.

NEW MARYLAND LAWS IN EFFECT JULY 1: Hundreds of bills that were passed by Maryland lawmakers in session this year will become law in on July 1, covering everything from banning vaping indoors to benefits for uniformed service members and diversity efforts in higher education. This follows a wave of laws that went into effect in January and precedes another batch that will be put in place in October. Ela Jalil/The Baltimore Banner.

NEW MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING PROGRAM FOR LGBTQ+ YOUTH: The Maryland Department of Health is launching a new program with national suicide prevention nonprofit The Trevor Project to improve care for LGBTQ+ youth.The ‘Train the Trainer’ program is the first of its kind in the country, said Keygan Miller, the Trevor Project’s public training manager.“It’s really unique to bring in an organization like the Trevor Project to work with a government agency and really do this work,” they said. WYPR-FM.

LEADERS LOOK FOR NEW WAYS TO REMEMBER CAPITAL GAZETTE VICTIMS: Capital Gazette photographer Paul Gillespie hasn’t been to many crime scenes in the six years since his newsroom became one. At two separate shootings last spring, including the deadliest in Annapolis since five of his colleagues were killed, he saw much of what he saw then: grieving families, piercing police lights and bodies covered by sheets. His managers and editors try to steer him away from such things, but sometimes, a need overcomes him, a need to see what he’s capable of.  Luke Parker/The Baltimore Sun. 

GOV. MOORE TALKS POVERTY, EDUCATION, AND WELL BEING: Maryland Gov. Wes Moore is among the latest cohort of governors and senators to break bread, so to speak, with journalist Alexander Heffner on the second season of his docuseries, “Breaking Bread with Alexander.” In a roughly half-hour episode being released this summer, Moore and Heffner talk politics while feasting on stadium fare — including hot dogs garnished with crab dip — at an Orioles game. Abigail Gruskin/The Baltimore Sun.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY SCHOOLS IMPROPERLY USED EMERGENCY PROCUREMENTS : Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) improperly used emergency procurements to acquire crisis management and communication services in the wake of a scandal involving former middle school principal Joel Beidleman, according to a report released Thursday by the county Office of the Inspector General.  MCPS spent $210,000 through emergency procurements to acquire crisis management support related to the Beidleman case. Ginny Bixby/MoCo360.

TAXES ON CANNABIS GREW SLIGHTLY, FLUCTUATED REGIONALLY : Cannabis taxes paid to the state for the first three months of 2024 grew by less than 1% even as collections fluctuated sharply on a regional basis. Maryland collected nearly $14.7 million in taxes on sales of recreational cannabis in the first quarter of this year, an increase of less than 0.7% compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the Office of the Comptroller. Bryan P. Sears/Maryland Matters.

MARYLAND BROADENS SHELLFISH TO INCLUDE SCALLOPS IN CHESAPEAKE BAY: Next week, Maryland will expand the definition of shellfish in the state, and one particular mollusk could benefit the most by the change. Currently, shellfish as defined by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are ‘live oysters, seed oysters, oyster shells, live hard-shell clams, live soft-shell clams, and clam shells’. But thanks to SB303, passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Wes Moore, the definition will expand on July 1 to all ‘live bivalves and bivalve shells’.  Matt Bush/WYPR-FM.

MARYLAND PIRG SEEKS NEW LEADER: The carousel for smart, sought-after Democratic strategists in Maryland continues turning. Fresh off his stint guiding state Sen. Sarah K. Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel) to victory in the 3rd District Democratic congressional primary last month, Pat Murray, one of the most seasoned Democratic strategists in the state, is on the move again — though it’s something of a “Back to the Future” situation. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

AACO GETS NEW TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT SPEED PROGRAM: The Anne Arundel County Police Department announced the beginning of its Automated Traffic Enforcement Speed Program – a new initiative that uses Portable Camera Units to increase roadway safety and reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries in the county by monitoring and enforcing speed limits.

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