State Roundup, November 26, 2019

Traffic congestion can signal prosperity in a region such as D.C. and the suburbs, but it also creates major problems where the fixes aren’t simple; Montgomery County could throw a wrench into the state’s Beltway widening plans by deciding to sue; what happens to the $1 million in Catherine Pugh’s campaign fund?; study finds climate change could imperil four Baltimore area superfund sites; state aids Catonsville in quest to become Music City, Maryland; tis the season for campaign fundraising; Maya Rockeymoore Cummings says double mastectomy was a relief; Howard schools to close for Feb. 4 primary in race for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings’ seat; and Baltimore County considers tougher rules on gun shop owners to prevent firearms thefts.

State Roundup, November 25, 2019

Gov. Hogan paroles lifers who committed crimes before they turned 18; state regulators OK vaping products for sale after testing for substance possibly linked to illness; Sen.Lam to introduce bill banning balloon launches statewide; Montgomery planners, frustrated by SHA refusal to turn over road widening data, may file public information request; Kirwan education plan supporters have harsh words for Gov. Hogan, and vice versa; Mayor Young asks city agencies for budget cuts to prepare for Kirwan cost; former Mayor Pugh’s problems didn’t start with honest mistakes; and Howard parent files open meeting complaint against school board.

State Roundup November 22, 2019

Former Mayor Catherine Pugh pleads guilty; Kirwan Commission passes education reform plan; Howard County approves major school redistricting; Del. Parrott announces Congressional run; Angelos attorneys ask state to act in asbestos cases; flavored vaping ban proposed; bridge replacement approved without bike lane; PG passes small cell regs; school safety talk with lawmakers; courts office will appeal order to disclose info hiding District Court judges; input on I-270 planning sought; highest court closes case on Taneytown open meeting violation

State Roundup, November 21, 2019

Indictment says former city Mayor Catherine Pugh, a former state senator, schemed to sell ‘Healthy Holly’ books than she intended to publish and pushed to secure funds intended for Associated Black Charities; Pugh used proceeds to buy homes, pay down equity line of credit; charges against former campaign aide who had been elected to House of Delegates – but would never take seat – helped set indictments against Pugh in motion; politicians throughout the state react to indictments; planners from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties refuse to sign off on a study of how to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and I-270; Sens. Cardin, Van Hollen ask state to include bike/walk lane on Nice Bridge replacement; state audit faults Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention for not having clear guidelines for awarding crime grants; with window to sign up for special primary, 32 candidates to vie for congressional seat held by the late Elijah Cummings; and Montgomery County debates 5G antenna placement.

State Roundup, November 20, 2019

Ex-Mayor Pugh indicted; Del. Barve to propose bill to shutter state’s remaining coal-fired plants; union proposes tax changes to fund Kirwan education plan; Maryland roads score high on quality, spending, in ConsumerAffairs report; Gov. Hogan’s appointments secretary says vetting, hirings are not political; Sen. Guzzone to replace King as Budget-Tax panel chair; NRA backs gun rights advocates’ appeal of Maryland law; Sen. Jill Carter jumps into crowded race for seat of late U.S. Rep. Cummings;  state Sen. Washington announces run for Baltimore mayor; and Baltimore City Council finally passes plastic bag ban.

Maryland roads score high on quality and spending

Maryland nearly made the Top 10 of Best Roads in the country in rankings for a consumer website. Maryland came in at 38, in reverse scoring chart where number 1 was worst and number 50 was best. Maryland scored better than any of its neighbors, while also outspending them per mile of road, according to ConsumerAffairs.com, a web-based consumer news and resource center.

State Roundup, November 19, 2019

GAO assesses impact of climate change on most contaminated sites, including seven in Maryland; vaping businesses suffer during health scare; Howard board of ed straw votes signal move toward redistricting with some changes; Gov. Larry Hogan keeps big announcements under wraps, but with a cost to some political relationships; Baltimore City Council pushes state on richer HBCU settlement;poultry slurry tank plan stirs controversy in Wicomico; state Sen. William Smith returns from Afghanistan deployment to different political world; Ellicott City plan awaits one land purchase; Del. Parrott to seek U.S. Rep. Trone’s seat; and Evening Sun editorial cartoonist Mike Lane dies at 78.

Eastern Shore controversy spotlights chicken plant slurry

Residents of rural Wicomico County are upset about the construction of a 3-million-gallon tank of chicken “residuals” leftover from the processing of poultry which is spread on farmland. The 23-foot-tall tank will contain an oily slurry culled from the wastewater generated by two poultry industry facilities in a neighboring county. One homeowner fears the odor will drive her indoors, attract hordes of flies and cause the value of nearby properties, including hers, to plummet.

State Roundup, November 18, 2019

Central Maryland school districts split over pre- or post-Labor Day school start; marijuana commission restricts sale of some vape products; environmental, financial concerns arise over proposed American Legion Bridge project; Maryland pushing health care signups even as Trump administration continues to seek dismantling of Obamacare; Gov. Hogan OKs attorney Nicole Williams for former Del. Gaines’ seat; state GOP holds weekend convention; state police agencies wrestle with drone use vs. privacy issues; Maya Rockeymoore Cummings undergoes preventative double mastectomy as she readies run for late husband’s congressional seat; Howard County Del. Hill jumps into fray to seek Cummings’ seat; and House Speaker Pelosi blasts Trump during fundraiser for U.S. Rep. David Trone.

State Roundup, November 15, 2019

Baltimore reaches staggering 300 homicides for fifth year in a row; Gov. Larry Hogan is frustrated with rising violence in the city; Kirwan talk of the town around Maryland; Sykesville fire that caused two deaths didn’t have smoke detectors; vaping victim speaks out; Maryland making it more convenient to get REAL ID compliant; Howard County schools redistricting sparks big conversations about diversity, achievement, need-based programs; Franchot meets with Montgomery Dems; UMD father not satisfied with investigation into daughter’s death; Rawlings-Blake won’t seek Cummings seat; special election planning difficult for schools; new Democratic chair to be elected; Purple Line will be key for PG housing plans; court rules against MTA police show of force; Air BnB legislation difficult to enforce; nonprofit group supports police in Blue Line Flag debate; Del. Jalisi shares top priorities; more than a dozen teachers want to join state Board of Education; courthouse to be named in memory of Cummings