State Roundup: Finally, sports betting licenses are issued; restaurant staff, supply shortages continue; environment notes
SPORTS BETTING LICENSES GRANTED AFTER A LONG DEADLINE: The Sports Betting Claims Commission has finally cleared five casinos to launch sports betting, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record. The commission debated for more than 90 minutes before approving licenses that had been on hold since early October, and questions continued over fairness for black and women-owned businesses.
- The Sports Betting Applications Review Board voted 5-2 for licenses at Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin, MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover, Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore and Hollywood Casino in Perryville, reports Brian Witte for the AP in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.
- Casinos were hoping to launch sports betting during the summer, but meetings didn’t even start until mid-August, Amanda Engel reports for WMAR.
THE RESTAURANT STAFF SHORTAGE CONTINUES, PLUS THE SUPPLY SHORTAGE: A restaurant industry official revealed in an interview that staffing and supply shortages are still among the most serious challenges facing the restaurant industry, reports Bryan Renbaum for The Maryland Reporter . Restaurant Association of Maryland President and CEO Marshall Weston also discussed the impact of inflation on restaurant patrons, expectations for the next holiday season, dining preferences and policy suggestions regarding issues facing the industry.
SPOTLIGHT ON ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP: More than 20 months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the environmental impact of the virus has highlighted existing inequalities in Maryland, while also offering a plan for the future, analyzes Alex Argiris for Capital News Maryland Reporter Service.
- As Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. (right) nears his final year in office, the Maryland League Conservation of Voters has assessed its environmental record since 2015 and found inconsistent environmental leadership, in particular blaming the administration for failing to not lead the fight against climate change, reports Elizabeth Shwe. for Maryland Matters. Lawmakers from both houses of the General Assembly scored high in LCV’s latest bulletin.
THE REDISTRICTATION OF BALTIMORE COUNTY DOES NOT MEET EQUITY CONCERNS: A new Baltimore County redistribution plan presented on Monday fails to create a majority black second district despite calls to do so by civil rights groups and residents at a public hearing, Taylor Deville reports for the Sun on a map the Sun got on Tuesday.
- ACLU figures show that about 47% of Baltimore County residents are black, native, or colored, reports Bennett Leckrone for Maryland Matters. Yet voters are “crammed” into one constituency, diluting their influence, the groups say.
TOLL SCHEDULE FOR APPROVED DC SUBURWAY TOLL TRACKS: Tolls for the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 will cost as much as $ 3.76 per mile below the final toll rates approved Thursday by the board of directors of the Maryland Transportation Authority, Katherine Shaver reports for the Post. The new toll lanes will allow passenger vehicle drivers to avoid traffic jams and would cost up to $ 45 in total for drivers in heavy traffic along the entire 12-mile stretch, and up to $ 22. per mile for semi-trailers.
BALTIMORE COUNTY BUS DRIVERS RALLY, CALL: Overwhelmed Baltimore County public school bus drivers say the job has gotten tougher with demands that don’t match pay – fueled in part by their gaping workforce and a recent “appeal” effort, reports Alexis Taylor for AFRO.
- Baltimore County bus drivers rallied Thursday for a living wage, despite a recently announced incentive package and without union support, Tim Tooten reports for WBALTV.
PARROTT GIVES THE LAUNCH OF THE CONGRESS RUN: In Garrett County, Republican Del. Neil Parrott kicked off his campaign for the US Congress by telling voters they should elect a representative from West Maryland to the seat currently occupied by US Representative David Trone, reports Joseph Hauger for the Garrett County Republican. Garrett County is a “great place, and we have to make sure it’s represented in Washington,” Parrott said. “Unfortunately, at this time, the Garrett County vote is totally watered down by the Montgomery County vote.”
MOSBY HAS A FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN AS THE PROBE CONTINUES: As the race for Baltimore’s highest attorney widens, with two challengers now declaring their intention to run, outgoing Attorney Marilyn Mosby hosted a major fundraiser on Thursday, reports Mark Reutter for Baltimore Brew. The fundraiser came as a federal criminal investigation that could reshape the race still hangs over its head.
300e THE HOMICIDE VICTIM IS A FIVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL: Baltimore Police are investigating the death of a 5-year-old girl, marking the city’s 300th homicide in 2021, WBAL-TV reports.
PRISONERS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS TREATED CRUELY, THE TRIAL AFFIRMS: New federal lawsuit says Maryland prisons violate the US Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment by placing incarcerated people with serious mental illnesses in prolonged solitary confinement, where their symptoms often worsen, reports Madeleine O ‘ Neill for The Daily Record.
CLOSURE OF THE JUVENILE CENTER IN WESTERN MD, SURPRISING PREMISES: Allegany County Board of Trustees chairman Jake Shade has been surprised and disappointed by a state proposal to close the Green Ridge Youth Center in Flintstone, Teresa McMinn reports for the Cumberland Times-News. Citing population, demographics and location, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services plans to close the 30-bed center in Green Ridge in fiscal 2027, as well as the six-bed Mountain View facility in Swanton in Garrett County.
COMMENT: SPELLING ERROR OF THE REPUBLIC CANDIDATE TO THE COX GOVERNMENT: Gubernatorial hopeful Dan Cox, a Republican, misspelled his running mate’s name during a recent fundraising invitation, Brian Griffiths blogs for The Duckpin.
THE MAYOR OF EAST RIVER ASKED TO RESIGN AFTER PORN REVENGE CHARGES: Cambridge Commissioners on Maryland’s east coast voted Tuesday night in an emergency meeting to ask their mayor, Andrew Bradshaw, 32, to step down, following news he had been charged with 50 counts of posting “revenge pornography” online, Christine Condon is reporting for The Sun. They pointed out that the city manager manages most of the day-to-day operations of the government.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL REQUIRING A VACCINE: Concerned parents question private Baltimore County school decision to require COVID-19 vaccine for all students in Kindergarten to Grade 8e note, Amy Simpson reports for WBFF. Kreiger Schechter Day School policy requires all students to receive a first dose by December 17, otherwise they will not be welcome in January.
THE CARROLL DELEGATION APPROVES A NEW DISTRICT PLAN: A new map of the commissioner’s district in Carroll County has been approved, Madison Bateman reports for the Carroll County Times. The Carroll County legislature delegation approved the map change in a public hearing based on information from the US Census; the Council of Commissioners played no role in the process.
FREDERICK LEGALS PREPARE FOR A SESSION WITH LOCAL BILLS: The Frederick County state legislature delegation seemed confident that a county proposal to change the process by which vacancies are filled for the county school board, which has failed for the past two years in Annapolis, could be adopted in the next session, reports Jack Hogan for The Frederick News -Poster. Councilor Steve McKay (R) ‘s proposal would put vacant board positions on the ballots, although a nominee would still fill the vacant seat before the election.
THE DECISION LIMITS CIVIL OUTRAGE: A new limit for civil contempt has been set by Maryland’s second highest court, Steve Lash reports for The Daily Record on a custody case in which a woman briefly refused to return her child to the custodial father. A person cannot be charged with civil contempt for violating a court order if he has complied with it and intends to remain so, the Special Court of Appeal ruled.