Mon August 26, 2013
Back To School, Young Bows Out Of Governor’s Race, and The Latest On Replacing Pipkin MD Senate
Back To School: It’s back to school time –nearly all public schools in the listening area that didn’t open last week are starting classes today. That includes schools in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and pretty much every other jurisdiction that didn’t open last week. Anne Arundel County schools do a staggered opening – so kids in some grades and at some buildings won’t return until tomorrow. And while most Cecil County kids got back to school last week, pre-K and kindergarten in Cecil won’t start ‘till tomorrow. In Baltimore County, where safety is high on the minds of school officials. On day one last year, a student was shot at Perry Hall High. That student recovered and the shooter, another student, was sentenced to a 35-year prison term. County schools start this year with a new security system in place, and a number of safety upgrades. WYPR’s Gwendolyn Glenn has more.
Young Bows Out Of Governor’s Race: The president of the Frederick County Commissioners, Blaine Young, says he's decided not to run for governor. The Washington Post reports that Young launched an exploratory bid for the state’s top job last year, but on Saturday he bowed out; Young told the Frederick News Post that polling data did not support his candidacy. The Baltimore Sun notes that the Republican Young isn’t ruling out a bid for Frederick County Executive next year, when the county’s new charter kicks in. Young says he'll back Charles County businessman Charles Lollar in the governor’s race; Lollar is set to formally announce his candidacy next month. Harford County Executive David Craig and Anne Arundel County Delegate Ron George have already formally launched bids for the GOP nomination, and several other potential candidates are reportedly eyeing the race.
Replacing Pipkin In The State Senate: The process of picking a replacement for former State Senator E. J. Pipkin is becoming more complicated. Since Pipkin’s old district spans four counties, the Republican Central Committees in each are tasked with selecting a successor, and sending that name to Governor Martin O’Malley. He’s supposed to forward the leading candidate, if any, to the post – and is tasked to choose if there’s a tie. Marylandreporter.com tells us that there IS a tie now… Delegate Steve Hershey has won the nomination of the committees in Caroline and Kent counties. And Delegate Michael Smigiel has the support of the committees in Cecil and Queen Anne’s counties. But while Smigiel won outright support from the Cecil County committee outright, he initially lost the vote in Queen Anne’s to former state GOP chair Audrey Scott. But on Friday, Scott dropped out of the race, and the committee switched its support to Smigiel. Some are calling for a re-vote in Queen Anne’s. Others say that since Delegate Hershey didn’t win any votes in that county’s committee, none is necessary. The nominating process in Caroline County is also being questioned. Unless one of the committees switches its vote, the Baltimore Sun reports that the outcome of those challenges will determine whether O’Malley will end up choosing who serves as State Senator for the 36th District, or whether the choice is made for him.
The Future Of Campaign Finance In Maryland: Fraser Smith and Alexander Pyles from The Daily Record look into the issues some Maryland candidates have with the state's campaign finance laws. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Weekend Shootings In Baltimore: Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts says he’s concerned about clusters of shootings that have been taking place in the city. Batts spoke after a shooting Saturday night in West Baltimore that left a 15-year-old dead and six other people injured. The Baltimore Sun reports that nonfatal shootings in the city are up by 23 percent this year when compared to last.
The Future Of The Baltimore Grand Prix: The Grand Prix of Baltimore will be taking place this coming weekend, but the future of the event is in jeopardy. Officials say there are several concerns that could trip up the race in the coming years, with other major events are already scheduled for Labor Day weekend for the next two years. Adding to the problems are a continued lack of a title sponsor for the race. Organizers tell the Baltimore Sun that more support is needed from state and local governments and from the local business community to ensure the event’s future.
Human Cases Of West Nile Confirmed: State health officials are reporting three adults in the Baltimore area are infected with this year's first human cases of West Nile virus in Maryland. The virus is spread by mosquitoes. And before the three human cases were confirmed, the virus had been detected in mosquito pools in Montgomery and Worcester counties. Mosquito spraying is underway in those jurisdictions. WJZ reports that the three people with confirmed infections were initially hospitalized, but have since been released.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles triumphed over the Oakland A’s yesterday; the score was 10 to 3. The O’s are now two games out of a wild card slot. Tomorrow, the Orioles will be in Boston to start a three-game series against the Red Sox.