Maryland’s Board of Public Works voted unanimously yesterday to approve a wetlands permit to Virginia-based Dominion Resources, bringing plans for a liquefied natural gas export facility closer to fruition. The BPW also approves a major upgrade at BWI… as well as a credit monitoring service for people affected by a UMD data breach. Plus: the NAACP announces that its 2016 convention will be held in Baltimore. A “Goods For Guns” program is set for Saturday in Baltimore. The US Naval Academy gets new leadership. And more.
Cove Point LNG Export Project Moves One Permit Closer To Reality: Maryland’s Board of Public Works voted unanimously yesterday to approve a wetlands permit to Virginia-based Dominion Resources… a move that will allow the company to build a temporary pier near the Cove Point liquefied natural gas facility. Erecting the pier is a first step in a larger project that would create a LNG export facility in Calvert County. The pier will be used to offload construction materials for that estimated $3.8-billion project. Environmental activists had urged the Board to vote the permit down – saying an extensive safety review of the proposed facility should be conducted first. But supporters – including building trades unions – urged the permit’s approval, saying the project would create at least one-thousand jobs. The testimony lasted more than two hours. The LNG export facility still needs federal approval to more forward, but that’s expected to be granted later this summer. WYPR’s Christopher Connelly has more here; there’s more here from the Washington Post and here from the Daily Record.
BWI Upgrade Project Approved: The Board of Public Works has signed off on a $125-million project to upgrade BWI… in a project that’s expected to bring more international flights to the airport. BWI has seen international travel grow 15 percent over the last year… but the Capital Gazette reports that its six existing international gates are full. The newly approved project will create two gates that will be able to switch between domestic and international flights based on demand. Construction will get underway this winter, and should be complete in 2017.
Credit Monitoring Service Approved Following UMD Data Breach: The Board of Public Works has also signed off on an approximately $2.6-million contract with Experian Consumer Services. The company will monitor the credit activity of the nearly 300-thousand students, faculty, and staff of the University of Maryland whose personal records were compromised in a data breach earlier this year. The company will protect the victims for the next five years. The Baltimore Sun has more.
NAACP To Hold 2016 Convention In Baltimore: The NAACP will be bringing its annual convention to Baltimore in 2016. The civil rights organization made that announcement yesterday, at this year’s convention, being held in Las Vegas. NAACP officials say Baltimore beat out several other cities to host the event. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she's "delighted" by the news. The Mayor says the event will showcase Baltimore as a world-class destination. Baltimore is home to one of the nation's oldest NAACP branches and the civil rights group's national headquarters has been located in Charm City since 1986. The Daily Record has more.
Fraser Smith: Beretta Should Reconsider Its Decision To Move Maryland’s new law attempts to reduce gun deaths by fingerprinting gun buyers. WYPR’s Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith comments in his weekly essay.
Gun Buyback Program In Baltimore On Saturday: Baltimore City officials are teaming up with a local supermarket chain to offer another "Goods for Guns" buyback program. City gun owners can turn in a weapon this Saturday from 10am to 2pm at New All Saints Catholic Church on Liberty Heights Avenue. People who turn in guns will get a $100 gift card to the Klein’s ShopRite store that’s set to open next week a block away from the Church. ShopRite sponsored a similar gun buyback program in 2012, which saw 461 guns turned in; officials expect more guns to be turned in this weekend. WYPR’s Kenneth Burns has more here; there’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.
Stop Shop Save Stores Close: An inner-city grocer that has served Baltimore residents for 36 years is closing its final location. Minority-owned “Stop Shop Save” has already shuttered five stores, with its last location on Harford Road in Oliver will close in the next two weeks. The city has been recruiting other chains to take over some of the vacated sites. Save-A-Lot will soon occupy stores in Mount Holly and Upton and ShopRite is jumping into the Howard Park location. The Baltimore Sun has more here; there’s more here from the Baltimore Business Journal.
BGF Leader Sentenced: A leader of the Black Guerrilla Family gang has been sentenced to more than ten-years in prison on charges related to a smuggling scandal that rocked the Baltimore City Detention Center last year. Federal prosecutors say the man directed correctional officers to smuggle cellphones, drugs, tobacco and other contraband into the jail in exchange for payments or gifts. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Trial Date Set For Former Leopold Employee: A federal judge has scheduled the trial of a former employee of former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. Joan Harris claims she was fired by Leopold in 2010 in retaliation for helping a fellow worker prepare her own lawsuit against Leopold and the county. Harris filed the case back in 2012. And the trial has been set for March of next year. Harris' lawyers say they're happy about having a date but they tell the Capital Gazette that getting to this point in the case should not have taken so long.
New Leadership For US Naval Academy: The US Naval Academy in Annapolis is now under new leadership. During a change-of-command ceremony yesterday, Vice Admiral "Ted" Carter formally relieved Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller. Miller is retiring after a 40-year Navy career. The Capital Gazette has more.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles lost last night’s game against the LA Angels; the score was 3 to 2. The O’s take on the Seattle Mariners tonight.
Washington Baseball: the Washington Nationals fell 4 to 6 to the Colorado Rockies in their game yesterday.
Baltimore Football: It's back to work for the Ravens. The team holds its first official practice today at "The Castle" in Owings Mills. The Ravens' first preseason game is at home against the 49ers on August 7th.