Wed April 30, 2014
Heavy Rains, Careers At The City Casino, Medical Pot, Gubernatorial Debates, & Transgender Rights
Showers and thunderstorms are likely throughout the day and the night, and a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Central MD. Plus: jobs at the Baltimore City casino, medical marijuana, “Ghana at a Glance,” Democratic gubernatorial debates, and a push to put a transgender rights bill on the November ballot. And more…
Another Rainy Day: Today promises to be another wet one for Central Maryland – with showers and thunderstorms likely throughout the day and tonight, and more rain possible tomorrow. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch through tonight with at least another two to four inches of rain expected before the rain ends. Creeks, streams and urban areas could flood quickly, and Maryland road crews are preparing for the possibility of flooded streets. Folks who live along the Bay have even more to worry about; a Coastal Flood Warning is in effect through 1pm, with tides up to 2 feet above normal. A Coastal Flood Watch will then be in effect through tomorrow morning.
A Fair Opportunity For A Career: For more than a year, officials from Baltimore City and Caesar’s Entertainment have been involved in an unprecedented effort to fill hundreds of positions for the new Horseshoe Baltimore Casino with city residents. Over the next two days, WYPR’s Kenneth Burns will bring us a look at those hiring efforts… as well as the people who are seeking those jobs.
Green Rush: During this year’s General Assembly session, Maryland lawmakers revised the state’s flawed medical marijuana program in order to give more patients access to the drug. Now, officials are bracing for the inevitable “green rush” of entrepreneurs anxious to get in on the action. But as WYPR’s Maureen Harvie reports, no one is quite sure what form that rush will take.
American Businessman Makes Education Possible for Ghanaian Teens: In some rural areas in the West African country of Ghana, educating young girls is not a priority. In Obodan, where there was no high school at all, families used to send their sons somewhere else to complete their educations… but their daughters stayed home to work on the farms. That is, until an American businessman stepped in to help build an all-girls school 12 years ago. In this installment of our series “Ghana at a Glance,” WYPR’s Gwendolyn Glenn takes us to the school.
North Baltimore Getting Exciting State Senate Race: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Luke Broadwater of the Baltimore Sun talk about State Senator Joan Carter Conway's challenge from Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry, and why the ticket matters in this Democratic primary. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Democratic Gubernatorial Debates: There will be three debates between the three top Democrats in the Governor’s race. The first two will be televised… but Baltimore-area TV viewers may have a tough time seeing the first one. The Baltimore Sun notes that the first televised faceoff between Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, state Attorney General Doug Gansler, and Montgomery Cuonty Delegate Heather Mizeur will take place next week, on May 7th. It’s being broadcast live on Washington DC’s NBC affiliate and the NBC affiliate in Hagerstown. But no Baltimore area stations are currently planning to broadcast it; Baltimore’s NBC affiliate, WBAL-TV has declined to air it, with station management noting that the station is already planning the second debate, on June 2nd. Meanwhile, Anthony Brown’s campaign announced this morning that the third debate will be a radio one, to be broadcast on WOLB, and moderated by former State Senator Larry Young. The date of that debate has yet to be determined.
Transgender Rights Bill Could Be Petitioned To Referendum: Opponents of a transgender rights bill are announcing a petition drive to get the issue on the November ballot. During this year’s session, the General Assembly passed the measure which extends the state's anti-discrimination law to include transgender people. It would take effect in October if Governor Martin O'Malley signs it, which he says he will do. But the final say could be in the hands of Maryland voters, if the petition drive – led by mdpetitions.com – is successful. To put the bill on the ballot, the group will need to collect nearly 56-thousand valid signatures by the end of June – with the first third of those signatures due by the end of May. Mdpetitions.com has held successful petition drives in the past, putting three laws onto the ballot in 2012; however, voters approved all those measures. There’s more here from the Washington Post and more here from the Baltimore Sun.
Supreme Court Ruling On EPA And Air Pollution: US Senator Ben Cardin is applauding the Supreme Court's ruling that upholds the EPA's ability to protect states from air pollution that crosses state lines. In a statement, Senator Cardin said it doesn't take a scientist to understand that pollution doesn't stop at a state border. The Democrat says that Maryland has some of the strictest clean air rules in the nation – but that our state continues to suffer from dirty air because of pollution from other states.
A Call For Training For Law Enforcement Officers On How To Work With People With Disabilities: The mother of a young man with Down syndrome who died while in the custody of Frederick County sheriff's deputies told Congress yesterday that her son's rights were violated. Patti Saylor testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights more than a year after Ethan Saylor's death. The 26-year-old man was forcibly taken by authorities from a Frederick movie theater and wound up dying of asphyxiation while handcuffed on the ground. Saylor is calling on the federal government to do more to improve nationwide training efforts of law enforcement officers to work with people with disabilities. Here in Maryland, a commission is working on recommendations for statewide policies on the matter. There’s more here from the Frederick News Post and here from the Baltimore Sun.
Street Sweeping In Charm City: Baltimore's expanded street sweeping program continues to show big results. The city’s Department of Public Works says the first four weeks of the effort has resulted in 401 tons of litter, broken glass, vehicle fluids and other debris being taken off the streets. Officials say as many as 25 sweepers at a time run a combined 28-hundred miles on the four service days each month the sweeping is conducted.
Baltimore Baseball: last night’s Orioles/Pirates game got rained out. If the weather cooperates, the two teams will play a regularly scheduled game tonight at Camden Yards, starting at 7:05pm. And they’ll make up last night’s game tomorrow night.
Washington Baseball: the Washington Nationals were out of the rain yesterday, in Texas, for a game against the Houston Astros – a game the Nationals won, 4 to 3.