Mon July 21, 2014
MD’s Unemployment Rate, Housing Immigrant Children, Baltimore’s Curfew, & Warnings About Mosquitoes
Maryland added 7,700 jobs to its rolls in June, but the state’s unemployment rate went up two tenths of a percent. Plus, a year after his death, Tyrone West’s family continues to seek answers. Also: a look at the plan to shelter some immigrant children in Baltimore County, preparations for Baltimore City’s expanded curfew, warnings about mosquitoes, Marilyn Mosby’s victory in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney race, and more.
In June, MD Adds 7700 Jobs, Sees Unemployment Rate Rise: Maryland's unemployment rate went up two-tenths of a percent, in June to five-point-eight percent. The latest state jobs numbers came out on Friday. The Labor Department says Maryland employers actually added 77-hundred jobs last month, with all but 600 in the private sector. But more people began looking for jobs as the state's labor force shrunk. The agency also said Maryland lost 68-hundred jobs in May, which is about 55-hundred more jobs than originally thought. WYPR’s Bret Jaspers has more; there’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.
Tyrone West: A Year Later Family Still Seeks Answers It’s been a year since Tyrone West died while in police custody during a traffic stop in Northeast Baltimore. The Chief Medical Examiner said West died of an irregular heartbeat and the officers involved were not charged in the death. But West’s relatives continue to accuse law enforcement officials of a cover-up. They’ve staged weekly protests and followed Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to city-organized community meetings. The case has raised questions about police conduct in some Baltimore neighborhoods. WYPR’s Kenneth Burns followed West’s family over the weekend as they marked the anniversary.
Some Lawmakers Opposed To Catholic Charities’ Plans To House Immigrant Children: Catholic Charities is hoping to take in dozens of the children who’ve been caught crossing the US Mexico border. The Baltimore-based nonprofit is looking to place them at Saint Vincent Villa near Loch Raven Reservoir in Towson. Catholic Charities is applying for a federal grant to help pay for sheltering the children. The deadline for the application is August 5th. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has declined to take a public position on the proposal. But other County lawmakers are opposing the idea… including Republican Delegate Wade Kach, who’s running for the Baltimore County Council seat currently held by Todd Huff. Outgoing Councilman Huff is also opposed to the idea.
Baltimore’s Expanded Curfew: A new curfew law aimed at keeping children off Baltimore’s streets at night will go into effect next month. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says a public forum to discuss the new law will be held tonight at Morgan State University. The new law says children under the age of 14 have to be inside by 9pm, and teenagers 14-to-16 years old can stay out until 10pm during the week and 11pm on weekends and over the summer. If a child is found out past curfew, their parents face a $500 fine or parenting classes. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Mosby Victory Not Precisely A Matter Of Black And White: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Ian Duncan of the Baltimore Sun talk about the vote breakdown in Marilyn Mosby's victory over Gregg Bernstein in the Democratic primary for Baltimore State's Attorney, and why it brings into question a typical assumption about who votes in Baltimore. It's this morning's edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
State Health Officials: Beware Mosquitos Maryland health officials are issuing warnings about West Nile virus and other diseases spread by mosquitoes. The state health department is urging people to help stop mosquitos from breeding by eliminating standing water around their homes. Officials encourage you to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants while outdoors. You should also limit your time outside at dawn and dusk, which is when mosquitoes are most active. Anyone returning from the Caribbean should also be aware of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, which causes fever and joint pain that can last for weeks. Chikungunya has now been reported in the US – for the first time ever. Experts tell the Baltimore Sun that they expect the disease will spread.
Prince George’s Casino Vote Today: The Prince George's County Council is scheduled to hold a final vote today on the proposed MGM casino and resort in Oxon Hill. Council members will vote on the site plan near National Harbor. The vote will essentially clear the way for construction to begin on the 925-million-dollar project. MGM officials have said the casino and hotel could open as soon as summer 2016. The Washington Post has more.
Annapolis Water Treatment Plant Construction To Get Underway: Annapolis officials will break ground today on what they say is the biggest construction job in city history: a $35-million water treatment plant. Annapolis public works engineers tell the Capital Gazette that the current, 84-year-old facility is on the brink of failure. The new state-of-the-art facility is being built adjacent to the existing water treatment plant on Defense Highway. The new plant is scheduled for completion late next year and will provide drinking water to 36-thousand residents, the Naval Academy and St. John's College.
Park Attendance Down In 2013: Fewer people visited national parks in Maryland last year than the year before. The National Park Service tells the Baltimore Sun that about six-point-six-million people visited the state's two-dozen national parks in 2013, a drop of about 40-thousand from the year before. Baltimore’s Fort McHenry is one of the parks that saw a decline in attendance… about 22-thousand fewer people came last year than in 2012. Officials say last October's federal government shutdown was a big factor in a drop in attendance at national parks across the country.
Artscape Attendance (Probably) Up: The official attendance figures for the just-finished Artscape won’t be in for another week or so… but city officials tell the Baltimore Sun they think more folks came to the annual festival than usual. On average, about 350-thousand folks show up for Artscape… and the pleasant weather over the weekend appears to have boosted turnout somewhat. The free festival brings in more than $28-million each year.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles fell 10 to 2 to the Oakland A’s yesterday. Even with the loss, the O’s remain at the top of the American League East. The O’s play against the LA Angels tonight.
Washington Baseball: the Washington Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday; the score there was 5 to 4.