The NAACP’s 2016 convention may not be coming to Baltimore after all. The National Transportation Safety Board has released its final report on the cause of 2012’s fatal train derailment in Ellicott City. A northbound section of the Jones Falls Expressway will be closed this weekend for construction. Baltimore officials got a first look yesterday at the schematic designs for an 18-story apartment building in Harbor Point. Three US Senators are calling on the NFL to revisit Ravens running back Ray Rice’s punishment for a domestic violence incident. Plus: Old Bay beer, the “world’s largest crab feast,” Antiterrorism Awareness Month, and more.
Plans For NAACP 2016 Convention Are Not Final: The NAACP’s 2016 convention may not be coming to Baltimore after all. Last week, the local branch of the NAACP said the convention would come here… and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake added to the confusion by issuing a statement saying Baltimore was honored to host the event. But a spokesperson for the national NAACP office says the local branch may have jumped the gun… saying that while Baltimore is one of four cities being considered for the event -- no decision has been made yet. The other cities in the running for the convention are Austin, Texas, Cincinnati and St. Louis. There’s more here from the Baltimore Sun and here from the Baltimore Business Journal.
Cantor Leaves Leadership Position: Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor says he’ll resign from the House of Representatives later this month, on August 18th. Cantor had been House Majority Leader since 2011… but he stepped down from that position yesterday, following a primary election defeat in June. House Minority Leader – and 5th District Congressman -- Steny Hoyer says he respects the work Eric Cantor has done, despite their differences. Cantor’s decision to leave the House entirely will permit his successor to get an edge in seniority. The Washington Post has more.
NTSB Releases Report On Ellicott City Train Derailment: The National Transportation Safety Board has released its final report on the cause of a fatal train derailment in Ellicott City. Officials say the 2012 incident was caused by a broken rail. The NTSB has concluded that a section of track showed "evidence of rolling contact fatigue" or a "gradual breakdown of the rail-head surface." Twenty-one rail cars went off the tracks, killing two 19-year-old women, who were sitting on a railway bridge next to the tracks. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Weekend Closure For JFX: A northbound section of the Jones Falls Expressway will be closed this weekend for construction. The Baltimore City Department of Transportation tells the Baltimore Sun that lanes will be shut down between President and Madison streets starting tonight at 9:00 and continuing until 5 a.m. Monday. Traffic will be detoured to I-83's Madison Street on-ramp via the Fallsway.
Senators Call For NFL To Revisit Rice Punishment: Three US Senators are calling on the NFL to revise the punishment handed out to Ravens running back Ray Rice for a domestic violence incident. Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin sent a letter to the NFL yesterday saying Rice's two-game suspension was inadequate. The Senators are calling on the NFL and the Ravens to revisit their sanctions against Rice, who was charged after an alleged assault on his fiancée at an Atlantic City casino. A spokesperson for the NFL tells the Baltimore Sun that the league is aware of the letter and “look[s] forward to responding” to it.
Rice Apologizes: Yesterday, Rice apologized to his wife and the public for the first time since the NFL announced its punishment. Rice calls his actions "totally inexcusable" and says the incident was the biggest mistake of his life. Rice avoided prosecution after he was charged with assault by entering into a pre-trial intervention.
Harbor Point Apartment Building Plans: Baltimore officials got a first look yesterday at the schematic designs for an 18-story apartment building in Harbor Point. The Baltimore Business Journal reports that the designs include 285 apartments and a swimming pool – as well as several retail units on the ground floor. The Daily Record reports that Baltimore’s Urban Design and Architecture Review panel praised the proposal… but declined a request to approve the schematics because it was so early in the design process. Groundbreaking on the 290-thousand square foot project is expected in the first quarter of next year, and it could be complete by summer of 2016 – about the same time that Exelon’s new regional headquarters is expected to open at Harbor Point.
Old Bay Beer Flies Off The Shelves: Frederick-based Flying Dog Brewery has been selling a craft beer brewed with Old Bay seasoning… and the Baltimore Business Journal reports that it’s been flying off the shelves far faster than had been expected. Flying Dog debuted its “Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale” in May… and had what it thought would be enough to supply the entire mid-Atlantic region for five months. But that supply was exhausted within ten days. Flying Dog said it ended up devoting 65 percent of its production capacity to the seasonal ale… and cutting distribution. The brewery usually ships its beers to 33 states… but it stopped shipping the Old Bay beer to every location outside of Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia.
“World’s Largest Crab Feast” Tonight: Old Bay will be on the menu tonight in Annapolis, at what’s being billed as the “World’s Largest Crab Feast”. It’s the 69th annual edition of the event, hosted by the Rotary Club of Annapolis; it’ll be held at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, starting at 5pm. The Capital Gazette reports that some 25-hundred people are expected to show up to devour some 350 bushels of crabs tonight.
Antiterrorism Awareness Month: August is Antiterrorism Awareness Month… and at Frederick’s Fort Detrick, law enforcement and Army officials will be working to educate the community about terrorism threats. The Frederick News Post reports that the designation is a tool used by the Army to get people in the habit of reporting suspicious things or events to people. Fort Detrick will kick off the month with a “See Something, Say Something” fun run today.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles lost yesterday’s game against the LA Angels; after 13 innings, the final score was 1 to nothing. The O’s open up a series with the Seattle Mariners tonight; first pitch is set for 7:05pm at Camden Yards.
Washington Baseball: the Washington Nationals lost to the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday; the score there was 10 to 4.