Bitter cold has prompted 2-hour delays for schools in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County. Schools are closed in Cecil, Harford, and Washington Counties. A Code Blue Cold Weather Alert is in effect in Baltimore. And officials urge you to conserve power while the cold continues.
School Delays and Closings: Two-Hour Delays are in effect for Baltimore City Schools, Baltimore County Schools, and Prince George’s County schools. School systems are closed in Cecil County, Harford County, and Washington County. In Frederick County, Windsor Knolls Middle School is closed, but that’s because of a plumbing issue.
Code Blue Code Weather Alert Declared: Baltimore City has issued a Severe Code Blue Cold Weather Alert through 10am Wednesday. For cold-related questions or service requests, or to find a nearby homeless shelter, Baltimore residents should call 311. Meanwhile, Carroll County has opened six warming centers and Anne Arundel County has opened up its police stations, libraries and several churches to those in need of shelter. On a statewide level, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency says it will continue to monitor conditions and shelter capacity to ensure that residents are not left in the cold.
Grid Operator Calls For Power Conservation: The company that operates the electricity grid that serves Maryland is urging consumers to conserve their power while the cold snap continues. PJM Interconnection says that you should postpone use of major appliances, turn off lights and appliances that you aren’t using, and set your thermostats lower than usual, if health permits. PJM says that conservation of power today will ensure that it’ll have adequate supplies, as folks try to stay warm during the arctic cold.
Cold-Related Problems For The Light Rail, MARC Trains: the MTA is reporting major delays on the Light Rail this morning. There are also delays and cancelations in effect for MARC trains.
Officials Say Keep Your Pets Inside: A reminder that if it’s too cold for you – it’s too cold for your pets, too. Officials urge you to keep cats and dogs inside during cold weather. Tips for pets in winter are available here.
Baltimore’s First Black Police Commissioner Passes: Baltimore's first African American police commissioner has died. Bishop Robinson passed away yesterday at the age of 86. WYPR's Kenneth Burns reports.
Norman Stone Bids A Humble Farewell: State senator Norman Stone of Baltimore County is beginning the last General Assembly session of a record-setting, half-century career in state legislative service. WYPR's Karen Hosler joined the senator in his Dundalk-area district and collected some of his memories.
MD’s Online Health Exchange: Criticism of Maryland’s online health exchange is mounting. 6th District Congressman John Delaney has previously called on the state to abandon its exchange and switch to the federal system. Yesterday, Delaney sent a letter to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene asking for an analysis of the pros and cons of doing so. More than 18-thousand Marylanders have used the state exchange to enroll in private coverage; that’s about 12 percent of the state’s enrolment goal. The Baltimore Sun reports that the federal exchange has enrolled about 30 percent of its goal. Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Heather Mizeur is calling on the General Assembly to “step in” and fix the state’s online exchange. The Montgomery County Delegate is vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination with Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, who oversaw the administration of the website. Mizeur tells the Washington Post she thinks the state should consider several options to provide “immediate relief to consumers.” State Attorney General Doug Gansler has also been critical of Brown’s role in the website; Gansler is also running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. In related news: Republican gubernatorial candidate David Craig is calling on the state to stop paying to market and promote its online exchange. The Harford County Executive is calling on Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration to use money intended for promoting the exchange to point Marylanders directly to private insurance carriers instead. Doing so would require a waiver from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Washington Post reports that Craig is calling on the O’Malley administration to seek such a waiver.
Pantelides' Open Door Policy: Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides is announcing an open-door policy so residents can meet with him one-on-one. The Capital Gazette reports that Pantelides will hold the first of the monthly meetings today at City Hall, starting at 9:30am. No appointments are needed and the discussions will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Pantelides says residents will have a chance to sit down with him and discuss questions, concerns, or offer suggestions.
AA County Executive Laura Neuman Names Rogers Chief Of Staff: Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman has chosen a new chief of staff. Neuman has appointed Richard C. "Rook" Rogers to the post, replacing Dave Cordle, who vacated the job in September. Rogers is a retired businessman who is also active in various community projects and charitable organizations. More here from the Capital Gazette.