Live horse racing to resume at Laurel Park on Saturday

St. Paddy’s Day 2015 at Laurel Park

After a two-month absence due to COVID-19, horse racing will return to Laurel Park this Saturday with the approval of the Maryland Racing Commission, the Maryland Jockey Club announced today.

The Saturday card will kick off the start of the summer meet. For the first two weeks, Laurel will have racing on Mondays (June 1 and 8), after which the track will run a Friday-Saturday schedule, according to the racetrack’s website.

Rate of positive COVID-19 tests down from when Maryland lifted stay-at-home order two weeks ago

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depicts the exterior structure of the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19. Image courtesy of CDC.

The average percentage of positive tests over the past seven days is down from two weeks ago when Maryland began the first stage of its recovery plan.

Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced that, starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, the state would move forward with additional measures to reopen businesses and resume activities, including allowing outdoor dinning at restaurants and reopening outdoor swimming pools at 25 percent capacity, as part of phase one of the state’s recovery plan.

State officials would look at the seven-day average percentage of positive coroanvirus tests, in addition to the previously announced metrics of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and patients in intensive care units, to inform their decisions on easing restrictions, Hogan said.

After 25 years, Hampden Junque closes its storefront and becomes a virtual shop

Owner Michal Makarovich outside Hampden Junque. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Michal Makarovich was one of the last merchants in Baltimore who regularly put elaborate displays in the front window of his store, but now he says those days are over.

Makarovich and associate Adrian Monaco created the final window display this week to signal that their business, Hampden Junque, is closing its physical storefront permanently and becoming an online shop.

The window contains a figure of Pee-wee Herman, the fictional character, all by himself, with none of the quirky merchandise from the store that usually surrounds him.

Chef Bledsoe is leaving Miss Shirley’s Cafe to helm Towson restaurant group

Courtesy: Fallston Group

Chef Brigitte O. Bledsoe, a mainstay in the kitchen of Miss Shirley’s Cafe for years, has left to lead Towson Tavern and sister operations The Rec Room and Torrent Lounge.



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Outdoor dining, limited capacity outdoor pools allowed to resume this week, Hogan says

Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced the reopening of outdoor dining restaurants, outdoor swimming pools with limited capacity, and other measures as part of the state’s coronavirus recovery plan. Screengrab via Facebook Live.

Effective 5 p.m. on Friday, restaurants will be allowed to reopen for outdoor dining, outdoor swimming pools will be allowed to open at limited capacity, and youth camps and sports leagues can start up with certain restrictions, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday.

Hogan said Maryland has seen a decrease in its positivity rate, coronavirus-related hospitalizations and COVID-19 patients in intensive care units.

And while Maryland is not yet ready to start the second phase of the state’s recovery plan, it may be able to begin if those metrics show positive trends into next week, Hogan said.

John Waters says in commencement address he has found the cure for COVID-19

John Waters virtually addresses the students at School of Visual Arts New York City.

Filmmaker John Waters announced today that he has found the cure for COVID-19.

In a virtual commencement speech to the graduating class of 2020 from School of Visual Arts New York City (SVA), Waters revealed that the solution to ending the pandemic has been right out in the open all along:

“Artists, you are the cure… the only people that can inspire the world to notice and then alter its destructive behavior,” he announced. “You’re not the new normal, you’re the vaccine.”

Maryland to open coronavirus testing site at Six Flags America on Friday

Gov. Larry Hogan announced today that Maryland will open a new coronavirus testing site at Six Flags America on Friday. Screengrab via Google Street View.

Maryland will open a new drive-through coronavirus testing site at Six Flags America in Prince George’s County on Friday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced today.

People do not need a doctor’s order or appointment to be tested at the Six Flags location in Bowie, and there will be no out-of-pocket cost to patients.