Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore Business Journal, b and others. Prior to joining Baltimore Fishbowl, he was an editor at City Paper from 2012 to 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]

Opioid overdose deaths decline year over year, but remain staggeringly high

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

For the first time in nearly a decade, Maryland is seeing a decline in overdose deaths in the midst of the nationwide opioid crisis, according to new data from the Maryland Department of Health.

But the number of deaths remains staggeringly high. Through June of this year, 1,060 people in Maryland have died from opioid overdoses, the second-highest level recorded since 2007. Of those, 962 fatal overdoses–or 90 percent–were caused by the powerful synthetic drug fentanyl.

The Sun loses three key staffers as negotiations on a new contract continue

The Sun’s Port Covington printing plant. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

As newsroom employees continue their fight for wage increases, The Sun is losing three well-known staffers to other jobs.

City Hall reporter Ian Duncan is leaving for The Washington Post, and investigative reporter Doug Donovan and opinion editor Andrew Green are taking positions at Johns Hopkins University, sources at the newspaper confirmed.

Rec and Parks looks to develop five-year plan with public input

Photo by Ethan McLeod

Days after the department reopened rec centers on Saturdays for the first time in decades, Recreation and Parks is seeking public input for a five-year plan on programming at the facilities and ways to modernize them.

Officials will hold eight town hall meetings from Sept. 27 to Oct. 10, with a handful specifically designated for seniors and teenagers. There’s also a public survey on a website launched today for the initiative, called Rec 2025.

Ravens name Greg Davis as new public-address announcer

Image via the Ravens.

Greg Davis, who serves as public address announcer for several teams at the U.S. Naval Academy, will take over for Bruce Cunningham when the Ravens play their first home game of the year on Sept. 15, the team announced.

BSO, musicians still without an agreement ahead of first scheduled concert

Image via the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page.

With only days to go before a concert previewing the fall season, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and musicians are no closer to a new contract following a summer-long labor dispute that included the cancellation of concerts, a lockout and a bitter back-and-forth in the media.

In a series of competing news releases put out Monday evening and early Tuesday morning, the two sides appeared to be at an impasse. Management said it offered for the musicians to return to work under the terms of the last agreement, with a commitment of no additional labor strife through the end of the calendar year.

Bob Dylan announces November show at UMBC

Image via Ticketmaster

Fresh off the release of the documentary “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese” and a corresponding 14-disc box set, the legendary folk singer Bob Dylan is going back on the road.

The tour, which includes a number of shows at major colleges and universities, stops at the UMBC Events Center on Nov. 12. Tickets go on sale Sept. 19 at 10 a.m.

Phillips Foods brings production back to MD for first time in seven years

Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, center right, presents a citation to Phillips CEO Steve Phillips. Credit: Maryland Department of Commerce.

Phillips Foods, Inc., the Halethorpe-based makers of frozen seafood dishes stocked in grocery stores, has added 15,000 square feet near its headquarters to produce soups, marking the company’s return to manufacturing in Maryland after a seven-year absence.

The company most recently made its grocery store offerings in Florida, Massachusetts and Minnesota, a representative for the Maryland Department of Commerce said in an announcement today.

Months after owners decide to keep restaurant, The Dizz is closing, up for sale

Photo via LoopNet.

Diners were relieved in April to learn the owners of The Dizz, a beloved corner restaurant in Remington, had ditched plans to put the eatery and building on the market.

Now, the restaurant is shutting down. A post on The Dizz’s Facebook page signed by co-owner Thomas L. Basta Jr. said the business is closed as of today.

“[W]e would like to thank all our wonderfully [sic] customers for your support over the years and to all of our employees,” the post said.

Michael S. Levine, who previously served as the listing agent when The Dizz was put up for sale in 2018, said the building and business are once again on the market.

Future Islands to play free show at Union Craft Brewing this Saturday

Image via Facebook

Baltimore synth-pop heroes Future Islands have recently played a few shows to road test a new batch of songs, undoubtedly what will be the follow-up to 2017’s “The Far Field.” And now, they’re going to perform the new tunes for a hometown audience.

For free.

New water feature planned for McKeldin Square near Inner Harbor

A rendering of the new fountain at McKeldin Square. Courtesy of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

McKeldin Square is getting a new common area dedicated to its namesake.

A circular stone terrace with a central misting fountain will be installed in the park sandwiched between Pratt and Light streets near Harborplace, and a side wall will honor the man for whom the entire plaza is named, Gov. Theodore McKeldin.

A paved pathway will wind around the perimeter of the fountain, featuring uplighting that changes colors at night, to offer a slightly elevated view.