Politics & Business

Dorsey introduces bill to rename Columbus obelisk to honor victims of police brutality

Left to right, Abdul Salaam, Tawanda Jones, Marah O’Neal and Darlene Cain raise their fists as they stand in front of the Columbus Obelisk Monument in Herring Run Park Park in Northeast Baltimore. A bill sponsored by Councilman Ryan Dorsey (District 3) would rename the monument to honor victims of police violence. Photo by Marcus Dieterle.

As demonstrations across the United States draw attention to police brutality and racial injustice, many protesters have reignited the debate over the historical figures the country chooses to memorialize.

Some protests in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and others have included people toppling or defacing monuments for Confederate generals and soldiers who fought the Civil War to preserve slavery. Those post-war tributes are associated with larger systems of white supremacy, protesters have argued, and that’s why they have to come down.

In some cases, memorials to some of the country’s most significant figures, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, have been targeted because those men were slaveholders.

Against the backdrop of those ongoing and overlapping discussions, Councilman Ryan Dorsey (District 3) last night introduced a bill to rededicate one of three monuments in the city for explorer Christopher Columbus–an obelisk in Northeast Baltimore’s Herring Run Park– as the Police Violence Victims Monument.

Maryland surpasses 65,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases

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.

Maryland surpassed 65,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with state officials reporting at least 65,007 positive cases as of Tuesday morning. At least 418,528 tests have come back negative.

The state has reported 10,360 COVID-19 test results in the past 24 hours, totaling 583,091 tests since the pandemic began, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard.

Baltimore County announces deal to secure COVID-19 testing materials

The Baltimore County Courthouse. Photo by James G. Howes, via Wikipedia.

Baltimore County reached a deal with local company Becton, Dickinson and Company to purchase coronavirus testing supplies, a development officials said would ramp up the county’s testing ability over the coming weeks and months.

A division of the Sparks-based medical technology company, BD Integrated Diagnostic Solutions, will supply 2,000 test kits per week with the swabs and vials needed to collect samples.

Frederick Douglass High School shooting moved three students to take action

Photo by Wikipedia user Eminonuk.

By Mohan Xu and Mike Revollo
Capital News Service

The three students at Frederick Douglass High School grew up amid the violence and trauma that plague the city, where crime can begin to feel routine. Yet when a shooter fired a gun inside their school on Feb. 8, 2019, they were stunned.

“I did not believe what was going on,” Jaionna Santos said.

“It was surreal,” Bryonna Harris added.

Damani Thomas couldn’t sleep. “Why did that happen to Frederick Douglass? Why did that happen to us in school?”

As they tried to find answers, the students came to see that the violence that they accepted as inevitable should not be considered normal. So on April 10, 2019, they told their stories to the Baltimore City Council. Their effort was a catalyst for the Elijah Cummings Healing City Act.

Maryland’s average rate of new cases, deaths trending downward

This is a picture of CDC’s laboratory test kit for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). CDC tests are provided to U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories and select international laboratories. Photo courtesy of CDC.

The average number of newly reported coronavirus cases and deaths in Maryland are declining, state data show.

At least 64,603 Marylanders have tested positive for COVID-19, while 410,122 have tested negative as of Monday morning, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 Case Map Dashboard.

Hogan to allow limited outdoor visitation at nursing homes, require retesting of staff and residents

The FutureCare – Lochearn nursing home in Northwest Baltimore. Image via Google Street View.

Families will be able to visit their loved ones outside of nursing homes this weekend as long as those facilities have no active cases and haven’t had any for two weeks, Gov. Larry Hogan announced today.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has required all of us to make incredible sacrifices, including being unable to visit family members and loved ones in nursing homes,” Hogan said in a statement. “As our state continues on the road to recovery, this Father’s Day weekend we are able to begin safely allowing outdoor visits to certain nursing homes.”

Planning Commission approves design for Tractor Building conversion

A rendering of the apartment building planned for the Tractor Building.

Developer Larry Jennings won a final public battle to convert Woodberry’s Tractor Building to apartments when Baltimore’s Planning Commission twice voted 8 to 0 on Thursday to approve the development plans.

The Planning Commission was the last of several city boards the developer needed to satisfy in order to obtain building permits for the conversion, estimated to cost $32 million to $35 million.

Mayor Young moves Baltimore into phase two of coronavirus recovery plan

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young today moved Baltimore into phase two of its coronavirus recovery plan, loosening restrictions on retail businesses, indoor dining, sports games and other places and activities, effective 5 p.m. tonight.

“After carefully weighing a combination of factors, including our health-related data [and] the economic impacts of continuing the closures, and I have made the decision to expand reopenings,” Young said.

Five largest Maryland jurisdictions have tested less than 10 percent of residents for coronavirus

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 five largest jurisdictions in Maryland have tested less than 10 percent of their populations, state data show.

Baltimore City leads the way with a total of 8.6 percent of residents tested for COVID-19.  Meanwhile, 8.2 percent of Prince George’s County, 8 percent of Baltimore County, 7.4 percent of Montgomery County and 6 percent of Anne Arundel County residents have been tested.

Frosh announces settlement with Ticketmaster over Hippodrome resale tickets

Photo by David Stone, via Flickr

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office reached a settlement with Ticketmaster after thousands of patrons were charged fees buying resale tickets for events at the Hippodrome Theatre, Attorney General Brian Frosh announced today.