Hopkins releases draft of police bill, and critics already have concerns

Photo of Gilman Hall at Johns Hopkins University. Photo by callison-burch, via Flickr.

Johns Hopkins University today released a draft of the Maryland General Assembly bill that would give the college its own police force, with officers patrolling properties owned or leased by the school and the department answering to an accountability board made up of students, faculty, staff and residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the three main campuses.

According to the text of the bill, officers would have “primary responsibility” for theft, burglary and motor vehicle taking, all Category 1 offenses under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program.

State bill requiring police commanders to live in city limits has Pugh’s, Harrison’s support

An officer on patrol. Photo by Elvert Barnes, via Flickr.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Cory McCray that would require all Baltimore Police Department officials ranking at captain and up to live in Baltimore City has Mayor Catherine Pugh’s backing, as well as that of the city’s incoming police commissioner.

Major construction on B-W Parkway to begin in March, delays expected

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Crews are scheduled to start work in March to replace three bridges running over the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, add an auxiliary lane and other projects that will cause traffic delays, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation announced today.

City prosecutors to stop pursuing cannabis possession cases, will vacate thousands of convictions

Ninety-six out of 100 people arrested for cannabis possession in Baltimore from 2015-2017 were black, data from the FBI show. Graphic by Charlie Herrick

Marilyn Mosby has added Baltimore to a growing list of major cities adopting a more progressive approach to policing cannabis, announcing today that her office will no longer pursue cases for possession, and that they’ll also seek to vacate thousands of convictions dating back to 2011.

Long-time WBAL radio anchor Dave Durian dies

Dave Durian broadcasts from Valley View Farms. Courtesy: WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5

Dave Durian, the long-time morning host on WBAL 1090, died early Monday after a battle with lung cancer and a stroke, the station announced this morning. He was 72.

Baltimore releases interactive map showing sewage overflows

Image via Baltimore DPW

In Baltimore, heavy rain is often accompanied by sewage overflows into the city’s waterways.

The figures often released in the days afterward, with the number of gallons of the toxic mix of wastewater and rainwater–sometimes in the millions–and the location where the overflow happened.

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works is now offering a way to speed up the notification process and track the sewage by map.

Corrected affordable housing legislation delayed again, to be introduced next month

Photo by Christopher Sessums, via Flickr

Another update in the peculiar saga of legislation to fund affordable housing in Baltimore: A new bill to correct the flawed wording of its predecessor now won’t be introduced until the city council meets Feb. 4.

Unions, Maryland Food Bank partner to help federal workers

Brandi Hunter, a Maryland Food Bank employee, passes out frozen goods from the truck bed to attendees of Wednesday’s food giveaway for furloughed government employees. Photo by Jesse Nash/Capital News Service.

By Eugene “Jesse” Nash IV, Brian Abate and Ambriah S. Underwood
Capital News Service

At lunchtime Wednesday, underneath a dim overcast sky, 77 families of furloughed federal workers showed up to a union parking lot for food.

In the crowd was Donna, a Baltimore employee of the Treasury Department. Having fallen on hard times thanks to the partial federal government shutdown, she felt uncomfortable giving her last name for this story.

“The shutdown has changed things a lot for my family,” Donna told Capital News Service. “Now we only eat the necessities, which means nothing like desserts. My credit has gone down and it’s tough to pay my son’s college tuition.”

City approves $318K for temporary fixes to Federal Hill park

Photo via Councilman Eric Costello’s Facebook page.

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates this morning approved $318,000 for the repair of Federal Hill Park after a part of the eastern slope eroded away in December.

Of that, $150,000 comes from the state and $118,000 from the Baltimore Casino Local Development Council, an advisory board in the mayor’s office that consults on spending local impact funds and other casino revenue.*

Rebekah Kirkman named managing editor of BmoreArt

The most recent print issue of BmoreArt. Photo via Rebekah Kirkman.

Baltimore’s most prominent arts-focused publication has a new managing editor in Rebekah Kirkman, formerly Baltimore City Paper’s visual arts editor.

Kirkman announced her new role with the magazine this morning.