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Quick News Updates – Read More

With Executive Order, Municipal Elections May Be Postponed

Dozens of planned elections in Maryland ― with their potential to spread the novel coronavirus ― could be postponed after an executive order from Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. was signed on Monday.Hogan (R) issued an executive order allowing Maryland’s 157 municipalities to suspend their charters to postpone elections or change from in-person voting if they provide notice to the governor.About one-third of the state’s municipalities are scheduled to hold elections before June. That includes seven communities scheduled to go to the ballot box within the next couple of weeks: Hebron, Henderson, Middletown, Oakmont, Port Tobacco, Queen Anne and...

Md. Credit Unions Focus on ‘Getting Members Through This’

Maryland's credit unions are putting out the word that they're open for business during the COVID-19 crisis and offering financial assistance and payment flexibility for members who are experiencing economic uncertainty.A recent membership survey conducted by the MD|DC Credit Union Association shows credit unions are offering immediate relief to consumers struggling to pay bills through loan modifications, fee waivers and other assistance programs:• 95% of are offering loan modifications such as skip-a-payment, low or no-interest loans, or increased line of credit. • 53% of are offering new emergency loan products with deferred payments and/or reduced or no interest. • 60% are waiving...

4 Sites in Md. Will Accept Donations of Medical, Cleaning Supplies

Two private organizations -- Maryland Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters and Adventist Community Services -- are partnering with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to set up four sites around the state to drop off medical and cleaning supplies.Here’s what they’re looking for (and ONLY what they’re looking for):Unused N95 masks with or without valve. Protective goggles in original packaging. Unused nitrile gloves in original packaging. Unused hospital gowns in original packaging. Tyvek coats and bodysuits. Bleach, Lysol, cleaning supplies -- must be unopened and unused. Face shields. Hand sanitizer.They’re not taking anything else -- no handmade supplies, food...

Hopkins Allies Put Out the Call for Respirators

Several Baltimore business and political leaders are circulating a private call from officials at Johns Hopkins Medical Center for respirators that aren't used exclusively for medical purposes.These officials believe that several companies -- and even a few individuals -- may be in possession of Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) that Hopkins has purchased through the years for its medical personnel, but are also used in manufacturing and other industrial operations."As you are likely aware, the battle against COVID-19 has caused personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages across the nation," says a privately-circulated email from Hopkins being shared around the city...

Mich. State Lawmaker Dies of COVID-19 Symptoms

Michigan State Rep. Isaac Robinson, a Democrat, died Sunday after being hospitalized with COVID-19-like symptoms. He was 44.According to the Michigan Advance, Robinson had been feeling ill and was having trouble breathing. He was checked in to Detroit Receiving Hospital around 6 a.m., and while he never received a test, family members are telling the media that the lawmaker died about five hours later from a suspected COVID-19 infection.It could not immediately be determined if Robinson is the first state legislature to die from the virus in the U.S.The Michigan legislature adjourned on March 17 due to the outbreak...

Cecil County Exec Candidate Is Raffling a Semi-Automatic Rifle

Danielle Hornberger, an aide to U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R-Md.) who is challenging Cecil County Executive Alan McCarthy in the GOP primary, is raffling a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle to raise money for her campaign.In a "Dear Friend" email to supporters, Hornberger begins by inquiring about their physical and financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic."I know this is a very difficult time for everyone," she writes. "Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our daily way of life. My campaign will be observing necessary steps to ensure safety of our citizens while also continuing to spread our message...

Bloomberg, State Teaming Up to Fund Research to Treat Virus

The charity created by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $3 million to fund research that could help treat the COVID-19 infection, the Hogan administration announced on Friday.The grant will allow a prominent Johns Hopkins University researcher, Dr. Arturo Casadevall, to investigate whether blood plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 can be used to help treat critically ill patients and boost the immune systems of health care providers and first responders, the state said in a news release.The strategy of isolating plasma is a long-established technology, and recent advances make it as safe as a...

Student Crisis Fund Faces Funding Crisis Of Its Own

A fund to help students in need at the University of Maryland needs help itself.There’s been a run on the Student Crisis Fund at the University of Maryland College Park campus since the COVID-19 outbreak forced students to leave campus and shift to distance learning.More than $370,000 has been distributed to over 800 students to help them meet basic needs in the past two weeks, according to the university.The university has received more than 900 applications for assistance to pay for food, transportation or housing.The massive increase in requests ― there are typically two to three each week ―...

The Latest: Md. Logs 774 COVID-19 Cases

Maryland now has 774 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — an increase of 425 cases over the last three days, state officials announced Friday morning. There are now more than 1,500 confirmed cases in the National Capital Region — in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia — 4.5 times more than there were just one week ago.“There is no timetable and no model that can tell us exactly how long this will last or how bad this is going to get," Hogan said in a statement. But the governor said federal resources will start flowing quickly to the state to help...

Frosh Asks DeVos to Cease Federal Student Loan Collection During Pandemic

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh joined the call Thursday to protect federal student loan borrowers from further financial distress during the national state of emergency brought on by COVID-19. “The Department of Education has the authority to help Americans who are struggling with crippling debt burdens; the small changes they have made are not enough,” Frosh said in a statement. In the face of the pandemic, many businesses have shuttered, causing lost wages and leaving more people unemployed. In a letter sent Thursday, 27 attorneys general reminded U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that more than 43 million U.S. citizens are...

Scott, Ball, Raskin Have Telephone Town Halls on Virus Set for This Week

Want to talk directly to your elected officials about the COVID-19 outbreak?Two are hosting virtual town halls about the pandemic this week.At 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Baltimore City Council President Brandon M. Scott (D) has an interactive telephone town hall scheduled with Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the former Maryland health secretary who now heads the Office of Public Health Practice and Training and is director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. The town hall will center on COVID-19 and its impact on the Baltimore community.Scott described the town hall as a way to reach residents who do not have regular access...

As Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Rise, So Does Unemployment

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr (R) announced the largest increase in overnight confirmed COVID-19 infections in Maryland Thursday -- from 423 infections to 580.“We are only at the beginning of this crisis, in our state, in the National Capital Region, and in America,” Hogan said in a statement. “As I have repeatedly stressed, we should continue to expect the number of cases to dramatically and rapidly rise.”Maryland accounts for just under half of the 1,200 confirmed cases in the Maryland, D.C. and Virginia area.As the number of confirmed cases rises, so does unemployment.According to the State Department of Labor,...

Suburban Hospital Seeking Donations of Medical Supplies

Suburban Hospital in Bethesda is putting out the word that it is seeking donations of numerous items to ensure that its clinical teams have an ample supply of personal protective equipment and other supplies when shortages arise.Currently, the hospital is accepting donations of the following:• N95 face masks (unused) • Surgical masks (not hand-sewn) • Safety goggles • Face shields • Disposable gowns • Non-latex gloves • Hand sanitizer (unopened) • Disinfecting/bleach wipes (unopened)No other items can be donated at this time.The hospital is at 8600 Old Georgetown Rd. in Bethesda. The drop-off location for donated goods is at the McKinley Street delivery entrance, just off Old...

Hogan Seeks Disaster Declaration for Maryland

With confirmed cases of COVID-19 now recorded in 22 of Maryland’s 24 political subdivisions, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan (R) has requested that President Trump declare the state a disaster area.The request, sent Wednesday, would qualify state and local governments and Maryland non-profits for “disaster unemployment insurance, hazard mitigation and emergency protection measures,” Hogan said during a State House news conference.As of Wednesday morning, the state had 423 cases, up 74 from the day before, the biggest one-day jump since the count began.Given the health crisis facing New York City, Hogan ordered that any Marylander who has “recently” visited the...

New Law in Hand, Maryland A.G. to Hunt Down Profiteers

Armed with a new law that took effect on Monday, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is urging consumers who’ve come across price gouging to take note of the incident and file a complaint — even if it occurs online.Frosh (D) called it “unconscionable that retailers would take advantage of consumers during this worldwide pandemic crisis.”“Our Consumer Protection Division has received reports of price gouging from all over Maryland since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added. “We will take every action we can to stop them.”Frosh said online retailers are no exception. “If they sell products or...

Councilwoman, Republican Party Chair Picking Up Tabs to Boost Local Restaurants

Two prominent Republicans in Maryland are planning to treat their neighbors to dinner ― for a $10,000 tab.State Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire and his wife, Anne Arundel County Councilwoman Jessica Haire, announced Tuesday that they are buying $10,000 in meals from restaurants and caterers in Anne Arundel to help small businesses and residents during the COVID-19 outbreak.Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) ordered restaurants to close dine-in areas last week, though carry-out and delivery meals have remained available for eateries that are able to provide them.On Wednesday, the Haires will pay the first $25 for the first 40...

Hoyer Wants All-Mail Primary in Md.

With COVID-19 continuing to disrupt just about every aspect of life, including the political calendar, Maryland should commit now to moving its June 2 primary to a vote-by-mail election, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D) said on Monday.“We think that can be done securely, safely and accurately by mail, as other states have done,” he told reporters.Last week Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) decided to push forward with the April 28 special election in Maryland’s 7th congressional district, but he ordered the State Board of Elections to use mail-in ballots exclusively.Hogan also ordered the primary elections scheduled for that...

Hopkins Hospital Looking for Volunteers to Make Face Masks

The Johns Hopkins Medical System is looking for volunteers to help make face masks.In anticipation of the national shortage, the medical system has developed a method to make face masks for its health professionals and has set up a mask production center in Southeast Baltimore, at 5300A Holabird Ave.The hospital is seeking healthy volunteers to work four-hour shifts making the masks. General tasks will include cutting with scissors and razor blades as well as hot gluing and stapling.Although they'll be working for four hours, volunteers will be asked to come onsite for a period of six hours per shift....

BWI Contract Employees: Airline Bailout Should Protect Workers

As the airline industry angles for a $50 billion bailout from the federal government, the union representing contract employees at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport are using the workers' personal stories to press for protections for those employed by airlines and associated industries.According to the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, 78 contract workers at BWI have already been laid off -- even though leaders in the airline industry assert they are seeking a government bailout to prevent layoffs. The union represents baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants, and others at BWI.The union maintains the bailout proposal from the airlines...

Van Hollen Hires Capitol Hill Veteran as New Chief of Staff

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) announced this week that he has hired a new chief of staff. Tricia “Trish” Russell will replace Karen Robb, who has been Van Hollen's chief of staff since he became a senator in 2017 and also spent several years on Van Hollen's staff in the House of Representatives. Most recently, Russell served as chief of staff to Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) as well as the chief of staff to Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.). Previously she worked for former Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) for a decade, holding a number of leadership positions, handling his work on the House...