MD Reacts To The Zimmerman Verdict, MD Keeps AAA Bond Ratings, and A Heat Wave Washes Over MD
Baltimore is one of many the cities around the country seeing strong reactions to the acquittal of George Zimmerman; he was found not guilty second degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year in Sanford, Florida. Maryland has retained its coveted AAA bond rating from all 3 major ratings agencies. Highs in the 90s are in store throughout the workweek as a heat wave washes over the state. Plus: an expansion of BWI, AA County’s new police chief, Artscape preparations, stolen campaign signs in Frederick, dolphin sightings off MD’s coast, and more.
Zimmerman Verdict Reaction: Baltimore is one of many the cities around the country seeing strong reactions to the acquittal of George Zimmerman; he was found not guilty second degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year in Sanford, Florida. Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts asked for calm after the verdict was delivered. At the Inner Harbor yesterday, a crowd of several hundred people to show their disappointment and call for justice; the Baltimore Sun reportsthat the protest was peaceful, with no incidents reported. Another demonstration is planned for this afternoon at McKeldin Square, starting at 5pm; Frederick will see a rally tomorrow night at 8:30, according to the Frederick News Post. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun reports that the Baltimore-based NAACP is calling on the US Justice Department to launch a federal civil rights investigation in the wake of the verdict.
Top Bond Ratings For MD: Maryland's top AAA bond rating has been re-affirmed by the three bond-rating agencies... that means the state will pay the low interest rates on the bonds it issues -- good news, as Maryland prepares to sell about $475-million worth of bonds next week. More here from marylandreporter.com.
Hot Week: The WYPR listening area is bracing for a heat wave. Forecasters tell the Baltimore Sun that the region will see temperatures in the low to mid 90s all week. With the humidity, it will feel at times like the upper 90s and low 100s. Average July temperatures for the area are in the 80s.
Artscape Preparations: Seems like it’s always hot for Artscape, the nation’s largest free arts festival; 350-thousand people are expected to attend the 32nd annual fest, this coming weekend. The Baltimore Sun reportsthat road closures begin to take effect today in the area around the Maryland Institute College of Art, with more taking place later in the week.
Why Trial Lawyers May Not Be So Powerful In Maryland: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Ann Marimow of the Washington Post talk about Maryland's unusual practice of denying damages in civil lawsuits if the plaintiff is partially at fault for his or her injuries, and why the Court of Appeals recently placed the issue back in the General Assembly's hands. It’s today’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
BWI Expansion: Governor Martin O'Malley has announced plans to expand BWI Airport; he says the renovations will pave the way for more overseas flights and shorter customs lines. The plans appear to coincide with the expected plans of the airport's largest carrier, Southwest Airlines, into providing flights abroad. The Baltimore Sun reports that the BWI expansion to cost $125-million over three years.
PSC Approves Pepco Rate Hike: Public Service Commission has granted a $28-million dollar rate hike for Pepco's Maryland customers – that’s about half of the $61-million that Pepco had asked for. The increases will cost the average customer an additional $2.41 on their monthly bill. Pepco tells the Daily Times that the money will primarily be used for investments in service reliability. The Daily Record has more here.
AA’s New Police Chief: Anne Arundel County has a new police chief; Kevin Davis, who‘s been assistant chief of police in Prince George’s County for the past three years, starts his beat as Anne Arundel’s top cop today. Davis has been praised by his new boss, County Executive Laura Neuman as a “stable, strong leader.” And Davis tells the Baltimore Sun that he’ll work to restore order and pride to the police department.
Stolen Campaign Signs In Frederick: sign defacers and thieves in Frederick beware -- you could soon be on camera. Democratic Delegate -- and mayoral candidate -- Galen Clagett says that seven of his campaign signs have been damaged recently, and tells the Frederick News Post that he's considering putting up surveillance cameras to figure out who's doing it. Other mayoral candidates say their signs have also been removed or cut down.
Dolphin Sightings: Beachgoers in Ocean City have seen a lot of dolphins this summer. The Baltimore Sun reports that as of Friday, there were 113 dolphin sightings along Maryland’s coast… at Assateague State Park and Ocean City itself. That’s nearly four times as many dolphins as had been seen at this time last year, although last year’s dolphin count was considered dismally low.
Baltimore Baseball: the Orioles triumphed 7 to 4 over the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday. The O’s will be back in action on Friday, when they begin a three-game series with the Rangers, in Texas.