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MD Sheds Jobs, Sees Jobless Rate Rise; and A Contract Deal Reached For Baltimore Firefighters

Maryland lost 9,200 jobs in July, and saw its unemployment rate rise from 7.0% to 7.1%, according to preliminary figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rank-and-file members of Baltimore City’s fire unions are set to vote today on a three-year contract that would increase their hours and their salaries. Plus: the 2014 Attorney General’s race, a NTSB report on last month’s Bay Bridge accident, a presidential task force releases a study on Superstorm Sandy, the owners of Baltimore’s Senator Theater set a re-opening date, a look at new security measures at Baltimore County schools, the loyalty of Ravens fans, and more.

MD Sheds Jobs, Sees Jobless Rate Rise: Economists are pointing to the federal sequestration spending cuts as a reason that Maryland lost jobs last month – and saw its unemployment rate go up. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced yesterday that Maryland’s unemployment rate went from 7% in June to 7.1% percent in July. Maryland also shed some 92-hundred jobs last month; only two states – New Jersey and Nevada – dropped more. There’s more here from the Baltimore Business Journal and here from the Baltimore Sun.

Contract Deal For Baltimore Firefighters: Baltimore’s fire unions have reached a contract deal with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration. The Baltimore Sun reports that firefighters would get a pay raise under the agreement… but they would also have to put in more hours. The three year contract would increase hours from 42 a week to 47.5; an increase of 12.5%. The deal would also raise firefighters’ salaries by 16.5%. Rank-and-file union members are set to vote on the contract today. 

Frosh’s AG Bid To Pick Up Former AGs’ Support: State Senator Brian Frosh, who’s running for Attorney General next year, is picking up the endorsements of two men who held the post in the past. The Baltimore Sun reports that former AG’s Joe Curran and Stephen Sachs will hold a news conference today in Baltimore, to give their support to Frosh. Frosh is expected to face several candidates in the Democratic primary… including Delegates Jon Cardin and Aisha Braveboy, who’ve announced their plans to run for the post. Delegate Bill Frick is also expected to get into the race. 

NTSB Report On Bay Bridge Accident: The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on last month's Chesapeake Bay Bridge accident that sent a car over the side of the eastbound span. The report indicates that a moment of inattention by the driver of a tractor trailer led to the chain-reaction crash. As the Baltimore Sun reports, investigators say the driver worked for a Canadian company and was on his first trip in the United States without being paired with a more experienced driver. The NTSB report does not indicate any structural concerns for the type of barriers used on the bridge. 

Superstorm Sandy Study: It’s been almost a year since Superstorm Sandy moved across our region… and a presidential task force studying the storm and its aftermath say that coastal communities need to be prepared for future storms. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency says it’s working with those communities. More here from WJZ

Annapolis Holds Emergency Drill: The city of Annapolis is holding a mock emergency drill today; the exercise is designed to help staff with the Office of Emergency Preparedness And Risk Management practice what they’ll do in the aftermath of a major storm. The Capital Gazette reports that staff will practice handling widespread power outages and dwindling supplies of food and water. The drill will be held at facilities including the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and the Water Treatment Plant on Defense Highway.

Reopening Date For The Senator Theater: The owner of Baltimore's historic Senator Theatre is setting a reopening date. The Baltimore Sun reports that James Cusack says the theater will reopen on October 10th with a screening of the John Waters' film "Hairspray." The 1939 art deco movie house has been closed since April.

Construction Worker Death In Anne Arundel County: A 25-year-old construction worker died yesterday in Anne Arundel County after a nine-foot-hole he was digging collapsed around him. The man was working to build a deck when the collapse occurred; It took crews about three-and-a-half hours to reach him and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials with the Maryland Department of Occupation, Safety, and Health tell the Baltimore Sun that they are investigating the incident.

New Security At Baltimore County Schools: When Baltimore County school students go back to class on Monday of next week, they’ll see additional security measures. The schools have implemented a new state-of-the-art visitor identification system, which scans visitors’ state IDs and then runs a background check. The system then prints a personalized visitor badge, complete with a picture. More online here

Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles lost yesterday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays; the score 4 to 3. The two teams play again tonight at Camden Yards, first pitch set for 7:05pm.

The Loyalty Of Ravens Fans: Ravens fans have to wait ‘till Thursday for their team’s next preseason game (when they’ll play the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium)… and a new study shows that those fans are pretty loyal. The analysis, conducted by Emory University, says that Ravens fans are the 8th most loyal in the nation – the ranking examined all sorts of factors, including box office revenues, stadium capacity, and market population. The most loyal fans follow the Dallas Cowboys, apparently. The Baltimore Business Journal has more here.