Gov. Moore announces two additional programs to support local businesses impacted by Key Bridge collapse

Maryland is offering two new economic relief programs to support businesses affected by the Key Bridge collapse.

A program through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provides businesses with grants of up to $50,000.

Meanwhile, another program provides no-interest loans of up to a half-million dollars. A total of $15 million in grants and loans are available through the programs for businesses with 500 or fewer employees that have been impacted by a loss of revenue or an increase in costs related to the bridge collapse.

The application portal is open.

Find out more here.

Megan Thee Stallion accused of harassment by cameraman who said he was forced to watch her have sex

A former cameraman for Megan Thee Stallion who alleges that he was trapped inside a moving vehicle with the hip-hop star in a foreign country while she had s*x with a woman has filed a lawsuit accusing the entertainer of h*rassment and a hostile work environment, according to NBC News.

Emilio Garcia said in the suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court that after the alleged incident he was warned, “don’t ever discuss what you saw,” and berated, fat-shamed and treated differently by Megan.

The “harassment was so s*vere or p*rvasive” that it created a “hostile, ab*sive work environment” that made Garcia’s “working conditions intolerable,” the suit said.

Baltimore City suing owner and operator of cargo ship involved in Key Bridge collapse

Tuesday will mark four weeks since the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was destroyed by a cargo ship, slamming into one of its main vertical supports, and now the city is taking legal action.

Baltimore City is suing the owner and operator of the Dali cargo ship in the collapse. The city blames the owners for having faulty equipment on the cargo carrier.

The city claims the crew was incompetent and inattentive in allowing the ship to crash into the bridge. Baltimore is not only seeking damages related to the lost revenue at the city’s port, but also the cost of replacing the bridge.

The owners of the Dali have sought to protect themselves by using an old maritime law, which limits damages to the value of items on the vessel.

Six construction workers were killed in the collapse. Two remain missing.

Baltimore Mayor Scott unveils updated crime-fighting strategy with new focus on youth justice

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, surrounded by city officials, on Monday unveiled an updated crime-fighting strategy, with a new focus on youth justice. Scott provided updates on Baltimore’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan, which was first released in June 2021. He pointed to cuts in the number of homicides in the city, including 28 fewer than on this date a year ago.

“Our comprehensive, public health-informed approach to public safety in Baltimore has achieved remarkable results in its first two years of implementation, but there is still significant work to do,” Scott said in a news release. “Our efforts to build out the systems and infrastructure needed to treat violence as a public health epidemic, together with the efforts of the brave men and women at BPD, helped produce an historic 20% reduction in homicides in 2023.

Trump opening statements to begin in hush money trial

ONFIRE-TV.com – After four days of jury selection, the first criminal trial of a former president gets rolling this week in New York.

Judge Juan Merchan indicated that he expects opening statements to begin Monday in the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump, after 12 jurors and six alternates were sworn in last week.

Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation Relocates to Downtown Baltimore

The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) today announced its headquarters has relocated from State Center to the Candler Building located at 700 East Pratt Street in Baltimore’s Central Business District.

“This highly anticipated relocation offers a more modern and convenient working environment for our team and will allow us to serve our customers even better,” said Interim Director Dan Phillips. “We are thrilled to be part of Baltimore City’s downtown business community and look forward to all the benefits it has to offer.”

The Department’s headquarters staff will be fully relocated including the business charter functions, business personal property assessments, utility assessments, franchise tax, tax credit programs, tax sale ombudsman’s office, homeowner protection program, ground rent program, and general SDAT administration. The Department’s real property assessment offices are not impacted by this relocation, and SDAT continues to have a real property office in every Maryland county and Baltimore City. All county assessment office addresses remain the same.

During this transition, SDAT customers are strongly encouraged to use the Maryland Business Express online options to submit business filings and Maryland OneStop to apply for property tax credits. Although the Department’s new walk-in customer service counter located at 123 Market Place, Baltimore MD 21202, will be open for all customers in the coming weeks, at this time it is only available for tax credit customers. Same day Charter filing services, Annual Reports, Business Personal Property Returns, and other filings may be hand delivered to the drop-boxes available in the lobby of the new location. Mail sent to SDAT’s prior State Center offices will be forwarded to the new location.

Updates related to the relocation and availability of services will be posted on SDAT’s website at dat.maryland.gov.

Gov. Moore: Crews remove 1,100 tons of steel from Key Bridge collapse site

Salvage crews in Baltimore are doing some heavy lifting as they work to clear the wreckage of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge and open a third temporary shipping channel by month’s end.

Speaking at an afternoon news conference on Tuesday, Gov. Wes Moore said in the three weeks since the collapse, crews have removed 1,100 tons of steel from the Patapsco River, which is equivalent to five times the weight of the Statue of Liberty.

Moore noted this has been done without a single injury on the job.

In a show of bipartisan unity, the Democratic governor was joined by former Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich and GOP state lawmakers who helped pass the Maryland PORT Act, emergency legislation that supports businesses and workers impacted by the collapse.

READ MORE: Maryland makes bipartisan case for federal funding after Key Bridge collapse

Moore says he plans to travel to Washington again to continue the push for full federal funding to rebuild the bridge.

Mayor Scott Announces Recipients of ARPA-Funded $3.6 Million “Diversity in Arts Grant”

Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced the recipients of the $3.6 million Diversity in Arts Grant. The arts grant, made possible with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, is part of a total of $6.25 million focused on supporting arts and cultural institutions led by diverse arts and cultural organizations announced in September 2023. The Diversity in Arts Grant funding will help awardees sustain and expand their work as they provide Baltimore City residents with quality art experiences and activities.

“Baltimore has always been a city defined by the arts, and our art community remains a cornerstone of our city’s identity, reflecting our history, diversity, and resilience,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Baltimore’s arts community has always been there to express what this city is about, often giving a voice to the voiceless. However, public dollars have too often gone just to the big names and the big players in town. This investment, made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act, underscores our dedication to ensuring that all artists and communities, particularly those minority and historically underrepresented organizations, have equitable access to resources and opportunities.”

“When we invest in the arts, we invest in the soul of our city, nurturing a vibrant culture that attracts talent, stimulates innovation, and generates economic prosperity,” said Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture Senior Advisor Tonya R. Miller Hall. “The arts are not just an expression of our city’s spirit; they are a powerful engine driving our future forward.”

See more here

Maryland makes bipartisan case for federal funding after Key Bridge collapse

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore provided a briefing Tuesday afternoon after the March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The governor said, as of Tuesday, crews have moved more than 1,100 tons of steel from the Patapsco River. To put that into perspective, Moore said that is five times the weight of the Statue of Liberty.

“We have not had a single injury on the job — three weeks, 1,110 tons of steel, no injuries. This is an absolutely remarkable achievement,” Moore said.

But the governor said one of the biggest priorities is to get the main shipping channel back open by the end of May, and he said the next step toward making that happen is by removing a large 300-ton steel structure that’s resting on the cargo ship.

The governor said about 40 containers have been lifted from the ship.

Source: WBAL

Baltimore mayoral candidate Sheila Dixon speaks on endorsement from State’s Attorney Ivan Bates

Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, the Democratic candidate for mayor, appeared with T.J. Smith on Wednesday afternoon, days after she received an endorsement from City State’s Attorney Ivan Bates.

Dixon said she is humbled by the endorsement and that she is happy that he has the confidence in her.

“I’m humbled that the state’s attorney has confidence in me being a great partner with the state’s attorney’s office,” Dixon said. “I know it’s taken a lot for him to come to this decision.”

Dixon noted that her predecessor as mayor, Martin O’Malley, had a tense relationship with then-State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy. Dixon said as mayor, she worked to improve that relationship.

Dixon would not say if she would keep Richard Worley as the city’s police commissioner if she was elected, saying she would have to meet with him first.

“Ten years from now, my hope is our crime will be so low that other cities will come to Baltimore to look at the collaborations and partnerships,” Dixon said.

The full interview can be watched above.