News Wrap: Storm Dig Out; Fire Displaces Families in NW Baltimore
Digging Out From Snowstorm
The Baltimore region is struggling to from yesterday's snowfall, which dumped more than seven inches in Ellicott City, Bel Air and White Marsh. In the city, snow totals varied, with nine inches being reported on the ground in Pimlico and Highlandtown noting about six. Traveling across the region remains limited with MARC train and commuter buses experiencing major delays, and a number of accidents being reported on major roadways. BWI Airport says only about a quarter of all departures are running late, but roughly two-thirds of inbound flights are arriving after their scheduled time. Most area school systems were closed for the day.
Fire Damages Nine Rowhouses
The Red Cross is helping the nearly 40 people left homeless after a fire damaged nine rowhouses in Northwest Baltimore. The three-alarm blaze on Cordelia Avenue broke out yesterday afternoon and was under control in about an hour-and-a-half. There are no reports of injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
GOP Lawmakers Want Standardized Test Moratorium
Two Maryland Republicans want to put a moratorium on standardized tests for kids in second grade or lower. According to the Baltimore Sun, Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings and Delegate Haven N. Shoemaker Jr. say the tests take the excitement out of school and leaves instructors "teaching to the test." They also say standardized testing only has minimal value for kids at such a young age.
House Votes to Boost Maryland’s Speed Limit
Maryland’s House of Delegates voted 126-10 on Thursday for a measure sponsored by Del. Wendell Beitzel, a Garrett County Republican, to raise the speed limit to 70 mph from 65 mph. Last month, the Senate voted in favor of another bill that proposed a speed limit increase. Now the two chambers will have to pass the same bill and send it to Gov. Larry Hogan. This is the closest a speed limit increase comes to making it through the General Assembly. Last year a similar bill stalled in the Senate. Supporters point to other states that have a speed limit of 70 mph, and say the increase would not be mandatory statewide. Opponents, however, says it's dangerous because drivers will exceed the speed limit and drive at unsafe speeds.
Senate Approves New Primary Date
The Maryland Senate gave its unanimous approval to move the 2016 presidential primary date. The House of Delegates will now consider changing the date from April 5 to April 26 to avoid having an early-voting day fall on Easter Sunday. Baltimore's municipal primary is also scheduled to be held April 5. Delaware and Pennsylvania will hold their primaries on April 26.
Johns Hopkins Will Anchor Development In Remington
Remington is about to get a shot in the arm from a major development project. Johns Hopkins Community Physicians has signed a lease for 30,000 square feet of office space in a new building planned for the heart of the neighborhood. The site will serve as a local medical center, while also boasting more than 100 apartments and retail space. Some call the project a turning point for the community, which has seen a number of development proposals come and go.
Survey Ranks Maryland Among Best States For Women
A new study by WalletHub ranks Maryland as the fourth-best state in the country for women to work and live. The survey used a number of metrics, from median income for women to access to health care. Maryland actually ranked first in the country in the "economic and social well-being" metric. Minnesota ranks number one overall among states, while Arkansas was dead last.