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News Wrap: Donna Edwards Joins Senate Race; Mayor Rawlings-Blake Addresses Police Violence

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Congresswoman Donna Edwards Joins Senate Race

Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards is now officially a candidate for U.S. Senate. Edwards announced Tuesday that she’ll be running for the seat being vacated by retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski. In a video released today, Edwards states, “When I step into Barbara Mikulski’s shoes as your next senator, you will always know where I stand: With you.” She joins Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who announced his candidacy last week, in the race for the seat. If elected in 2016, Edwards would become the first African-American to represent the state in the Senate. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ7haoQ6zEo

Mayor Delivers State of the City Address

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake addressed the issue of police brutality during her annual State of the City address Monday. “We know the overwhelming majority of our officers treat our residents with dignity, respect, and courtesy,” she stated, adding, however, that a few bad ones can damage the reputation of an entire city. To help build trust, she said, the police department is moving forward with the recommendations of a body camera working group, with plans to put a pilot program in place later this year. Efforts also are underway to make reforms to statewide laws governing police misconduct. 

Addressing crime, the mayor said more needs to be done to reduce violence among African-American men. Baltimore recorded 211 murders last year; 189 of the victims were black men.  Rawlings-Blake announced a "Call to Action to End African American Homicides," and part of the program includes recruiting men to serve as mentors, tutors and coaches. The inaugural forum for the initiative will be held later this month. 

On the economic front, Rawlings-Blake announced plans to promote small business in the city with a proposal that includes 20 action items, including a new $1 million innovation fund to help small- and medium-size businesses adapt to technology. She’s also promoting an idea to sell some city garages to fund recreation centers.

Mayor Rallies for Red Line

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake rallied in Annapolis yesterday in favor of the proposed Red Line. Supporters of the $2.9-billion-dollar project connecting East and West Baltimore say it’s needed to boost economic development. Governor Larry Hogan is waiting for recommendations from Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn before making a final decision. 

Bond Denied to Suspected Shooter

A judge has denied bond to the man accused in five shootings across suburban Maryland. Police say that Hong Young has admitted to the shootings, including one last week near the NSA Headquarters in Ft. Meade. 

City Gives Preliminary Approval To Posting Restaurant Health Ratings 

The Baltimore City Council has given preliminary approval to a measure that would require restaurants to post health ratings. The measure would also require the Health Department to post a searchable, online database of restaurant inspections. The legislation would apply to most places where food is prepared and sold.