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In the Media: Sinai Hospital to Acquire Part of Pimlico Race Site; P-Tech Schools Come to Baltimore


A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

From the Baltimore Sun: Baltimore Sheriff: Office had no role in Freddie Gray investigation

"A top Baltimore Sheriff's Office commander who obtained the warrants for the Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray says in an affidavit that he 'had no involvement in the investigation whatsoever.'

"Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen says in the affidavit, submitted in response to a lawsuit filed against him and State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, that prosecutors asked him to review evidence and told him what they had determined.

"'I was also presented with a narrative that formed the basis of the application for statement of charges that I completed by the State's Attorney's Office,' Cogen said. 'The facts, information and legal conclusions contained within ... as well as the charges lodged against plaintiff came entirely from members of the State's Attorney's Office.'

"But while distancing himself from the investigation, Cogen also maintains the charges were supported by 'sufficient' probable cause and that it was reasonable to defer to prosecutors' determinations. Cogen and Mosby are being sued by five of the six officers charged in the case, and Cogen's affidavit was filed in an effort to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Lt. Brian Rice, who is charged with manslaughter.

"The affidavit sheds new light on the State's Attorney's investigation into Gray's death, which was independent of police and led to rare charges against police at a time of heightened scrutiny across the country of law enforcement.

"Mosby has said that the sheriff's office aided prosecutors, though Cogen's affidavit suggests the agency had little to no role beyond filling out the warrant. Defense attorneys for the officers charged have sought repeatedly to put prosecutors on the stand, saying their active role in the investigation makes them subject to questioning, but so far those efforts have been rebuffed by Judge Barry Williams.

"Police and prosecutors worked on parallel tracks in the days after Gray's death in the back of a police transport van, and the agencies clashed over evidence - a rift that spilled out in court last week at the trial of Officer Caesar GoodsonJr."

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From the Baltimore Sun: LifeBridge’s Sinai Hospital to acquire part of Pimlico Race Course site

"The Maryland Jockey Club is planning to sell part of its Pimlico Race Course property in Baltimore to Sinai Hospital, a deal that comes amid questions about the future of horse racing at the site.

"But the Stronach Group, which owns the Jockey Club, and city officials moved quickly to rein in speculation that the sale might be a sign that the company intends to scale back its presence in the city.

"LifeBridge's Sinai Hospital, which has used the property for employee parking for more than 10 years, will gain a roughly 20-acre parcel, with the new address of 5400 Preakness Way, according to subdivision documents submitted to Baltimore's Planning Department.

"Tim Ritvo, the Stronach Group's chief operating officer, said Sinai has been using the site for free. After considering its finances, Stronach decided to rent or sell the property, said Ritvo, adding that it was not related to questions about moving the Preakness.

"'In reality, we're talking about two separate issues,' he said. 'The one small, minor subdivision has nothing to do with the big picture.'

"Stronach representatives have said previously that it might make sense to move the Preakness, the middle jewel in horse racing's Triple Crown, to its larger property in Laurel, while consultants for the Maryland Stadium Authority have started to analyze the options for the track's future, including the costs of building a new facility.

"It is 'almost impossible' to renovate Pimlico, which opened in 1870 and has had plumbing and electrical problems, Ritvo said. The Jockey Club wants to add skyboxes and to avoid spending millions of dollars each year to create an infield village.

"William H. Cole IV, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., which is helping to fund the stadium authority's study by Crossroads Consulting Services, said he is not concerned that reducing the size of the roughly 140-acre site might limit options.

"'I've asked the question very directly and been assured repeatedly that it does not in any way affect the future of Preakness or Pimlico,' Cole said. 'If I thought for one second that it would have an adverse impact on the future of Pimlico, there's no way that we'd be standing by idly, letting this happen.'"

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From the AFRO: P-Tech Schools Come to Baltimore

"Governor Larry Hogan announced the start of the Pathways in Technology College High School, better known by its acronym P-Tech. Hogan made the announcement on June 14 at Carver Vocational High School, one of the participating schools, in Baltimore.

"P-Tech offers students a chance to earn their high school diploma, while at the same time earning an Associate’s Degree, over a six year time period. The idea is to give students the opportunity to earn college credits in high school as well as the necessary work tools they need to thrive in today’s society.

“'I think it’s great this is an opportunity for young people to not only go to school, get an education, get a skill, and get a college degree in four to six years. Some… will finish both degrees in four years depending on their skill level. At the same time they get to go to work for major companies like IBM, I think that this a great partnership. This is the kind of partnership that we need, with the business community, the philanthropic community and all of our non-profit organizations that are assets in our community. This goes well for Baltimore’s future and I’m excited about it,' said Catherine Pugh, state senator and the presumed next mayor of Baltimore, while at the event.

"Carver Vocational Technical and Paul Lawrence Dunbar High Schools are the first schools to be named in the P-Tech program here in Maryland.

"Hogan said, 'Once established these schools will be available to all students with no test, or grades required for admission, they will integrate over a six year period in the critical areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and each student will be paired with a mentor and will be given a chance to participate in skills based paid internship.'

"Shionta Somerville, principal of Carver, said, 'I’m excited about the opportunity for Carver students, it’s going to be a good opportunity, it’s going to add to the other CTE (Career Technology & Education) programs we have here for early college…. For my students, I know a lot of times what the main barrier is for them and that is money. I think that’s going to help alleviate the money part for my students.'

"P-Tech schoosl began in 2011 and there are now 40 P-Tech Schools in the United States"

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